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Voluntourism in Pensacola

Group volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, courtesy Pensacola CVB

The Pensacola Bay area offers numerous volunteer activities. Groups can help on construction projects through Habitat for Humanity. Habitat builds affordable housing for deserving families in the community. The organization’s ReStores in Pensacola and Milton need assistance organizing sales floors, greeting customers, pricing merchandise and taking inventory. Sales proceeds have sponsored more than 40 homes.

Groups can also roll up their sleeves and help improve the environment through trash cleanup at Gulf Islands National Seashore. At the Northwest Florida Wildlife Sanctuary, openings are available to assist staff with injured and orphaned wildlife.

The Florida Public Archeology Network allows volunteers to help with the cleaning and preservation of artifacts from digs around the area, including some that unearth 16th-century colonial communities.

“Few people know that Pensacola was the country’s first European settlement,” said Valeria Lento Palmertree, director of communications at the Pensacola Bay Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “It was founded in 1559 before a hurricane came through and destroyed it, so St. Augustine became the nation’s first permanent settlement.”

Elizabeth Hey

Elizabeth Hey is a member of Midwest Travel Journalists Association and has received numerous awards for her writing and photography. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook @travelbyfork.