AgriLife Extension in Travis County seeking new Master Wellness volunteers

AUSTIN — The Master Wellness Volunteer program for Travis County is looking for additional volunteers to participate in its community health and wellness outreach efforts, coordinators said.

Master Wellness Volunteers receive trainnig so they may serve their communities by sharing objective information on nutrition and health. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo)

Master Wellness Volunteer program participants receive 40 hours of training and are required to give 40 hours of service to their communities by sharing what they learn about nutrition and health. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo)

“The Master Wellness Volunteer program is an initiative of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service,” said Sonia Coyle, the agency’s county family and consumer sciences educator for Travis County. “It provides volunteers with 40 hours of training in health, wellness and nutrition education, and in return, volunteers agree to give back 40 hours in wellness-related community service.”

Master Wellness Volunteers are required to attend five classes to reach the minimum 40 hours of training, she noted.

“The training will address physical activity, nutrition, food safety and food demonstrations, child health, AgriLife Extension wellness programs and more,” Coyle said.

She said opportunities for volunteers are diverse and no previous health or wellness training is required to become a Master Wellness Volunteer.

“The only requirement is an interest in living healthfully and helping instruct others on how to do the same. Our current volunteers include retirees, teachers, students, community leaders, homemakers and other civic-minded individuals.”

Coyle said volunteer activities can include providing nutrition and wellness instruction in small community venues, such as churches, schools, community centers and businesses.

“For example, volunteers can help with AgriLife Extension fitness initiatives and conduct healthy recipe demonstrations,” she said.

Coyle said while volunteer opportunities are coordinated through the AgriLife Extension office, volunteers are also welcome to use their training at their own selected community site or within their own organization

“Our next training will be held on five consecutive Mondays from late January to late February,” Coyle said.

She said specific times for the training will be from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 27 and Feb. 3, 10, 17 and 24.

The training is $35 to cover the cost of instruction and materials. Each participant receives a binder with copies of all training presentations.

“Being a Master Wellness Volunteer doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get up in front of people and teach a class,” Coyle noted. “It can also mean helping with administrative tasks, data entry or designing newsletters or flyers. There is something for everyone.”

Wellness is about the health of mind, body and spirit, she said.

“The Master Wellness Volunteer program helps to promote the overall wellness of the community through teaching people about proper nutrition, being healthy and having a positive attitude,” Coyle said.

To register as a Travis County Master Wellness Volunteer, go to https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu. The deadline for registration is Jan. 13.

For more information on the Master Wellness Volunteer program, contact Coyle at 512-854-9605 or sonia.coyle@ag.tamu.edu. For updates, go to the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/traviscofcs.

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