AUSTIN — The Master Wellness Volunteer program for Travis County needs additional volunteers to participate in its community health and wellness outreach efforts, said Sonia Coyle, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service family and consumer sciences agent for Travis County.
The next Master Wellness Volunteer training will be held at the AgriLife Extension office at 1600 B-Smith Road in Austin, and will combine both classroom and online instruction.
Coyle said the program provides participants with 40 hours of training in health, wellness and nutrition education in exchange for 40 hours in wellness-related community service.
“Master Wellness volunteers are required to attend two classes as well as taking classes online to reach the minimum 40 hours of training,” she said.
The training will focus on nutrition and wellness, making healthy choices and food safety. Volunteers are provided the necessary tools and information to facilitate or assist in the implementation of community nutrition programs.
In-class training will be held from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on March 4 and March 25 with the rest of the training to be completed online.
A fee of $75 or $25 for students will cover the cost of instruction and lunch for both classroom days. To register online, go to https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/MasterWellnessVolunteer. To register by phone, call 979-845-2604.
Those interested are encouraged to contact Coyle at 512-854-9605 or firstname.lastname@example.org before registration for more information on the program. The deadline for registration is March 2 and space is limited.
Coyle said volunteers will be instructed on the A Fresh Start to a Healthier You nutrition program as well as Walk Across Texas and Walk and Talk physical fitness programs, the Step Up and Scale Down weight-loss program, and planning and implementing a healthy cooking school. Other instruction will cover 4-H family and consumer sciences workshops and contests such as the 4-H Food Challenge and 4-H Food Show.
“Opportunities for volunteers are diverse and no previous health or wellness training is required to become a Master Wellness volunteer,” Coyle said. “The only requirement is an interest in living healthfully and helping instruct others on how to do the same.”
She said current volunteers include retirees, school teachers and students, community leaders, homemakers and other civic-minded individuals.
Coyle said after receiving training volunteers can provide community service by giving nutrition and wellness instruction in small community venues, such as churches, schools, community centers and businesses.
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, she said.
“Being a Master Wellness volunteer doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get up in front of people and teach a class,” she added. “It can also mean helping with administrative tasks, data entry, designing newsletters, fliers or updating our Facebook page and blog. There is something for everyone. Wellness is about the health of mind, body and spirit.”