Volunteer

HELP CREATE HOPE FOR MILLIONS

Have a little extra time on your hands?

Put it to good use solving world hunger!

Whether you’re a retiree looking for something meaningful to do with your time and energy, or a student researching ways to support sustainable agroecology, we have a spot for you! At ECHO, our work depends on volunteers who are passionate about our mission and have a servant’s heart. With your time, talent and hard work, we can provide hope and hunger solutions for millions of people around the world.

Get started today!

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), world hunger sharply increased in 2020 as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. An estimated 720-811 million people experienced hunger, and moderate-to-severe food insecurity affects more than 30% of the global population.

This is a staggering number, more than twice the population of the United States. 

The international community is working hard to provide relief, but most organizations send resources to a country’s government and hope they trickle down to the people who need it most. However, we know that lasting change is grown from the ground up.

This is Pastor

Pastor’s parents were school teachers, but when their school shut down, they couldn’t just turn the orphans out into the streets… so they took them in. With a little land but no farming knowledge, they couldn’t feed 19 children and hunger became a major issue. Through the kindness of strangers, Pastor’s dad, Joseph, was able to attend an ECHO training where he learned a simple farming technique he could teach the children as well. Starting with sack gardens, Joseph, Pastor, and the other kids have transformed their homestead into something that provides for their needs. And their neighbors have been watching, and have begun to adopt some of the same techniques that Joseph learned from ECHO.

BE PART OF THE SOLUTION

ECHO is a global organization, but we have less than 100 people on staff worldwide. A quarter of the work is done by volunteers like you!

There are many ways to help on our research and demonstration farm in North Fort Myers, Florida. From indoor jobs like folding newsletters, dusting the bookstore, or cooking food for an event to outdoor jobs like trimming trees, planting trial crops, and harvesting produce for the market garden, you can be an essential part of real-life change.

HOW TO GET STARTED

Step 1

Register as a volunteer through our Volunteer Portal – we’ll gather your contact information and ask about your skills:  carpenter, gardener, marketing, etc.

Step 2

Take the virtual orientation – this includes a safety training, farm tour, and shows you how to sign up for shifts, track hours, and manage your information. This usually takes about 45 minutes and you’ll need to sign a couple of documents.

Step 3

Sign up for a shift. You can start as early as tomorrow!

Step 4

Stop in at the Volunteer Coordinator’s office (in the bookstore building) before or after your first shift to pick up your new nametag and welcome packet.

All volunteer opportunities are on location at our Global Farm in N Ft Myers, FL. For volunteering information at one of our Regional Impact Centers or if you run into any trouble creating your account, reach out to volunteers@echonet.org for assistance.

See you on the farm!

Frequently Asked Questions

If you were a volunteer at ECHO before Aug 2022, your information was imported from the old system when we set up the new portal. All you need to do is enter your email, click “Forgot Password,” and create a new one through the link they will send to your email.

The portal is designed to be as intuitive and user friendly as possible, but you may run into issues with it at some point. The Volunteer Coordinator is available to assist you with any questions and walk you through the different functionalities. Just let us know at volunteers@echonet.org if you have any problems with your account.

Once you’ve logged into your portal you can add hours by checking in while you are here to volunteer for a shift or adding custom hours afterwards under your profile > track hours > add custom hours.

When you first log in, you will be taken to your dashboard, which features a lifetime total count of the hours you have logged with this portal.

All of your previous volunteer data is stored in our old system. We still have access to the records of your hard work, but that information didn’t come over to the new system. This one only shows your lifetime hours from the point that your new account was created.

Work ranges from indoor and outdoor opportunities to light manual activity (like envelope stuffing or manning a registration table) to hard physical labor (like chainsawing, mulching, or chopping bananas). We will never ask you to perform a task that you are not comfortable with; and are very conscious of safety training to ensure tasks are completed with proper safety procedures. For more information about a specific opportunity’s work level, see the opportunity description.

Whatever will make you comfortable, bearing in mind your working conditions. If you are working indoors, you may want a light sweater. If you are working outdoors in full sun, you’ll want a reusable water bottle, hat, sunglasses, extra t-shirt for the ride home, and a snack or packed lunch.

Please do! The more the merrier 🙂 Just have them create their own volunteer portal account and take the virtual orientation before they come on the farm with you. For friends that are visiting from out of town (and this will be their only interaction with ECHO), please contact volunteers@echonet.org with the particulars of your request.

Great! Work teams often are able to make the biggest impact. Check out our Work Team page for more specific information.

Sure! Kids ages 16 and up should create their own volunteer portal account and can sign up for opportunities and work on their own. Kids under 16 will need to work directly with you at all times. Add their volunteer hours to your time at the end of your shift.