How hobbies can help you and others in 2022 |

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January is often known as a time to make resolutions and start fresh, but the New Year can also be a time to start a new hobby.

There were a total of 385,000 unemployed people in Missouri at the height of the pandemic, with the number dropping to 124,000 by early 2021.

Unemployment combined with stay-at-home orders and periodic quarantine meant more people were looking for jobs, taking on home-based projects and finding ways to make the most of social isolation.

The Mayo Clinic is up to trying something new or picking a hobby high on the personal care list during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Volunteering is just one way to give back while having an impact on the community.

“We have pre-established opportunities in the city through the Parks Department,” said Chuck Kempf, director of parks, recreation and civic facilities. “Someone can take the Adopt-A-Park or Adopt-A-Parkway / Trail program. “

The department works alongside citizen volunteers in efforts to clean up and maintain one of the 28 St. Joseph’s parks or 12 parkways around town.

“Not many people are interested in signing up at this time of year, but they can get started right away if they want,” Kempf said. “Whenever we have storms or any type of wind, we end up with quite a bit of debris like organic matter and tree branches.

Most clean-up work should be completed before mowing and planting in the spring.

“People can also call if they want to do something special like work on the longer trails, the ball fields, paint or stain the park shelters,” Kempf said. “Our biggest thing is to make sure everyone stays safe. “

If you’re looking to show off your specialist craft or computer skills, there are often a small number of opportunities to work on projects at places like Joyce Ray Patterson’s Senior Center and Remington Nature Center.

There are also 55 groups and organizations that meet at the Seniors Center for citizens over 50. A few activities include swing dancing, line dancing lessons, and various fitness classes.

Rolling Hills Consolidated Libraries are another great option for brain exercise or giving back to the community for all ages.

“We always have room for volunteers who can help out at our branch itself or at the bookstore with Books Revisited,” said Sarah Sieg, Youth Services Librarian. “Volunteers will do anything from light cleaning like dusting to shelving materials. “

Reading can be fun for the family with weekly time for toddlers, family game nights, baby hours, and computer lessons where users deepen their tech knowledge.

“Other times they can help with the Summer Reading Program and the Adult Winter Reading Challenge,” Sieg said. “During these times, volunteers will be doing crafts and preparing gifts and prizes.”

The next reading challenge starts January 3 and is open to adults 18 and over who can be completed virtually. Digital sources have especially become a great option in recent years for a number of reasons. By signing up for library cards, individuals will have access to over 3,000 magazines from around the world, audio books, coloring books and videos.

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