How to give back and volunteer in Lakeland

This list of volunteer opportunities in Lakeland includes everything from packing food for children in need to fostering pets.

volunteers with shovels and vests at Bonnet Springs Park

Many hands make light work — bring a group to volunteer with.

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Maybe you have some extra time on your hands, or maybe you’re just in the giving spirit. Either way, there are more than enough great causes in Lakeland to support with your time. Whether you’re an animal lover, an artsy type, a natural mentor, or a healthcare enthusiast, there’s a nearby volunteer opportunity for you. Here are 40+ ways to get involved in Lakeland.

Outdoorsy types

  • Se7en Wetlands | Monitor the trails and facilities at the wetlands, or lead hikers and educate them along the way.
  • Bonnet Springs Park | Help out with events, complete one-time projects, or take on a long-term volunteer position.
  • SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo | Help out at one of the world’s largest aviation events as a gardener, airplane mechanic, or even a pilot.
  • Keep Lakeland Beautiful, Inc. | Take part in a monthly cleanup to keep lakes and roadways clear of litter.
  • Keep Polk County Beautiful, Inc. | Make an even wider impact by planning a cleanup or adopting a road across the county.
  • Hollis Garden | If you’ve got a green thumb, get your hands dirty by helping out in this public garden overlooking Lake Mirror.
An exhibit of framed paintings at the Polk Museum of Art

If you love art, sign up to give tours of the Polk Museum of Art.

Photo by LALtoday

Artsy types

  • Polk Museum of Art | Sign up to assist in the museum gift shop, at the information desk, or on tours as a docent.
  • Lakeland Community Theatre | Theater volunteers help design sets and props, make costumes, and sell concessions + tickets.
  • Polk Theatre | Work the box office or concession stand during shows at this historic theater.

If you’re interested in healthcare

  • Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine | Medical professionals can volunteer their time as physicians, RNs, and more. No healthcare experience? No problem. Volunteer as a greeter, housekeeper, or clerical assistant.
  • Lakeland Regional Health | Serve in the pet therapy program, flower delivery, or the teen volunteer summer program.
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Fight childhood hunger by working at kidsPACK.

Photo provided by kidsPACK/Melissa Harp

Help your neighbors in need

  • Volunteers in Service to the Elderly | Give back to older adults by sorting and packing food items or by delivering groceries to their homes.
  • Meals on Wheels | Cook or deliver hot meals to homebound Lakelanders, or volunteer in the Winter Haven thrift store.
  • kidsPACK | Pack food for children in need to eat over the weekends.
  • Blessings and Hope Food Pantry | Collect, sort, and distribute food items to 800+ families each week.
  • Parker Street Ministries | Serve the Parker Street neighborhood through community events, summer camps, and an Academic Enrichment Program.
  • Lighthouse Ministries | Volunteer as an individual or with a group to help Lakeland’s at-risk population.
  • Gospel Village | Join residents in a community dinner every Thursday or complete a project during a scheduled Serve Day.
Aerospace Center for Excellence article 11.15

ACE engages over 50,000 students a year through its youth programs.

Photo provided by Aerospace Center for Excellence

Natural-born teachers and mentors

Support victims of abuse

  • Peace River Center | Get involved at this center for victims of crisis, domestic abuse, and more.
  • Peace River Thrift Shoppe | Donate clothes, accessories, books, art, and home items to help serve clients of Peace River Center.
  • YFA | Volunteer at events throughout the year and help support kids in crisis situations.
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Take a pup from SPCA Florida on a doggie date.

Photo by LALtoday

Animal lovers

If you’re on a tight schedule

  • Pedal Power Bicycle Ministry | Meet once a month to restore old bicycles, which are then donated to community members in need.
  • OneBlood | Donate blood at any day and time that works for you.
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InnerAct Alliance holds the annual Red Ribbon Run on Lake Mirror.

Photo provided by Publix

Support local community groups

  • Special Olympics | Volunteers can coach, train, and officiate athletes, or even play alongside those of varying abilities.
  • InnerAct Alliance | Work with this group that educates students about bullying and substance abuse prevention.
  • Lakeland Youth Alliance | Support the LGBTQ+ community through volunteering.

Handy individuals

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