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Maybe you have some extra time on your hands, or maybe you’re just in the giving spirit, you’re in luck: 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 39 ways to get involved in Lakeland.
- Se7en Wetlands | Monitor the trails and facilities at the wetlands, or lead hikers and educate them along the way.
- Bonnet Springs Park | Bring the new park to life by helping out with one-time projects or long-term volunteer positions.
- 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.
- 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 | The theater needs lots of volunteers and help put on plays, including help with set and prop design, making costumes, and selling concessions and tickets.
- Polk Theatre | Work the box office or concession stand during shows at this historical 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.
- Talbot House Ministries | Talbot House is seeking nurses, doctors, and dentists to volunteer their time and serve the community.
- Lakeland Regional Health | Serve in one of the many volunteer opportunities available including the pet therapy program, flower delivery, or in the teen volunteer summer program.
Help your neighbors in need
- Volunteers in Service to the Elderly | Give back to older adults by sorting and packing food items or signing up to deliver 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 donated to children in need to eat over the weekends.
- Special Olympics | Volunteers can coach, train, and officiate athletes, or even play alongside those with intellectual disabilities.
- Blessings and Hope Food Pantry | Collect, sort, and distribute food items to over 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.
- InnerAct Alliance | Work with this group that educates students about bullying and substance abuse prevention.
Natural-born teachers and mentors
- Polk County Public Schools | Passionate about the next generation? Become a mentor for Polk students to make a lasting impact. You can also serve on the District Advisory Council.
- Dream Center | Adopt a block and serve the community by offering food, clothing, and children’s activities each month.
- One More Child Lakeland | Become a mentor for single moms in Lakeland.
- Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE) | Be part of ACE’s education initiatives that reach over 30,000 students each year.
- Big Brother Big Sister of Tampa Bay | Become a constant and positive influence in a child’s life.
- Eckerd Connect’s Project Bridge | Adults from all different backgrounds are needed to mentor kids aged 11-21 in a program proven to benefit both the mentor and mentee.
Support victims of abuse
- Peace River Center | Get involved and help at this center for victims of crisis, domestic abuse and more.
- Peace River Thrift Shoppe | Donate clothes, accessories, books, art, and home items and help serve clients of Peace River Center.
- YFA | Volunteer at events throughout the year and help support kids in crisis situations.
- Humane Society of Polk County | Become a member of the Humane Society to volunteer in the shelter or as a foster home for pets.
- SPCA Florida | Bring a group and participate in a service project to benefit the animals in this shelter.
- Polk County Bully Project | Foster a rescued pit bull or bully breed dog until they find their forever home.
- Saving Paws Rescue of Florida | Help out at animal adoption events across Lakeland.
Help from home
- Homemakers of Hope | Answer calls and emails to support the mission to provide furniture to families in need and schedule a pickup to donate your own gently used furniture.
- Sevita | Open up your home and make a difference in a foster child or adult’s life.
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.
Support local minority groups
- Central Florida Urban League’s Programs | Help in its mission to achieve social and economic equality through education, employment, and entrepreneurship.
- Lakeland Youth Alliance | Support the LGBTQ+ community through volunteering.
- Habitat for Humanity | Work in the ReStore thrift home and furniture store, which funds the low-income, elderly & veterans repair program.
- Rebuilding Together of Tampa Bay | Transform the homes of those in need in the community.