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 31 ways to get involved in Lakeland.
For the outdoorsy types
- 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.
The 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 | 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.
- Imperial Symphony Orchestra | Volunteer at performances to ensure that audience members have an enjoyable and exciting experience.
- 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.
If you want to 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.
If you want to be there for abuse victims
- 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.
If you’re an animal lover
- 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.
If you want to stay in your 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.
If you’re passionate about supporting 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.