30+ ways to give back in Lakeland

Photo via @talbot_house_ministries

It’s officially thankful season, and while many folks are passionate about giving back to the city that has given them so much, it’s often hard to decide what exactly they want to participate in – given the hundreds of opportunities in Lakeland. Well, why not start by using what you love to help others?

We’ve made it easy to turn your passions into a gift to others by putting together this volunteer guide catered to specific interests. From artists to those passionate about Lakeland’s minority groups, we’ve rounded up opportunities for everyone.

🦃 If the holidays are your favorite time of the year

○ Stock Parker Street MinistriesChristmas Store and help bring Christmas joy to Parker St. and N. Lake Wire. The ministry is calling for 2,800 donations. 
○ Purchase a $10-holiday card bundle from the Lakeland Fire Department and donations will benefit SPCA Florida.
○ Help a child out this Christmas season by fulfilling a child’s holiday wishlist with Operation Merry Christmas.
○ Implement a spirit of giving with KidsGiving’s virtual activities to be done at home for the kiddos.
○ Help give back to United Way of Central Florida through RP Funding’s 2nd Annual Holiday Tree Decorating Contest.

🍎 Natural-born teachers + mentors

Empower single moms to reach their full potential through One More Child’s Single Moms mentorship program. 
○ Make a difference in someone’s life via The Mentor Network.
○ Give back to the kids in our community with Big Brother Big Sister of Tampa Bay, Eckerd Connect’s Project Bridge, the ACE Mentor Program, or Dream Center Lakeland.

💙 If you want to be there for those facing abuse 

Be there for the women and their families with the Women’s Resource Center.
Show your support for those in crisis situations with YFA

🏠 If you want to stay in your home

Help support the Pace Center for Girls with this virtual Posh Purse Party.
Donate to ReadLakeland virtually this year via a Qgiv and give back to the county.

🗓️ If you’re on a tight schedule 

Choose a Wednesday to donate to the Food Pantry via Shepherd Road Presbyterian Church
○ Pick a time to donate blood through OneBlood.
○ Dedicate one to two hours to deliver meals in 4 different Polk cities with Meals on Wheels of Polk County.

😷 If you’re interested in healthcare

Volunteer with Talbot House as a Clinic Volunteer – other opportunities available – and care for the uninsured
Volunteer with Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine to help provide better quality healthcare for free to those in need.
Give back to those in need of emotional wellness with Peace River Center.

🌳 The outdoorsy types

Work for the Se7en Wetlands as a Volunteer Weekend Wayfinder and help monitor the grounds.
○ Help out at Se7en Wetlands in another capacity as a Hike Guide.

🏳️‍🌈 If you’re passionate about supporting local minority groups

Consider the Lakeland Youth Alliance or PFLAG of Polk County to better support the LGBTQ+ community.
Explore donation and sponsorship opportunities with the NAACP to help in the fight for equality.
Check out Central Florida Urban League’s Programs to improve Central FL in ways such as literacy, Black on Black crime, youth leadership, and more.

🦢 If you live + breathe Lakeland

Consider supporting locally this year with Am Ex’s Shop Small initiative.
○ Join the Polk County Historical Society as a Member to help fund further research.
Historic Lakeland is always open for members for further advocacy of Lakeland’s historic preservation.

🦋 The social butterflies

Join a volunteer organization like Junior League of Lakeland
Help give back to the Sunshine State with the Florida Nonprofit Alliance.

🔨 The handymen + women

○ Build homes for the community through Habitat for Humanity
○ Transform the homes of those in need with Rebuilding Together of Polk County.

Don’t see anything that fits your interests? Check out VolunteerMatch – a resource that helps you find local volunteer opportunities suited to your preferences. Additionally, find more local volunteer opportunities + organizations here.