Individuals and families with kids alike can look forward to volunteering and other special events in the vibrant Orlando area. Contributing to community service hours not only improves the health of the volunteers because they are getting active, but it provides an excellent opportunity to give back to the community. This article will dive into a multitude of ways you can give back in a meaningful way and how to get started!
Why should I volunteer in the Orlando community?
Getting involved with local volunteer groups or organizations has many benefits. For example, young adults can volunteer to make new friends, increase their social skills, and add non-profit work to their resumes. Similarly, parents who are stressed out from the rigors of raising children can take part in service projects with their kids, whether young or teens, to keep them occupied, decrease anxiety levels, and learn leadership skills. Volunteering also creates a sense of purpose because it connects the helper with the broader community and his or her with their social responsibility to it.
In-Person Volunteer Opportunities
If it’s your mission to join the world of volunteerism, one easy start is to get in touch with a local volunteer coordinator. As a volunteer member, you can choose to work with a wide variety of groups such as the elderly, children, animals, the environment, sick patients, and many more. The opportunities and need for your support are boundless – you will find your place in no time!
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
Located in the city of Orlando, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is an amazing organization focused exclusively on providing meals to those who don’t know where their next meal will come from. Additionally, the leaders of this organization empower and engage the community as to the topic of hunger by educating them.
Hands-on Orlando is a unique organization whose staff focuses on helping other organizations meet their goals! They engage in partnership efforts with other non-profits to provide volunteer hours, donate supplies, and fund their service projects. This is an excellent opportunity to get involved with a multi-faceted organization.
History Center Saturday Events Volunteer
Orange County’s Regional History Center has a mission to engage the community through education, inspiration, and opportunity creation. Volunteers give gallery tours, host appreciation events for members, and teach young children about history. Reach out to them if this sounds like a volunteer activity you’d enjoy.
Love Pantry Food Delivery Volunteer
Organized by the Christian Service Center, the Love Pantry recognizes that hunger is a huge obstacle to educational attainment and focus. The Love Pantry places food gifts inside dedicated school lockers throughout the Orlando area. Family members and their kids in need could benefit from your volunteer hours today.
Senior Wellness Ambassador with the AmeriCorps Program
Senior Wellness Ambassadors with AmeriCorps lead social interaction efforts with senior citizens and disabled adults in their community. Opportunities for senior wellness ambassadors include walk-n-talks in which each ambassador is paired with a senior for 8-10 weeks to go on walks and encourage a healthy lifestyle and conducting wellness checks on seniors.
Come Out with Pride Orlando
Come Out with Pride Orlando is an entirely volunteer-run non-profit that inspires to uplift the LGBTQ+ community in Orange County. They strive to tear down issues LGBTQ+ members face simply because of who they love.
Volunteer Advocates for Children
If you need a reason to work with children, here is one: the Volunteer Advocates for Children program in Orlando represented over 38,000 children in one year alone! This representation was provided mostly in the legal context whereby the kids had advocates speaking on their behalf. Home placement, academic opportunities, and more are all projects you can help with!
Orlando Cares works day after day to improves the lives of the youth and community members. Specifically, they focus on improving youth literacy and funding safety initiatives in the community. If you want to make Orlando a better place to live and impact its children, consider volunteering with Orlando Cares.
Green Up Orlando
Green Up Orlando’s volunteer program focuses on a passion for improving community appearance and the available tree canopy. Green Up visits environmental sites year-round to clean up the areas for accessible use by community members. If you want to have a fun time while doing important work for the ecosystem, join Green Up soon.
Keep Orlando Beautiful
Organized by the Orange County Government, Keep Orlando Beautiful reviews each application from schools and groups to receive an environmental clean-up. Once selected, a group of people like you is sent out to the site to improve public spaces, implement recycling programs, and more! One such benefit is improving the school experience for students of all ages whose educational environments are green and pristine.
Orlando Police Department or Fire Department
If you want to learn about law enforcement and fight community crime, work with the city government police or fire departments today! You can make a huge difference in your community by working with high school students, patrolling communities, and working special events!
Common Courtesy Florida
New volunteers nervous about large volunteer gatherings can consider volunteering with Common Courtesy Florida, which focuses on providing transportation for those most in need. Because this may involve working with groups like the elderly or kids, you will have to pass a background check. However, by providing a safe place to those in need of transportation, you are sure to enjoy each moment and more!
Legal Aid Society
The Orange County Legal Aid Society is geared towards lawyer volunteers interested in helping indigent community members with their legal needs. This includes assisting with civil and criminal cases. Alternatively, you can donate today to assist the organization with its efforts!
Adult Literacy League
The ability to read and write is a privilege, and the Adult Literacy League recognizes this. That is why the organization dedicates its efforts to provide education to adults so they can improve their literacy skills. In turn, the adults are better able to obtain jobs, communicate with others, and obtain their GEDs. Complete a volunteer orientation today to get started!
Write To Be Scene, Inc.
Quite the unique non-profit, Write to Be Scene teaches underrepresented teenagers how to write creatively and to perform improv theatre! This group focuses on students between 13 and 19 years old and often pulls impoverished kids into community gatherings.
Healthy Start Coalition
Orlando’s Healthy Start Coalition assists pregnant women who are struggling to obtain medical care. This program reduces the number of premature births and health problems for both mom and baby. They even offer virtual classes covering childbirth, breastfeeding, and car safety. Consider becoming an advocate or volunteer today!
Christian Service Center for Central Florida
The multi-faceted Christian Service Center in Central Florida focuses on eradicating poverty through various efforts. This includes providing short-term emergency assistance to facilities in financial need, running a love pantry that provides free food to facilities and children in need, and otherwise assisting the needy with their emotional, physical, and spiritual needs. Joining the Christian Service Center guarantees everchanging volunteer opportunities, especially since it’s been around for nearly five decades.
Habitat for Humanity of Seminole County & Greater Apopka
Habitat for Humanity has dozens of locations across America where they focus on building homes for families in serious need of a roof over their heads. After a family a location is selected, as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, you will paint trims and the insides of the home, put up the framing of the home, conduct office work, and much more. Gets hands-on today with Habitat for Humanity and team build with other volunteers.
Be An Angel Therapy Dogs
If you have a dog that is trained to provide therapy, you may consider becoming an angel with Be An Angel Therapy Dogs. The first requirement to becoming a member in Be An Angel is a background check and observation of your dog through various tests. This is because you and your dog will be working with sensitive communities such as sick children or elderly people who may be unpredictable in their responses to dogs.
Sports-Related Volunteer Opportunities
Orlando City Foundation
The Orlando City Foundation seeks to bring soccer to communities that don’t otherwise have access to sporting and health opportunities. By bringing the soccer field to kids in need, the foundation helps with reducing child obesity rates, providing a safe place to enjoy recreational activities, and giving access to healthy food options. While volunteer interest never wanes for Orlando City Foundation, they also provide opportunities such as Amazon Smile, the Kicking it Back Club, and obtaining the Orlando City License plate.
Orlando Magic Basketball Games
Another great sports volunteer opportunity is with the NBA team, the Orlando Magic! Volunteers can assist with basketball games and other team community efforts that focus on eliminating homelessness, child obesity, and malnutrition. Specific activities to volunteer in during the Magic games include assisting with operating the concession stands (see here), giving away in-game promotions during special events, and helping to coordinate in-game experiences for children and families. If sports is where you want to be when you volunteer, this is a wonderful opportunity!
Volunteer Coaches with Orange County Parks and Recreation
If you love the idea of serving as a mentor and coach to youth athletes, becoming a volunteer coach with Orange County’s Parks and Recreation Department may be perfect for you! Volunteer coaches are needed to teach a variety of sports skills to kids in football, soccer, volleyball, and basketball. As part of being a volunteer coach, you will receive a free one-year membership to the Orange County fitness center.
Virtual Volunteer Opportunities in Orlando
You may think that due to the COVID-19 pandemic that you can’t volunteer your free time, perhaps you don’t feel comfortable going in person, but don’t fret! Virtual volunteer opportunities exist! United Way in Central Florida has created a virtual volunteer program and this is just one example. Here, you can mentor the youth community, assist with translation services, and connect with senior citizens looking for company.
Honor a Caregiver with AdventHealth
AdventHealth offers an exciting “Honor Your Caregiver” program which focuses on providing a warm thank you or gift to a doctor, nurse, or another caretaker that helped you or a family member. The COVID-19 pandemic has strained many health professionals, so reach out to them today!
Clean The World – Build Hygiene Kits at Home
Premised on an overarching goal to create a global hygiene revolution, the Clean the World program gives people access to necessities such as clean water, sanitation, and other products. One unique volunteer opportunity they offer is the ability to host an at-home hygiene building kit party! The box contains hygiene products ready for assembly that are later distributed to those in need in your community.
The Hope Partnership aims to end poverty and homelessness in the Central Florida area. It does this by building hope, providing resources for struggling community members, and hosting educational events like eviction prevention seminars. To raise funds during COVID-19, the Hope Center is selling face masks that were produced by local artists.
Take Stock in Children Program
To get children out of the vicious cycle of poverty, they need attention and resources poured into them. That’s what the Take Stock in Children program does! If you want to support at-risk youth by mentoring them, providing college transition assistance, and teaching them life skills, sign up to volunteer today.
Send Love to Seniors
Do you want to help the elderly community that doesn’t often get out of their homes? There are many senior assistance and volunteer programs in Central Florida, if so, including the Seniors First program. You can spend one-on-one time with mobile seniors and participate in games or other social activities with them. Additionally, the program offers travel to seniors’ homes where you can deliver meals and provide social enrichment.
Want more information on how to get involved?
Florida Citrus Sports has exciting volunteer opportunities in the Orlando sports and events community. Check out our volunteer page for more information on how to get involved today!