Make an Impact on a Volunteering Date in Orlando

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Make a Difference on a Volunteering Date Night

Planning a volunteering date at any of the worthwhile and generous charities in Central Florida is a meaningful way to spend time with your loved one while making a difference.

Below, you'll find a collection of charities that regularly look for volunteers to help their cause. We’ve organized the selected charities based on their focus area to help you get involved. Get out there and make plans with your honey to spend some quality time together making a difference. Together, we can continue to demonstrate Orlando’s strength and generosity.

This post was originally published in June 2017 to honor our community during the Pulse Tragedy's 1 year anniversary. We encourage our community to continue that giving spirit any day of the year.
Updated August 2022 by Dani Meyering.


Where to Donate for Hurricane Ian

September 2022 Update

Here are some of the organizations that need your help as part of Hurricane Ian relief efforts. We thank you, Orlando, for doing some good and helping each other out.

  • OneBlood – one of the main blood banks for Central Florida
  • Second Harvest Food Bank – largest food bank service in Orlando, read on for more info
  • World Central Kitchen – serving thousands of hot meals & sandwiches in response to Hurricane Ian
  • Florida Disaster Fund – Florida’s official private fund established to assist Florida’s communities as they respond to and recover during times of emergency
  • Cast Member Pantry – started in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, this organization helps Cast Members and hospitality workers in need

The following organizations are located in Southwest Florida, where Hurricane Ian caused unprecedented destruction. These communities are experiencing tremendous devastation.


September 2022 Update

Volunteering at Orlando Charities

LGBTQ+ Community

Zebra Coalition
Immediately following the Pulse tragedy, Zebra Coalition worked tirelessly as a safe haven for members of our community. This organization provides counseling and other services to members of the LGBTQ+ community and others in need of guidance and inclusion. The Zebra Coalition is headquartered inside a modest home in one of Orlando’s most distinct artistic communities: Mills 50.

The Center Orlando
Another organization that immediately stepped up and made an incredibly positive impact after the Pulse shooting is The Center Orlando. Also located near the Mills 50 area, this organization provides invaluable services like counseling and legal support for members and families of the LGBTQ+ community.

Orlando Youth Alliance
Growing up is hard enough as it is. As children grow into young adults they are faced with many challenges, and some face wondering about their sexuality. The Orlando Youth Alliance (OYA) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization which provides services and support for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered and Questioning (GLBTQ) youth. OYA creates a safe space to gather, talk about issues and concerns, as well as meet other gay youth.

Poverty and Hunger

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
The largest food bank service in Orlando is Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. Many businesses around Central Florida partner with Second Harvest, even donating unused food supplies. Volunteering here is lots of fun, too, because you can either sort through donations or become part of the food production line!

 

“Stock the Shelves” campaign, Hunger Action Month September 2022

Every day, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida distributes enough food for 250,000 meals – and it’s not enough. With rising prices and heightened demand for food assistance, the food bank is asking for the community’s support to “Stock the Shelves” during September for Hunger Action Month.

“The community continues to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and with added pressures from rising inflation, the need for food assistance across Central Florida remains elevated,” said Derrick Chubbs, president and CEO. “We have challenged ourselves and the community to be part of the solution. Everyone can make a difference – whether that’s by donating, advocating, volunteering or educating yourself.”

Hunger advocates can show support in several ways, including:

  • Donate 30 non-perishable food items representing each day of the month
  • Host a virtual food drive
  • Attend a “Food for Thought” tour on Sept. 14 or 21
  • Wear orange on Sept. 23 for Hunger Action Day
  • Donate $30 for 30 days of hunger
  • Volunteer at Second Harvest’s warehouse or Mercy Kitchen
  • Purchase from Second Harvest’s A Spoon Full of Hope product line to support the Culinary Training Program, which provides job-skills training and sustainable employment opportunities
  • Dine, shop or enjoy experiences like Black Rooster Taqueria, White Castle, The Coop, 4 Rivers Smokehouse, My Smart Shirt and Kendra Scott on select days; a portion of each sale will be donated to Second Harvest
  • Donate your Buy One, Get One (BOGO) deals after shopping
  • Show support for the nonprofit’s mission by using #StockTheShelves when posting on social media

Stay tuned to Second Harvest’s social media channels for more ways to participate.

To learn more about the “Stock the Shelves” campaign, Hunger Action Month and other ways to get involved with Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, visit www.FeedHopeNow.org.

 

United Against Poverty
On June 12, 2016, Orlando citizens came together to help their grieving community in many ways. One of those ways was by coming out in droves to blood centers all over Central Florida to either donate blood or donate supplies. One of the hubs of activity was the OneBlood Center a few blocks away from Pulse nightclub. Across the street, United Against Poverty became the command center for food, water, and other items that came flooding in. It was incredible to witness the partnership.

United Against Poverty offers a variety of services to help Central Florida citizens rise out of poverty. The list of services is impressive, ranging from a grocery center to providing life skills through counseling, training, and more. This range of services also means that there is a range of volunteer opportunities. Everyone can find their own special way to help.

U.S. Hunger
This organization is recognized around the nation. You may have seen products in the grocery store with the U.S. Hunger logo, indicating that the purchase of the product supports this great cause. The incredible thing is that one family in Sanford started U.S. Hunger. Children around the world and the nation benefit from healthy, nutritious meals they wouldn't otherwise have without U.S. Hunger.

Florida Citrus Sports

The mission of Florida Citrus Sports is to positively impact the Central Florida community by hosting events, which allow us to improve lives through things like food drops, school supply drives, and more. We host great sporting events and concerts that would make a great activity for families to enjoy, and we also have opportunities for many in our community to volunteer. You can see more about organization below:

Kids and Families

A New Hope for Kids
Losing a loved one is one of life’s most difficult experiences. As a child that loss is even more impactful. A New Hope for Kids provides support and guidance for children who have lost a parent or caretaker. It is difficult to imagine, but some of the 49 victims of the Pulse shooting were mothers and fathers. A touching way to honor their lives is to help children through A New Hope for Kids.

Give Kids the World
Orlando is known as a magical place by the world over. Give Kids the World Village is an enchanting resort that allows families with a child facing a severe illness to enjoy a week-long vacation in Orlando, for free.

Give Kids the World offers some of the most fun and unique ways to volunteer in all of Orlando. The list of opportunities is seemingly endless. You can pop-in for one shift, or start contributing on a regular schedule. Donations go a long way here, so if your time is short, consider a donation instead.

Howard Phillips Center for Children and Families
Children need love, guidance, and support, and when faced with indescribable challenges like abuse, lack of medical care, or developmental disabilities it takes a community coming together to help them. Located on the South edge of downtown Orlando and it is often mistaken for a school with its kid-friendly cheerful appearance.

This organization touches so many lives and yet can often be overlooked. From babies to teens, Orlando’s youth receives great support and care through this group. You can volunteer at the center or with one of the Orlando Health hospitals, which is the parent organization of the Center for Children and Families.

Environment and Health

Clean the World
Did you know there are organizations that collect bottles of unused shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and shower gel, as well as unused bars of soap all left behind in hotel guest rooms? Clean the World is the largest of such an organization and they got their start in Orlando! Hotels that participate with Clean the World train their housekeeping attendants to collect the unused bottles and bars and place them inside special shipping boxes.

The unused products are sorted and sanitized. The soap is reformed into larger bars of soap and sent to impoverished countries, including remote villages where thousands of lives are often lost to diseases that could be prevented just by the regular use of soap. The other products (shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and shower gel) are sanitized and then packaged into care bags that are distributed to shelters and centers to be given to anyone facing hard times and in need of such products.

You can volunteer at the sorting warehouse. It’s easy and fun!

 


One Response to “Make an Impact on a Volunteering Date in Orlando”

  1. Carla Nielson

    I would like to be a volunteer. Whether its collecting trash, or sorting trash out, or feed the homeless or something like that. I just want to help and make a difference. Thank you.
    Carla Nielson

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