Making the decision to donate your time and energy to a worthy cause is an important, and life changing, one. Not only will you be giving back to society, and your local community, but you will be giving yourself the gift of helping others. It is important to choose a volunteer opportunity that interests you. If you have always dreamed of helping children, volunteer at a local children’s hospital or foundation. Here, in Orlando, there are many foundations and organizations that happily accept volunteers to help with their everyday needs. No matter your interests, or the opportunity you choose, feel good in knowing that you are helping others.
Here is a brief list of some organizations in the Orlando area:
United Way of Central Florida: United Way’s main goal is to provide a better life for those who need help. Offering help to every human, from newborn to the elderly, United Way gives back to the community in a plethora of ways. Volunteers interested in the United Way will have the opportunity to read to children, help out at street festivals, participate in health care drives, etc. Because the United Way is a resource for non-profits to go through in order to gain support and find volunteers, there is a great chance that volunteers will get to experience many different events. When volunteering through United Way, you will be matched with non-profit agencies throughout the Central Florida area, making it easy to give to the community in a plethora of ways. For more information visit their site.
Habitat For Humanity: Building homes for those who cannot afford them is a mission Habitat for Humanity has successfully worked on since 1976. Through this volunteer program, men and women work together to build a house for less fortunate individuals. Habitat’s belief is that everyone deserves a place to live and through the dedication and hard work of volunteers, houses are created from the ground up. Wildly successful, Habitat for Humanity has built over 400,000 homes. Those receiving the homes from Habitat often help build the house, working side by side with the men and women who have volunteered to make their dream of owning a home come true. For more information on Habitat for Humanity, visit their site or call (407) 648-4567.
Give Kids The World: Located in Kissimmee, this village was built as a family getaway for families with terminally ill children. This 70-acre, resort (which resembles a fairytale/storybook)plays host to families for weeklong getaways. The children come here to experience all that Orlando has to offer in the way of theme parks, with absolutely no cost to the parents. Volunteers here do everything from serving ice cream in the resort ice cream shop to working the rides at the resort. This cause is the perfect fit for someone who has a love of children and wants to help those who are terminally ill. Although it is a sad circumstance, there are no words for how great it will feel to spend time with these amazing children. For more information or to fill out an application, visit their site.
SPCA: For those who love animals, a volunteer opportunity may be just what you need. The SPCA prides itself on giving unwanted pets a safe place to go while they are awaiting adoption into a good home. Volunteers should have a true love of animals and enjoy spending time and cleaning up after their four-legged friends. Typically, SPCA volunteers help out about eight hours a month, in and around the facilities. If you fancy yourself more of an animal person than a people person or you just truly have a love of animals, a volunteer opportunity awaits you. For more information and to fill out an application, visit their site.
Other great volunteer opportunities in the Orlando area include:
Arnold Palmer Hospital: Candy stripe, play games with children, deliver food, help around the hospital.
American Heart Association: Help out here doing everything from answering phones to assisting at health fairs.
American Cancer Society: This organization is always looking for good volunteers to help them carry out their events and help around the office.