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Great Places to Volunteer

28 August . 2017

Great Places to Volunteer

Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.” — Muhammad Ali

If serving others is the rent you pay for being on Earth, then Tampa Bay is a indeed a good place to pay down that debt. There are abundant opportunities to volunteer throughout the region, and some are close to home.

Check out our list of local non-profits that can use your assistance. Most are family-friendly and allow children to help when supervised.

Whether you make an ongoing habit of volunteering or just want to help out occasionally, these organizations will be grateful for your support.

1. Seeds of Hope
Founded by FishHawk Ranch resident Leda Eaton, Seeds of Hope is a food bank that primarily serves the Lithia area. There’s an emphasis of assisting students who need to fulfil community service hours, but volunteers of all ages assist with the organization’s mobile pantry, weekly food distribution events and to assemble backpacks of food which the organization provides through the school district. Other volunteer opportunities include assisting with Seeds of Hope’s annual FishHawk Turkey Trot, and the Color Your Egg Run each Easter. Another way to volunteer is to host a food drive during the holiday season or at another time throughout the year.
For more info call 813-489-4599.

2. A Kids Place
Children who’ve been removed from their home because of abuse, neglect or abandonment find a loving refuge when they come to A Kid’s Place. This residential home on Lithia Pinecrest Road supports the foster care system by offering a temporary place for children to stay until they can be matched with an appropriate family. They also work to keep siblings who have been removed together. Volunteers are needed to assist with the non-profits annual events, provide in-kind services, and to assist in the donation room and pantry.
For more info call 813-381-3839.

3. ECHO Brandon
Life-changing events often mean a financial setback. That’s where ECHO, which stands for Emergency Care Help Organization, steps in. Each year, ECHO assists approximately 14,000 East Hillsborough County residents a year who have experienced a recent emergency, half of whom are children. Whether it’s a job or home loss, or medical services that have drained finances, people in need can receive food and clothing donations provides a food pantry and clothing assistance at its donation center on N. Parsons Avenue. Volunteers can assist in a variety of donations at the donation center or client center, work in the community garden or help out at special events. Volunteers who wish to hold a fundraiser or food drive are also appreciated.
For more info call 813-685-0935.

4. Metropolitan Ministries
One of our communities’ largest non-profit serving those in need Metropolitan Ministries has a regular need for volunteers for a variety of tasks, and young people aged 12 and up are welcome to assist (supervision is required depending on age). The organization serves 2,200 meals each and every day, and even more during its annual Holiday and Easter dinners. Volunteer help is needed at the organization’s soup kitchen, preparing and serving food. Met Min has a food and clothing warehouse - run by volunteers- who sort and organize items or help clients select items. Volunteers also assist clients at the agency’s Employment Lab, where they help clients develop their resume and teach other job skills. Want the change to make an even great impact? Met Min’s High Impact Volunteers make at least a three-month commitment to help out anywhere between 3 to 20 hours a week.
For more info call 813-209-1000.

5. Humane Society of Tampa
Calling all animal lovers! The Humane Society is a no-kill shelter dedicated to ending animal homelessness and providing care and comfort to companion animals in need. Services include pet adoption programs and affordable veterinary services. Volunteers are needed to play with animals at the shelter, assist with community adoption events at locations all over the county and provide foster homes for sick, injured or underage animals. The Humane Society also host an annual Tuxes and Tails gala fundraiser, which utilizes volunteers to organize and host the event.
For more info call 813-774-4344

6. Big Brothers Big Sisters
Be a positive role model to one of the thousands of young people in our area who are referred to Big Brothers Big Sisters. Men, women and even couples are matched with a child who could use a little extra love and support in their life. Volunteers are asked to spend just a few hours with their ‘little’ each month doing simple things, playing with them at a park, reading with them at a local library or just hanging out. A small investment of time can make a huge difference in the life of a child.
For more info call 813-769-3600

7. Heidi’s Legacy Dog Rescue
At this all volunteer non-profit, all you need to help out is a warm heart for a cold nose. Heidi’s Legacy believes in saving every animal possible, finding families for dog companions and promoting spay and neutering programs. Here, companion dogs choose their new owner, so they wait for just the right fit before signing off on an adoption. Heidi’s Legacy offers many opportunities to volunteer by providing animal transport from shelters to veterinarians, or fostering animals until they find a permanent home.
For more info call 813-737-1795.

8. Seniors in Service
Men and women over age 55 have so many useful and unique skills and talents. For the past 30 years, Seniors in Service looks to use those skills and talents within our community. The non-profit organization utilizes senior volunteers by matching them with disabled or homebound elderly residents for regular visits. Volunteers are also needed to serve as ‘foster grandparents’ to area children and help mentor them at school.
For more info call 813-932-5228

9. LifePath Hospice
The area’s hospice care organization, LifePath, assists patients who are near the end of their life, and their families, by offering palliative care and counseling. Volunteers work at the agency’s Life’s Treasures Thrift Shop on N. Brandon Boulevard, or they may work with patients directly, provided they meet certain requirements. Or personal care professionals such as hairdressers, or massage therapists may also wish to volunteer their services to patients. The agency also looks for volunteers who can provide music therapy, pet therapy or clerical services in the office. LifePath’s unique We Honor Veterans program pairs volunteers who are veterans with patients who have also served in the military to visit regularly and share life experiences.
For more info call 813-984-2395

10. Greater Brandon Meals on Wheels
For the elderly or disabled, a home cooked meal and a few minutes of company makes a world of difference. The Greater Brandon Meals on Wheels helps those who are unable to feed themselves by preparing food and coordinating delivery five days a week. The program is operated by a group of participating churches in the Brandon area whose volunteers cook meals and transport them. Volunteers who are not church members are welcomed, and should visit the organization’s website for more details. www.brandonmealsonwheels.com