Do you want to help your community? Build your skills? Make new friends?

If you've answered "yes" to any of the questions above,
then volunteering is right for you!

Community ServiceVolunteering provides an opportunity to connect academic theories with real-life results, leaving you with a broader understanding of issues that affect communities and exposed to a culture of taking action.

By combining classroom learning with meaningful service opportunities, you will:

  • learn about the challenges of citizenship;
  • develop your leadership skills; and
  • contribute in making our community a better place to live.

The FSC Community Service Center(?) facilitates group and individual participation in service projects throughout the year. Clubs, departments, and campus organizations are encouraged to participate in one-day activities, special events, and on-going projects.

If you would like to volunteer, we can help you choose an organization that is meaningful to you. There are organizations doing all sorts of work, and it is especially important with volunteer work that you choose something that you value. Make an appointment with Brenda Lewis, director of Community Service at 863.680.3945 today to discuss your volunteer interests and ideas.

Why I Volunteer

“Community service gives you leadership opportunities and it’s a great way to show professional schools you’re willing to step up.”
— Alana Brown’08, Biology, now attending University of California Berkley School of Optometry

Volunteers!

Please be sure to validate your service hours. (Choose the form appropriate to you.)

Questions? Contact

Sean O'Brien

Sean O'Brien
Associate Director
863.680.4499
sobrien@flsouthern.edu

Alex Parsons

Alex Parsons
Program Coordinator
680.3757
aparsons2@flsouthern.edu

Think Globally. Volunteer Locally.

Did you know? Florida Southern has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service four years in a row.

The Office of Community Service is dedicated to educating and recruiting members of the campus community to become active in service projects that will make a difference.

Community Partners!

Looking for volunteers? FSC's Office of Community Service can help you fill your openings. | Get volunteers »

Volunteer Agencies in Tampa Bay Area

Animals

Darlynn’s Darlins, Inc is a No Kill 501(c)3 Animal Sanctuary, Advocacy & Education organization. They provide a safe, loving, lifetime home to more than 100 exotic, farm, and domestic animals, as well as dozens of the more familiar cats and dogs. They facilitate the adoption of spayed and neutered animals to appropriate and fully screened families. Many animals, due to age or physical issues or type will remain at Darlynn's Darlins for the rest of their lives. Contact Darlynn Czerner at darlynnsdarnlins@gmail.com or 863.984.2724.

SPCA works to raise awareness of the abuse of animals to a global level, to teach and foster good pet parenting practices, and to promote spay and neuter programs around the world with the goal of eradicating the need to euthanize healthy and adoptable companion animals. Contact Randa Richter at rrichter@lovemyspca.com or 863.646.7722 Ext. 112.

Children/Youth

Anchor House Ministries offers a secure place for boys ages 10-17, to live in peace while they are nurtured in a Christian atmosphere and is looking for tutors for their residents. Contact Ester Wadley at 863.665.1916. Complete the online application

Boys and Girls Club provides a quality developmental program which empowers Lakeland & Mulberry youth, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to become productive adults. Contact Kelly Lane at klanebgclkd@netzero.com or 863.686.1719.

Big Brother Big Sister
BBBS’s mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.
Contact: tampabay.info@bbbsfl.org
Online Application

Camp Fire USA – Sunshine Council
Camp Fire USA's mission is to build caring, confident youth and future leaders.  Camp Fire USA's outcome-based programs include youth leadership, self-reliance, after school groups, camping and environmental education and child care.
Contact: Holly Lane, 863-965-5475

Explorations V Children’s Museum
Explorations V’s mission is to provide a hands-on, fun-filled adventure in learning for children and their families. 
Contact: Emily Allen, 863-687-3869

Florida Baptist Children’s Home
The Florida Baptist Children’s Homes is a faith-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to providing Christ-centered services to children and families in need. The Children’s Homes is an agency of the Florida Baptist Convention and is governed by a 24-member board of trustees.
Need: Clerical, Maintenance, Donation Assistance, Mentoring, Librarian, Adult Ministries
Contact: Andrew Kennedy, 863-688-4918

Girl Scouts of West Central Florida
The Girl Scout Leadership Experience engages girls in discovering self, connecting with others, and taking action to make the world a better place.
Contact:  Ashley Brown, 813-262-1834

Girls Inc.
Girls Incorporated is a nonprofit organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold through a network of local organizations in the United States and Canada. With local roots dating to 1864 and national status in the U.S. since 1945, Girls Inc. responds to the changing needs of girls and their communities through research-based programs and advocacy that empower girls to reach their full potential and to understand, value, and assert their rights.
Contact: Kay Fields, 863-682-3002

PACE Center for Girls
PACE provides girls and young women an opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training and advocacy.
Contact: Michele DeLoach, 863-688-5596 ext 212

Parker Street Ministries
Parker Street Ministries, Inc, is a Christ-centered nonprofit 501c3 organization committed to individual, family and community restoration, reconciliation and revitalization beginning in Lakeland's Parker Street Community.
Contact: Hannah Ferguson, 863-682-4544

Sun’n Fun
Sun’n Fun, founded in 1975, is a not-for-profit organization and is also home to Florida Air Museum, “Florida’s Official Aviation Museum and Education Center.” The museum includes more than 35 aircraft, several outstanding exhibits and also hosts numerous year-round adult and youth education programs.
Contact: Robin McFarland, 563-904-4044

Young Life
Young Life thinks the world of kids. They believe that they deserve to know what life can hold for them. Young Life leaders are caring adults who come sharing that hope as well as fun and lasting friendships with kids. Young Life is also all about fun. From club and camp to Campaigners and other activities, teenagers will have a blast laughing, trying new things and being with their friends.
Contact: Patty Goers, 863-838-9832

Medical/Substance Abuse

American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, the ACS has 12 chartered Divisions, more than 900 local offices nationwide, and a presence in more than 5,100 communities.
Contact: Jennifer Calhoun, 863-688-2326 ext. 5509

Center for Independent Living
CIL — in partnership with the community — promotes inclusion of people with disabilities by eliminating architectural, communication and attitudinal barriers. CIL provides education, resources and training to enhance self-determination through informed choice.
Contact: John Hurt, 863-413-2722

Central Florida Autism Institute
Central Florida Autism Institute, Inc. (CFAII) is a 501c3 non-profit organization started by families of children with autism and by concerned professionals. Together they desire simple options of dignity for their children with autism. They use the term "options" when we proclaim rights for people with disabilities. They believe they have the right to live their lives with dignity, growth, and development within their own communities... rights jointly claimed by all citizens.
Contact: Terry Millican, 863-816-5886

Good Shepherd Hospice
Their mission is to provide quality hospice care and relieve the suffering of those affected by life-limiting illnesses and end-of-life issues is unwavering; their vision to be the leader in end-of-life care, unchanged.
Contact: Peg Parsche, 863-616-2343

InnerAct Alliance
InnerAct’s Mission is to reduce the abuse and underage use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs through: Community Awareness and Involvement; Prevention Education; Economic Support; and Leadership Development.
Contact:
Lisa Jones, 863-802-0777

Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine
Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine (LVIM) is a volunteer-run medical clinic that provides free quality medical care to the working uninsured of Polk County. LVIM currently has over 400 medical and lay volunteers who donate their time and expertise to care for LVIM patients.
Contact: Kim Katsaras, 863-688-5846 ext 11

National Multiple Sclerosis Society
NMSS helps each person address the challenges of living with MS through their 50-state network of chapters. The Society helps people affected by MS by funding cutting-edge research, driving change through advocacy, facilitating professional education, and providing programs and services that help people with MS and their families move their lives forward.
Contact: Doris Lill, 813-889-8363

Religious/Church-Affiliated

First Presbyterian Church of Lakeland
Contact: 863-686-7187

First United Methodist Church of Lakeland
Contact: 863-686-3163

Women's Issues

Peace River Center
Peace River Center provides free and confidential services to victims of rape and their families, including immediate crisis counseling for victims, ongoing counseling, support groups, 24 hour hotline, etc. Contact: 863-519-0575

Arts

Arts in Medicine
The Watson Clinic Foundation’s community outreach includes a comprehensive Art in Medicine (AIM) program that began in early 2008. The program was designed to use healing arts to promote comfort and well-being for patients and families at the Center for Cancer Care & Research (CCCR).
Contact: Julie A. Boon, 863-603-4718
Volunteer Application

Polk Theater
The Polk Theatre Stagers are a dedicated (and FUN) group of people who assist the Theatre in a variety of essential ways that ensure the comfort and safety of our patrons. Volunteers are the Theatre’s first and most visible contact with the public, welcoming patrons and performing duties that include box office, taking tickets, guiding patrons to their seats and serving concessions.
Contact: 863-682-7553

Education/Literacy

East Area Adult School
The Mission of East Area Adult School is to provide rigorous and relevant learning experiences which service the educational needs of adults through literacy, high school completion, workforce preparation, personal enrichment, and technology.
Contact: Hilda Ringlye, 863-965-5475

Learning Resource Center
The Learning Resource Center of Polk County helps students maximize their learning potential by providing personalized educational programs, consultative services for parents, and programs to accommodate community needs.
Contact: Beverly Mansfield, 863-688-9477

READ Lakeland
READ provides free one-to-one tutoring for the functionally illiterate of Polk County.
Contact: Grace Vallier, 863-802-1512

West Area Adult School
West Area Adult School's vision is that adult education programs will be delivered with integrity and at the highest level of quality and service.
Contact: Kara Trees, 863-499-2835

Environment

City of Lakeland: Lakes & Storm Water
The purpose of the program is to improve the quality of all City lakes and water resources.
Contact: Cindy Hill, 863-834-8429

Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity is a Christian nonprofit organization of hands-on professionals, volunteers and future homeowners working together to renovate or build simple, decent, affordable housing; and to ultimately make decent shelter a matter of community conscience and action
Contact: Rosalie Wimbrow, 863-682-3812

Volunteer Polk Volunteer Center
Polk County Volunteer Services is a program of the Board of County Commissioners and is open for individuals ages 16 - adult. They offer a wide variety of volunteer opportunities with flexible availability. You may choose to volunteer "once a week" or "once-in-a-while"!
Contact: Janet Bartuska, 863-534-5580

Homeless

Agape Food Bank
The Agape Food Bank is a food distribution warehouse serving over 240 not-for-profit member agencies in Polk, Highlands and Hardee counties. Their mission is to help alleviate hunger in our tri-county region by providing food, education and all available resources to the hungry in our community through our member agencies
Contact: Bob Rosetti, 863-665-7074

Anchor House Ministries
Anchor House Ministries offers a secure place for boys ages 10-17, to live in peace while they are nurtured in a Christian atmosphere. 
Contact: Esther Wadley, 863-665-1916
Online Application

Farm Worker’s Ministry
The organization offers food, home supplies, educational tutoring and spiritual aid to farm and migrant workers, as well as their families.
Contact: Sandi Thivrerge, 863-604-3952

Florida Baptist Children’s Home
The Florida Baptist Children’s Homes is a faith-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to providing Christ-centered services to children and families in need. The Children’s Homes is an agency of the Florida Baptist Convention and is governed by a 24-member board of trustees.
Contact: Vickie Belcher, 863-687-2911
Volunteer Application

Lakeland Housing Authority
Lakeland Housing Authority’s mission is to provide quality, affordable housing and self-sufficiency opportunities in an effective and professional manner. 
Contact: Ayana Weaver, 863-687-291

Lighthouse Ministries
Lighthouse Ministries, Inc. is set apart by the Spirit of God to communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ to meet the physical, emotional, and other needs of the poor and at-risk population.  Their vision is for those individuals they serve to achieve an overall outcome of God’s peace, life purpose, and fulfillment of potential.
Contact: Linda Robinette, 863-687-4076
Online Application

Salvation Army Center of Hope
The Salvation Army provides community support for the homeless population by utilizing volunteers to sponsor the kettle campaign, fundraisers for the homeless shelter, disaster relief, soup kitchen and various other programs.
Contact: Susan Hurlburt, 863-853-2214 ext: 228

Talbot House Ministries
Talbot’s mission is to provide each person who comes to their door with the immediate needs of food, shelter, and clothing. Through an array of services and with the love of God, each person is encouraged to find fulfillment and life anew.
Contact: Nani Murphy,
863-687-8475
Online Application

Special Needs

Best Buddies
Best Buddies’ mission is to establish a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Contact: Cynthia Salas, 813-254-9025
Volunteer Application

Center for Independent Living
CIL — in partnership with the community — promotes inclusion of people with disabilities by eliminating architectural, communication and attitudinal barriers. CIL provides education, resources and training to enhance self-determination through informed choice.
Contact: John Hurt, 863-413-2722

Central Florida Autism Institute
Central Florida Autism Institute, Inc. (CFAII) is a 501c3 non-profit organization started by families of children with autism and by concerned professionals. Together they desire simple options of dignity for their children with autism. They use the term "options" when we proclaim rights for people with disabilities. They believe they have the right to live their lives with dignity, growth, and development within their own communities... rights jointly claimed by all citizens.
Contact: Terry Millican, 863-816-5886

Central Florida Speech and Hearing Center
CFSHC’s mission is to provide the highest quality speech, language and hearing services, always in a caring manner and never limited by one’s ability to pay. Their goal is to ensure that everyone with a communication problem has a place to turn for help.
Contact: 863-616-3189

Noah’s Ark of Central Florida
Noah's Ark is committed to empowering individuals who have developmental disabilities by advocating on their behalf and by providing or facilitating choices of meaningful employment, recreational and social opportunities, and affordable housing in an inclusive community of their choice. 
Contact: 863-687-0804, admin@NoahsArkFlorida.Org

Senior Citizens

Lake Morton Senior Center
The Lake Morton Senior Center is a day program for seniors in the community which promotes health and wellness through socialization, activities, and education.
Contact: 863-687-2988

VISTE
VISTE's purpose is to provide services which enable frail elderly persons to continue living independently in their own homes, safely, comfortably, and in better health.
Contact: Ashley Metts-Miller, 863-284-0828