Here are 9 nonprofit organizations in Central Florida that offer opportunities for kids and their families to volunteer together.
The goal of #HashtagLunchbag is to spread love by bringing bagged lunches to those in need. The organization hosts events across the country where attendees of all ages pack and distribute lunches to individuals experiencing homelessness or food insecurity. The movement started in Los Angeles 10 years ago and has spread worldwide. Keep an eye on the #HashtagLunchbag Orlando’s Instagram (@hashtaglunchbagorlando) for information on meet-ups around Downtown Orlando.
United Against Poverty
At Family Volunteer Night at United Against Poverty (also known as UP Orlando), kids can help stock, clean and organize the shelves of the organization’s grocery store. This event takes place on the second Friday of every month, and pizza is provided. If you can’t make it to the monthly event, you can also sign up to volunteer as a family on an alternate date.
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
There’s always work to be done at Second Harvest Orlando, a Feeding America food bank. Volunteers help with a variety of tasks, which can include anything from sorting canned goods to packing disaster relief boxes for communities in need. Younger kids (ages 5-9) can volunteer on Family Day. Older kids (ages 10-15) can volunteer with an adult chaperone. Teens (ages 16+) can assist at Mercy Kitchen, where they will pack meals for after-school and summer programs.
The Salvation Army
In addition to monetary donations for the Bed & Bread campaign, opportunities to support the Salvation Army include sponsoring holiday stockings for children and seniors, serving meals to those in need or getting involved in the annual HOPESgiving efforts to serve during Thanksgiving. The popular Angel Tree program matches kids with anonymous donors who provide gifts of clothes and toys. Keep an eye out for Angel Trees in your community!
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida
The three Central Florida-based Ronald McDonald Houses offer a variety of volunteer opportunities where kids can get involved. Families can work together to assemble kits that include toiletries or individually wrapped snacks for those staying at the Ronald McDonald House to help make their stay a little more comfortable. Another way to help is by rounding up a group for the Share-A-Meal program, where you can prepare a dish for Ronald McDonald House families in their on-site kitchen.
Foundation for Foster Children
Serving over 2,000 children in foster care in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties, the Foundation for Foster Children provides personalized support to individual kids based on what they need to succeed. Families can support this organization by participating in the Make a Birthday Card project. The premise is simple: Make gender-neutral birthday cards and then mail the cards to the organization to be distributed when a child celebrates a birthday.
Children’s Home Society of Florida
Children’s Home Society of Florida, which works to end the need for foster care by delivering solutions to help keep families together, offers a variety of volunteer projects that can be completed at home. Remote projects include assembling a calming kit, building a beach day basket or creating positive affirmations jars. All volunteer opportunities, including some in-person options, are listed on the website’s monthly calendar.
Over the last decade, U.S. Hunger (formerly Feeding Children Everywhere) has activated more than 850,000 volunteers to distribute over 150 million meals across the globe. They address hunger by engaging volunteers, educating on the root causes of food insecurity and creating access to nutritious meals for low-income families and individuals. The Central Florida operation hosts numerous volunteer events out of Longwood to pack and ship meals to those in need and also encourages families to initiate their own meal-packing events.
National Charity League
This statewide nonprofit just opened a new chapter, known as the Citrus Blossom Chapter, right here in Central Florida. The National Charity League’s Mission is to foster and strengthen mother and daughter relationships through community service, leadership development and cultural experiences. Working with local organizations like Harbor House, the Salvation Army, Second Harvest Food Bank, the Alzheimer’s Association, Give Kids the World, Special Olympics, Operation Gratitude and the American Red Cross, there are tons of opportunities for Orlando mamas and their daughters to team up for a great cause.