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United Way’s 211 is the most comprehensive source of human and social services information in the country. Our teams of compassionate, highly trained specialists are available 24/7 to connect you with the best services available in Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties. United Way’s 211 provides information about:
-supplemental food & nutrition programs
-clothing, shelter & housing options
-emergency information & natural disaster relief
-health care services
-child, adolescent & adult mental health services
-addiction prevention & rehabilitation programs
-support groups for individuals with mental illnesses & special needs
-a safe, confidential path out of physical or emotional domestic abuse
-adult, child, family & elder services
-services for individuals with disabilities
The Bag Ladies Suitcase Ministry at First Presbyterian Church collects suitcases, duffle bags, carry-ons, etc. They clean, refurbish and decorate the bags and donate them to Heartland for Children for use by foster children in Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties. Donations can be dropped off at the church office at 175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive in Lakeland Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4 pm. Volunteers are always welcome,
Our 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. A simple but powerful mission which serves as the foundation for what we do. Consider becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister! Not only will you change the life of a child, your life will be changed too.
Boys & Girls Clubs fill the gap between school and home. We provide welcoming, positive environments in which children and teens have fun, participate in life-changing programs, and build supportive relationships with peers and caring adults. Children need to have a place where they are physically and emotionally safe. In addition to providing a caring environment, we offer daily access to a broad range of programs that promote the education, health, social character, service and leadership of the youth we serve.
920 Lowry Avenue, Lakeland, Florida 33801
10 3rd Street Southwest, Fort Meade, Florida 33841
2400 Havendale Boulevard, Winter Haven, Florida 33881
950 Pinewood Avenue, Lakeland, Florida 33815
1860 East Gibbons Street, Bartow, Florida 33830
704 Avenue C, Haines City, Florida 33844
315 Doctor Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard, Lake Wales, Florida 33853
Camp Fire is one of the nation’s leading not-for-profit youth development organizations offering all-inclusive, co-educational programs. Founded in 1910, Camp Fire’s outcome-based programs include youth leadership, self-reliance, after school groups, camping and environmental education and child care.
The Children’s Clothes Closet supplies nearly 2,000 homeless and at-risk infants, children and teens in our community with everyday clothing, school uniforms, personal care kits and more. Clients are served through referrals only, not open to the public.
Donations of new or clean, gently worn clothing in sizes from newborns through adults, new underwear (with unopened packaging) and travel-sized personal care items help serve more children. Items may be brought to the Clothes Closet when open or placed in the brown bin outside our Facilities Office near the F building at FUMC.
Volunteer assistance is always welcome to process donations, including mending and washing items as needed and sorting clothing by size.
Building bridges to success for children. Visit https://www.chsfl.org/wish-list/ to see a full list of donation items including clothing, household supplies, toiletries, bedding and linens, and more.
We are a Spirit-infused 501(c)3 non-denominational Ministry that focuses on strengthening Christian women’s commitments to their faith, family, and community by learning, serving and connecting to one another in a faith environment. We intend to carry out this Mission by ministering to all ages and ethnicities of women through Biblical studies, Community Volunteer Services, Career Preparation, Prayer/Worship Services, Topical Speaking and much more!
ECHO Ministries helps families who are caring for children that aren’t their own. We seek to meet the physical and spiritual needs of foster families, relative/non relative caregivers, and adopting families through our donation centers and community outreaches throughout Central Florida and beyond.
Our urgent donation needs- boys clothes size 7 through teen, twin beds and bunk beds, socks & underwear size 4 through teen, pajamas size 4 through teen, cribs and toddler beds, diapers, Pullups, and wipes. Visit the website for donation and shopping locations and hours.
5624 Cypress Gardens Boulevard, Winter Haven, Florida 33884
Feeding Tampa Bay, part of the national Feeding America network, focuses on providing food to the hundreds of thousands of food insecure families in the 10-county area of West Central Florida, including Polk County. Through a partner food pantry network and Feeding Tampa Bay’s distribution programs, families can collect free groceries for the week at multiple mobile pantry sites each week in Polk County. Visit the Feeding Tampa Bay website to learn more.
VOLUNTEER – Just one hour of volunteer work generates exponential meals to feed our neighbors in need. When you give your time, you’re directly contributing to the livelihood of your neighbors. From sorting non-perishable goods in our warehouse to serving meals and groceries, with every volunteer opportunity, you make a direct impact on the wellbeing of our community.
One More Child provides local and global opportunities to run to the aid of foster children, hungry children, single mom, sex trafficking victims and struggling families. Support One More Child through donations and volunteer opportunities. Donations needed include children’s clothing, toys, books, bedding, women’s clothing, diapers, household items, kitchen supplies, food, and more.
All donations are used to support their services including foster care, family support, single moms programs, and more. Drop off donations M-F from 8:30am-4:30pm at Harold Clark Simmons Compassion Center.
We serve youth between the ages of 10 and 17, who may have runaway, are homeless, have been kicked out/locked out by their parent(s) or guardian(s), may need short-term respite or crisis placement due to family conflict, require emergency shelter placement due to abuse and/or neglect, or due to foster home disruption.
Donations needed include clothes, shoes, school supplies, toiletries, games, sports equipment, etc. for ages 10 – 17.
Heartland for Children is a comprehensive child welfare service provider network that includes protective services, foster care, adoptions, independent living, prevention, family preservation, family support services and other related services. Read our article to learn more about becoming a Foster Caregiver in Central Florida.
InnerAct Alliance, formerly the Drug Prevention Resource Center, is very proud to have provided substance abuse prevention to the Hardee, Highlands and Polk County communities in Central Florida since 1985 with services including science-based education in elementary, middle and high schools, teen-driven social norming campaigns, as well as informative presentations and family-oriented awareness events that touch the lives of youth, adults, families, businesses, faith-based organizations, community groups and others in need with an important anti-substance abuse and anti-bullying message.
kidsPACK is a nonprofit organization with a simple mission – to feed kids. Join the volunteers, community leaders, corporate sponsors, churches and concerned citizens that work with us to ensure no child goes to sleep hungry. Volunteers are needed weekly, as well as donations. $25 will feed a child every weekend for a month, $300 will feed a child for the full year.
Lakeland Community Theatre boasts a Main Stage season of five high quality productions; The Eunice Fuller Theatre for Youth three show season as well as classes, summer camps, workshops, Master Classes; The Out of the Box Troupe for special needs youth and adults, a Senior Troupe and many special productions and events each year.
Please consider serving at Lakeland Regional Health to make a valuable difference in our hospital and community. We offer many opportunities in a wide variety of positions. Plus, as a volunteer you will enjoy many benefits, including: a $7 meal voucher every shift, free Starbucks, free valet, and more! If you enjoy caring for others and are interested in volunteering please call 863.687.1115.
The Lakeland Symphony Orchestra is a Lakeland-based arts organization that produces and presents symphonic performances, ensemble concerts, school-based outreach, interactive family events, and an annual opera as part of a mission to connect, enrich, engage, and entertain. Formerly the Imperial Symphony Orchestra or ISO.
Lighthouse Ministries serves the community by providing needed products and clothing at reasonable prices at our stores. You can contribute by donating goods to be resold. Stop by one of our stores to drop off any of the accepted goods listed on our website including clothing, electronics, furniture, shoes, linen, books.
3092 Havendale Boulevard Northwest, Winter Haven, Florida 33881
838 6th Street Northwest, Winter Haven, Florida 33881
LoBo Ranch serves sibling groups in foster care. They provide siblings currently separated in different foster care homes opportunities to unite for a time of fun on Sibling Saturdays. They also offer furnishings at no charge to families caring for children in foster care.
Welcomed donations include: bedroom furnishings, cribs, twin beds, pack n plays, new and gently used mattresses, diapers, baby formula and children’s hygiene items. Contact LoBo Ranch to make arrangements for donations or to host a donation drive.
Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine (LVIM) is a volunteer-run health care center that provides free, high-quality medical, dental, and mental health care to the working uninsured of Polk County.
-Are you a Polk County resident?
-Are you uninsured?
-Is your income below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)?*
-Are you employed or a full-time student?
If you answered YES to these four questions, we’d love to welcome you to the LVIM Circle of Caring! Please call 863.688.LVIM (x104 or x105) to schedule your eligibility screening today! You can also visit their website for more information.
(*For Example, The income of a family of four cannot exceed $51,500 dollars)
The Mission of the Mulberry Community Service Center is to create financially stable households through financial management education.
What We Offer:
Money Management Education
Free Tax Preparation
Utility Bill Assistance
Special Support to Laid Off Workers
Participation in Local Angel Trees
Thanksgiving Meals/Christmas Baskets
Visit the thrift store featuring seasonal decor, household items and more. All proceeds from the thrift store support the community center and the food bank. Accepting food and clothing donations. Clothing donations should be washed and food items should be in date.
Additional opportunities – Volunteer your time. Sort food/clothing, stock shelves, pack and distribute Christmas baskets. Be a Money Coach for families in our Personal Finance Center.
PAL serves over 1500 children each year. PAL provides activities such as youth football, cheer-leading, baseball, basketball, track & field, wrestling and the Driven 1 fitness program. Additionally, PAL offers an after-school program, where 60 children attend and receive tutorial assistance from law enforcement officers, teachers and college interns from area colleges and universities.
1725 Martin L King Junior Avenue, Lakeland, Florida 33805
Peace River Center provides an array of mental and behavioral health services as well as domestic violence shelters, and a Rape Recovery and Resource Center.
24-hour Crisis Line: (863) 519-3744
Lakeland 24-hour Domestic Violence Line: (863) 413-2700
Services include: Mental health, victim services, substance abuse treatment, crisis services, club success, and more.
The Thrift Shoppe gratefully accepts donations from the community and is open to the public for shopping. Clients of Peace River Center can shop for necessities through a voucher program. Additionally, it is a drop-off point for donations to Peace River Center’s many programs.
Pedal Power Bicycle Ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Lakeland, Florida collects used bicycles then restores and refurbishes to safe working order and gives away for FREE to Children and Adults in need.
We always welcome new volunteers and helpers. Teens earn community service volunteer hours for helping. We work in air conditioning once a month and have all the tools and parts you would need to safely restore and repair any size bicycle.
We graciously accept bicycle donations. To donate a bicycle you can drop off at main office of First Presbyterian Church Monday – Friday between the hours of 9 and 4.
To request a bicycle you need to stop at First Presbyterian Church main office and fill out bicycle request form. We distribute bicycles on a first come and first served basis.
This teen run organization hosts a Project Prom Store during Prom, Homecoming & Graduation time each Spring & Fall. High school students in need can pick out formal wear and accessories at no cost in return for signing a pledge to celebrate alcohol/substance-free. Donations are accepted at the Project Prom Store when open and at the InnerAct Alliance office. Learn more about shopping or donating formal wear: Project Prom Polk
The AmeriCorps Retired Senior Volunteer Program, also known as RSVP, is one of the largest volunteer networks in the nation for people 55 and over. RSVP Polk is an AmeriCorps Senior Program sponsored locally by the Polk County Board of County Commissioners. RSVP Polk provides opportunities for people 55 and over to make a difference in their community through volunteer service. Volunteers contribute anywhere from a few to 40 hours a week and serve through nonprofit, faith-based and government organizations to help meet critical community needs.
SPCA Florida provides caring, compassion and hope to homeless animals, SPCA Florida has both cats and dogs for adoption, and is also home to a full service veterinary clinic to serve your pets.
Donations can be dropped off at the Adoption Center during normal business hours. Wish list items include:
Dog and cat beds
Used blankets and towels can be repurposed for animal crate beds.
Distilled Water, Rubbing Alcohol, Glass Cleaner, Trash Bags (all sizes), Household Rubber Gloves (all sizes), Latex Gloves (all sizes)
Kitty supplies – litter, toys, food, treats
Dog supplies – dry puppy food, dog food, biscuits, Nyla Kongs, Peanut Butter for Kongs (regular, NOT sugar free), Dog Leashes, Collars & Easy Walk Harnesses
Talbot House provides help to the homeless and hungry of Polk County through food, shelter, medical and dental care. Volunteers are welcome as well as physical and monetary donations, visit the Talbot House website to see a list of current needs.