Reaching out 

If you promised to help make the world a better, more compassionate place in 2003, you're in luck. This is the guide that will tell you all you need to know about volunteering in Central Florida. From the AIDS Resource Alliance to WEEKENDS, we've listed 84 non-profit agencies that could use your skills, time and/or donations. Pick one or more and give the karmic wheel a spin.


AIDS Resource Alliance

provides case management for clients with HIV/AIDS, supplying multiple services including dental, medical, counseling and clothing. Volunteers may assist with office help, phone calls, health fairs, special events, cleaning, transportation and/or act as one-on-one buddies and friends. Contact the Volunteer/Fund- Raising Coordinator; 701 E. South St., Orlando 32801;; (407) 894-2233.

CENTAUR, or Central Florida AIDS Unified Resources,

provides support to those infected with HIV/AIDS and to their family members and friends. Volunteer can provide information and referrals, work as an operator for the 24-hour crisis hotline, help with distribution of food and clothing and lend a hand with outreach education events. Contact Greg Haun; 741 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando 32804; (407) 849-1452. Needs: clothing and personal hygiene items.

Hope and Help Center of Central Florida

provides resources for persons with HIV/AIDS, including case assessment/management, educational programs, and assistance with clothing and food. Volunteers are needed for massage therapy, to provide transportation, to help in the food pantry, to perform general maintenance and to help with office work. Contact Mickel Wallace; 1935 Woodcrest Drive, Winter Park 32792;,; (407) 645-2577. Needs: personal hygiene items, clothes and nonperishable food items.

Serenity House Pediatric AIDS Foundation

seeks volunteers to assist with programs in support of children affected by HIV/AIDS and their families. Needs help with creating curriculum for children's activities/programs/fund raising. Contact the Volunteer/Fund-Raising Coordinator; 701 E. South St., Orlando 32801;; (407) 894-2233. Needs: personal hygiene products for adults and children, supplies for newborns and computer equipment.


Canine Companions for Independence

strives to enhance the lives of people with disabilities by providing trained assistance dogs and ongoing support. Volunteers are "puppy raisers" providing foster homes to a puppy for up to 14 months. Volunteers are also needed to assist the staff with various tasks at the SE Regional Center. Contact Gloria Helmlinger; 8150 Clarcona Ocoee Rd., Orlando 32801; (407) 522-3300; Needs: Iams/Bil Jack/Nature's Choice/Science Diet dog treats, Nylabones, grooming equipment, leashes, towels.

Greyhound Pets of America, Greater Orlando Chapter

finds loving, responsible homes for ex-racing greyhounds. Volunteers meet a variety of needs including short and long term foster homes for greyhounds (training is provided). Also, office and kennel projects arise throughout the year, as well as assistance with special events and fund raising. Monthly volunteer meetings are held. P.O. Box 151021, Altamonte Springs 32715-1021;, (407) 332-4754.

SPCA of Central Florida

, formerly the Orlando Humane Society, is a non-profit animal protection organization dedicated to humane education, adoption of sheltered animals, humane investigation, wellness care and spay/neutering of animals. They are in need volunteers to care for animals in their Foster Care Program. The SPCA operates two shelters, one in south Orlando at 2727 Conroy Road, and one in Sanford at 2800 County Home Road. Contact Marsha Zimler;; (407) 351-7722, ext. 236. Needs: cat litter, towels, throw rugs, cleaning supplies, clinical supplies, office supplies and dry pet food in unopened bags.


Adult Literacy League

affects community-wide change by improving individual literacy skills and increasing literacy awareness. Volunteers are needed as literacy tutors, in the office, to read to children, to design a website, to edit a newsletter and for a variety of other opportunities. Contact Ariana Rivera; 345 W. Michigan St., Suite 100, Orlando 32806;; (407) 422-1540.

Central Florida Theatre Alliance

is a five-year-old collective that represents 55 performing arts organizations in Central Florida. Various groups -- including the Orlando International Fringe Festival, Theatre Downtown, Orlando Opera, SAK Comedy Troupe, Mad Cow Theatre, People's Theatre, Orlando-UCF Shakespeare Festival, and many more -- put volunteers to work as performers, ushers, ticket takers, concession salespeople, crew members and office assistants. Also, the Theatre Alliance utilizes people with administrative skills in database entry and file management. Contact Alauna McMillen; 398 West Amelia, Orlando 32801;,; (407) 872-2382.

Friends of the Orange County Library System

operates the Third Floor Book Store in the Orange County Library and supports special projects. Volunteers run the cash register, act as hosts, assist customers, stock shelves and sort books. Contact Laura Murru or Marilyn Hoffman; Orlando Public Library, 101 E. Central Blvd., Orlando 32801; (407) 835-7496 or (407) 835-7481. Needs: books, literary material, CDs, tapes and records.


American Red Cross of Central Florida

uses volunteers to make daily calls to elderly shut-ins; serve as daytime delivery drivers; act as disaster-relief volunteers in emergencies; and teach CPR, first aid, water safety and HIV/AIDS classes. Training provided. Contact Janelle Duncan; P.O. Box 536726, Orlando 32853;;(407) 894-4141. Needs: office supplies.

Central Florida Helpline

is a free, confidential call-in service for anyone who has a problem, needs to talk or would like someone to pray with. All volunteers must complete a 13-week training program. Contact Phyllis Oas; P.O. Box 941524, Maitland 32794; (407) 740-7408; Helpline: (407) 740-7477; Needs: telephone system, portable overhead projector.

Christian Service Center

provides people who are hurting in our community with programs designed to meet physical, emotional and spiritual needs regardless of race, religion or the nature of their need. Volunteers help with a variety of tasks, including clerical work, organizing food and clothing, or working with Alzheimer's patients. Contact Tommy Deal; 808 W. Central Blvd., Orlando 32805; (407) 425-2523 x232; Needs: canned goods, diapers, blankets, winter coats (all sizes), personal hygiene items.


The Center for Independent Living

promotes accessibility in the community for people with disabilities by providing job search assistance, skills and advocacy training, peer support and benefits planning. Volunteers are needed for entering data, writing resumes, teaching those who are hard of hearing how to use volume control telephones, providing information and referrals, fund raising, registering guests, setting up for special events and managing a silent auction. Contact Ginger Malcom; 720 N. Denning Drive, Winter Park 32789; (407) 623-1070.

Lakeside Alternatives

provides quality, cost effective, behavioral-related health care to individuals suffering from mental-health problems and disorders through outpatient and inpatient services. Volunteers help with maintenance and office work. Contact:Viola Fernandez; 434 W. Kennedy Blvd., Orlando 32810; (407) 875-3700. Needs: clothing, hygiene items, books, magazines, games.

Mental Health Association of Central Florida

provides information and referrals. The association needs volunteers for Guardian Advocates to work with clients who have been involuntarily committed to treatment facilities, to answer phones, and to help with mailings and clerical work. Contact Bob Decker; 608 Mariposa St., Orlando 32801; (407) 843-1563. Needs: holiday gifts.

Primrose Center

provides job placement, training and residential services to adults with developmental disabilities. Volunteers help with fund-raisers, in the thrift store and with different special events. Contact Mary Van Buren; 2733 S. Ferncreek Ave., Orlando 32806; (407) 898-7201. Needs: used clothing, furniture, household items, craft supplies.


works to help people with disabilities in job placement. Volunteers are needed to help with landscaping, decorating homes with lights, at its Camp Thunderbird to help with talent shows and art programs, as well as for June's Wine Quest to assist with ticket sales and acquiring auction items. Contact Michelle Zwieg or Patty McShane; 380 Semoran Commerce Place, Apopka 32703;; (407) 889-4530. Needs: clothes, children's learning and play toys.


Center For Drug-Free Living

is a comprehensive substance-abuse treatment and prevention agency that has developed a diverse regimen of intervention and prevention services to help its clients develop healthy and responsible lifestyles. Volunteers assist with rocking babies, answering phones and clerical and office help. Contact Larinda Lipscomb; 205 S. Eola Drive, Orlando 32801;; (407) 245-0045. Needs: clothing, infant toys.

Living Hope International Ministry's New Beginnings Home Treatment Program

provides the opportunity in a homelike, secure environment for women 18 and older, the ability to recover from chemical dependency and a dysfunctional lifestyle. Volunteers assist with clerical work, teaching, mentoring, fund raising and transporting residents. Contact Myra A. Richardson; P. O. Box 560403, Orlando, FL 32856;;; (407) 422-6797. Needs: financial aid, clothing, paper supplies, person hygiene items, and office furniture.

M.A.D.D. (Mothers Against Drunk Driving)

is a victim-service agency, and it provides resources and information on alcohol and driving, which includes prevention presentations in schools in the community. Volunteers answer phones, write letters, help with annual events and serve as court monitors. Contact Casey Macintosh; 659 Maitland Ave. Suite B, Altamonte Springs 32701;; (407) 831-6233.


Easter Seals Day Break at the Miller Center

offers older adults with special needs an alternative to residential placement. Day Break provides a variety of educational and social activities including current events, arts and crafts, field trips and group exercise classes. Volunteers are needed to help in variety of areas. Contact: Jody Hampton; 2010 Mizell Ave., Winter Park 32792;,; (407) 629-5771. Needs: entertainers, pianists, men's group volunteers.

Community Care for the Elderly

provides in-home services for seniors so that they may stay at their homes. Volunteers act as companions, write letters, help with errands and entertain senior citizens. Contact Elaine Combs; 2100 Aloma Ave., Suite 100, Winter Park 32792;; (407) 628-2884. Needs: personal hygiene items, nonperishable food items, sweaters, robes, slippers.

Retired & Senior Volunteer Program, or RSVP

, places those age 55 and older into volunteer positions throughout Orange County, mostly with agencies involved in education, public safety and the environment. Volunteers also perform in vocal and dance groups that entertain at health-care facilities, schools and events. Contact Gina Carwile; 99 E. Marks St., Suite 102, Orlando 32803; (407) 422-1535. Needs: yarn, crayons, arts-and-crafts materials.

Share the Care

specializes in adult day care and respite for frail and elderly adults and individuals with Alzheimer's Disease in both Orange and Seminole counties. Volunteers are needed to serve as activity companions for residents and to help seniors with short-term/one-time needs such as grocery shopping, minor home repair and transportation. Contact Christine Henein, 808 W. Central Blvd. 32805; (407) 423-5311.

Seniors First

provides Meals on Wheels, helps senior citizens maintain their independence through nutrition, home improvement and support services. Current needs are Meals on Wheels drivers. Contact Wayne Gardner; 5395 L.B. McLeod Road, Orlando 32811; (407) 292-0177, ext. 253. Needs: personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies.


Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge

is the largest wildlife refuge in Central Florida. Its goal is to rehabilitate injured and/or orphaned animals for release back into the wild. Volunteers feed the animals, observe them for any changes in behavior, clean enclosures, conduct tours and assist rehabilitators. Contact Bry Ramachandra; 18515 E. Colonial Drive Orlando; (407) 568-5138; Needs: bleach, dish detergent, clean old sheets, towels, clothing (for bedding), hoses and hose nozzles, dry or hard cat and dog food.

Coastal Conservation Association Florida

is dedicated to conserving and protecting Florida's marine resources through education and advocacy. Volunteers assist with administration -- including mailings, data entry and filing. Contact volunteer coordinator: Marsha Dunfee; 3333 S. Orange Ave, Suite 103, Winter Park 32806;; (407) 854-7002. Needs: electric stapler, paper cutter, color printer, desktop PCs.

The Haven for Injured and Orphaned Wildlife

provides rehabilitation for all types of birds, mammals and reptiles for release into the wild. It rehabilitates nearly 2,000 animals yearly. Volunteers are trained to feed and handle wildlife, clean cages and help with general maintenance of the facility. Contact Mary Jane Isner; 610 Birch Blvd., Altamonte Springs 32701; (407) 260-6137. Needs: van, canned and dry dog and cat food, laundry and dish detergent, paper towels, bath towels, fresh fruits and vegetables.

The Nature Conservancy

is the world's leading private, nonprofit conservation organization whose mission is to preserve plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth. The Conservancy manages 10 preserves in Florida, four of which are open to the public. Volunteer opportunities include wildlife monitoring, removing invasive plants, leading nature hikes and buggy tours, visitor management, and reception. Contact Lisa Firman; 2700 Scrub Jay Trail Kissimmee 34759;; (407) 935-0002.


Community Service Center

offers social services to families in south Orange County including financial assistance, food, clothing and eye care. Volunteers aid with answering phones, filing and food shopping. Contact Rae Reddin; 621 Wilkes Ave., Orlando 32809; (407) 851-5920. Needs: nonperishable and canned food, personal hygiene items.


provides family programs that focus on academics, employment skills and volunteerism. The organization works with community groups to help them hire and train neighborhood residents to implement, administer and fund their own social programs. Volunteers engage in public relations, fund raising, human resources, computer operation, special-event planning and academic tutoring. Contact Marie Hassewer or Tara Luby; 718 Margaret Square, Winter Park 32789;; (407) 645-1193. Needs: computers, sports equipment, office supplies, arts and crafts supplies, children's books.

Farmworker's Association of Florida's

goal is to build a strong, multiracial and economically viable organization of farmworkers in Florida, empowering them to gain control over social, political and environmental-justice issues that affect their lives. Volunteers are needed to help teach citizenship classes, tutor middle and high school children, write letters and make phone calls. Contact Sister Cathy or Sister Ann; 815 S. Park Ave, Apopka 32703; (407) 886-5151. Needs: new toys.

Justice and Peace Office

sponsors various programs including Single Mothers in a Learning Environment (SMILE), Kids in Motion (KIM) and GROWS Literary Council. Using a holistic approach, the Justice and Peace Office improves the lives of minority residents in NW Orange County through its diverse program of training and support services. Volunteers are needed in a variety of areas such as literacy/job training, child health care and to teach parenting skills. Contact Sister Teresa McElwee; 800 S. Hawthorne Ave., Apopka 32703;; (407) 889-0100. Needs: microphone system, Dell computers, soccer balls.

Legal Aid Society

provides a broad range of legal services including family law, juvenile, consumer, housing, health, public benefits and immigration to low income residents of Orange County. Volunteers are needed for the Volunteer Advocates for Children Program to assist attorney Guardians ad Litem (training is provided). Contact Roberta Fox or Choung Mi Akehurst; 100 E. Robinson St., Orlando 32801;,; (407) 841-8310 ext. 3127.


Good Samaritan Home

provides food, shelter and care to the poor, the homeless and the aged. Volunteers are needed to assist with healthcare, personal hygiene and transportation to healthcare facilities. Contact Ruby Blake; 1704 W. Ninth St., Sanford 32771; (407) 322-3321. Needs: linens, cleaning products, paper supplies, clothing, personal hygiene items.

Restore Orlando

provides a free mentor and tutoring program for low-income students grades K-12, an adult learning center, a food program for elderly shut-ins, evening meals for children, a thrift store and a client food pantry. Volunteers are needed for special events, food distribution, gift wrapping and after-programs programs. Contact Dawn Smith, 1030 W. Kaley Ave., Orlando 32805;; (407) 246-0061. Needs: food, educational school supplies, toys, office supplies.

Second Harvest Food Bank

collects and stores donated food for nonprofit agencies that feed the ill, needy and children. Volunteer options include food-drive pick-ups, food-drive sponsors, food sorters, office assistants and helpers with special events. Contact Donna Handley; 2008 Brengle Ave., Orlando 32808;,; (407) 295-1066. Needs: nonperishable food items.


Citizen Volunteer Program

offers a variety of opportunities for Orlando citizens to volunteer their skills, talents and work experiences in various city departments and city non-profit organizations. Current and ongoing volunteer opportunities include computer lab instructors, clerical assistants, recreation and park greeters, tour guides, cashiers and customer service representatives, Citizen Corps trainers and Orlando House volunteers. Contact: Traci Blue; 129 E. Gore St., Orlando 32806;; (407) 246-2082.

Community Services Network

empowers people with problems and needs through information and routing calls to specific agencies for help. Volunteers can help a variety of different agencies. Contact Nancy Muni; 988 Woodcock Road, Suite 200, Orlando 32803;; (407) 897-6464. Needs: office supplies and furniture.

Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Community Center of Central Florida, Inc.

serves the entire Central Florida community offering referrals to doctors, lawyers, entertainment, etc., as well as support groups, counselors and social activities. Volunteers are needed for the front desk, fund raising, general maintenance, clerical work and a myriad of other duties. Contact Bob King; 946 N. Mills Ave., Orlando 32803;; (407) 228-8272. Needs: computer, funds.

Hands On Orlando

identifies, plans, manages and leads volunteer projects for thousands of individuals, groups and corporate teams in Central Florida, helping over 150 non-profit organizations and public schools in the area. A variety of volunteer projects occur almost every day of the year and generally last for about three hours. Contact Chris Allen; 199 E. Welbourne Ave., Winter Park 32789;; (407) 740-8652.

Heart of Florida United Way

is a comprehensive health and human services charity, providing funds to the area's most critical programs. This organization offers volunteer opportunities, resources and expertise to residents, corporations and local charities through its Volunteer Central Florida program. 1940 Traylor Blvd., Orlando 32804;; (407) 835-0900.

Metropolitan Orlando Urban League

assists African-American and disadvantaged individuals to achieve social and economic equality through youth education, employment and housing assistance, and prevention programs. Volunteers assist with mentoring, special programs and events. Contact Terry L. Bankston; 2804 Belco Drive, Orlando 32808; (407) 841-7654. Needs: Computers, technology training, software, office furniture.

Orlando Opera

is one of the oldest and most revered arts organizations in Central Florida, offering exceptional performances of Opera and Music Theatre, as well as a wide range of outstanding educational activities. Volunteers are needed for assistance with customer service, bulk mail, special events, office work, data entry and production. Contact Daniela; 111 N. Orange Ave., Orlando 32804;; (407) 426-1717. Needs: general donations, technical equipment.


Alzheimer's Association

provides a helpline service to bring information and support services to all those affected by the disease. The group also provides a speaker's bureau, quarterly newsletter, lending library, and educational and professional training programs. Volunteers help with clerical duties, data entry and special events. Contact Bruce Wlosinski; 2010 Mizell Ave., Winter Park 32792;; (407) 629-1997. Needs: Carousel slide projector, portable overhead projector, paper and envelopes.

Alzheimer's Resource Center

strives to lighten the burden and improve the quality of life for families affected by Alzheimer's. Volunteers help with mailings and work at an annual conference and at health fairs. Contact Corrina Collier; 1400 N. Semoran Blvd., Suite A and B, Orlando 32807; (407) 381-1963.

American Cancer Society

aims to save lives and diminish suffering caused by cancer through research, education, advocacy and a comprehensive patient-services program. Volunteers are needed to provide transportation for cancer patients to and from treatment, to work in our wig and prosthesis room and to help with events and office work. 1601 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando 32804;; (407) 843-8680, ext. 541. Needs: wigs, transportation for cancer patients.

American Lung Association

fights lung disease in all its forms through education, research and advocacy, with special emphasis on asthma, tobacco control and environmental health. Volunteers are needed to assist with special events, for clerical work and for special programs. Contact Kara Solomon; 1333 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando 32804;,; (407) 425-5864 ext. 105.

Central Florida Blood Bank

provides blood products to more than 40 health-care facilities, five different cancer facilities and operates other services such as a tissue bank, donor programs and educational programs. Volunteer needs include drivers, donor services and lab assistance. Contact Shirley Burke; 32 W. Gore St., Orlando 32806;; (407) 849-6100, ext. 8507. Needs: office supplies, videos, food.

Epilepsy Association of Central Florida

serves the varying needs of those affected with epilepsy including case management, physician and specialist care, counseling and job placement assistance. Volunteers are needed in the speaker's bureau, for special events and to help in the office. 22 W. Lake Beauty Drive, Suite 314, Orlando 32806;; (407) 426-1416. Needs: office copier, donations.

Health Care Center for the Homeless

provides free medical, eye and dental care, a tuberculosis shelter, and a Respite Center Program to help re-establish the individual in mainstream society. The center seeks volunteer support from primary-care physicians, dentists, optometrists, ophthalmologists, nurses and mental-health counselors as well as administrative assistance. Contact Vanessa Littleton; 11 N. Parramore Ave, Orlando 32801; (407) 428-5751 ext. 238. Needs: computers, computer equipment, fax machines, copiers.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's

local chapter provides family support groups, aid for treatment-related expenses, advocacy, information and education for patients, their families and the public. Volunteers provide in-office clerical help and data entry. Contact Elizabeth Shingleton, 3319 Maguire Blvd. Orlando, 32803;; (407) 898-0733.

National Multiple Sclerosis Society's

mid-Florida chapter offers support to more than 9,000 people in 23 counties affected by MS. Its programs include education, counseling, literature, emergency respite funding and self-help groups. The society also offers medical equipment on loan. Volunteers are needed for a variety of opportunities including telephone support counselors, administration, data entry and special events. Contact Emillie Peck; 3659 Maguire Blvd., Suite 110, Orlando 32803;; (407) 896-3873, ext. 24. Needs: office supplies, medical equipment.

Orlando Regional Healthcare

includes six hospitals in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties. Volunteers work in admissions, ambulatory surgery, the information desk and surgical waiting rooms, as well as music, arts and crafts. Volunteers are especially needed at South Seminole Hospital: Contact Sue Maxwell; (407) 767-1200, ext. 5007. In Lucerne, contact Kristen Facella; (321) 841-4436; and in Sand Lake, contact Angela Phillips (407) 351-8500, ext. 8530.

Prevent Blindness Florida

screens for eye problems and prevention of blindness. The organization trains and certifies volunteers to screen both adults and children. Contact Gina Hawthorne; P.O. Box 607268, Orlando 32860-7268;; (407) 523-1645.


Anthony House

helps homeless and impoverished families in the community become self-sufficient, as well as housing 65 people. Volunteers assist with the pre-school nursery, after-care program, data entry, maintenance needs, mentoring programs and workshops. Contact Herb Aguirresaenz; P.O. Box 880, Zellwood 32798;;; (352) 383-5577. Needs: school supplies, any houseware or household items.

Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida

offers shelter, food, education, housing, advocacy and support services focused on returning homeless individuals and families to self-sufficiency. Volunteers provide general assistance to all programs. Contact Lorri Highet; 639 W. Central Blvd., Orlando 32801; (407) 426-1250. Needs: gift certificates, toddler diapers , twin sheets, blankets, pillows, towels and paper products.

Covenant House Florida

provides services for runaway and homeless youth under 21 years old by offering shelter, meals, clothing, counseling, referrals, assistance with transportation, parent education, health services, employment assistance and transitional housing. Volunteers are needed for a variety of positions. Contact Laurie Noel; 5931 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando 32807;; (407) 482-0404.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Orlando

has built nearly 100 homes for Orlando area families-in-need since 1986. The group seeks construction volunteers for weekdays and Saturdays. Volunteers also assist with office help or in the new Habitat Home Store. Contact Lindsay Elliott; 808 W. Central Blvd., Orlando 32805;; (407) 648-4567. Needs: empty inkjet and laser cartridges, building materials, appliances, household items, books and clothes.

Lisa Merlin House

is committed to providing long-term residential treatment to homeless women as they step down the path to recovery after detoxification for alcoholism and substance abuse. Volunteers are needed to help with fund-raisers and special events. Contact Danielle Lowdermilk; 3101 N. Pine Hills Road, Orlando 32808; (407) 292-0109. Needs: paper products, office supplies, nonperishable food items, personal hygiene items.

The Mustard Seed of Central Florida

provides household goods, furniture, appliances, clothing, toys, books, games and food, free of charge, to the homeless and others in need who demonstrate the desire to rebuild their lives and become self-sufficient. Volunteers are needed in the following areas: administrative, clothing, maintenance, food, toys, linens and housewares. Contact Carol Kane; PO Box 915223, Longwood 32791-5223;; (407) 875-2040.

Orlando Union Rescue Mission

provides shelter for homeless families and meals for the hungry. Volunteers assist with children in the daycare center, tutor both adults in the Career Learning Center, serve three meals a day in the cafeteria, and cut hair in the beauty shop. Contact LeeDawn Carpenter; P.O. Box 2791, Orlando 32802-2791;; (407) 422-4855. Needs: hygiene items, baby diapers, medicines, clothing, canned and nonperishable food.


A Center for Women

offers free pregnancy tests; confidential care; education about pregnancy, fetal development and abortion; adoption assistance; referrals for medical care and shelter; and clothing and baby supplies. Volunteers provide one-on-one education and counseling support, organize baby-closet donations, and help with fund raising, clerical work and special events. Contact Bill Ortt; 315 N. Wymore Road, Winter Park 32789; (407) 628-5433. Needs: maternity clothes, baby diapers, strollers, cribs, toys.

Harbor House

is a center against domestic violence, funded in part by the city of Orlando and Orange County (as well as the United Way). It provides temporary shelter, counseling and support for persons in an abusive environment. Volunteers assist with programs including a 24-hour crisis line, referrals, community education, children's services, teen-dating violence-prevention and court advocacy. Contact the Volunteer Coordinator; P.O. Box 533199, Orlando 32853; (407) 246-7007. Needs: nonperishable food, personal hygiene items.


BETA Center's

mission is to give our community, children and parents the knowledge and support needed to build strong and healthy families. The group offers parenting-education classes; pregnancy and teen-parenting programs; a residential program for homeless pregnant women; and emergency support and neighborhood services. Volunteers are needed to help with cuddling babies, staffing the front desk, to serve as mentors and tutors and distributing food items to clients. Contact Constance Clark; 4680 Lake Underhill Road, Orlando 32807;; (407) 277-1942. Needs: diapers, baby food, blankets, bottles, canned goods.

Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida

develops character and leadership in youth while providing education and career development, life skills, sports, recreation and exposure to the arts. Volunteers help with programs at any one of 14 Central Florida locations. Contact Mary Elduff; 801 N. Magnolia Ave., Suite 305, Orlando 32802;; (407) 841-6855. Needs: art supplies, books, sports equipment.

Central Florida Children's Home

cares for entire families when parents either cannot or will not provide for their kids (due to difficulties in the lives of either children or parents). Volunteers help with special events, office work and mailouts. Contact Priscilla Thompson; 12569 Narcoossee Road, Orlando 32827; (407) 277-7441. Needs: adult and child medications, food, utensils, napkins, personal hygiene items.

Children's Home Society

provides emergency shelter for abused, neglected and abandoned children, along with foster care, adoption and programs designed to preserve and strengthen families. Volunteers are needed to become foster parents, to provide support and encouragement to first-time parents in its perinatal program, to serve as observers in the Family Visitation Center and to spend time with youngsters while their parents/guardians take care of official court business. Contact Nitza Colon; 2647 Michigan Ave., Kissimmee 34744; (407) 895-5807. Needs: office supplies, household appliances, TVs, refrigerators, electronics, computers, furniture, carpeting.

Community Coordinated Care for Children

(4C) provides an array of services to thousands of children and their families in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. Volunteers are needed to assist teachers in the classroom, plan program activities and coordinate special events. Contact Stephanie Storey; 3500 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando 32808;; (407) 522-2252 ext. 4157. Needs: holiday decorations and children's clothing, books, toys, books and art supplies.

Devereux Florida

provides mental-health and developmental-disability treatment to children in a wide range of settings, including psychiatric centers, day schools, foster-care programs, outpatient treatment centers, crisis centers and vocational-training programs. Volunteers help with tutoring and special events. Contact Danette Travis; 5850 T.G. Lee Blvd., Suite 400, Orlando 32822;; (407) 812-4555, ext. 243. Needs: IBM computers, printers, therapy games, toys, new clothing, children's videos and books.

Dividends School Volunteer Program

promotes community involvement in Seminole County Public Schools. Volunteers are needed to teach conversational Spanish, speak about careers and hobbies, act as mentors, and assist with the Take Stock in Children scholarship program or the second-chance program for high-school students. Contact Jane Lane; 400 E. Lake Mary Blvd., Sanford 32773;; (407) 320-0178. Needs: school supplies.

Edgewood Children's Ranch

works with dysfunctional children in a full-time living arrangement that includes counseling and schooling. Volunteers help with tutoring, maintenance work and the thrift store. Contact Lynn Hotalen; 1451 Edgewood Ranch Road, Orlando 32835; (407) 295-2464. Needs: cleaning supplies, sporting equipment, canned goods, toilet paper, personal hygiene items.

Foster Grandparent Program

recruits and trains limited-income people 60-plus years old to provide individual attention to children with special or exceptional needs. Volunteers interact with children in a variety of different programs, help with fund-raising events and take photographs. Contact Ann Smith; 7400 Laurel Hill Oaks Circle, Orlando 32818; (407) 298-4180. Needs: diapers, Polaroid film, personal hygiene items, office supplies.

Guardian ad Litem of Florida

Volunteers become part of the court system to represent the best interests of a child who has been removed from home for alleged abuse, abandonment or neglect. Volunteers may be asked to represent a child before a court or any of various social-service agencies. Thirty hours of pre-service training and a criminal background check must be completed. Contact Saul Levinson for Osceola County; 2 Courthouse Square, Suite 3100, Kissimmee, 34741;; (407) 343-2525. For Seminole County contact Nancy Armstrong at (407) 665-5370; for Orange County contact Susan Khory at (407) 841-8310.

Junior Achievement of Central Florida

volunteers work with instructors in grades K-12 to teach students about their roles as individuals, workers and consumers, and prepare them for key economic and workforce issues. Classroom training and materials are provided. Contact Lynn Glover; 2121 Camden Road, Orlando 32803;,; (407) 898-2121, ext. 35. Needs: student sponsors (for $65), in-kind donations and classroom consultants.

Life for Kids

helps support individuals and families in making life-saving and life-enhancing choices for their children. Offering services in pregnancy testing, assessment of abortion risks, referrals for medical care and finding shelter, along with referrals for financial assistance. Volunteers are needed to council women as they seek pregnancy testing, assist with grant writing, and special events and fund raising. Contact Mary Gibson; 315 N. Wymore Rd., Winter Park 32789; (407) 629-5437; Needs: maternity and baby clothing.

Make-a-Wish Foundation

fulfills the special wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses. Volunteers assist with wish fulfillment, special events, fund raising, airport greetings and office assistance. Contact Athelyn Daniel; 1053 N. Orlando Ave., Suite 1, Maitland 32751; (407) 622-4673. Needs: disposable cameras, gift certificates to restaurants and stores, office equipment, general donations.

New Hope Center

offers services for grief and loss, including the Children's Wish, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses Ð and Grieving Children Services Ð which provides support for children hurting over the loss of a loved one. New Hope trains volunteers to support programs and to assist with fund-raising and special events. Contact the Volunteer Coordinator; 900 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland 32751;; (407) 599-0909, (407) 648-0160 for thrift shop. Needs arts-and-crafts supplies, gift certificates, new toys and games.

Orlando Day Nursery

provides childcare to kids whose families are of low income, homeless, or the victims of domestic abuse, while focusing on developing children's emotional, social, cognitive and physical skills. Volunteers are needed to enhance educational programs, play with the children and help with repairs. Contact Gloria; 100 W. Anderson St., Orlando 32801;; (407) 422-5291. Needs: children's clothing, arts-and-crafts supplies, scholarships.

Osceola County Children's

Home is a residential facility for youths who are part of Florida's foster-care system due to neglect, abandonment or abuse. Volunteers assist with emotional and educational needs. Contact Stacy Harris; 2534 E. Neptune Road, Kissimmee 34744; (407) 847-6048. Needs: school supplies, personal hygiene items, clothing, houseware and household items.

Pace Center for Girls

works to improve the quality of life for at-risk girls by helping them further their education, build self-esteem, and develop personal, social and family relationship skills. Volunteer opportunities include career mentors, office assistants, arts-and-crafts instructors, intern coordinators, transportation helpers, study buddies and general-topic speakers. Contact Billie McCaulley; 45 W. Washington St., Orlando 32801; (407) 843-1775.


has an eight-acre campus providing a residential, training, vocational and intervention program for children and adults who suffer from autism and developmental disabilities and who exhibit severe behavior problems. Volunteers are needed to help phones, to assist with special events and do office work or outdoor maintenance, on the advisory board and to plan events. Contact Ellen Thomson; 3550 Goldenrod Road, Winter Park 32792; (407) 671-7060. Needs: washers, dryers, clothing, personal hygiene items, any houseware or household items, toys.


is dedicated to providing substance- and violence-free activities for teens, and to building positive peer groups within high schools. Volunteers help with tutoring, special events, chaperoning and working with peer groups. Contact Heather Gibbs; 626 N. Lake Formosa Drive, Orlando 32803;, (407) 898-8277. Needs: cameras, office supplies, food, transportation, bookshelves, folding tables, printers, cell phones, monetary contributions.


More by Micky Michalec


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