As the great Ghandi once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” True many of us already work at nonprofits making a difference, but as we know, such organizations are always in need of volunteers. Serving as a volunteer can help with one’s professional development. You can try out an area that you may not already have experience in and also further develop your skills. Below are just a few of the many institutions around town that would love to have a volunteer like you!
There are a wide variety of museums located in and around Downtown. On Princeton Street, in Loch Haven Park there are the Orlando Science Center, the Orlando Museum of Art, and the Mennello Museum. There’s also the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, which is located off of the up-scale Park Avenue, and the Orange County Regional History Center, smack dab in the middle of downtown. Museums need volunteers as greeters, guides, and exhibit helpers. There are even benefits, such as at the Orlando Science Center, those volunteers who have served 100 hours or more are given a free family membership (valued $145).
Downtown Orlando has a thriving arts scene. In Loch Haven Park alone there are two theatres, the Orlando Repertory Theatre and the Orlando Shakespeare Theater. Nearby there is the Orlando Ballet. Right in the middle of downtown is the Mad Cow Theatre and the Dr. Phillips Center. These arts institutions are in search of ushers, gift shop associates, and concession helpers. Theatres often gift volunteers free tickets to shows, as a thank you for their time & service.
To my knowledge, there are not any animal rescues in the downtown area. Near the Mall at Millenia, the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando has its main facility. Only a 20 minute drive north, in Sanford, is UCF Favorite, Pet Rescue by Judy. These animal shelters can always use and greatly appreciate help; whether it be as dog walkers, kitty cuddlers, assisting with fundraising events, etc.
Downtown is home to several other nonprofits including Clean the World (located right next to the Amway Center). This organization distributes recycled soap and hygiene products from local hotels to “children and families in countries with a high death rate due to acute respiratory infection (pneumonia) and diarrheal diseases (cholera) – which are two of the top killers of children under 5.” Lighthouse of Central Florida (located near N. Orange Ave.) helps give those with sight impairment, the skills they need to achieve their full potential so they can live independently and maintain or increase their quality of life. They need volunteers for their social events, ranging from walks, to galas, and for small social gatherings.
How will you make your mark? Would you rather be sitting at home watching TV (which is fun but uneventful) or would you rather be out in the community helping the arts, animals, or others in need? Volunteering will bring you into YOUR community, where you can make new friends, develop new professional contacts, develop and refine your skills. We hope to see you out there!
YNPN Orlando Newsletter Coordinator