Giving back to the community is something we should all do from time to time. And these days, with funding for important non-profit organizations getting cut more and more often, it’s even more vital than ever. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to volunteer our time in South Florida. Whether your interests lie more within helping children or eradicating homelessness, or protecting our environment and animals, you’ll certainly be able to match up with the right organization by looking over our list below.
M.U.J.E.R., which stands for Men and Women United in Justice, Education, and Reform, is a domestic violence and sexual assault center located in the south part of Miami-Dade. This vital non-profit assists survivors with a 24-hour emergency hotline, crisis intervention and counseling, accompaniment and public transportation assistance, therapy for victims and children, legal assistance, and more. At the time of this publication, it appears much or all of their county funding has been cut off, so they could use help with donations more than ever. Call and ask about volunteer opportunities and ways you can help this important resource stay afloat.
One of the best ways animal lovers in Miami can give back to the community is by volunteering at the local Humane Society. Volunteer orientations are held twice a month followed by an interview and training. There are in-house and off-site opportunities available. On-site opportunities include as pet groomer, intake receptionist, dog walker, and writing pet biographies, or you can help with things like foster care and outreach outside of the Society’s facility.
The Women’s Fund is one of the largest local organizations advocating for the rights and empowerment of women and girls. Started in 1993, they work on improving economic security among women by creating grants for women and girls, protecting women’s rights and access to health care, including the right to choose, and ending sex trafficking. TWF is always in search of volunteers to work on event committees, mentor young women and girls, help with canvassing and phone banking and in the movement to stop sex trafficking.
The Miami Rescue Mission is one of the longest running non-profits in town, operating since 1922. Through their various programs and centers, MRM helps alleviate homelessness by feeding the hungry, providing shelter, clothing, and hygiene products, assisting with job searches and educating both children and adults. They are frequently in need of volunteers to help with everything from tutoring and youth programs, office and clerical services, serving meals, assisting at clothing drives and more. MRM is a christian organization, so there are also opportunities to assist with chapel and spiritual groups as well (though one need not be religious in order to help out).
The Switchboard of Miami is a nonprofit that helps connect the public to important services like crisis intervention, telephone counseling, suicide prevention, child developmental screenings, and other referral services. If you feel comfortable speaking over the phone to someone in need, consider volunteering your time here. The organization asks for a commitment of four hours every two weeks after completing an online training course.
Have you ever considering helping to build an actual house? Consider joining the local Habitat for Humanity chapter, a non-profit ministry who raise funds and build affordable homes for low-income families. Get yourself a hardhat and sign up to build a home from the ground up (framing, installing windows and doors, painting, setting down tile, landscaping, and more). Or if you’d rather do something a bit less labor intensive, consider helping with fundraising efforts or at their ReStore, where they sell donated home goods.
Lotus House helps support homeless women, youth, and children find shelter and opportunities for empowerment. This wonderful organization provides housing and supplies for women and children (such as diapers, cribs, bottles, maternity clothes), along with play areas for the little ones. They are also provided with therapy and parenting skills and additional support to get women and their families back on their feet. Volunteer opportunities are always available, including helping with job readiness (by assisting with resumes and mock interviews), enrichment activities (like yoga classes, arts and crafts) and more.
This non-profit focuses on rescued animals (mainly cats and dogs). Adult volunteers are needed for dog socialization and exercise, transporting pets to and from events and appointments, helping out in their office, and assisting with fundraising, which helps prevent euthanasia of otherwise happy, healthy pets. Youth volunteer opportunities (for those over the age of 14) are also available.
This long-standing organization features five different Boys & Girls Club facilities throughout Miami-Dade County at which you can volunteer. From assisting kids with club activities, to fundraising and marketing, they are always in need of a few helping hands. And if you’re short on time, you’re also welcome to volunteer once in a while for special events.
If Florida’s beautiful natural landscapes and animals are more your thing, you might consider volunteering with the Tropical Audubon Society. This organization focuses on conservation efforts from helping restore the Everglades to protecting the ecology of Biscayne Bay. Volunteers of the TAS have helped plant native flora, guide kayak tours, assist at events, and more.