Though the holiday season presents a time of distinct need among those less fortunate, it’s a grim reality that those same needs persist for too many families year-round. As the holiday bliss gives way to reality, with jam-packed work schedules and countless personal obligations, the spirit of consistent giving that abounds for those few magical weeks can often be packed away alongside the wreaths and sparkling lights. Luckily, though, that doesn’t have to be the case. The Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg areas are rife with philanthropic opportunities every day of the year. Below are some of the incredible organizations, at the local and national levels, that make it easy to give back, be it in time or resources, throughout the holidays – and beyond.
Find Your Local Philanthropic Home
These comprise only a fraction of the incredible local nonprofits striving to make differences in the lives of St. Petersburg/Tampa Bay’s residents. Our team has had the privilege of volunteering with each of these organizations, so we can attest to the major impact they make in our community (and in their volunteers!) each and every day.
CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse)
Domestic abuse is a troubling reality that countless men, women, and children face every day. CASA, a St.Petersburg-based nonprofit organization, dedicates itself both to the prevention of domestic abuse and to the support and rehabilitation of those who have survived it. CASA’s volunteers can contribute to this incredible mission in a variety of ways depending on their passions and skill sets; they are welcome to assist with community education in prevention efforts, crisis interventions, and survivor outreach and support. Regardless of the area into which you enter as a volunteer, you will become a part of a crucial network of support to survivors of domestic abuse. CASA changes lives, and its donors and volunteers are an instrumental part of that process. Click here to learn more about getting involved.
St. Petersburg Free Clinic
Though the St. Petersburg Free Clinic does provide medical assistance to those in need, its scope of influence is far more robust than that. This nonprofit provides both food and shelter to those in the community who need it, offering a food bank, men’s and women’s lodgings, and family residences. Those looking to get involved are welcome to donate what they can or to volunteer their time. The clinic is a perfect opportunity for those whose work schedules take up evenings and weekends, as most volunteering slots fall within standard business hours. It’s also ideal for those looking to commit to an organization long-term: volunteers are asked to make commitments of 3 to 6 months.
Metropolitan Ministries is a gem of the Tampa Bay area offering support and resources to at-risk and homeless members of the community. Metro Min provides a comprehensive system of support to those in need, offering food, housing, life skills training, youth programs, and homelessness prevention services, among other provisions. Volunteers are welcome at the organization’s Tampa and Pasco campuses, as well as at its food warehouse. Metropolitan Ministries’ vibrant community of volunteers provides a fulfilling and impactful pastime at any time of the year.
Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County
Those looking to combine their volunteer work with some physical activity need to look no further than Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas. This is one of this organization’s numerous branches across the country, all of which are dedicated to providing affordable, low-interest home ownership opportunities to families in need. Volunteers are welcome individually or in groups and are taught an array of practical skills during the organization’s interactive Nuts & Bolts orientation sessions. Working with Habitat for Humanity means immersing yourself in a robust, hands-on environment in which you literally build futures for families in need. Just check out their website to learn more.
Boys & Girls Club Suncoast
The Boys & Girls Club of America’s Suncoast location is a local manifestation of the organization’s national mission: to provide young people with fulfilling and productive after-school programs that set them up for success. This is done via an array of efforts, including academic assistance, recreational activities, health education, and character & leadership training for youth of all ages. Engagement with the Suncoast Boys & Girls Club is ideal for those whose calendars are chock-full of commitments throughout the year. The organization hosts periodic events, which serve as excellent opportunities for both in-person volunteering and financial sponsorship.
The Holiday Spirit Has No Expiration Date
The holidays are an extraordinary time of giving, reminding us year after year to reflect on our good fortune and contribute to others’. The organizations listed above are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the volunteering opportunities available to members of the Tampa Bay community and beyond. Whether you find your philanthropic home at one of these establishments or another, the positive impact you’ll have on your community outside of the holidays is no small feat. When harnessed into a year-round mission to do good, there’s no telling what the philanthropic spirit of the holiday season can do for a community. We encourage you to explore the possibilities.