Volunteering in the Bay Area


One indispensable experience that students should never leave college without is volunteering. Not only is it just a good thing to do in general, but it leaves people with a positive and satisfying feeling and it can give students a leg-up when applying for jobs.

There are numerous and diverse volunteering opportunities in the Tampa Bay area that students can participate in. No matter their philanthropic interests, there is bound to be an organization that matches their passion.


For the friends of the furried, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay operates as a pet shelter and animal hospital. The 104-year-old charity offers volunteering positions in the many areas of caring for homeless animals, including kennel care, animal health center and food assistance.

The Humane Society asks that volunteers be at least 16-years-old to donate their time without permission from a parent or guardian. It also requires people to attend a 90-minute orientation session at its office on North Armenia Avenue before they start volunteering.

Students can find out more at http://humanesocietytampa.org/become-a-volunteer/.

Children/The Arts

For students who would rather to work with children as well as the arts, the Glazer Children’s Museum could be the perfect place. Situated on the Tampa Riverwalk downtown, this institution is always on the lookout for people who wish to engage and teach younger minds.

It would also be a great fit for college students because of its volunteer commitment levels, with ongoing, for people who have plenty of time to spare; short-term, for the students who aren’t in Tampa all year round; and special events, for those that want to volunteer but can only do so sparingly.

For the students who wish to volunteer at the museum but aren’t sure if their majors directly relate to children, education or the arts, its website states “volunteers of all abilities, interests, and schedules are needed.”

Students who are interested should go to http://glazermuseum.org/volunteer.

Feeding the Needy

Established 15 years ago, Trinity Cafe is known in the Tampa Bay area for their work, as they are not just a soup kitchen. Trinity aims to feed, not only homeless people, but also the working poor or just any hungry person. Guests dine on meals prepared by a professional chef at a cloth-covered table with actual china and silverware.

Volunteers can be kitchen staff, servers or even a table host companion, someone who sits at the dining table with the guests and engages them in conversation. Volunteers should be at least 16-years-old and have closed-toed shoes. Trinity also recommends that first-time volunteers should watch the online video volunteer orientation on their website,

This video, along with more details, can be found at http://www.trinitycafe.org.


Students whose emotions are stirred by nature and its current treat can check out the nonprofit organization, Tampa Bay Watch. According to its website, “Tampa Bay is the largest estuary in the state of Florida, encompassing 400 square miles of open water and 2,300 square miles of highly developed watershed” and its goal is to preserve this environment for the sake of the animals and plants that depend on it, as well as the people in the community.

This organization uses its volunteers for various events that have positive effects on the environment, such as making storm drains and building oyster domes.

Students who would like to volunteer can visit Tampa Bay Watch’s website at http://www.tampabaywatch.org/volunteer.html to see the schedule it has planned for the rest of season.