- AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Gainesville is dedicated to providing people with help filling out their tax forms during tax season.
- Aces in Motion (AIM)
- Active Streets Alliance
- Alachua Conservation Trust is a non-profit land trust that works to protect Alachua County’s scenic, historic, recreational and natural resources.
- Alachua County Crisis Center
Volunteer at the Alachua County Crisis Center in Gainesville, Florida. The Alachua County Crisis Center provides services for people in Alachua County who are experiencing crisis situations.
- Alachua County Extension Service 4-H
The Alachua County 4-H Program consists of programs that provide research-based, diverse, and enjoyable educational experiences for Alachua’s youth through hands-on activities and projects.
- Alachua County Foster Grandparent Program
The Foster Grandparent Program (FCP) is a program where seniors 55 and older serve as mentors, loving caregivers, and tutors for youth and children with special needs.
- Alachua County Humane Society
The Alachua County Humane Society is dedicated to the rehabilitation and advocacy of animals who are neglected and homeless.
- Alachua County Library District
The Alachua County Library District is dedicated to bringing public library service to over 190,000 county residents
- Alachua County Library’s Literacy Program
- Alachua County Public Schools
Alachua County Public Schools provide education for students in Alachua County.
- Alachua County Sheriff’s Office Teen Court Program
The Teen Court Program is a juvenile alternative services and crime prevention organization that is based on social learning in Alachua County.
- Alachua Habitat for Humanity
Alachua Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to providing families in need with affordable, safe homes to live in.
- Alzheimer’s Association
The Alzheimer’s Association has the mission “To eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research and to provide and enhance care and support for individuals and their families and caregivers.”
- Al’z Place
Al’z Place is an adult program that provides care for people (18+ years old) with Alzheimer’s disease or severe memory impairment.
- American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is a nonprofit health organization with a mission to save lives and diminish suffering from cancer through education, service, research, and advocacy.
- The American Cancer Society Winn-Dixie Hope Lodge
The American Cancer Society Winn-Dixie Hope Lodge provides a home-like atmosphere to out-of-town cancer patients receiving medical treatment in Gainesville hospitals and medical centers.
- American Red Cross North Central Florida Chapter
The North Florida Chapter of the American Red Cross has the mission of helping residents prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies.
- AMIkids Gainesville
- The Arc of Alachua County
The Arc of Alachua County is a nonprofit organization that is committed to providing services, advocacy and support for adults and children who are developmentally disabled.
- Baby Gator: Child Development and Research Center at UF
Baby Gator is a child development and research center that offers high quality care for children ranging in age from 6 weeks old to five years old.
- Best Buddies
Best Buddies is a UF student service organization that provides an opportunity for UF college students and persons with mild to moderate mental retardation to become friends.
- Boys and Girls Club
The Boys and Girls Club of Alachua County is a local organization that is dedicated to the personal development of young women and young men in the community, with a special concern for the disadvantaged.
- Bread of the Mighty Food Bank
Bread of the Mighty Food Bank acquires and distributes food and toiletries to other nonprofit programs that help those in need.
- Brighter Lipstick, Bigger Earrings, Inc.
- Cade Museum
- Camp Boggy Creek
Camp Boggy Creek, a not-for-profit organization, is a medical camping facility for children ages 7-16 who have life-threatening or chronic illnesses.
- Camp Kesem UF
Camp Kesem UF is a college student-run one-week summer camp each year for children who have a parent that has been diagnosed with cancer.
- Catholic Charities
Catholic Charities in Gainesville, FL is a not-for-profit organization that provides a variety of programs to help people in need.
- CDS Family & Behavioral Health Services
CDS Family & Behavioral Health Services is committed to strengthening the community by building strong families through the prevention of substance abuse.
- Center for Independent Living of North Central Florida
- Child Advocacy Center
The Child Advocacy Center (CAC or The Center) of Gainesville provides an environment that is supportive, child friendly, and safe for neglected and abused children in the community.
- Children’s Home Society
Children’s Home Society is a private non-profit organization that provides adoptions and intervention and prevention services to stop child neglect and abuse.
- Christians Concerned for the Community
Christians Concerned for the Community is a charitable nonprofit organization that focuses on empowering the poor, disabled, and elderly.
- City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation & Cultural Affairs
- Climb for Cancer Foundation
- Compassionate K9s
- Current Problems cleans up waterways in North Central Florida
- Downtown Festival & Art Show
Gainesville’s Downtown Festival & Art Show, November 7-8, is an outdoor festival showcasing the art and creativity of 250 artists.
- Early Learning Coalition
The Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County supports VPK (Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten) programs and School Readiness programs for children to ensure that they get the learning opportunities and care for success in school and later on in life.
- The Education Foundation
- Eldercare Services of Alachua County
Eldercare Services of Alachua County is dedicated to being an advocate for the elderly in the community and to providing services to enrich the quality of life for seniors.
- Faithful Friends Pet Rescue and Rehoming
- Family Promise of Gainesville provides homeless children & their families with care that includes education, case management, meals, housing and transportation.
- Field and Fork Campus Food Program
- Five Points of Life Foundation
- Fishing for Success
Fishing for Success (FFS), part of the UF/IFAS Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences program, hosts fishing days and other programs to get children interested in fisheries and aquatic environmental sciences.
- Florida Alternative Breaks (FAB)
Florida Alternative Breaks is a service organization at UF where students go on community service trips during spring, winter, or summer break.
- Florida Defenders of the Environment
- Florida Diabetes Camp
Florida Diabetes Camp helps children and youth with diabetes learn to handle their diabetes by sharing with adults who care and other children who have diabetes.
- Florida Museum of Natural History
The Florida Museum of Natural History, located on the UF campus, strives to preserve, understand and interpret Florida’s cultural heritage and biological diversity.
- Florida Project Learning Tree
Florida Project Learning Tree, an environmental education program, uses forests and trees to help students understand their environment and to develop their ability to make informed choices and take action on issues related to the environment.
- Florida Springs Institute
- Florida Wildlife Care, Inc.
Florida Wildlife Care (FWC) strives to care for and conserve the native Florida wildlife and habitat through study, rehabilitation and education.
- Food4Kids Backpack Program
Food4Kids Backpack Program of North Florida is a nonprofit organization that collects food to give to schoolchildren over the weekends and extended breaks from school if they are identified as being at risk of not receiving meals otherwise.
- The Freewheel Project
- Friends Across the Ages
Friends Across the Ages, Inc. sponsors nursing home group activities and also trains volunteers to visit nursing home residents weekly on a one-on-one basis in the Gainesville, Florida area.
- Friends of Dudley Farm is a not for profit corporation that works with Dudley Farm Historic State Park staff to support the preservation, operation and interpretation of the park.
- Friends of Payne’s Prairie
Friends of Payne’s Prairie is a not-for-profit organization that works with Payne’s Prairie Preserve State Park staff to promote the park through education, visitor services, resource management, and activities in the community.
- Friends of the Library
One way Friends of the Library serves the Alachua County Library District is by conducting two Friends of the Library book sales each year.
- Gainesville Community Band
- Gainesville Community Ministry (GCM)
Gainesville Community Ministry (GCM) provides emergency help to those who are in crisis or lack life’s basic necessities.
- Gainesville Community Playhouse
The Gainesville Community Playhouse at the Vam York Theater is a community theater that puts on about six shows a year.
- Gainesville Fisher House Foundation
- Gainesville Opportunity Center
- Gainesville Pet Rescue
Gainesville Pet Rescue is a not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to finding homes for unwanted cats, kittens, dogs, and puppies.
- Gainesville Prom Closet
Gainesville Prom Closet collects used formal dresses and brings them to high school girls who want to go to prom or homecoming but can’t afford prom dresses.
- Gainesville Rabbit Rescue
Gainesville Rabbit Rescue is a nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and adopting rabbits out to caring households.
- Gainesville Sports Commission (GSC)
The Gainesville Sports Commission (GSC) is a not-for-profit organization that uses sports to promote tourism in Gainesville and the county of Alachua.
- Gator Junior Golf Association
- Gator Smiles
Gator Smiles is a University of Florida service club that supports the craniofacial clinics of Shands and UF and raises money for children to get cleft lip/palate surgeries.
- Gigi’s Playhouse
- Girls on the Run of Alachua County
- Girls Place, Inc.
Girls Place, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering girls of all racial, religious and economic backgrounds to GROW confident, strong, and independent in order to thrive in the world around them.
- Girl Scouts of Gateway Council
Girl Scouts of Gateway Council, Inc. brings programs and activities to girls in 16 north Florida counties.
- Goodwill Industries of North Florida
Goodwill Industries of North Florida is a human service organization self-funded by their network of retail stores
- GRACE Marketplace
- Greater Alachua Trail Keepers clean & perform minor maintenance on bike & hike trails in Gainesville & Alachua County.
- Guardian Ad Litem
The Florida Guardian Ad Litem Program is composed of court appointed volunteers who advocate for the best interests of children who are abused, neglected and/or abandoned.
- Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc.
- Haile’s Angels Pet Rescue
Haile’s Angels Pet Rescue is a not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to helping adoptable animals find caring homes.
- Harn Museum
The Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art is an art museum on the campus of the University of Florida.
- Haven Hospice
Haven Hospice is a not-for-profit organization that cares for people with life-limiting illnesses.
- Helping Hands Clinic
The Helping Hands Clinic is a volunteer run clinic that provides medical services for the homeless in Gainesville.
- Helping Hands Pet Rescue
Helping Hands Pet Rescue has pets available for adoption listed on their website. They hold adopt-a-thons at the PetSmart in Butler Plaza in Gainesville.
- Hippodrome State Theatre
The Hippodrome State Theatre, a nonprofit organization, strives to enrich the Gainesville community and the world through the art of theatre.
- Historic Haile Homestead
Historic Haile Homestead, Inc. (HHH) is a not-for-profit organization that maintains a historic house and site as a museum to interpret Florida plantation life in the 19th century.
- Hoggetowne Medieval Faire
The Hoggetowne Medieval Fair is an annual cultural event in the city of Gainesville that transforms the Alachua County Fairgrounds into a medieval marketplace with plenty of entertainment and fun.
- Home Van Pet Care Project
Home Van Pet Care Project, part of the nonprofit organization Home Van, collects and distributes pet food to the pets of homeless people in the community.
- House of Hope of Alachua County, Inc.
House of Hope is a not-for-profit prison transitional ministry that ministers to those in prison and provides a faith based program as they are transitioning back into society.
- Jordan Klausner Foundation (JFK)
The Jordan Klausner Foundation (JKF), a public charity in Gainesville, is dedicated to helping special children with disabilities help themselves.
- The Junior League of Gainesville, FL
- Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary
Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary is a nonprofit organization that rescues monkeys from around the U.S. and provides a safe haven for them.
- Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
- Keep Alachua County Beautiful
Keep Alachua County Beautiful organizes restoration projects and beautification activities in Alachua County and promotes environmental action and recycling.
- Kids Count
Kids Count in Alachua County, Inc. is an organization dedicated to helping elementary school kids who need some encouragement and academic support.
- Latina Women’s League
- Lubee Bat Conservancy
Lubee Bat Conservancy strives to save fruit bats and the bats’ habitats through conservation, education and research.
- March of Dimes Florida Chapter
- Matheson Museum
The Alachua County Historic Trust: Matheson Museum, Inc., a nonprofit organization, is a complex comprised of the Matheson Museum, the 1867 Matheson House, Sweetwater Park, and the Tison Tool Museum.
- Morningside Nature Center
Morningside Nature Center has a 19th Century Living History Farm and puts on Living History Days, a Winter Cane Boil, and other events during the year.
- NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Gainesville
- Noah’s Endeavor, Inc.
- North Central Chapter MATHCOUNTS
MATHCOUNTS is a national math enrichment, competition and club program that strives to promote middle school achievement in mathematics.
- North Central Florida YMCA
North Central Florida YMCA facilities are dedicated to building strong families, strong communities, and strong children.
- North Florida Regional Medical Center
- Operation Catnip
Operation Catnip, a nonprofit organization, offers free spay/neuter and vaccine services for free-roaming unowned cats in Alachua County.
- Operation Christmas Child
Operation Christmas Child is a project run by Samaritan’s Purse Organization that collects and distributes shoeboxes filled with small gifts to children in need around the world.
- Operation Shoebox
- PACE Alachua
- Paddle Florida, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation that promotes kayaking & canoeing in Florida.
- Partnership for Strong Families
- Peaceful Paths
Peaceful Paths is a certified domestic abuse network. They provide services to domestic violence survivors, such as emergency shelter, crisis hotline, children’s programming, transitional housing, victim advocacy, counseling and support groups.
- Project Youth Build
- Puppy Hill Farm Animal Rescue
Puppy Hill Farm is a tax-deductible animal rescue organization that strives to save animals by providing shelter for animals and then facilitating pet adoptions.
- Rebuilding Together NCF
Rebuilding Together NCF Is an organization that focuses on home repair work for low-income Alachua county residents.
- Retirement Home for Horses, Inc. at Mill Creek Farm
The Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida is a nonprofit organization that provides temporary housing, basic amenities and support to families with critically ill children being treated at area medical facilities.
- Rooterville A Sanctuary, Inc.
- Ryan’s Case for Smiles
- Salvation Army
The Salvation Army works where the need is greatest and is motivated by love for all people and faith in God.
- Santa Fe College Spring Arts Festival
- Sebastian Ferrero Foundation
The Sebastian Ferrero Foundation has a mission to fundraise and advocate for a state-of-the-art, full service children’s hospital in Gainesville, Florida while ensuring all families are treated with dignity, courtesy and respect and promoting excellence in patient safety.
- Shands Arts in Medicine Program
Shands Arts in Medicine program (AIM) involves volunteers and artists engaging staff, families and patients in the creative disciplines of drama, music, dance, visual arts, mind/body programs and writing.
- Shands at the University of Florida
Shands at the University of Florida is a private hospital that is not-for-profit.
- SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) is a state health insurance assistance program for elder Floridians in which trained volunteer counselors give free, unbiased assistance and information to elders and their family members who have questions or problems with Medicare and other health insurance programs.
- Soldiers’ Angels
- Special Olympics Florida
- Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive
- St. Francis House
St. Francis House serves the hungry and homeless of Alachua County.
- St. Francis Pet Care
St. Francis House Pet Care Clinic is a nonprofit organization in Alachua county that works to bring free veterinary care to the pets of the homeless, veterans, and very low-income residents.
- Stop Children’s Cancer
Streetlight is a support program for young adults and adolescents who live with cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, cancer and various other life-threatening and chronic illnesses.
- Studio Percussion, Inc.
Studio Percussion, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that provides drum and percussion lessons for students to encourage them towards leadership and community development.
- TailGator Green Team educates & encourages football fans to recycle.
- Take Stock in Children
Take Stock in Children (TSIC) is an incentive scholarship and mentorship program.
- Toys for Tots
The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program in Gainesville collects toys to give to children in need at Christmas.
- Two Tails Ranch
- Tyler’s Hope Foundation
- UF Heal the World
- UF Health Shand’s “Bike Rodeo”
- UF HealthStreet
- UF Performing Arts
The UF Performing Arts needs volunteer ushers for events at the Phillips Center for Performing Arts and the University Auditorium.
- UF Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society
- VETSPACE, Inc.
VETSPACE, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting homeless veterans and their families.
- WellFlorida Council
- Westside Samaritan’s Clinic
- WUFT-FM Radio Reading Service
WUFT-FM Radio Reading Service broadcasts book and newspaper selections to blind and visually impaired people.
EDITOR’S NOTE – Mainstreet Daily News is seeking stories about individuals and organizations coming together to push back against the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s entitled “COVID-19 vs. Us”.
These inspiring people are taking a proactive approach, and helping themselves, their communities, and their world to battle against this staggering epidemic.
If you have a story of a person, business, or organization that is fighting against the coronavirus to help others, please email us at email@example.com.
With so much in upheaval right now, from our social networks and support, to work income and opportunities, it’s heartrending to think of those who are living on the margins.
It’s true that so many of us live paycheck to paycheck no matter the monthly take-home number, and we all will struggle one way or another because of COVID-19. I had one bank owner explain to me during the 2008 financial crises: It doesn’t matter whether you’re in a yacht or a dingy, when your boat gets hit it still sinks. I got his point. But I couldn’t help but think how much closer to the water a dingy sits, with less resource and power and ability to hold on until it goes completely under.
Boat analogies aside, my heart is heavy. And I wonder if yours might be too. As action-oriented people we want to do more than feel bad for those in need, we want to do something. Something that really makes a difference. Something that will give tangible relief and open space for others to breathe. Something that will bring real hope.
What I can do alone feels like so little. But when added to the little you can do… and to the little he can do… and she… and them… and others… the little becomes a lot.
When our collective hearts and hands are opened and we reflect inward to see how we can help someone beyond ourselves, then, more than just a random stepping stone here and there, a community-built bridge reaches across the turbulent waters and helps keep our sinking neighbors, near and far, from sinking beneath the surface.
The thing about reflecting inward to see what’s there to give, gives us a chance to see clearly. It’s when we look deeply, honestly, that we catch a glimpse of our neighbor’s face, or a struggling stranger’s, in the reflection of our own.
We’re all struggling. But all of us have something we can give to make the struggling a little lighter, the day a little better, and hope a little brighter. With each selfless act from hearts that care beyond our own individual situations, we make this possible for all of us.
Opportunities to give
With the “Stay At Home” Executive Order in place for Alachua County, there are obvious limitations in how we can help. But I started looking into opportunities and ways to give and have been heartened by individuals and organizations who have focused their efforts on making sure our most vulnerable and valuable neighbors in need aren’t left to struggle alone, especially in these difficult times.
Some of these you’ve heard of, others will be new, and as I learn of additional opportunities I will update this page, so keep it close at hand. And PLEASE send me an email if you discover any others we should add to the list.
Just know, whatever you can give – time, support, money, ideas – your donation will go a long way.
Sign up with Giving Tuesday Daily Generosity
Get daily ideas for things you can do to help your neighbors, community and world.
Text “GivingTuesday” to 33777
In Alachua County:
United Way of North Central Florida:
As you know, many residents of North Central Florida have been and will continue to be affected by COVID-19. Nearly half of our local community members live paycheck-to-paycheck and do not have the ability to save for unforeseen events, such as a global pandemic.
In light of the recent COVID-19 situation, United Way of North Central Florida has launched the United We Care Emergency Relief Fund to support our nonprofit Community Impact Partners as they serve affected members of the community. During this constantly changing time, we hope that by providing further support to our Community Impact Partners, they in turn can assist many more community members in need.
The United We Care funds are designated to help provide assistance with rent, utilities, food, toiletries and gas (as needed). Our goal is to help to keep families housed, fed and stable during this unsteady time. Furthermore, we have pledged that 100% of the donations to the United We Care fund will go straight to helping local community members in need and no administrative costs will be taken.
We are continuing to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation and will be posting updates on our Facebook page, so be sure to follow us.
Community members seeking assistance can dial 2-1-1 or 352-332-4636 to get connected with local resources. For more information and to donate to UWNCFL’s United We Care Emergency Relief Fund, please go here.
Where to Volunteer
- Domestic Workers is providing $400 in emergency assistance for qualifying home care workers, nannies, and house cleaners who are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This allows these workers to stay home and stay safe.
- Meals on Wheels delivers meals to vulnerable senior citizens. Their COVID-19 Response Fund will get emergency resources to local programs.
- No Hungry Kid is working to ensure that no child who normally receives a meal from a school lunch program goes hungry during the pandemic.
- Global Giving is helping stop the spread of the virus by giving communities on the front lines of the crisis the resources they need to act quickly and protect the most vulnerable. The organization sends doctors, nurses, and health care workers to communities in need and is also helping to get masks, ventilators, and other lifesaving medical supplies to hospitals and clinics.
- One Fair Wage is providing cash assistance to restaurant workers, car service drivers, delivery workers, and personal service workers who often rely on tips and whose income is threatened by COVID-19.
- AmeriCares is funding the distribution of critical supplies, education, training, and other support for its staff and partners here at home and around the world.
- UNITE HERE is providing economic relief for working families facing layoffs and uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic.