Working for no pay. It's a concept Floridians haven't fully embraced, a recent survey on volunteering shows.
Florida ranks 49th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in volunteer service rates for people 16 and older. Tampa came in 40th among 50 major U.S. cities.
Reasons range from the large number of apartment dwellers to a high population density, both of which result in less community bonding.
While some local charities were surprised by the findings, many said they always need more volunteers, especially with rising gas prices.
Whether you're interested in helping cats, kids or cancer patients, opportunities abound. Here's a sampling.
Habitat for Humanity
Volunteers needed to build houses across the Tampa Bay area. No construction experience required. In Pinellas, call Kevin Klucas at (727) 536-4755 or go to phfh.org. In Hillsborough, call Yvonne Gordils at (813) 239-2242. For elsewhere, go to tampabayhabitat.org.
Humane Society of Tampa Bay
3607 N Armenia Ave., Tampa. Volunteers needed to walk dogs, play with cats, clean kennels and perform clerical duties. Call Ben Moehnert at (813) 774-4344 or go to humanesocietytampa.org/volunteer. In Pinellas, call the SPCA Tampa Bay, 9099 130th Ave. N in Largo, at (727) 586-3591 or go to spcafl.org and click on "Volunteer.''
Meals on Wheels
Volunteers needed to deliver meals to homebound seniors across the Tampa Bay area. In Hillsborough, call John Meisenbach at Meals on Wheels of Tampa at (813) 238-8410 or go to mealsonwheelstampa.com. In Pinellas, call Pat Hazell at the Neighborly Care Network at (727) 573-9444 ext. 291 or go to neighborly.org. In Pasco, call Diane Cunningham at (727) 834-3340.
2002 N Florida Ave., Tampa, which provides food, clothing and shelter to poor and homeless adults and children. Volunteers needed to help renovate the Family Care Center every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through mid August. Work includes assembling and setting up furniture, packing and moving. School supplies also needed. Call Andrea Giovannelli at (813) 209-1251 or Angie Pattison at (813) 209-1034, or go to metromin.org.
Moffitt Cancer Center
12902 Magnolia Drive, Tampa. Year-round volunteers needed in several areas, including the surgery waiting room, clerical/data entry and the service desk running errands for center staff. Call Carol Campbell at (813) 745-8434 or go to moffitt.org and click on "Volunteering at Moffitt.''
1825 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. Volunteers needed to feed birds in the afternoon, work in the gardens and file paperwork. Call Bill O'Grady at (727) 551-3148 or go to stpete.org/sunken and click on "Volunteer.''
Tampa Bay Harvest
Volunteers needed to pick up food from grocery stores and restaurants and deliver it to area shelters and food banks. Receptionist also needed to field messages left on voicemail. Anyone interested should leave a message at (813) 538-7777 or go to tampabayharvest.org.
United Way of Tampa Bay
Seeking volunteers for Hands on Tampa Bay, which offers participants their choice of dozens of volunteer projects each month at sites across the bay area. Call Sue Franzen at (813) 274-0999 or go to volunteertampabay.com.
Contributing: Sherri Day