Winter break is typically seen as time for students to rest and recharge after exams and spend time with friends and family. But winter break can also be a time for students to give back to the community through volunteering. There are tons of fun and unique volunteer opportunities all around Broward County during winter break, but here are just few opportunities to give your community service a kick-start.

Feeding the Hungry at the Jubilee Center 2015
When: Dec. 14-Dec. 18 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: 2020 Scott St., Hollywood

Give back to the community by volunteering to help prepare and serve food at the Jubilee Center in Hollywood. The Jubilee Center serves meals to over 150 individuals in need every day. Volunteers are discouraged from bringing personal items and must wear closed-toed shoes in order to participate. You must be 18 years or older to participate unless supervised by an adult.

If you can’t make a time commitment to volunteer, the Jubilee Center also accepts canned food donations. These donations will be used to create pantry boxes, which will be distributed to local families. The center needs items such as canned meats and vegetables, pasta, rice, soups and other nonperishable or shelf-stable items.

For more information, contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 954-920-0106 or

Gift Wrap at the Galleria Mall for Heart Gallery of Broward
When: Dec. 13-Dec. 23 from 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
Where: 2414 E Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale

The Heart Gallery of Broward will hold their annual gift wrapping booth at the Galleria Mall in Fort Lauderdale and are in need of multiple volunteers throughout the holiday shopping season to provide gift wrapping services to mall patrons. Volunteers must be 18 or older to participate or must be 12 years old and accompanied by an adult. No gift wrapping experience is required to volunteer.

The Heart Gallery is a traveling photography exhibit displaying photographs of children in foster care within Broward County that are available for adoption. All proceeds earned from the booth will be put toward the Heart Gallery’s Christmas Wish program. The Christmas Wish program provides children in foster care with small gifts or experiences during the holiday season.

For more information, contact the Heart Gallery at 954-918-3008.

Movies, Muffins & Beyond
When: Dec. 18 from 7-9 p.m.
Where: 15 SE 15th St., Fort Lauderdale

Join the families at the Ronald McDonald House in Fort Lauderdale for a night of movies, baking and fun. Volunteers are needed to help bake and decorate cupcakes for families in need and are asked to donate one can of frosting or some type of cupcake decoration, such as sprinkles or small candies. Families staying at the Ronald McDonald House will join volunteers in baking and watching movies throughout the night.

Volunteers must be 13 or older in order to participate or must be 9 years old and accompanied by an adult. Before signing up, you must have completed a HandsOn Broward New Volunteer Orientation. Sessions are offered online or in person. Please see for upcoming orientation dates and locations.

For more information, contact the Ronald McDonald House of Fort Lauderdale at 1-877-RMHC-735 (764-2735) or email

Gardening for the community at Dania Beach Patch
Dec. 19 from 8-11:30 a.m.
Where: 1200 NW First St., Dania Beach

Give back to the community right outside of NSU’s doors by volunteering at the Dania Beach Garden Patch. Volunteers are needed to assist in the maintenance of the patch’s above ground garden system by replacing soil, weeding and harvesting crops. Volunteers must wear closed-toed shoes and are encouraged to bring reusable water bottles, sun hats and sunscreen. Ice water and healthy snacks are provided for all volunteers.

You must be 16 or older to work at the patch or must be at least 8 years old and accompanied by an adult.

For more information, contact Teina Phillips at 954-561-9681, ext. 1325.

Eco Action Day at Anne Kolb Nature Center
Dec. 19 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Where: 751 Sheridan St., Hollywood

Enjoy Florida’s winter weather and help the environment at the Anne Kolb Nature Center’s Eco Action Day. Volunteers are needed for outdoor work, including maintenance and removal of vegetation around the park. All volunteers must come dressed in appropriate clothing and closed-toed shoes. The minimum age to participate is 18 or 14 if accompanied by an adult.

The Anne Kolb Nature Center asks that each volunteer arrive with a signed and completed Broward County Workday Volunteer Application, which can be found at

For more information, contact Joanne Howes at 954-357-5174 or
Holiday Fantasy of Lights 2015
When: Dec. 13-Jan. 2 from 5:30-10 p.m.
Where: 3600 W. Sample Road, Coconut Creek

Get into the holiday spirit by volunteering at the Holiday Fantasy of Lights show. The show is a drive-thru holiday-themed light show at Tradewinds Park in Coconut Creek. Volunteers are needed to act as greeters, cashiers and traffic flow assistants throughout the night.

Volunteers are encouraged to dress appropriately for the weather and wear close-toed shoes, as well as wear the mandatory safety vest provided. All volunteers must be over the age of 16 unless accompanied by an adult.

For more information, contact Steve Klein at 954-971-7155.

Animal and Farm Care at FRIENDS Ranch 2015
Dec. 15, Dec. 17, Dec. 19 and Dec. 20 from 12:30-5:30 p.m.
Where: 19801 Sheridan St., Fort Lauderdale

FRIENDS Ranch is horse sanctuary in Fort Lauderdale in need of volunteers to assist in the care of their rescue animals and maintenance of their facilities at the ranch. Volunteers will help with tasks such a cleaning stalls or feeding animals. After the preliminary labor is done, volunteers will then be able to care for and interact with the rescue animals and assist in bathing, grooming and general upkeep of the animals.

Before volunteering, you must complete a new volunteer orientation/training session hosted by the Ranch. The Ranch hosts these sessions on the first and third Saturday of every month at 1 p.m. First time volunteers must also present a signed waiver and valid form of ID at their first session.

For more information, call the FRIENDS Ranch at 954-492-0168.

Visit to sign up for any of these service opportunities.


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