Charity & Grassroots in Florida

Select Local Merchants

The Jacksonville Humane Society provides care, comfort and compassion to animals in need while bringing an end to the killing of abandoned and orphaned shelter dogs and cats. For a combined animal hospital, shelter and thrift store, this Beach Boulevard outpost is one of the largest animal rescue organizations in the city. Aside from adopting available animals, there are volunteer opportunities, fundraising events, a kid’s summer day camp program and a pet behavior resource and hotline, while the attached store sells all manner of animal-related items. The Jacksonville Humane Society has designated areas to view animals from adult dogs and a puppy room to the cat rooms.

8464 Beach Blvd
Jacksonville,
FL
US

In 1980, Harry and Darlene Kelton moved their houseboat to the Pelican Harbor Marina and discovered an injured brown pelican. Without the aid of animal-care experience, they removed a fishhook from his mouth and rehabilitated him. This led them to form the Pelican Harbor Seabird Station in their shed. With the help of volunteers and trained staff, the seabird station rescues, treats, and rehabilitates sick and injured wildlife, and promotes their preservation with educational programs and research efforts. The center specializes in brown pelicans, most of which are entangled in fishing tackle, but will treat any animal brought in for care. In 2007, they treated 87 bird species and 39 mammals, nonmigratory birds, reptiles, and amphibians.

1279 NE 79th St. Cswy.
Miami,
FL
US

Founder Carole Baskin never dreamt she'd one day oversee a 55-acre sanctuary inhabited by some of Earth's largest cats. In 1992, she and her late husband were at an exotic-animal auction seeking out llamas for their farm. A man had a 6-month-old bobcat that he could no longer care for, and the pair decided to give it a place to call home. They then traveled to a bobcat breeder for another playmate, but upon seeing the horrible conditions the animals were kept in, they bought all 56 kittens. They rehabilitated them back to health, and gave them permanent homes on their then-40-acre site. Soon, word of her knack for nurturing spread beyond the Tampa area, and callers began donating abandoned or orphaned cats. Her mission to save these animals also reached the ears and hearts of many celebrities, including contributors Harrison Ford and Bo Derek.

After 20 years of hard work and learning, Carole is still caring for abused and abandoned big cats at her rescue site, accommodating more than 100 medium and large creatures from bengal tigers and black leopards to lynx and lions. Her staff of volunteers helps care for the animals and leads groups in tours that educate visitors on the plight of these animals both in the wild and in captivity.

12802 Easy St
Tampa,
FL
US

Since opening in 1987, Great Explorations Children's Museum has sparked a love for learning for visitors of all ages with a constantly rotating lineup of interactive exhibits that fill 18,000 square feet with touch, light, and sound. Whether they're learning about nearby sea life at Beth's Beach, honing their knowledge of textures on a crawl through the Touch Tunnel, exploring arachnids in the Critter Cave, or playing instruments in the Musical Magical Treehouse, kids benefit from each exhibit's emphasis on interactivity. Museum guides lead lesson programs in a multidisciplinary style, though visitors can also find the friendly professionals and their orange polo shirts bouncing between exhibits while performing science experiments, dancing, and playing music.

In addition to visiting the museum's permanent exhibits, kids can also extend their learning journeys through the museum's lengthy list of camps and programs. The museum even takes its show on the road, with the Express Yourself Art Mobile bringing creative craft opportunities to neighborhoods around St. Petersburg.

1925 4th Street North
St. Petersburg,
FL
US

When Roald Dahl wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he imagined a much-coveted golden ticket that granted access to myriad wonders and unveiled the inner workings of an entire industry. Adele Fridman, founder of MetaBody, created a real-life version of that ticket with her MetaBody Yoga & Fitness Pass, though it applies to fitness instead of candy. The pass grants access not to a single gym but to classes at a variety of local studios, specializing in everything from yoga to boot camp. With the freedom to move from location to location, students can sample different regimens, instructors, and styles of exercise to cobble together a program that fits their needs and goals. MetaBody's nutritionists supplement class packages by coaching clients in healthy eating, recipe cooking, and speed-reading nutrition-fact labels.

7075 Kingspointe Pkwy
Orlando,
FL
US

Using only clean, natural water from one of the oldest and deepest aquifers in the southeastern United States, Quality Water Supply delivers rental coolers and fresh water supplies direct to customers' homes. For one month, clients get a cooler, which dispenses frosty liquid refreshment and saves them the trouble of siphoning it from a neighbor's sprinkler. One shipment of four 5-gallon jugs full of calcium- and magnesium-rich water, harnessed from a remote rural alcove of Florida, can quench the thirst of an average household for the entire month.

1700 N Monroe St
Tallahassee,
FL
US