People helping people helping people

Volunteers Needed!

We have a variety of programs and volunteer opportunities available. Contact us to learn how you can help!

Adult Literacy

The mission of the Lake Wales Literacy Council is to improve the literacy of adults so that they may be more productive citizens in the Lake Wales community. Services are provided through one-on-one tutoring and small group instruction by trained volunteer instructors.

ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages)

Classes Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:00am-11am
First Presbyterian Church
16 N 3rd St, Lake Wales

Contact us for more details
(863) 676-5767

Basic Needs for Short-Term Crisis

Lake Wales Care Center exists because our neighbors care about what happens to those in our community. As a result of their care, neighbors share their time, dollars, food, and household goods with those who have needs.

Lake Wales Care Center serves as the bridge between those who can share today, and those who have needs today. The hope is that those who have needs today will one day be able to reach out and share with someone else.

You can discover more about our Family Services & Basic Needs program below.

Basic Needs

On a limited basis, we are able to provide an opportunity for those in our community who are facing an unexpected loss of income or an unexpected necessary expense.
We provide this through a CARE plan, which often includes:

  • Volunteer Hours
  • Pay back agreements
  • Home visits
  • Life skills class attendance (finance, relationships, etc.)

In order for us to fairly evaluate the circumstances of each family’s situation as we look to develop a CARE plan opportunity, the family will be asked to provide documentation of the following information:

  • Income from employment, disability, SSI, Social Security, child support, pensions, retirement account, TANF, and any other income source
  • Mortgage, rent, and utility payments
  • Food Stamps
  • Other income and expenses which impact the family’s budget (such as receipts for unexpected expenses)
Life Skills Classes

Lake Wales Care Center is proud to offer a 4-class series on Life Skills to help individuals to meet the challenges of everyday life.

The mission of Life Skills classes is to help individuals develop confidence, and to take responsibility for their own health and overall well-being. Life Skills emphasizes defining healthy relationships, financial planning, employability and developing a healthy lifestyle.

Life Skills classes are held weekly and are open to the public. Please contact our main office at 863-676-6678 for a class schedule.

Class Descriptions:

  • Relationships: This class offers thoughts on how and why we were created for relationships with God, self, and then others. We discuss practical ways to enhance all three of those relationships, as well as learn how we individually give and receive love.
  • Finance: It is an unfortunate truth that for many of us, we are enslaved to our financial situation. The Finance Class gives helpful information that can begin to transform you to being the master of your finances. Budgeting, the importance of saving, misuse of credit cards and other important topics are covered.
  • Employability: This hour long class is for individuals who are unemployed or seek to have better employment. It reviews job seeking principles that help develop a clear path to gain employment.
  • Health: Many people are unhealthy because they do not understand serving size proportions of packaged food or the amount of sodium and sugar they should limit in their diet on a daily basis. This class focuses on the importance of what’s on your plate as well as understanding the nutrition facts on a food label. We offer hands on experience in reading food labels and help individuals to become more aware of how to make necessary changes to reduce sodium and sugar with an emphasis on paying attention to serving size.
Wellness for Life

The Wellness for Life program by Lake Wales Care Center is made possible through funding from Polk County’s voter-approved ½ cent sales tax for indigent health care.

This innovative program empowers participants to set and achieve holistic health goals encompassing the mind, body, soul, and spirit. Through a mix of group classes, personalized sessions, and engaging workshops, participants will gain valuable insights into key areas such as physical fitness, nutrition, self-care, and budget-friendly food planning. As a reward for completing core sessions, each participant earns vouchers for fresh produce from a local vendor, supporting personal wellness and the community.

Join us on this journey to build an all-around healthy life! **Qualifying Details Apply**

*Group classes are offered multiple days and times a week, so you can find one that fits your schedule. For more information, please call (863) 676-5767 or email*

Lake Wales Care Center’s Wellness for Life program and United Way of Central Florida are a recipient of and partially funded by Polk County’s voter-approved 1/2 cent sales tax for indigent health care.

If you have a need please contact Care Center’s Main Office at 863-676-6678 to schedule an appointment with a case manager

Bicycle Ministry

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving” – Albert Einstein

Did you know the Care Center repairs bikes? What started out as a small volunteer endeavor to fix up some donated bikes has turned into a much larger ministry.  Besides just repairing bikes, this program teaches valuable job and life skills.  The Bicycle Ministry has also partnered with the local Lake Wales Police Department in developing bicycle safety and awareness, as well as local schools to facilitate on the job training for those with special needs.

Bicycle donations have been tremendous over the past year helping to fill a much needed resource of reliable transportation for many in our community. Bikes may be given to neighbors in need or sold to raise funds to support other Care Center ministries. These bike donations supply our area with a wide range of bicycles from fun and inexpensive to high end road bikes. Care Center Thrift Stores in Dundee and Lake Wales are wonderful place to purchase bicycles for a great price. All bicycles have been professionally serviced and are ready to ride.

There are many ways to support this new ministry. 

  • Donate an old bike
  • Volunteer with the Bike Ministry
  • Purchase a bike through one of the Thrift Stores or online at Facebook Marketplace 
  • Sponsor a Bicycle for a Neighbor in Need ($125)
  • Join us for a Community Ride on the 4th Saturday of each month (201 N Scenic Hwy, Lake Wales, 8am)

To learn more, please contact Mike or Dwayne – 863-676-6678 ext1401 or email


Choices Pregnancy Care

Vision: That every pregnant family in Lake Wales would view abortion as unnecessary because of the love and support of the community.

Mission: Our mission is to foster a community that provides practical resources and emotional and spiritual support to those facing an unplanned pregnancy by providing education, information, diagnostic testing, material aid, and mentoring.

We are located at: 
210 Dr. J A Wiltshire Ave E
Lake Wales, FL 33853

Contact us at:
Choices Office: 863-949-6360 / 863-354-0852 (text only)

Community Garden

Have you always wanted to grow a garden at your home?

Would you prefer to be a part of a community garden with your neighbors?

We have expanded our Community Garden Program to include home gardens and a community garden location! We believe gardening is an activity people of all ages can enjoy. Whether you would like a home garden or are looking to connect with your neighbors at our community garden location we have an open spot for YOU.

Membership Benefits
  • Seeds & plants provided for you
  • Garden workshops & classes for you
  • Gardening experts to help you
  • Opportunities for entrepreneurial activities
  • Enjoy fresh food that you grow from a seed to a mature plant
  • Get active while enjoying working in your garden
  • Relax as you care for your plants
  • Build community while you work together with your fellow gardeners
  • Make a positive impact in your community & the environment
  • Learning Opportunities

There is a place for people of all skills levels. Learn from workshops led by gardening experts about topics such as starting seeds, pest control, planting and caring for your plants, seed saving, composting and canning. There are many opportunities to increase your knowledge and to share what you know with others.

Home Garden

Learn how to grow your favorite flowers, herbs, vegetables and fruits in your own backyard. We can help you build a garden that fits your home space.

We will also assign a gardening expert to mentor you along the way to a great harvest!

Community Garden

Have you always wanted to grow your own flowers, fruits, vegetables, and herbs with the support of your community and neighbors?


Lake Wales Care Center has a community garden! Registration forms are accepted all year round.

Get Involved & Grow!

Get the support you need to learn how to grow your own produce and save money. You don’t have to be a gardener to join. New gardeners welcome! Whether you are interested in a home or community garden, please contact us to learn more!

There is a seasonal fee to participate in the Home & Community Garden Program. This fee will cover garden materials. Scholarship options are available.


We are now accepting applications for the next planting season! SPACE IS LIMITED SO ACT NOW!

To learn more, please email or
call 863-676-6678 for more information.


Community Kitchen

Each Sunday, families or individuals that may need a little encouragement and a good meal come to enjoy a delicious Sunday dinner in Care Center’s Community Room. Several churches and family groups alternate weeks in providing the Sunday meal.

Typically upwards of 100 guests attend the Community Kitchen. The volunteers from the groups and churches have the opportunity to fellowship and encourage these families. After the meal, guests may choose to attend prayer and scripture reading.

Community Kitchen is held every Sunday at 12:30pm at 200 E Crystal Ave, Lake Wales, FL 

If your church or group is interested in participating in the Community Kitchen, please call Care Center at 863-676-6678 to find out how!

Enterprise Programs

Surplus Thrift Stores

Open to the general public, our Lake Wales and Dundee Thrift Stores, help families stretch their income.

Our thrift stores rely on people like you to donate usable goods for resale. Your charitable donations help us to provide for those in need and fund our outreach programs.

By donating usable items like clothing, furniture, dishes and more, you can keep items out of the landfills and help create a greener way of life for everyone. By shopping at our thrift stores, you help support our great causes and help the earth, too!

39 W. Park Avenue, LAKE WALES

29696 US HWY 27, DUNDEE, FL

It’s never been easier to donate in-kind gifts. Check out the ways you can donate goods below!

  1. Drop-off: The following locations are available for drop-off Monday-Friday 9:00AM-5:00PM, Saturday 9:00AM-3:00PM (We humbly ask that items are not left after closing hours)
    Lake Wales Thrift Store:
    39 W. Park Avenue, Lake Wales, FL – Call 863-678-0245
    Dundee Thrift Store:
    29696 US Hwy 27, Dundee, FL – Call 863-439-6000
  2. Schedule a FREE pickup of large usable items in good condition – Call 863-676-6678 today!

1/2 price clothes every Thursday at both store locations!

We would like to share a list of tips on thrift store shopping with you! If you have any other great tips that we should include in the list below, feel free to contact us and let us know and we can add them to the website!

Write down measurements of your family and yourself. Having this list handy while shopping will help save time and money by allowing you to purchase items that you know will fit.

Stop in Frequently! Inventory is being placed on our floors not only daily but sometimes hourly! You never know when you will find that perfect treasure!

Be Patient! Sometimes you won’t find exactly what you are looking for, but if you are patient that item will appear sometime, and you will be glad you were patient!

Be prepared to dig for goodies! Some thrifts will just throw things in bins and you will have to dig through to find your treasure.

Ask about our Sales! Sometimes there are sales or deals!

Ask about Decor. Some items used for decor are for sale too, just ask!

Kathryn's Christian Book Store

Join us for a cup of coffee and a bite of Ice Cream while browsing the incredible selection of books, journals, gifts, and much more!

Bookstore Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 10am – 2:00pm
Friday: 10am – 7pm
Saturday: 10am – 5pm
Closed Sunday

Follow us on social media for updates, deals, and events!

Facebook: @kathrynschristianbooks
Instagram: @kathryns_christian_books

Shop our online store at

Antiques & Oddities

Antiques & Oddities is a collection of hand picked items that have come in as donations.

Store Times

Every Friday 1-5pm
Every Saturday 9am-2pm

201 N Scenic Hwy
Lake Wales, FL 33853

For photos and events visit us on Facebook!

Online Stores

Online Bookstore
Shop our online bookstore at ( and support Lake Wales Care Center. Donated books are sorted and sold to raise funds for other Care Center programs.

Follow us on Facebook today!(

Support Care Center with ALL of your online shopping!

Make all of your purchases count with AmazonSmile. AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support LAKE WALES CARE CENTER every time you shop, at no cost to you.

When you shop at, you’ll find the same convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to Lake Wales Care Center Inc.

Helping is simple and easy. Here’s how:

Head over to (, log in or sign up and choose LAKE WALES CARE CENTER ID#: 59-2015847 as your charitable organization of choice. If you’re already logged in to, simply CLICK HERE.

Using a new or existing Amazon account, browse the website’s wide selection of products with the same low prices and convenient shopping features as

Each time you shop for qualifying items 0.5% of your purchase will be donated to LAKE WALES CARE CENTER, allowing us to continue serving individuals and families in our community.

Help us create lasting change. Start shopping and spread the word! The more you shop at AmazonSmile with LAKE WALES CARE CENTER in mind, the more financial support will be generated to help our mission. On behalf of the individuals and families that will benefit from your gift, thank you!

Volunteer With Us!


      • Lake Wales Thrift Store
      • Dundee Thrift Store
      • Online Book Warehouse
      • Kathryn’s Christian Books & More
      • Meals on Wheels
      • & many other program areas!

For more information, contact Kareen Pickett, Volunteer Coordinator at 863-676-6678 ext 1303 or

Sign up to Volunteer here!

Holiday Assistance

Holidays are a special time of year at Care Center where many volunteers come together to provide a little extra blessing to local families during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hundreds of families are assisted during the holiday season through our annual food drive, Christmas gifts that are provided to children, and more.

VOLUNTEERS are always a huge asset, but this is especially true during the holidays! They help keep Care Center rolling by packing food boxes, delivering gifts and food to families, wrapping Christmas gifts, and more.

During the 2022 Thanksgiving and Christmas season, Care Center assisted 501 families, providing them with Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, as well as gifts for their children! A total of 549 children were provided toys to enjoy, as well as books and games! The community donated over 59,171 pounds of food for our holiday food drive. We are blessed to be a part of such a CARING community. Thank you! 

If you would like to volunteer during the 2023 Holiday Season, please email for more info.

If you would like to receive holiday assistance this year, please contact Care Center’s Main Office at 863-676-6678 to schedule an appointment with a case manager.

Home Repairs

When a homeowner cannot physically or financially do home repair projects on their own, Care Center volunteers are able to offer their services. Volunteers help with projects such as installing handrails, building wheelchair ramps, and more.  

Roofing houses and exterior painting are done over the summer when groups are able to serve in this special way. Homeowners are grateful, not only for the outcome, but also for the hearts behind those who serve.

Lake Wales Free Clinic

Qualified individuals can receive care for chronic conditions and access to interventions.

Lake Wales Free Clinic is located at the corner of Dr J A Wiltshire Avenue and Scenic Highway in Lake Wales.

Interested? Call for more information or to schedule an appointment!
Call the Free Clinic at (863) 676-1222. 

Lake Wales Free Clinic Fax: (863) 676-1226

Se habla español.

What is the Lake Wales Free Clinic?

Lake Wales Free Clinic is a quality provider of charitable health care to those individuals who have no insurance and/or meet income eligibility requirements.

What services are provided?
  • Acute and chronic care of adult patients
  • Referrals for specialty care
  • Blood STD testing
  • Smoking cessation classes
  • Diabetes education classes
  • Cardiology appointments available, contact clinic for more info 
What services are NOT provided?
  • Obstetric and gynecological care
  • Immunizations
  • Pediatric care
  • Prescribing or dispensing of narcotic medication
Who qualifies for services?
  • Income must not exceed 200% of FIPL (Federal Income Poverty Level)
  • Individuals must reside in Polk County
  • New patients must bring photo identification
What is the cost?

All services are FREE to those who qualify. Services are provided by local professional volunteers who are committing their time to help those in need. There may be a separate expense at a local pharmacy for prescribed medications. Providers do their best to prescribe the least expensive medications.

What are the hours of operation?

Monday & Thursday Evenings: Sign-in from 1pm-2pm
Dermatology Clinic Third Monday of the Month, 4:30, in conjunction with primary health care

Who can volunteer, and how can I become a volunteer?

The clinic is always recruiting medical professionals as well as non-medical concerned citizens who would like an opportunity to serve. Non-medical volunteer opportunities include office reception, data entry, intake qualifying, and foreign language translation. Medical professional volunteers needed include medical doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, certified nursing assistants, medical assistants, pharmacists, or pharmacy technicians.
Medical professionals that volunteer and work at the Free Clinic are covered for liability under Sovereign Immunity by the Department of Health under the Volunteer Healthcare Provider Program, s. 766.1115, F.S.

If interested in volunteering, please fill out a Care Center by Clicking Here.

Leadership Development & Internships

Students and young people make up this great team, which spends its time exploring the various aspects of social ministry. Participants can expect to take part in multiple programs offered by Care Center. Each session is tailored to the needs of the individual participant, as well as the goals of the group.

Speicalized Intership: Participants have the opportunity to develop their career goals in fields such as social work, ministry, business, youth outreach, facility management, community development, and many other areas. Recurring 1 month – 1-year sessions. Start date dependent on the needs of the participant.

Care Corps

Care Corps Details:

  • Full immersion program consisting of daily service-related activities, individually tailored to match interests and career goals
  • Training and educational opportunities
  • Discipleship experience
  • Mentoring for professional and personal growth
  • 12-16 week sessions as follows:
  • Fall/Winter: Mid-September – End of December
  • Winter/Spring: Mid-January – Mid-April
  • Summer: Mid-May – Mid-August
  • Housing and stipend options available

To apply for Care Corps:
Lake Wales Care Center Care Corps Application

For more information, please contact Kevin Jones at


Academic internships are available for a wide variety of majors, including, but not limited to, social work (MSW’s on staff), marketing, business, community development, non-profit management, etc.

Academic interns will receive supervised training in a clinical setting involving individual, group, and couples counseling, intake, and crisis prevention.

To apply for an Academic Internship:

Lake Wales Care Center Intern Application

For more information, please contact Kevin Jones at

Meals on Wheels

Serving the greater Lake Wales area since 1988

What is Meals-On-Wheels?

Meals-On-Wheels provides one well-balanced meal every weekday. Meals are prepared daily by AdventHealth in Lake Wales, and delivered to the recipients’ homes by volunteer drivers Monday – Friday. Meals-On-Wheels has been active in Lake Wales since 1973, but has been a service of the Lake Wales Care Center since 1988.

What Will I Get with Meals-On-Wheels?

A well-balanced lunch meal. Meals consist of a hot entree, vegetables, salad, dessert, and a drink. Drivers delivering meals provide someone to look in on recipients daily and make sure they are well. Lake Wales Care Center also informs recipients of any other services that may be beneficial for them.

Who Qualifies for Meals?

Individuals who have physical limitations, have hardship in preparing meals, are recovering from surgery and are temporarily unable to fix meals for themselves. This program is open to any income and/or age level. Referrals come from relatives, friends, doctors, or the individual.

What areas do we serve?

Meals-On-Wheels serves the greater Lake Wales area including (but not limited to): Indian Lake Estates, Saddlebag Lake Resort, Fedhaven, Lakeshore, Nalcrest, Lake Ashton, Babson Park, Dundee, Frostproof and South Lake Wales. You can contact the MOW coordinator to verify that you are in the service area.

What is the cost?

The cost is $5.00 per meal. Also, there is a sliding fee scale for those who qualify.

How do I start to receive Meals-On-Wheels?

Contact the coordinator by phone or visit the Care Center’s main office at 140 E. Park Avenue in Lake Wales. The coordinator will then contact the individual by phone or by home visit to explain the program and complete the application. Once the application is complete, the recipient will then begin to receive up to six meals per week. Payments can be make weekly or monthly in the form of check or cash.

Transitional Housing


The Transitional Housing Program is an opportunity to give individuals and families hope for a future. The purpose is to help those in need develop Christ-like maturity by providing structure, discipleship, fellowship, encouragement and life skills in a Christian environment. The Program is a bridge to help those achieve a life they desire; a life to become an independent and productive member of our community. 

Some aspects of the Transitional Housing Program are Spiritual Guidance, Weekly Case Management, Financial Budgeting, Time Management, Life Planning, Education Goals, Nutrition Classes/Guidance, Health Care Coverage, Recovery Sessions, Clinical Therapy for Depression, Anxiety, Grief/Loss & Anger Management and Job Seeking/ Resume Writing Guidance.

Apartments are completely furnished, including a kitchen, beds (and linens), living room furniture, and a television (cable not included). All facilities have a playground area for children. There is a free laundry facility on site, as well as free WiFi.

Care Center’s Transitional Housing facilities include:

      • Care House
      • Care Haven
      • Care Casa
      • Care Hacienda
      • Two additional single family dwellings

If you are interested in being a part of the Transitional Housing program, please call us at 863-676-6678 to make an appointment to meet with a case worker.

Youth Service Camps

In order for a community to grow and be vibrant, we understand that developing youth plays an integral role in any community. Lake Wales Care Center offers several opportunities for such growth.

Check out our youth programs below:

Youth Service Camps

  SAHWC started in 1985 with just a handful of individuals completing yard work for their neighbors. The original goal was to provide services to homeowners who ordinarily could not afford such services. It has since evolved into three week-long camps, each with about one hundred campers and counselors, yet the goal remains the same. The campers stay at a Lake Wales facility, either Camp Endeavor or the h.e.a.r.t. Village. During the day, campers visit local homeowners and complete various home repairs, including painting, yard maintenance, and yes, even roof repair.

Campers can expect to work hard, enjoy downtime with each other, and grow together during worship and devotion.

This is not the only time Care Center facilitates home repair projects. In fact, qualified homeowners can receive home repair help throughout the year for everything from leaky faucets to wheelchair ramps. Small repairs are completed by skilled volunteers, while large projects are reserved for groups and camps.


SAHWC 2024 Dates:
Camp 1: June 9-14 (Endeavor) – Register Here 
Camp 2: July 7-12 (h.e.a.r.t.) – Register Here
Camp 3: July 21-26 (h.e.a.r.t.) – Register Here 
SAHWC Mav: July 30-Aug 1 (Mission Awareness Venture) – Register Here


For more information contact Sarah at or call 863-676-6678 ext. 1225

ThanksLiving Camp

6th-12th graders participating in service oriented projects around the community.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to serve during the holiday season!

2023 ThanksLiving Date: 

November 19-21 

Register Here