Where Can I Volunteer In Seattle?
Last Updated on October 19, 2019 by Estrella
One of the comments I often hear from international clients is that many people volunteer in Seattle. Not only in ESL Talk Time groups, but all kinds of projects. Over 30% of Washington residents volunteer. If you are new to Seattle, and interested in volunteering, there are lots of opportunities, both long and short term. To answer your question “Where can I volunteer in Seattle?” here is an overview.
Places to volunteer in Seattle
Seattle Credit Union wrote a helpful article entitled 52 Places to Volunteer in Seattle. You can find opportunities in quite a few areas: education, art, health, animal welfare, environment, community, hunger, housing. I’ll go briefly into some of these below.
Volunteer for education
The Somali Community Services Coalition hosts an after school tutoring program for students everyday of the week during the school year. You can also be involved with their Summer Adventure program.
Atlantic Street Center has a range of volunteer positions. You can tutor children in reading and math, sewing to parents, and ESL.
High school students and adults who love books can volunteer for the Seattle Public Library. You may write book reviews, design posters to encourage teens to read, facilitate book groups, to name a few.
Volunteering for healthcare
Seattle Children’s Hospital uses many volunteers. The positions vary from playing therapeutic games with children, help in the gift shop, greeting parents, office support. Many years ago, I volunteered to care for premature babies in the evening, after their parents have gone home. Volunteers actually have to put their names on the waiting list, unless you are willing to take a late night shift.
Lifelong helps individuals living with or at risk with HIV or other chronic diseases. They need volunteers to help in the kitchen, deliver meals, organize food donations, and special events.
Full Life is dedicated to adding to the quality of life of frail elders and people with chronic or terminal illness and disabilities. You can entertain with music, bring in therapy dogs, and be involved with one-on-one visits with isolated adults.
Volunteering for art
Youth in Focus helps disadvantaged youth develop their personal voice, positive identity, and social skills through photography. Volunteers help mentor and manage the dark room, hang art for galleries, and mentoring photography classes.
The Seattle Symphony volunteers greet patrons before concerts, pick up guest artists from the airport, give tours of Benaroya Hall, and more.
Volunteers for housing
ROOTS Young Adult Shelter needs volunteers to set up and clean up shelter areas, prepare and serve meals, hand out supplies, and build positive relationships with guests.
DESC provides emergency shelter beds and apartments to those who are homeless. Volunteers help guests with resumes, sort and organize clothing donations, lead social activities, to name a few.
Seattle Animal Shelter, Seattle Humane, and PAWS need volunteers to foster pets, help with events, care for animals, and administrative support.
One of my neighbors fosters dogs until they are adopted. Some of these dogs are healing from medical care, or simply need a home until someone adopts them.
Volunteering for food banks
Food Lifeline‘s goal is to end hunger in Western Washington. They need volunteers to pick up food donations, sort and pack food, help with events and administrative work. HopeLink is another organization to end poverty. They also need volunteers for their food banks. Quite a few food banks need volunteers.
There are programs serving high-need schools, to make sure students in need have food outside of school. Many wonderful programs want to help care for people in our community.
In addition to the opportunities in this article by Seattle Credit Union, there is one by Yelp called Top 10 Best Volunteer Opportunities in Seattle. Seattle Works has a volunteer opportunity calendar. And if you want to involve your entire family, here is a list on Seattle Family Volunteer Opportunities.
If you find this article helpful, here is one on How to make friends with your neighbors.
Estrella Chan coaches immigrants and international professionals in English fluency, interview skills, and public speaking. To schedule a session with her, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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