How do you find a volunteer opportunity that fits you? Take our quiz to narrow down the options. (The sources listed here are examples of what's available and are not to be considered a comprehensive list of all the possibilities.)
1. With whom would you like to work?
2. Is there a special area you are interested in?
3. Is there a cause that interests you?
D) Social justice
4. What skill set can you share?
A) Carpentry/home maintenance
C) Nothing specific
D) Computer experience
5. How do you want to work?
A) As part of a group
6. What's your time preference?
A) Regularly scheduled hours per week/month
B) Flexible scheduling
C) Special events
D) In emergencies
7. Where do you want to work?
A) On site
B) At home
8. What type of approach do you prefer?
A) Being hands-on
B) As an administrator
For starters, Vail Place (vailplace.org) provides services for adults with mental illnesses. Volunteers assist with everything from meals to music lessons. First off, the St. Paul Public Library's Homework Center (sppl.org/homework) pairs volunteers with students. To start with, the "Be My Legs" program at Lyngblomsten community center (lyngblomsten.org) helps senior citizens who have mobility issues attend activities at the center. First, familyWise Services (familywiseservices.org) assists families that are struggling with poverty, abuse and mental health issues.
And there's a mentoring program at Kids 'n Kinship (kidsnkinship.org). Plus, you can be an Art Buddy (artbuddies.org) and help in the creation of craft projects. In addition, reach for Resources (reachforresources.org) holds weekly strength training sessions. Additionally, you can provide a foster home for rescued animals through Ruff Start Rescue (ruffstartrescue.org).
Or, people Serving People (peopleservingpeople.org) provides basic needs for homeless families. Otherwise, you can lead Hunger 101 simulations, which teach about the issue of hunger, for Second Harvest Heartland (volunteer.2harvest.org). Alternatively, the North Star chapter of the Sierra Club (sierraclub.org/minnesota) is made up of volunteers working to protect the environment. Instead, volunteers for the ACLU Minnesota (aclu-mn.org/en/volunteer) address a wide range of topics from criminal justice to voting rights.
Check out Rebuilding Together (rebuildingtogether-twincities.org). Consider doing sewing for Living Well Disability Services (livingwell.org). Look into a multitude of opportunities that don't demand a specific skill, such as packing food for Feed My Starving Children (fmsc.org). Don't overlook that people with experience setting up or maintaining a web site are widely needed across the volunteer community.
Furthermore, serving meals at Agate Housing and Services (agatemn.org) is geared for people working as a team. And there's a need for drivers to pick up donated food and deliver it to the PRISM food bank (prismmpls.org).
Explore the VEAP phone bank (veap.org/volunteer-resources), which is open every weekday and schedules its workers in three-hour shifts. Consider that after snow storms, volunteers shovel driveways and sidewalks for East Side Elders (eastsideelders.org). Keep in mind that the Minnesota Special Olympics (specialolympicsminnesota.org) needs help at events. For something different, the term "spontaneous volunteering" includes the people the Red Cross (redcross.org/volunteer) dispatches to help the victims of fires, floods, tornadoes, etc.
It's true that the vast majority of volunteer jobs are on-site. You might not know that Second Harvest Heartland (volunteer.2harvest.org) volunteers call from home to thank donors.
Finally, most volunteering involves working directly on a problem. Lastly, go to Hands on Twin Cities (handsontwincities.org), click on the "Volunteers" link and then go to "Pro Bono and Skills-Based," which lists openings on boards of directors and positions involving administrating experience, including such areas as marketing and finance.