Maybe you have some extra time on your hands, or maybe you’re just in the giving spirit. All we know is there are more than enough great causes in Portland to give your time to. Whether you’re an animal lover, an artsy type, a natural mentor, or a healthcare enthusiast — there’s a nearby volunteer opportunity for you. Here are over 35 ways to get involved in Portland.
If you want to help your neighbors in need
- Operation Nightwatch | Serve coffee, essential supplies, and social connection to the center’s nightly guests.
- Blanchet House | Serve meals, sort clothing, prep produce, pack care kits, be a guest chef, or help out at Blanchet Farm in Carlton.
- Community Partners for Affordable Housing | Give your time and experience to help this organization connect people who are unhoused with a place to call home.
- Habitat for Humanity ReStore | Put your individual interests and skills to work at a local ReStore where proceeds support Habitat for Humanity’s partnerships with families to create safe, affordable housing.
- Family Promise of Metro East | There are volunteer opportunities for every skill set, from writing newsletters to entering data into computer programs — all you need is a passion for helping families and children experiencing homelessness.
- Meals on Wheels People | Deliver meals to homebound seniors, help alleviate social isolation, make wellness check calls, or help with home projects.
If you’re passionate about supporting local minority groups
- KairosPDX | Program ambassadors work to break down structural racism through policy advocacy, professional development services and hands-on learning at the flagship community school and through family engagement programs.
- Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization | Empower immigrants and refugees to build new lives and become self-sufficient by helping with a range of programs, from after-school education to employment outreach.
- Urban League of Portland | Make a positive impact in the Black community by pledging your time to one of Oregon’s oldest civil rights and social service organizations focused on housing, health, education, and jobs.
- Coalition of Communities of Color | Drive social change by helping conduct research to better understand socioeconomic gaps, institutional racism and inequity of services.
- Wild Diversity | Connect BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ communities with the outdoors through adventures, education, and workshops.
For the outdoorsy types
- Albina Coop Garden | Grow and harvest fruit and vegetables on this two-acre community plot where produce is donated to those in need.
- Friends of Tryon Creek State Park | Become a Nature Center Ambassador and help greet and educate guests, or hike, plant trees, and remove weeds as a Fall Land Steward.
- Green Lents | Cultivate pollinator-friendly plants, assist with workshops, join a community orchard work party, become a Tool Library librarian, and more.
- Friends of Trees | Plant trees across urban and rural areas or lead a team of planting volunteers.
- Trailkeepers of Oregon | Join a Trail Party, become a Trail Ambassador, or enroll in Trailkeepers University to help maintain trails on public lands for others to enjoy.
Natural-born teachers + mentors
- Minds Matter Portland | Support accomplished high school students in low-income communities through SAT/ACT test prep, critical thinking, and math tutoring, or make a three-year commitment to mentoring a sophomore through graduation.
- The Shadow Project | Help make school more accessible and engaging for K-8 students with learning challenges like dyslexia, ADHD, autism, and trauma through in-person and virtual opportunities.
- Washington County Juvenile Department STEP Mentoring Program | Make a difference in the lives of at-risk youth through one-on-one mentoring for at least six months.
- Friends of the Children Portland | Provide support to paid, professional mentors who build lasting relationships with youth who have faced a lot of adversity.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest | Mentor a child one-on-one out in the community or encourage your employer to become a workspace partner where kids visit twice a month.
If you’re an animal lover
- Oregon Humane Society | Join a volunteer force of more than 2,000 people who help keep the shelter operating by fostering animals, supporting youth education programs, taking dogs for runs, and more.
- The Pixie Project | Walk dogs, play with cats, help with cleaning, talk to the public at community events, or transport animals and donations.
- Family Dogs New Life Shelter | Represent the shelter at local events and fundraisers, foster a pup in need, take dogs for walks, and more.
- Animal Aid |Foster a dog or cat at your home, spend time socializing with animals at the shelter, provide administrative assistance, or help streamline adoptions.
- Multnomah County Animal Services | Volunteer needs are updated frequently and range from daily laundry tasks to providing a safe foster home.
- Washington County Animal Services | Once you complete the Animal Service Academy, you can help answer animal welfare questions within your community and represent WCAS and the Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter at community events.
- Deaf Dogs of Oregon | By fostering a deaf dog, you can help give it a second chance and get it ready for a permanent home — a tough, but rewarding journey.
- Project POOCH | Spread the word about the organization’s work to pair incarcerated youth with shelter dogs in need of training.
If you live + breathe Portland
- Hands On Greater Portland | Spend whatever time you can supporting your community in various ways, from restoring nature parks to repairing children’s books.
- Weird Portland United | Share your experience to help this ultra-Portland group with writing, copy editing, event coordinating, outreach, and more.
- Write Around Portland | Help produce books featuring writings from workshop participants by typing, copy editing, proofing, selecting pieces, and choosing book covers.
- Team First Book Portland | From fundraising events to selecting book grant recipients, there are many ways to help this group get new books to local children in need.
- The Children’s Book Bank | Reminisce about your favorite children’s books and bond with other volunteers at book cleaning sessions.
If you’re interested in healthcare
- Adventist Health Portland | Give back to your community, interact with others, and become involved in truly meaningful service.
- American Red Cross Cascades Region | Donate your time and compassion through blood collection support or by joining the disaster action team, supporting the organization’s mission to provide disaster relief and emergency care.
- Borland Free Clinic | Share your administrative, medical, or interpreting skills with patients.
If you have a passion for disabled community members
- L’Arche Portland | Support the organization’s commitment to welcoming difference and celebrating unique gifts by helping carry out home chores, yard work, annual events, data entry, and more.
- Special Olympics Oregon | Volunteer to help with everything from coaching and program management to events and administrative support.
For the social butterflies
- Oregon Public Broadcasting | Support the continuation of public media by volunteering at membership drives or special events, contributing content, or filling an administrative need.
- Oregon Maritime Museum | Share your interest in learning and enthusiasm for the museum’s collections and exhibits by working on the engine of a historic sternwheeler, leading tours, staffing the museum store, writing grants, and more.