Written by Michele Wheat
Volunteering is good for everyone. Helping others makes adults, kids, and seniors feel better about themselves, and it's also a great way to learn new skills and discover new interests and aptitudes. Kids and teenagers often discover interests or talents through their volunteer work that they wouldn't have otherwise recognized. Often, people aren't sure about how to start volunteering or where to find a good match for their interests or skills, but there are plenty of opportunities available. National organizations often have outposts scattered across the country, and many charity organizations and other nonprofits now offer work-from-home volunteer opportunities, too.
Find Volunteer Opportunities Near You
The United Way is one of the largest charities in the world. They offer volunteer opportunities that range from assisting in ending human trafficking to reading to kids at neighborhood schools.
Volunteer to Help Animals
The Humane Society needs help across the country to care for animals in their charge. Those shy around pets can help out with administrative tasks.
Become a Volunteer With the Special Olympics
These competitions are vitally important to the participants. Volunteers of all ages are welcome to apply to help out.
Red Cross Volunteer Opportunities
The Red Cross always needs volunteers to work in their volunteer response teams and to staff blood drives.
Become a Big Brother or Sister
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America works to recruit mentors for kids who need extra support.
Volunteer With Meals on Wheels
Nine million seniors deal with food insecurity. Meals on Wheels delivers warm meals to seniors, who sometimes are as hungry for company as they are the food.
Want to Volunteer at a Food Bank?
Feeding America partners with food banks across the country to help make sure people in need can eat. These food banks need volunteers to package food and staff food giveaway days.
Smithsonian Digital Volunteers
Not living near one of the Smithsonian museums is no reason for people interested in them not to volunteer. These institutions need remote volunteers to help with a variety of tasks. One important task they need help with is transcribing old documents.
How to Volunteer With Habitat for Humanity Near You
Habitat for Humanity builds homes for people who otherwise couldn't afford a home of their own. These builds take place across the country, and even people who have never before held a drill are welcome to volunteer to help carry out all of the tasks involved in building or renovating a home.
Volunteer at the Y
More than 200,000 people volunteer at YMCAs across the country each year. Teens, seniors, and adults are all welcome to pitch in.
Volunteers at UNICEF
UNICEF asks for volunteers with college degrees. The United Nations-affiliated organization offers the chance to do good to volunteers while also allowing them to expand their professional networks.
Volunteer to Save Lives
The American Cancer Society makes it easy to find volunteer opportunities across the country. Along with the chance to work at fundraisers, they also have many virtual volunteering opportunities.
Volunteer With Doctors Without Borders
Médecins Sans Frontières, better known as Doctors Without Borders, is known for sending medical professionals to where they are needed around the globe. The organization also needs non-medical staff volunteers to help out in its New York office and remotely.
Get Involved With the Wounded Warrior Project
The Wounded Warrior Project supports armed services veterans. School groups, teens, and kids are encouraged to volunteer with this group.
American Heart Association Volunteer Opportunities
Kids, adults, and seniors are all welcome to volunteer with the American Heart Association. The organization has a variety of volunteer roles available, including helping to staff community education events and hosting fundraisers.
How to Volunteer With Save the Children
Volunteers in the United States can help this 100-year-old organization by founding and running school clubs and doing advocacy work with local and federal politicians.
Help Feed the Children
Feed the Children volunteers help sort donations and build boxes that will be delivered to children and families in need. Volunteers are also needed to run the teacher stores that the organization hosts.
Volunteer With Make-A-Wish
Make-A-Wish works to make the dreams of seriously ill kids into reality. Their work depends on volunteers who work with families and provide administrative support to the organization's staff.
Get Involved With CARE
CARE works around the world to address issues like social injustice and poverty. Volunteers can help recruit more donors and volunteers to help CARE with its mission, and they also are vital in running the committees that make CARE's work possible.