The RISE Volunteer Fair took place online on Nov. 2 and Nov. 3 and spotlighted various local organizations looking for volunteers. The pandemic was tough for our community, and many organizations had to quickly adapt to the circumstances. As restrictions slowly lift and vaccines rollout, volunteering locally is a great opportunity to give back and engage with the community. This is great for any high school students looking for more community service hours and for anyone to gain experience for their future work. Volunteering provides the chance to apply your knowledge to real-life situations and build skills like communication and teamwork.
The RISE Institute website can be used to search for opportunities and events. The website also provides tracking for your hours and badges for a certain number of hours completed. Simply log in with your student ID and answer a few registration questions.
15 different organizations participated in this event. From farming to housing, to food services and journalism, you can be sure to find something that fits you.
21 Acres is a non-profit family foundation in Woodinville. Their goal is to promote local food systems and climate action. On-site, they have a living laboratory, a farm, a local market and an LEED platinum certified education center. They are mainly looking for volunteers for the positions of:
- Farm steward — through November, resumes again in Spring
- Goat caretaker — full-time residence
- Library steward
They also regularly have more opportunities for volunteering during events.They have some remote opportunities for captioning and data entry.
Since 1952, the Boys and Girls Club of Bellevue has provided sports programs, after-school care, preschool and summer camps for children 2 ½ to high school aged. They serve over 13,000 kids in the area through 15 local clubs. Currently, they are looking for:
- After-school program mentors
- Homework help and tutoring
- Translation of written materials into Spanish
- Youth sport coaches and assistant coaches (basketball, volleyball, track, soccer and flag football)
- Preschool assistant
Preference will be given for volunteers who can commit to at least once a week for three months. To apply, fill out the form on their website.
Similar to the Bellevue branch, the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County have after-school care, athletic programming and homework tutoring. They also have one-off volunteer opportunities for events. This branch is also looking for people to help with ground maintenance. They have 35 clubs throughout King County in Kirkland, Sammamish, Wallingford, Ballard, Mercer Island and North Seattle. For more information, visit their website or contact Sam Michaels (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ruby Hummel (email@example.com)
The goal of Circle Faith Future is to increase resiliency by offering mentorship and space for conversation in a trauma-sensitive manner. They are currently looking for volunteers for their youth chaplaincy program, which provides services to incarcerated youth. Volunteers can help with study groups, being a mentor, or helping out with their LGBTQ+ group. They have lots of events around arts and sports. Volunteers must be over the age of 21 and pass a high-level background check. Apply through their website on the Youth Chaplaincy tab.
Bellevue Youth Link is a youth leadership and community service program that aims to give young people advocacy and empower change. Their current opportunities are within their:
- Bellevue Youth Council
- Youth Link Board
- BYC Action Teams (current teams are Diversity Action, Climate Action, Kids Care Coat Drive and Little Free Pantry, Virtual Homework Helpers, COVID-19 Support Action Team, and Leaders Now)
They also have some opportunities for special event planning, marketing and outreach, and leadership development. If you are interested in social work, government services or marketing, this would be a great opportunity. Apply through their website, call 425-425-2846, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crisis Connections provides multiple services for those in crisis, aiming for prevention, intervention and postvention. They operate multiple 24-hour hotlines for nine counties in Washington and can connect people with resources such as temporary housing or treatment. They are currently looking for in-person volunteers in downtown Seattle to operate their hotlines, mainly for:
- Warm Washington — peer-to-peer support for people living with emotional and mental health challenges
- Teen Link Line —confidential helpline for teens, by teens
- 24 Crisis Line — immediate help for anyone in a crisis
Training lasts about 60 hours and is completed over the course of a month. Approximately 25% of their calls involve suicidal content, and their lines exist for anyone in need of support. Visit their website to apply.
Full Life Care is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for frail elders and people with chronic or terminal illnesses and disabilities. They are working towards a future where adults with serious illnesses or disabilities can be supported in the community rather than living in isolation or resorting to institutional care. Current opportunities are:
- Elder friends — be custom-matched with an elder for ongoing visits at least two times a month for a year.
- Adult day health clients — participate in Zoom group activities where you can share your personal hobbies and interests. Various times throughout the week.
- Care team — work with a team of volunteers to provide support for caregivers and their clients.
- Donations — handmade greeting cards, hats and scarves to be donated via mail or in-person at 4712 35th Ave. S Seattle, WA 98118.
- Word of Mouth Ambassador — spread the word about Full Life Care.
Founded in 2010, Global Social Business Partners aims to foster entrepreneurship and social business innovation to solve social and environmental issues. They teach and explore concepts like social business, permaculture and food sovereignty. They provide a community space and mentorship for youth. Currently, they are looking for help with their various programs and organizing their social media and newsletter. They have multiple events such as hackathons, farm stands and builds that need help. Apply on their website.
The Issaquah Food and Clothing bank has served more than 24,000 people this year. They need volunteers for:
- Operating their grocery store
- Food delivery and prep
- Clothing events
- Turkey Trot food fundraisers
- Donation sorting and storing
The bank operates on a two-week schedule and is very fast-paced and physical, especially in the morning. They have limited remote opportunities and need translators for Russian, Spanish and Mandarin. Volunteers must be at least 16, and minors need to bring an adult. Apply on their website.
Jubilee REACH provides multiple services, such as school and sports programs, tutoring, rental assistance, grocery and food programs, and a thrift store. They are mainly looking for help with:
- Flag football coaches — starting mid-November to January
- Grounds and maintenance help
- Thrift store and furniture bank workers
Apply through their website.
The Asian Counseling and Referral Service serves over 35,000 people each year through social services, government advocacy, food services and mental health counseling. They provide resources for Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) and vulnerable refugee populations. Combined, the staff speak over 40 languages. Their main area of need is with food and kitchen prep. Apply on their website.
Working in collaboration with the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, the Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery provides education and outreach. Most of their opportunities are in the fall as the salmon return to the hatchery. They are asking for help with:
- School field trips
- Tours and education
- Hands-on fish help — egg sorting, moving fish, etc.
- Science fair and summer camps outside of fall
- Media content creation
- Native plant garden
Imagine Housing is developing affordable housing for multi-families, seniors and veterans. With 15 properties all over the Eastside, they envision a more interconnected and welcoming community. They are looking for assistance with:
- Basic needs delivery
- Holiday programs
- Community dinners
- Galas and auctions
- Finance, data entry, and administration
They are also open for internships and new board members. Contact them on their website to learn more.
The Low Income Housing Institute provides around 2,400 units of affordable housing throughout the Puget Sound region. They also have urban rest stops in downtown Seattle and Ballard and 15 tiny house villages throughout Seattle, Skyway, Tacoma and Olympia. They need help with all of these areas, but are particularly in need of help with maintaining their rest stops. There are some limited construction, maintenance and food donation opportunities. To volunteer, go to their website and apply. You will then be contacted for a 15-minute phone call interview.
Real Change is an award-winning street newspaper and is almost exclusively sold by self-employed vendors who are homeless. By providing low-barrier employment opportunities, they aim to be an alternative to panhandling. They are the second street newspaper in America to be published bi-weekly. They are currently looking for:
- Opinion writers
- Book review writers
- Graphic designers, illustrators and cartoonists
- Meal prep and vendor lunches help
If you are interested, you can apply through their website.
Yes to East King County PUD Campaign is a volunteer group lobbying to replace Puget Sound Energy with a Public Utility District (PUD). They argue that a PUD is more cost-effective and better for the environment. They are looking for people to help spread their campaign and fundraise. They will start collecting signatures for their petition in 2022. Learn more about the campaign and volunteer opportunities on their website.
Volunteers make up the majority of these organizations’ structure and are vitally important. Give back to the community while simultaneously building your skills and resume. Volunteer now and be a part of something greater.