17 Incredible Places to Volunteer in Portland

I honestly think kindness is good for the soul, and if you fancy getting a bit more hands-on in worthy projects and associations, Portland offers a wide variety of volunteering opportunities. From people experiencing homelessness to animal shelters, several nonprofit organizations in the city require volunteers’ help to accomplish everyday tasks. Here is my collection of fantastic volunteering opportunities in Portland, Oregon…

Top 3 Best Places to Volunteer in Portland
1 1 l Global Grasshopper – travel inspiration for the road less travelled
Best For Community Nourishment
Best For Community Nourishment Feed The Mass
2 1 l Global Grasshopper – travel inspiration for the road less travelled
Best For Animal Welfare
Animal Aid PDX
3 1 l Global Grasshopper – travel inspiration for the road less travelled
Best For Meal Program
Blanchet House of Hospitality
Best For Community Nourishment

Feed The Mass

Feed The Mass - Portland

Feed The Mass is a nonprofit organization that provides high-quality nutrition to needy people. The FED program delivered by Feed The Mass is designed to combat food insecurity and waste by bringing food that would otherwise go unused to those in need.  The program has saved 115 thousand pounds of food from being wasted and served 170 thousand meals to people in need. 

You can contribute to this fantastic food empowerment initiative by volunteering to prep, cook, and box the food.  All volunteers must wear appropriate clothing and bring comfortable work shoes to cook in. Each shift is about three hours, but volunteers can stay longer and I think it’s a great way to give back to the community.


Great cause

Positive community impact

Flexible volunteer hours


Limited volunteer attire specifics

Three-hour commitment

Nearby Attractions

Mill Ends Park

Steel Bridge

Must Do Things

Volunteer to prep and cook meals.

Help box food for those in need.


Meal Preparation

Food Donation Distribution

Best For Animal Welfare

Animal Aid PDX

Animal Aid PDX - best places to volunteer in Portland

Animal Aid PDX is one of my favorite nonprofit organizations that runs a free-roam animal shelter for cats and several animal care programs. The organization is committed to improving the welfare of companion animals through rescue and adoption, education, resources, and individualized careers. 

It Takes a Pack is a community supply-sharing initiative by Animal Aid that makes essential animal care supplies available to more people and their pets.

The Animal Aid Cares Fund by Animal Aid is a partnership with local veterinarians, trainers, and behavior whereby urgent medical or behavioral care is provided to animals.  You can volunteer to assist in administrative work, caregiving, socializing, fostering, and rescue. 


Meaningful animal welfare work.

Diverse volunteer opportunities.

Supportive community engagement.

Caring colleagues


Limited opportunities for non-local volunteers

Emotionally challenging.

Nearby Attractions

Titos Taquitos

Steeplejack Pizza and Beer

Must Do Things

Help with essential supply distribution.

Join the Animal Aid Cares Fund support team.


Animal Shelter Care

Veterinary Assistance

Educational Resources

Best For Meal Program

Blanchet House of Hospitality

Blanchet House of Hospitality - Portland

Blanchet House of Hospitality is a nonprofit organization offering food, shelter, clothing, and aid to all those in need. They run four programs: Residential Program, Blanchet Farm, Meal Program, and Clothing Program. 

The Residential Program is designed to help people struggling with mental health, addiction, unemployment, and other challenges. Residents of the Blanchet House must perform modern work duties such as preparing and serving food for the public. 

The Meal Program serves those in need with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Clothing Program provides clean clothing to people in need on a first-come, first-serve basis.

You can join the noble efforts of the organization by volunteering in any of these programs. Volunteers must make care kits for people experiencing homelessness, make fresh meals for their needy neighbors, or donate clothing. 


Meaningful volunteering opportunities.

A diverse range of programs.

Addresses homelessness holistically.

Involves residents in community service.


Busy shifts

Nearby Attractions

Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade and Bar

Steel Bridge

Must Do Things

Assemble care kits for the homeless with essential items.

Volunteer to cook and serve meals for the homeless.


Clothing Distribution

Meal Service

Best For Animal Welfare

Oregon Humane Society

Oregon Humane Society

Oregon Humane Society is a nonprofit animal shelter supporting more than 11,000 animals annually. They have no time limit on how long animals can stay at the top.

They are committed to finding the best matches between pets and adopters. 

You can contribute in many ways to help the shelter save animal lives. They offer many volunteering opportunities for adults, youngsters, and groups. 


Long-term animal care.

Pet and adopter matchmaking.

Diverse volunteer opportunities.

Supports over 11

000 animals annually.


Can be emotionally tough

Nearby Attractions


Troy Clayton Outdoor Spaces

Must Do Things

Dedicate your support by becoming a volunteer.

Find your perfect furry companion for a lifetime.


Animal Shelter

Volunteer Opportunities

Best For Empowering People with Disabilities

On The Move

On The Move - Portland

A nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They run several programs to help such individuals access their community through meaningful, environmentally responsible, and enriching activities. 

All programs are designed to promote social inclusion and social justice by helping people with intellectual development fully participate in community activities.

You can join this community integration initiative by volunteering for the organization. 


Limited geographic reach.

Some specific skills needed

Nearby Attractions

Evermore Guesthouse

Studio One Theaters

Must Do Things

Volunteer to support community integration.

Engage in enriching activities with individuals with disabilities.


Community inclusion programs.

Volunteer opportunities.

Best For Empowering Independence

The Arc Portland Metro

The Arc Portland Metro

The Arc Portland Metro is a donation center providing advocacy, support, and services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The organization offers training and assistance to such individuals through community inclusion activities. 

They run three well-designed programs to help adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) build a good life for themselves.

The Community Support Services train them to perform activities like writing out grocery lists, grocery shopping, and preparing nutritious meals. 

The Recreation Club provides individuals above 15 with IDDs a safe place for in-person gatherings. The self-directed club helps promote self-confidence and self-determination among such individuals.

The center welcomes virtual volunteers throughout the meetings and engages with participants positively 


Empowers self-determination.

Engages virtual volunteers.

Promotes self-confidence.

It helps build independent lives.


Requires virtual participation.

May lack a physical presence

Nearby Attractions

Juvenile Justice Complex

Rose City Golf Course

Must Do Things

Encourage self-confidence and self-determination in a safe environment.

Help individuals learn essential life skills.


Advocacy Support

Community Inclusion Training

Recreation Club for Social Interaction

Best For Local Animal Welfare

Paw Team

Paw Team - Portland

Paw Team offers veterinary services for the pets of families facing financial hardship. It aids people living on the streets through government housing and transitional shelters. 

They run a robust medical program providing veterinary care to over 1,000 families in Portland annually.

The services offered by Paw Team include weekday appointments and vaccination at their facility in northeast Portland, medication, management of specific chronic conduction, food, and animal supplies.

You can help the Paw Team sustain these services by volunteering for them. 


Supports pet owners in need.

Provides vital veterinary care.

Aids homeless pet owners.

Offers a range of services.


Sometimes wait times for volunteer placements

Nearby Attractions

Rose City Golf Course

Happy Dragon Chinese Restaurant

Must Do Things

Donate funds or pet supplies to aid their mission.

Offer your time and skills to help pets and families in need.


Volunteer Opportunities

Veterinary Services

Best For Empowering Guardians

Guardian Partners

Guardian Partners - Portland

A nonprofit organization providing education, case monitoring, and resources to court-appointed guardians and other fiduciaries in Oregon on behalf of the court system.

They are committed to protecting the dignity and safety of people under guardianship, including minors and adults with cognitive disabilities. 

Volunteers work closely with guardians and observe individuals under guardianship. They conduct a wellness assessment by interviewing people under control and presenting their findings to the county court. 


Support for cognitive disabilities

Extensive volunteer training

Promotes dignity and safety

Guardianship wellness assessments


Volunteer commitment is required

Limited geographical focus

Nearby Attractions

Emerald Empire Gun Club

Pine Ridge Golf Club

Must Do Things

Attend workshops or training sessions to better understand guardianship and the legal responsibilities involved

Join as a volunteer and advocate for the rights and well-being of individuals with cognitive disabilities



Wellness assessment

Best For Cat Welfare

House of Dreams

House of Dreams - Portland

House of Dreams is a free-roam shelter that rescues and cares for homeless and abandoned cats. They are committed to providing permanent homes to cats in their facility. Cats living there have their own private space where they can explore, circulate, and curl up. 

They also offer cats for adoption to loving families looking for companion animals. All healthy or treatable cats are welcome at this no-kill shelter.

You can safely engage with House of Dreams by completing the volunteer application on their website.

Volunteers must clean the shelter, groom animals, fundraising help, community outreach, and volunteer coordination. 


Cats have space to explore and relax.

Provides a caring haven for abandoned cats.

Commitment to the well-being of all cats.


Must love cats!

Nearby Attractions

Luuwit Skate Spot

Luuwit View Dog Park


Must Do Things

Attend or organize events to help raise funds for the shelter.

Find your companion among the cats available for adoption.

Contribute your time to care for and engage with rescued cats.


Adoption Services

Free-roam Shelter

Best For Empowering Compassion

Rose Haven

Rose Haven - Portland

Rose Haven is a community center and one-day shelter on Glisan Street in northwest Portland. They are committed to providing day shelter, resources, community connections, and emotional support to women, children, and gender-diverse people affected by poverty, homelessness, and abuse.

They specifically focus their efforts on the marginalized people of Portland. 

You can make a valuable contribution to this initiative through volunteering or donations. All you have to do is fill out an application on their website.

After that, you will receive an invitation to an in-person volunteer orientation via email. 


Empowers marginalized communities.

Holistic support services.

Welcoming day shelter.

Focused local impact


Dependency on donations.

Application process required

Nearby Attractions

Irving Street Tapas

Beau Thai Restaurant

Providence Park

Must Do Things

Make a difference through contributions to empower marginalized individuals.

Join the community by offering your time and skills.


Day Shelter

Volunteer Opportunities

Community Connections

Best For Animal Rescue

The Pixie Project

The Pixie Project Portland

The Pixie Project is an animal adoption center offering various services, including pet adoption, pet owner education, free spay and neuter, and veterinary care for low-income pet owners. 

They rescue animals from different places and provide them with an urban outlet where animals have maximum exposure to potential adopters. They also offer veterinary and training support to all rescued animals. 

You can help The Pixie Project provide animals with a safe and clean living environment by volunteering for them.

They have many volunteering opportunities, including dog walking, shelter cleaning, event organization, fundraising, and animal transportation. 


Maximize adoption opportunities for animals

Vet care and training for rescues

Promotes a clean and safe environment


May face resource constraints

Nearby Attractions

Buckman Field Park

Voodoo Doughnut - Davis

Must Do Things

Help transport rescued animals to and from veterinary appointments

Support the cause by participating in or organizing fundraising activities


Pet Adoption Services

Low-Income Veterinary Care

Best For Inclusive Sanctuary

Easterseals Oregon

Easterseals Oregon - Portland

Easterseals is a nonprofit organization providing disability services, workforce development, and housing to veterans of the U.S. military and their families, children and adults with disabilities and special needs, individuals with language and literacy barriers, and seniors affected by financial hardship or homelessness. 

You can volunteer for Easterseals Oregon by completing an application form on their website. They’ll’ seek opportunities for you to engage in different activities at their offices, camps, and events. 


Inclusive Support Services

Diverse Community Impact

Veteran-Focused Initiatives

Holistic Approach to Well-being


Limited Geographic Reach

Volunteer Availability Dependencies

Funding Challenges

Nearby Attractions

Hilltop Cafe

Oregon Camp Cedarbrook

Must Do Things

Learn about diverse programs aiding children


and individuals

Attend and contribute to Easterseals events for community support


Housing for Veterans

Disability Services

Best For Feline Care

Cat Adoption Team

Cat Adoption Team - Sherwood

Cat Adoption Team is the largest cat-only animal shelter in the Pacific Northwest. They offer adoption, foster care, veterinary services to homeless cats, and low-cost spay and neuter services to owned cats. 

The Sherwood shelter and retail store connects homeless cats with loving families. They run an on-site veterinary hospital, a thrift store, a spay and neuter clinic, and animal care programs like CAT Food Bank, the Nine Lives Transfer Program, and the Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland (ASAP).

You can become a part of the CAT community by volunteering to perform duties like socializing with cats, raising awareness at outreach events, and fundraising,. 


Specialized cat care

Connects cats with loving families

Shelter with a thrift store


Exclusively cat-focused

Nearby Attractions

US Interior Department

Mazatlan Restaurant Sherwood

Must Do Things

Make a difference by aiding in cat care or outreach efforts

Find your perfect companion among the diverse cat personalities


Community Outreach

Veterinary Care

Best For Compassionate Services

Legacy Hospice Services

Legacy Hospice Services - Portland

Legacy Hospice Services provides care for terminally ill individuals and those struggling with life-limiting illnesses.

They offer many services, including medical care, pain management, therapies, family counseling, financial guidance, spiritual services, and bereavement support. 

Each patient gets individualized care from the highly skilled hospice team, including a doctor, nurse, bereavement counselor, social worker, chaplain, and volunteer.

Volunteers work with the team to provide patient care and emotional support. 


Compassionate End-of-Life Support

Comprehensive Multidisciplinary Team

Tailored Individualized Patient Care

Opportunities for Meaningful Volunteerism


Emotional Nature of Volunteer Work

Nearby Attractions

Portland Rock Gym

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Portland

Must Do Things

Engage in family counselling to provide emotional support and understanding

Support terminally ill patients by donating your time and compassion


Bereavement Support

Medical Care

Best For Senior Citizen Support

Store-to-Door Volunteering

Store to Door Volunteering Portland

Store-to-Door of Oregon is a nonprofit organization supporting independent living in the Portland area for seniors and people with disabilities by providing an affordable, personal, volunteer-based grocery shopping and delivery service.

The organization has a 34-year history of delivering nourishment and social connections for our community’s’ most vulnerable citizens. 

They constantly seek like-minded people in our community to help support our organization. 

They have five volunteer opportunities: Order Takers, Grocery Shoppers, Delivery Drivers, Food Box Packers, and Friday Friendly Callers.

Order Takers and Friday Friendly Callers can volunteer remotely from home. 


Empowers independence for seniors

34 years of reliable support for grocery shopping

Allows remote volunteering for convenience

Supports both seniors and people with disabilities


Limited to the Portland area

Not all roles allow remote participation

Nearby Attractions

Spring Garden Park

Multnomah Arts Center

Must Do Things

Assist remotely by taking grocery orders from seniors and disabled individuals

Make a difference by delivering groceries to those in need


Diverse Volunteer Roles

Remote Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer-Based Grocery Shopping

Best For Homeless Support

Portland Homeless Family Solutions

Portland Homeless Family Solutions

Portland Homeless Family Solutions is a nonprofit organization that helps homeless families with children move back into safe housing as soon as possible.

They help families sustain their housing long-term by providing rent assistance and case management for up to a year.

They prevent homelessness by paying security deposits, moving costs, and back rent for families. Homeless families get a safe place to sleep with all basic amenities, including food, laundry, showers, clothing, and computers.

They rely on hundreds of volunteers to provide these support services to families. 


Alleviates homelessness directly

Provides up to a year of rent assistance

Engages volunteers for widespread impact


Emotional impact

Nearby Attractions

Glenwood City Park

Kalberer Frame & Line-Up

Must Do Things

Join campaigns to raise awareness and prevent homelessness in Portland

Engage in events to raise funds for rent assistance programs

Assist families with housing

offering support and basic amenities


Volunteer Opportunities

Rent Assistance

Best For Empowering Entrepreneurs

Score Portland

Score Portland

Score Portland is a business management consultancy firm that provides education and training to entrepreneurs.

They conduct no-cost or low-cost small business workshops to promote startup formation, growth, and success in the Portland community. 

You can also support small businesses as a volunteer at Score.

You can volunteer based on your qualifications as a business mentor, local workshop presenter, subject matter expert, and project manager for marketing, community outreach, and chapter support. 


Matching skills for effective support

Fosters local business growth

Low-cost workshops for startups

Empower entrepreneurs through training


Primarily serves Portland

Nearby Attractions

Massage & Yoga with Em

Tom's Pancake House

Must Do Things

Attend no-cost workshops for startup success

Volunteer as a business mentor or workshop presenter


Business Volunteer Opportunities

Entrepreneurial Workshops


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