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 homeless to animal shelters there are several non-profit organizations in the city that require the help of volunteers to accomplish everyday tasks. Here are some awesome volunteering opportunities in Portland, Oregon (in no particular order)…
1. Feed The Mass – a great nonprofit organization where volunteers help to feed the people of Portland
Feed The Mass is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing high-quality nutrition to people in need. The FED program delivered by Feed The Mass is designed to combat food insecurity and food 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 the needy.
You can contribute to this amazing food empowerment initiative by volunteering to prep, cook, and box the food. All volunteers are required to wear appropriate clothing and bring comfortable work shoes to cook in. Each shift is about three hours but volunteers can stay longer if they want.
2. Blanchet House of Hospitality – an amazing opportunity for volunteers to help the homeless
Blanchet House of Hospitality is a non-profit organization offering food, shelter, clothing, and aid to all those in need. They run four programs, namely 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 are required to perform modern work duties such as preparing and serving food for the public.
The Meal Program serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner to those in need. 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 are required to make care kits for the homeless, make fresh meals for their neighbors in need, or donate clothing.
3. On The Move – one of the best entities in Portland if you want to participate in something extraordinary
A non-profit 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 and development fully participate in community activities. You can become a part of this community integration initiative by volunteering for the organization.
4. The Arc Portland Metro – a thoughtful center where volunteers can support children and adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities
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 the age of 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 that lead the meetings and engage with participants in a positive manner.
5. Paw Team – an awe-inspiring organization that is committed to caring for pets, veterinary volunteers are welcome
Paw Team offers veterinary services for the pets of families facing financial hardship and provides aid to people living on the streets in the form of government housing and transitional shelters.
They run a robust medical program whereby veterinary care is provided to over 1,000 families in Portland every year. The services offered by Paw Team include weekday appointments and vaccination at their facility in northeast Portland, medication, management of certain chronic conduction, food, and animal supplies. You can help Paw Team sustain these services by volunteering for them.
6. Animal Aid PDX – a good opportunity where volunteers can assist in the welfare of animals
Animal Aid PDX is a non-profit organization 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 career.
It Takes a Pack is a community supply-sharing initiative by Animal Aid that makes essential animal care supplies available to a greater number of 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.
7. Guardian Partners – an incredible institution that aims to guide and support people with cognitive disabilities, full training given to volunteers
A non-profit 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 guardianship and presenting their findings to the county court.
8. Rose Haven – an admirable community center where volunteers can support women, children and gender nonconforming
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 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.
9. Easterseals Oregon – a mindful organization that cares for everyone, from children to veterans
Easterseals is a non-profit 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 filling out an application form on their website. They’ll seek out opportunities for you to engage in different activities at their offices, camp, and events.
10. Legacy Hospice Services – a gracious hospice that supports the terminally ill, ideal if you are thinking to donate your time
Legacy Hospice Services provide care for terminally ill individuals and those struggling with life-limiting illnesses. They offer a multitude of 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 which includes a doctor, nurse, bereavement counselor, social worker, chaplain, and volunteer. Volunteers work with the team to provide patient care and emotional support to the patients.
11. House of Dreams – a fantastic institution that offers care and shelter to abandoned and homeless cats, a perfect opportunity for a charitable work
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 own 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 are required to perform duties like cleaning the shelter, grooming animals, fundraising help, community outreach, and volunteer coordination.
12. The Pixie Project – a lovely adoption center where volunteers have the chance to help rescued animals
The Pixie Project is an animal adoption center offering a variety of 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 provide veterinary and training support to all rescued animals.
You can help The Pixie Project provide a safe and clean living environment to animals by volunteering for them. They have plenty of volunteering opportunities, including dog-walking, cleaning the shelter, event organization, fundraising, and animal transportation.
13. Oregon Humane Society – an animal society founded in 1868 where animal lovers have the opportunity to dedicate their support, suitable for youth and adult volunteers
Oregon Humane Society is a non-profit animal shelter supporting more than 11,000 animals every year. They have no time limit on how long animals can stay at the shelter. 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 a multitude of volunteering opportunities for adults, youngsters, and groups.
14. Score Portland – a unique consultancy firm that provides guidance to businesses
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 the formation, growth, and success of startups in the Portland community.
You can also support small businesses as a volunteer at Score. You can volunteer as a business mentor, local workshop presenter, subject matter expert, and project manager for marketing, community outreach, and chapter support based on your qualifications.
15. Portland Homeless Family Solutions – a leading corporation that gives rent assistance to help families get back into the housing system, perfect for volunteers
Portland Homeless Family Solutions is a non-profit 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.
16. Cat Adoption Team – a prime cat-only sanctuary that welcomes volunteers of all ages
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, spay and neuter clinic, and several animal care programs like CAT Food Bank, Nine Lives Transfer Program, and 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 among others.
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My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I’ve lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up visits to over 40 countries. I’m a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian – from cloudberry liquors to Nordic noirs. When not wandering the world and running Global Grasshopper, you’ll find me walking my rescued Greek street dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Lanes on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about my favourite places; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Laos, California and the surreally beautiful landscapes of a wintry Iceland.