Volunteer Guide 2024

Lend your hand to any of these Portland nonprofits that need help.

Sponsored special section presented by participating nonprofits.

Special thanks to our Volunteer Guide Sponsor: Subaru of Portland

We are proud to have Subaru of Portland behind our annual Volunteer Guide. And, it makes sense, because volunteerism is in the DNA of Subaru of Portland. Subaru chooses local nonprofits each year that live up to their five “Subaru Love Promise” core pillars: Environment, Health, Education, Pets, and Community. And they do the work. That means not just writing a check, but actually getting out into the community to volunteer.

Last year, Subaru of Portland helped clean up over 15,037 pounds of trash around Portland in partnership with SOLVE and Adopt One. Partnering with the Red Cross, they ran monthly blood drives from the dealership. They helped high-need classrooms in Portland get the learning materials and resources their students need with AdoptAClassroom.org. And, they serve breakfast each month at the Portland Rescue Mission. This is just some of the work Subaru of Portland is doing to make our city a better place to live, and do business in. Learn More at subaruofportland.com/subaru-love-promise.htm.

ENVIRONMENT

Friends of Tryon Creek

What does your organization do for Portland?

Friends of Tryon Creek tend the land, teach youth and adults, and make Tryon Creek State Natural Area a place where EVERYONE can find or build their connection to nature.

How can volunteers help?

Indoors and outside volunteers support park programs in a variety of ways. Here are just a few ways you can join the community of volunteers with Friends of Tryon Creek. Tend the land and improve forest health on Saturday mornings. Lead groups of school-aged youth in the forest on field trips in the spring and fall. Welcome visitors into the Nature Center with park maps and information all year long. Support annual events like Owl Fest and Trillium Festival. Reach out to learn more about these volunteer opportunities, or visit tryonfriends.org/volunteer.

Who should potential volunteers contact?

Amy Stout, at staff@tryonfriends.org or (503) 636-4398

Trailkeepers of Oregon

What does your organization do for Portland?

Trailkeepers of Oregon is dedicated to protecting and enhancing the Oregon hiking experience through stewardship, advocacy, outreach, and education.

How can volunteers help?

TKO is looking for friendly and outgoing trail lovers to serve as Trail Ambassadors! Trailhead Ambassadors are friendly folks excited to engage with trail users just heading out on their adventures. These volunteers serve at some of the most popular trails in the Columbia River Gorge, on Mount Hood, and along the Coast to help and educate visitors on topics like Leave No Trace, wayfinding on the trail, safety, and more! Volunteers can learn more about volunteer opportunities with TKO at trailkeepersoforegon.org/get-involved/.

Who should potential volunteers contact?

Loren Payne at loren.payne@trailkeepersoforegon.org or (971) 206-4351.

350PDX

What does your organization do for Portland?

350PDX works to build a local grassroots movement to address the climate crisis, fighting against the causes of the issue and advocating for justice-based solutions. Our work is rooted in the belief that when people come together to fight for a common cause, even against powerful interests, we can win lasting change that directly improves people’s lives.

How can volunteers help?

Volunteer to join 350PDX so together Portlanders can: bring a focus on climate justice to the 2024 election through neighborhood listening sessions, voter education, and candidate forums; create a climate justice policy platform that tackles the housing crisis, community safety, and climate justice; and organize a massive volunteer force across the city that can leverage people power to shape this moment. 350PDX welcomes all to join them in their mission! Learn more about volunteer opportunities at 350pdx.org/volunteer.

Who should potential volunteers contact?

Cherice Bock at cherice@350pdx.org or (503) 281-1485


Forest Park Conservancy

What does your organization do for Portland?

Forest Park Conservancy works to protect and restore more than 5,200 acres of forested land in the heart of Portland. We work to promote healthy trails, maintain a balanced ecosystem, and educate the public on the best recreational practices when visiting public lands.

How can volunteers help?

Our volunteers work regularly in the forest, removing overly abundant species, restoring native habitat, and promoting healthy trails. There are ongoing activities throughout the year on Thursdays and Saturdays, where volunteers provide the necessary support to accomplish this yearly maintenance. Additionally, FPC has a number of leadership opportunities for volunteers, whether hiking routes and reporting on the health of the forest or leading groups of volunteers in stewardship activities, we have something for everyone.

Who should potential volunteers contact?

Zachary Peal at volunteer@forestparkconservancy.org or (503) 224-5449.



SOCIAL ACTION

Urban League of Portland

What does your organization do for Portland?

For over 75 years, the Urban League of Portland has remained a beacon of hope and opportunity, empowering Black Oregonians and SW Washingtonians to build a brighter future. Through their culturally specific programs and services, they invest in stable housing, workforce development, community health, and education, paving the way for a more equitable and just society.

How can volunteers help?

One of the greatest gifts you can give is sharing your talents. Whether it’s building ladders of opportunity for youth through mentorship, amplifying the call for justice through advocacy, or fueling our community events and programs with your skills, your impact will be felt far and wide. By pledging your service, you become a part of a vibrant movement for Black liberation. For more info: https://ulpdx.org/get-involved/volunteer

Who should potential volunteers contact?

Email development@ulpdx.org.

Lines for Life

What does your organization do for Portland?

Lines for Life is Oregon’s home for the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. They provide help and hope to individuals and communities through mental health and substance abuse prevention programs and crisis support services. They bring communities together to promote mental wellness and break the stigma associated with reaching out for help. They also offer skills training to help communities recognize and respond to mental health concerns before they reach a point of crisis, and advocate for state and federal policies to create lasting change.

How can volunteers help?

Volunteers can be trained to take calls on our crisis lines, including Oregon 988 (formerly the NSPL), the Senior Loneliness Line, Military Helpline, Alcohol & Drug Helpline & YouthLine. It’s a clinically intensive program with a large service commitment (200 hours), but is a humbling learning experience that allows folks to help the most vulnerable members of the community by providing a supportive ear, while also gaining experience toward future endeavors like career changes and graduate school in the mental health field.

Who should potential volunteers contact?

Sarah Fletcher at crisislinevolunteers@linesforlife.org or (971) 420-0019.

Rahab’s Sisters

What does your organization do for Portland?

Rahab’s Sisters builds community with women, trans, and nonbinary folks experiencing houselessness, poverty, and isolation. Their weekly low-barrier gatherings offer Guests the opportunity to come just as they are, meeting their basic needs in the context of fun, community, and connection. In 2023, they built community with over 1,500 individual Guests and served 4,800 meals.

How can volunteers help?

At Rahab’s Sisters, volunteers play a central role in every aspect of our services. From helping to prepare meals, calling at Bingo nights, to chatting with Guests while enjoying a home-cooked meal, they have roles to suit the strengths and interests of every member of the community. They also work with individuals and groups and are excited to find the right fit for volunteers. Send an email with questions or visit rahabs-sisters.org/volunteer to get started.

Who should potential volunteers contact?

Connor Magee at volunteers@rahabs-sisters.org or (503) 564.8242.

ART

Literary Arts

What does your organization do for Portland?

Literary Arts is a nonprofit whose mission is to engage readers, support writers, and inspire the next generation with great literature.

How can volunteers help?

Literary Arts is seeking volunteers to help with our College Exchange Program. The College Essay Exchange (CEE) pairs high school juniors and seniors with volunteer mentors to work on their college application essays. More than half of the students served are first-generation applicants to college. Volunteer mentors come from all walks of life and share a dedication to positively impacting the lives of young people. Volunteers are provided with training and guiding documents to prepare mentors to work effectively with students from diverse backgrounds.

Who should potential volunteers contact?

Alberto Sveum at alberto@literary-arts.org.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS SERVICES

Volunteers of America Oregon

What does your organization do for Portland?

At VOA Oregon, they specialize in family safety, substance use disorder, behavioral health, and reentry from the criminal justice system. For 127 years, they have been empowering individuals, families, and communities in Oregon including the aging population, young people, men and women returning from prison, people with disabilities, domestic violence survivors, and those recovering from addictions. VOA’s work touches the mind, body, heart – and ultimately the spirit – of those they serve, integrating our deep compassion with highly effective programs and services. As a volunteer, you contribute to helping these communities.

How can volunteers help?

Play with small children while supporting families in need. Advocate for persons experiencing domestic violence through answering out hotline. Support men and women in recovery by working at the front desk at our residential treatment centers. Inquire about more opportunities. To learn more about volunteer opportunities visit voaor.org/get-involved/volunteer/.

Who should potential volunteers contact?

Camille McDaniel, at volunteer@voaor.org or (971) 806-0633.

Guardian Partners

What does your organization do for Portland?

Guardian Partners’ mission is to prevent abuse of adults with cognitive disabilities through guardianship case monitoring and education.

How can volunteers help?

Guardian Partners trains volunteers to conduct thorough wellness checks on adults with disabilities to be sure they are being properly cared for by their guardians. Their volunteers make recommendations to the court when needed and provide resources and referrals. Any problems observed are reported to Guardian Partners staff and the court for assistance or intervention. We provide substantial training and welcome volunteers from all different backgrounds. To learn more about volunteer opportunities visit guardian-partners.org/volunteer/.

Who should potential volunteers contact?

Hannah Maerowitz, at staff@guardian-partners.org or (503) 597-8839.

Meals on Wheels People

What does your organization do for Portland?

The extensive Meals on Wheels People network of programs and volunteers serves and delivers over 1.2 million meals annually. They provide nutritious meals and friendly visits — helping older adults overcome the challenges of limited mobility and isolation as they age and to keep living independently in their own homes and communities. Volunteers are the heart of the organization. They rely on more than 200 volunteers every day and over 1,750 volunteers every year to deliver meals to homebound seniors, make phone calls, serve lunch at dining centers, and so much more.

How can volunteers help?

Volunteers can serve as delivery drivers and help the congregate dining centers with meal prep, meal packing, dishwashing, greeting, and serving lunch to participants. Volunteers can also help alleviate the social isolation that many seniors experience through the Friendly Chats program. To see specific times and learn more about volunteer opportunities, visit mowp.org/volunteer/.

Who should potential volunteers contact?

Ryan Lum, at ryan.lum@mowp.org or (503) 953-8125.

Bridges to Change

What does your organization do for Portland?

Portland is in a housing crisis that continues to leave our community in the streets trying to survive. Bridges to Change believes housing is a human right. In 2022, they housed almost 1000 people who otherwise would not be able to afford housing and provided behavioral health treatment to almost 600 individuals.

How can volunteers help?

Volunteers can help keep our homes beautiful by doing monthly yard work days. They can also help assemble care kits when we have supplies available. To learn more about volunteer opportunities visit bridgestochange.com/volunteer/.

Who should potential volunteers contact?

Rhiannon Miller at rmiller@bridgestochange.com or (503) 806-0216.

Our Streets

What does your organization do for Portland?

Food is a fundamental human right, and people experiencing housing insecurity often lack accessibility to nutritious, well-rounded meals. Our Streets helps alleviate that obstacle by providing 1,000 meals every day to more than 10 shelters, service providers, and community partners in the Portland area for residents who are housing or food insecure.

How can volunteers help?

Our Streets utilizes volunteers every day of the week to help prepare the thousands of meals we distribute every week. Volunteers provide kitchen support, including packaging meals, cleaning, and food prep. Learn more and sign up at ourstreetspdx.org/volunteer.

Who should potential volunteers contact?

Jocelyn Lauderback at jlauderback@ourstreetspdx.org.

Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA)

What does your organization do for Portland?

The Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA) program is a statewide network of certified counselors who volunteer their time to educate and advocate for people of all ages who have Medicare. People who contact SHIBA can get their Medicare related questions answered, ensuring they select the best coverage options for their health care needs. Information and counseling services provided through SHIBA are free and confidential.

How can volunteers help?

SHIBA’s success is built on a statewide network of certified Medicare counselors who volunteer their time. Counselors help people in their community understand their Medicare insurance choices and their rights by offering one-on-one counseling, classes, and referrals. They also educate people about how to prevent Medicare fraud, errors, and abuse. SHIBA counselors are required to complete an online training program and 10-hour internship as part of their certification.

Who should potential volunteers contact?

Email SHIBA.Oregon@odhsoha.oregon.gov or call (800) 722-4134.

ANIMALS

Cat Adoption Team (CAT)

What does your organization do for Portland?

Cat Adoption Team provides love, laughter, and companionship to Portland cats and people! With support from the community, CAT provides adoption, fostering, and veterinary services to cats and kittens in need. They also offer programs to help people keep and care for their pet cats. Thousands of cats and people find love at CAT each year. Join them in the feline fun!

How can volunteers help?

Make matches as an adoption counselor, become a foster parent, represent CAT at events, provide daily care for shelter cats, assist spay/neuter clients, help with administrative tasks, or become a kitty chauffeur. Bring your people skills and love of cats to CAT, and help them save lives! To learn more about volunteer opportunities catadoptionteam.org/volunteer/.

Who should potential volunteers contact?

Nancy Puro at volunteer@catadoptionteam.org or (503) 925-8903.

Animal Aid

What does your organization do for Portland?

Animal Aid operates a free-roam shelter for cats; a foster program for dogs and cats; It Takes a Pack, a community-driven animal care supply sharing program; and the Animal Aid Cares Fund, a partnership with veterinarians, trainers, and behaviorists in the Portland metro area to provide financial assistance for urgent medical and behavioral care.

How can volunteers help?

Provide care for our animals and assist with keeping their shelter clean and organized! Volunteer positions include administrative assistance, caregiving, socializing, assisting with adoptions, and fostering. By giving even just a few hours of your time, you can help Animal Aid change the world for animals here in Portland and beyond. Use your professional skills to assist with their operations, fundraising, and outreach efforts. Volunteer opportunities include positions on their development, events, facilities, finance, and marketing committees. The Animal Aid team is so grateful to the people who give their time and expertise to our organization!

Who should potential volunteers contact?

Julie Rodriguez at volunteer@animalaidpdx.org or (503) 292-6628

COMMUNITY

Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization (IRCO)

What does your organization do for Portland?

IRCO’s mission is to welcome, serve, and empower refugees, immigrants, and people across cultures and generations to reach their full potential. We imagine a future where refugees and immigrants belong, our staff are nurtured, and all communities thrive. We have programs focused on Asset and Opportunity Building, Community Safety and Wellbeing, Workforce and Refugee Services, and Child and Youth Education.

How can volunteers help?

There are a wide variety of volunteer opportunities ranging from one-time to ongoing across most of our programs and with IRCO Events. As an IRCO volunteer, you can help students with homework and make a change in their school life or welcome newly arriving refugees at the airport. If you prefer a more active opportunity, you can join them in moving donated furniture to community members’ new homes. You can also assist refugees in searching for jobs or building careers while coaching them through the interview process. IRCO has more opportunities on their website that could be perfect for you! See their current opportunities at https://irco.org/volunteer-for-irco/.

Who should potential volunteers contact?

Dila Bixby at volunteer@irco.org, or (971)-517-5241.

Rose Haven

What does your organization do for Portland?

Rose Haven is a day shelter and community center providing resources, emotional support, and community connections to women, children, and marginalized genders experiencing homelessness and poverty. Through radical hospitality, advocacy on an individual and community level, and meaningful connections to resources, we work to build a community where our guests can connect, have a voice, and be empowered.

How can volunteers help?

Organizational support opportunities are generally available Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 4:00 pm. To learn more about volunteer opportunities please visit https://rosehaven.org/helping/volunteer/.

Who should potential volunteers contact?

The volunteer team at volunteer@rosehaven.org or 503-248-6364, extension 0309

Harper’s Playground

What does your organization do for Portland?

Harper’s Playground inspires and empowers communities to build radically inclusive playgrounds. Through storytelling, consulting, and unique design principles, we create playful nature-scapes where people of all ages and abilities find belonging and social connection through play. Our vision is to create a more inclusive world, one playground at a time, naturally.

How can volunteers help?

Whether you’re a talented graphic designer, a semi-professional park cleaner-upper or just like to help out at events and feel like you are making a difference in your community, we need YOU! Visit https://www.harpersplayground.org/about/volunteer to see all the volunteer opportunities.

Who should potential volunteers contact?

Justine Monahan at justine@harpersplayground.org.

Blanchet House

What does your organization do for Portland?

Blanchet House alleviates suffering in the community, one relationship at a time, through food, clothing, and transitional shelter programs. They serve anyone who comes to their doors without judgment because they believe everyone deserves dignity, hope, and community.

How can volunteers help?

Volunteers are needed to serve meals and drinks in Blanchet’s free cafe to people experiencing homelessness and hunger Mon-Sat. Volunteers can choose one of the following shifts: 6:30-7:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., or 5-6 p.m. Sign-up and orientation is easily done online at BlanchetHouse.org/Volunteer.

Who should potential volunteers contact?

Blanchet House Volunteer Manager at volunteer@blanchethouse.org or (503) 241-4340.

Habitat for Humanity Portland Region ReStores

What does your organization do for Portland?

Every ReStore purchase and item donation helps fund local Habitat for Humanity homebuilding programs. Donating or shopping at the ReStore can help give items new life, and keep usable materials out of local landfills. Habitat for Humanity ReStores diverted 8,216 tons of reusable materials from landfills last year. And, there are three ReStore locations: Beaverton, Gresham, and Portland.

How can volunteers help?

Volunteer at one of their three ReStores or in their warehouse. No experience is required. Now accepting volunteers 14 years old and up. Learn more at pdxrestore.org/volunteer/.

Who should potential volunteers contact?

TC Schumacher at volunteer@habitatportlandregion.org or (503) 287-9529

Portland Tool Libraries

What does your organization do for Portland?

Tool libraries are just like traditional libraries, but with tools instead of books. These community resources are great for neighbors looking to reduce their environmental impact and stretch their budget by borrowing tools they do not use often or do not have the space to store. Portland has 5+ tool libraries servicing different regions of the city.

How can volunteers help?

All Portland tool libraries have open hours that are staffed by volunteers to check in and check out tools – no tool experience necessary, only a willingness to help out and connect with your neighbors. They also need behind-the-scenes help with tool maintenance, communications, boards of directors, and other administrative tasks.

Who should potential volunteers contact?

East Portland Tool Library: info@eastportlandtoollibrary.org, Green Lents Tool Library: getinvolved@greenlents.org, North Portland Tool Library: northpdxtoollibrary@gmail.com, NE Portland Tool Library: volunteer@neptl.org, SE Portland Tool Library: volunteers@septl.org, SW Portland Tool Library: info@swptl.org

Portland Refugee Support Group

What does your organization do for Portland?

Portland Refugee Support Group is a non-profit focused on re-empowering refugees, asylum seekers, and newcomers to the community through a trauma-informed care, culturally responsive, and human-centered approach.

How can volunteers help?

When you choose to volunteer with PRSG, you have the flexibility to pick from various time and energy commitments. You can support in a range of programs, from weekly food box delivery, to tutoring and hosting educational workshops, to 1-on-1 refugee family support. As a core volunteer, you’d provide individualized service to the family you are partnered with, helping with day-to-day needs. Drivers deliver food boxes to families or help the newest members of our community move to their new homes- easy one-time help that makes a huge difference. Their tutors help all ages, from young students with homework to adult English learners. Visit pdxrsg.org/volunteer to learn more about volunteer opportunities.

Who should potential volunteers contact?

Asmaa Zaidan at volunteer@pdxrsg.org or (971) 336-3783.

Transition Projects

What does your organization do for Portland?

Transition Projects helps people experiencing homelessness transition successfully into permanent housing. With 54 years of experience providing shelter, housing, and services for low-income individuals, our team assists nearly 10,000 people annually through programs designed to help at all stages of their housing journey.

How can volunteers help?

Volunteers are essential to the critical work our team accomplishes. There are opportunities for individuals and groups to get involved on a regular, one-time or on-call basis. Their greatest need (and most popular opportunity!) is for meal provider teams who plan and provide dinners to our shelters across the metro-area. With 8 shelters to feed, there are many opportunities to get involved. Volunteers also support our Resource Center in helping participants access mail, hygiene and clothing services; lead activities for shelter residents; support events; and much more. Visit tprojects.org/opportunities-for-individuals to learn more about volunteer opportunities.

Who should potential volunteers contact?

Emily Coleman at volunteer@tprojects.org or (503) 488-7745

Returning Veterans Project

What does your organization do for Portland?

Returning Veterans Project supports the wellness of our military communities in Oregon and Southwest Washington. RVP connects Veterans, Service Members, and their Families with free, confidential mental and physical health services through their online directory that provides a network of licensed volunteer health providers. Since their founding in 2005, they have been removing the barriers to mental and physical health services.

How can volunteers help?

RVP is looking for health clinics, therapists/social workers, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and massage therapists, who are licensed and insured mental or physical health providers in OR and SW WA. Join their diverse network of providers who volunteer to provide life-changing care. They also provide their volunteers with comprehensive training in military culture to ensure they understand the unique challenges of military service and reintegration.

Who should potential volunteers contact?

Jennifer Keeling at jennifer@returningveterans.org, or (503) 864-6284.

Northwest Association for Blind Athletes

What does your organization do for Portland?

Northwest Association for Blind Athletes (NWABA) mission is to provide life-changing opportunities through sports and physical activities to individuals who are blind and visually impaired. We lead sports events such as tandem biking, snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, hiking, paddle sports, and more four times a month.

How can volunteers help?

Volunteers can help at NWABA events in the Portland/Vancouver area by being a guide for individuals who are blind and visually impaired and sharing their passion for sports with others.

Who should potential volunteers contact?

Megan Ahleman at programsteam@nwaba.org or (360) 768-5654.

YOUTH

JoyRx Children’s Cancer Association

What does your organization do for Portland?

At JoyRx, the mission delivery of Children’s Cancer Association, they know it takes more than medicine to treat cancer and other serious illnesses. When a child is facing life’s most challenging moments, their JoyRx Music, Mentorship, and Nature programs help children find their Joy, positively impacting their emotional well-being. Simply put: Joy makes sick kids feel better.

How can volunteers help?

They are always looking for local community members to lend their support to help children in need. Their generous volunteers dedicate their time and talents to sick kids and help further our mission to transform the pediatric healthcare experience through the healing power of Joy. The JoyRx Mentorship program fosters trusted companionship to inspire laughter and distraction. Their trained volunteer JoyRx Mentors provide emotional support to children in treatment and critical support to parents who endure hardships with their children. JoyRx Mentors visit our toy closet to borrow toys and games to bring with them when they visit their mentees during treatment. JoyRx Music draws on the universal power of music to energize and lift spirits. Their trained musicians help children find Joy during the stressful and painful experiences related to extended hospitalizations and treatments for life-threatening illnesses. To learn more about volunteer opportunities visit https://joyrx.org/get-involved/.

Who should potential volunteers contact?

Tess Paterson at volunteer@joyrx.org.

Project Lemonade

What does your organization do for Portland?

Project Lemonade offers youth in foster care resources, opportunities and connections to support their goals. Their store at Lloyd Center serves youth year-round with a free clothes shopping experience, providing a selection of high-quality apparel. They support youth from kindergarten to college with funding for camps and extracurricular activities, job opportunities through a paid internship and college scholarships.

How can volunteers help?

Project Lemonade offers a variety of volunteer pathways. Roles include hands-on support in the store, community based projects such as collection drives, professional services for the organization, career support for their internship program, and more. They welcome volunteers who align with their core values and reflect the demographics of the youth they serve. African American, Native American, and LGBTQIA+ youth are over-represented in the child welfare system due to a history of inequity and they know that representation matters. Your voice is key to our mission. To learn more about volunteer opportunities visit projectlemonadepdx.org/volunteers.

Who should potential volunteers contact?

Gail Andersen at gail@projectlemonadepdx.org or (503) 395-3976.

CASA for Children of Multnomah, Washington, Columbia, and Tillamook Countie

What does your organization do for Portland?

Every year, CASA for Children supports nearly 500 CASAs in their advocacy for over 900 youth in foster care. CASA volunteers help meet the children’s most pressing needs - safety, shelter, healthcare, counseling, and educational support - allowing them to move more effectively through the foster care system to a permanent home.

How can volunteers help?

CASA volunteers complete a training program, offered throughout the year, and typically work on one case at a time. Information sessions to highlight the work and requirements for a CASA volunteer are held several times each month. Current dates and times can be found online at casahelpskids.org.

Who should potential volunteers contact?

Jason Chung at jason.chung@multco.us or (503) 988-5115.

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