There are few things more rewarding in life than selfless acts of kindness. There’s a generous volunteer in all of us, just desperate to get out. We can help with that. Our guide to volunteering will detail 15 of the greatest causes in BoCo, and offer you advice on how to get started.
A Woman’s Work
A Woman’s Work aims to help women in the Longmont area who are in financial need and they use the “pay it forward” method – in return for financial assistance, all AWW asks is that the recipient perform an act of kindness for someone else.
“It all started with a question asked by a small group of women in 2003: What happens to normally self-sufficient women in our community when they are met with financial crisis and there is no help available from family and friends? The answer, they found, was disappointing – there was little support available to many women who found themselves in that situation,” they say. “This group of women took matters into their own hands and set a goal of raising $10,000 by finding 100 women in 100 days who would donate $100 each. That goal was achieved in 13 days and A Woman’s Work was created. In mid-2007, after operating as a fund of the Longmont Community Foundation, A Woman’s Work received its own 501(c)(3) non-profit status. Serving the community is a team effort. As AWW moves forward, the Board of Directors and staff will continue to work with other non-profits, schools and churches to serve women in need.”
Here’s how to help: “Volunteers are the heart of our organization. We couldn’t help as many local women without our dedicated team of volunteers. Whether it’s helping in the office, planning an event, or serving on a committee, it’s our volunteers that make us thrive. We have ongoing volunteer opportunities for committee members and seasonal needs for event support.”
Visit awomanswork.org to find out more.
Harvest Of Hope Pantry
The Harvest of Hope is a food pantry run jointly by the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center and the Sacred Heart of Jesus church. “Through donations, the organization is able to offer grocery store-style shopping experience for individuals and families who need help supplementing their food supplies,” they say. “Harvest of Hope Pantry combines the rich traditions of two Boulder, Colorado Catholic churches — St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center and Sacred Heart of Jesus — and their food banks that have served the single poor and families for more 40 years. The Benedictines, a Roman Catholic religious order of monks and nuns, opened the St. Thomas Aquinas Food Bank in 1970, serving the poor from the back porch of the church’s pastoral center. The Sacred Heart of Jesus Food Box Program was founded in 1983 by a dedicated group of parishioners, who prepared boxes of food for needy Boulder households. In 2012, these two Catholic churches combined their programs to form Harvest of Hope Pantry to expand their food bank and hospitality ministries, and to serve the ongoing needs of Boulder’s poor.”
How to help? “Volunteers are always needed to run a food drive in their neighborhoods, place of business, schools or within their social community. This is an urgent need to keep the Pantry well stocked for our clients.”
Humane Society of Boulder ?Valley
The Boulder Valley humane society offers the public the opportunity to adopt dogs, cats and other pets. The organization also holds training classes for your pets, and offers a health clinic.
Want to help? “Volunteer Services resourcefully delivers quality services to the animals and community we serve through a team of ambassadors who exemplify the mission of the Humane Society of Boulder Valley,” they say. “We rely on our dedicated volunteers to care for the thousands of animals who come through our doors each year. From direct animal care to helping in our veterinary clinic or thrift shop, volunteers touch the lives of animals in many ways.
SPAN’s goal is to end violence and abuse against children, older youth and adults via a number of educational, advocacy and outreach programs. “Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence (SPAN) offers support and services that provide healing, hope and opportunity to adults, youth and children who have been impacted by domestic or dating violence. Services include: Safe, confidential emergency shelter, 24 Hour Crisis and Information Hotline, Individual and Group Counseling for adults, youth and children, Support for LGBTQ survivors, Latina Services, Abuse In Later Life Program, Support for immigrant survivors, Legal Advocacy, Transitional Services, Broomfield Outreach Program, Violence Prevention Education, and Information and Referrals.
Want to help? “Use your talents to strive for peace, and support survivors and their children. Share your experience and learn new skills,” they say. “In our 44-hour Paraprofessional Training, you will learn about social justice issues, the dynamics of abuse, how to provide support in a non-judgmental way, and how to use your time to advance positive social change…and you may be changed in the process. Become a part of the solution as we work together to end all forms of violence. SPAN’s paraprofessional volunteer training incorporates crisis intervention skills, dynamics and issues of abuse, and developing tools to challenge the various systems of oppression. Throughout the training volunteers develop active listening skills and practice ethical communication while learning about SPAN’s programs, procedures and philosophy in order to support survivors and their families in the best way possible. All Trainees will attend five sessions of generalized training and three sessions of specialized training in the area they have chosen.”
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Mother House mission statement reads, “Mother House provides a safe haven for pregnant women who are at risk. We are committed to protecting their unborn children, providing a nurturing and loving home, and encourage them to rebuild the confidence and skills necessary for a successful future. Since 1982, Mother House has been much more than a shelter. It is a program designed to help its residents develop the skills to become good parents (if they decide to parent), as well as become successful and responsible members of society. It is for women who plan to have their baby, whether they decide to parent or choose adoption. Mother House seeks to meet the needs of any pregnant woman in need, regardless of race or religion. A caring, home-like environment is a key to the success of Mother House. Respect and support for one another is a requirement.”
What to help? “We are always in need of support from the community, both individuals and groups.
We are in need of Monday night speakers, Mother House Supper Club helpers, energizer bunnies (“Do you enjoy planning and attending fundraisers? We can use your help with planning and executing events.”), Mother House angels (“Our Fundraising Angels love to be philanthropic and they are self-starters when it comes to helping. If you enjoy hosting events or asking for support, this is for you.”), “This old House” volunteers (“Are you a “fix-it” kind of guy/gal and enjoy getting your hands dirty? We always have a need for yard work, shoveling snow, fixing things around the house, cleaning out the basement, etc.”), Big SIS (“Our Big SIS mentors create a supportive relationship with our residents. They give support and acceptance to our expectant mothers and their new babies. A Big SIS visits one-on-one with a resident, either at Mother House or off site at least once a week.”), Board of Directors (“Our Board of Directors oversees the policy and financial health of Mother House, as well as provides leadership for our special event fundraising.”) and clerical assistance (“Do you like working on a computer? Are you organized and a detail kind of person? We often need help with projects such as writing thank you notes, inputting data, updating our mailing lists and technical writing for policies and manuals.) Mother House also accepts college students who need to complete an internship or practicum in Boulder.
Thorne Nature Experience
The Thorne Nature Experience aims to give children hands-on educational experiences in a natural setting. Thorne Nature Experience is celebrating 60 years of environmental education and advocacy this year. They say their mission is to, “build Earth stewardship by connecting youth to nature through joyful, hands-on, place-based environmental education experiences.”
Want to help? “Volunteers and interns play a critical role in the success of Thorne’s programs, and are involved at every level of the organization, from providing general administrative support to teaching programs and serving on the Board of Trustees,” they say. “Volunteers and interns receive real-world work experience with a successful, 60 year-old nonprofit. Benefits include resume-building, professional references, and the personal fulfillment gained from knowing you have helped impact the lives of our community’s youth and protect the environment.”
E-mail email@example.com or call 303.499.3647 x 108 for more information.
The WILD Foundation
As the heart of the global wilderness community for over 40 years, the WILD Foundation protects wilderness while meeting the needs of human communities, working across cultures and boundaries by collaborating with local peoples, organizations, the private sector, and governments to create dynamic practical projects, inspiring solutions and communications initiatives.
Their vision states that, “WILD’s work advances a reciprocal, balanced relationship between people and nature – our Nature Needs Halfvision. Our aim is to ensure that enough wild land and seascapes are protected and interconnected (scientifically estimated to be at least half of any given ecoregion) to maintain nature’s life-supporting systems and the diversity of life on Earth. The vision supports human health and prosperity, and secures a bountiful, beautiful legacy of resilient, wild nature. Nature Needs Half recognizes that we are part of nature, not separate from it. The “half” also suggests a planet that is respectfully shared, where the needs of all living things are considered and protected equally, for the good of all.”
Attention Homes says that it provides opportunities for at-risk youth to change their lives. “We offer shelter, community-based living and teaching of life skills necessary for an independent future. Our goals are to create a safe environment for youth to: 1) Build behavioral, emotional and career-related pathways for success, 2) Reunite with their families, and 3) Become self-sufficient.”
“Attention Homes was founded in 1966 by Judge Horace Holmes, probation officer John Hargadine, a First United Methodist Church bible study group, and concerned community members who saw the need to provide “Attention, not Detention” to troubled youth. At that time, youth in crisis who had to be temporarily removed from their homes were being held at a local detention center that also held maximum security offenders. The group envisioned providing a more comfortable, temporary home for at-risk youth that better met their needs. Over the past 49 years, Attention Homes has provided crucial life-changing services to over 8,200 boys and girls in crisis, offering a variety of programs depending on the community’s evolving needs.”
How to help? “We have many volunteer opportunities available throughout the organization, and our goal is to find a good fit between your time and interests and the needs of the youth we serve. Please note that not all opportunities will be available at any given time. Once you’ve identified a volunteer opportunity you’d like to pursue, 1)Fill out theVolunteer Form, 2) Attend a Volunteer Orientation on the 2nd Tuesday of the month, Noon – 1PM, or on the 4th Thursday of the month, 4PM – 5PM. 3) Complete required training and background check, and 4) Start volunteering.”
Wildlands Restoration ?Volunteers
Wildlands Restoration Volunteers says that it is a non-profit organization that provides an opportunity for people to come together, learn about their natural environment, and take direct action to restore and care for the land. “Colorado is blessed with tremendous natural beauty. However, our open spaces, forests, streams, and high country are experiencing numerous impacts due to their close proximity to a fast growing urban population. Development, increasing recreational use and other human activities, have taken their toll on vulnerable ecosystems and wildlife habitat.”
Want to help? “Each year, WRV completes many ecological restoration projects and offers numerous volunteer trainings in leadership and restoration skill development,” they say. “We welcome everyone from beginners to seasoned restoration professionals. Please click on our current projects and trainings tab in the menu to the left for extensive information about projects and trainings that you can join. If you have any other questions or need more information, feel free to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-543-1411.”
Women Work Together
Women Work Together (WWT) says that it partners with its Guatemalan sister organization to unlock the potential of girls in the rural communities of the Mayan highlands to stay in school, direct their own futures, and become leaders in their communities. “Our Leadership Institute impacts over 1,000 girls throughout their middle school years with comprehensive, sequential programs that prepare them for financially viable lives and that change the community’s expectations for their daughters’ futures.” Want to help? “WWT, a nonprofit organization based in Boulder CO, is staffed entirely by volunteers. We provide technical assistance and funding to support the work in Guatemala. We need volunteers. Any of this sound like you: Project-oriented, tech-savvy, fundraiser, copy-writer, event planner, grant writer, marketing communications professional, legal or financial professional, and Spanish language skills. Tell us what you like to do. We’ll put you to work! Contact email@example.com.”
Project V.E.T.S. is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping improve the health and welfare of animals around the globe. “We achieve this goal by collecting veterinary equipment, technology and supplies (V.E.T.S.) from veterinary hospitals, veterinary colleges, zoological societies, human hospitals and medical equipment/supply manufacturers,” they say. “These donated items are then distributed worldwide to veterinarians working in nonprofit or non-governmental organizations devoted to animal health. In this way, we not only help the animals of our planet, but we also conserve valuable resources that might otherwise end up in someone’s storage facility or a landfill.”
Want to help? “Project V.E.T.S. relies on volunteers to accomplish our mission. If you live in the Boulder, Colorado area and would like to find out how you can help, please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org. Do you live outside of Boulder, but still want to get involved? We also need volunteers to help spread the word about our organization! Hold a fundraiser or visit local veterinarians to ask for their donations. Contact us so that we can work together to help improve animal health and welfare.”
North Denver Cares
North Denver Cares is a food pantry based in Broomfield so that people in the area can receive short-term help in finding food when they are hungry. “The North Denver Cares Food Pantry is located in Broomfield,” they say. “We provide short-term, stop-gap help by providing food for the hungry and needy people of the North Denver area.”
Boulder Shelter for the ?Homeless
The Boulder Shelter opened 32 years ago after a woman died from winter exposure in the streets of Boulder, and since then Boulder Shelter for the Homeless has been able to expand its number of services, including winter sheltering, a transition program to help people move back into independent housing and the Boulder Country Cares program, which provides essential supplies to those living on the streets.
The mission is, “To provide safe shelter, food, support services, and an avenue to self-sufficiency for homeless adults in our community. We believe that all people deserve the basic necessities of life, and the community in which we live is called to serve this purpose.”
“The Boulder Shelter for the Homeless is not run by the City or County of Boulder but is a private nonprofit corporation,” they say. “The Shelter has always been for and of the local community, and still relies on the support of those who refuse to stand idly by while others suffer through bitterly cold nights for lack of housing.”
How to help? “As a private, non-profit organization, the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless relies heavily on the dedicated involvement of volunteers to succeed in its mission,” they say. “The goal of the Volunteer Program is to support the mission of the Shelter and to offer opportunities for the community to meaningfully connect with the Boulder Shelter and its clients. With only a handful of paid program staff members on duty each night, volunteers play a crucial role in delivering services to up to 160 homeless residents. The presence of volunteers not only helps to expand the services we can offer, but also brings fresh energy and enthusiasm to the staff and clients. Beyond supporting Shelter services, volunteers act as liaisons between the Shelter community and the public at large.”
Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
Greenwood aims to rehabilitate sick and injured wildlife so they can return to their natural habitats. “The people here at Greenwood have been working in the Boulder area for 32 years,” they say. “In 2005, they opened a permanent raccoon village (here’s an HD video of one of their raccoon pool parties), and in 2009 they moved operations to a brand-new, 5200-square-foot facility. Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is a nonprofit organization that is devoted to the rehabilitation and release of orphaned, injured and sick wildlife. We are the largest wildlife rehabilitation center of this kind in Colorado, each year treating approximately 2,500 mammals, birds and waterfowl representing nearly 200 different wildlife species. We also provide outreach programs for audiences of all ages regarding rehabilitation, humane solutions to human-wildlife conflicts, and how you can help Colorado’s wildlife.”
How to help? “Since 1982, Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center has been dedicated to the rehabilitation and release of sick, injured and orphaned wildlife. We rely on volunteers to help provide quality care to thousands of wild birds and mammals each year at our facility in Longmont. Most of our volunteers work directly with the wild animals, while others provide invaluable assistance with many other essential tasks. Animal care volunteers are responsible for feeding, cleaning, and general care of the wildlife admitted to Greenwood. Specific duties include food preparation, hand feeding baby wildlife, cleaning cages, maintaining a clean hospital environment, refreshing food and water in outdoor enclosures, and other duties as specified by staff supervisors.”