Many families want to find a way to volunteer together. After all, volunteering with your family is a great way to help others and model giving back to the community. But it can seem daunting with kids.
Fortunately, Portland is a great place to get involved. Below you’ll find some of the many opportunities for giving back in Portland. Have a favorite that we missed? Let us know below!
- Forest Park Conservancy (Roughly ages 8+): Help keep Portland’s biggest park beautiful with trail upkeep or habitat enhancement. No previous experience is required.
- Tryon Creek Park (Roughly ages 4+): Help beautify the park by pulling invasive ivy. Stewardship Saturdays take place most Saturdays
- Zenger Farms (Ages 8+): Join a work party on Friday afternoons to help tend and weed the fields, plant starts, harvest, and more.
- Friends of Trees (All ages): Volunteers of all ages and abilities are welcome to help greenify Portland by planting trees. Just dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes!
- Portland Parks & Rec Stewardship Opportunities (Various ages): Help keep your local park looking lovely by planting, mulching, removing invasive species, and just generally making things look nice.
- Portland Fruit Tree Project. (All ages): Join in on a harvesting project to harvest fruits and vegetables for low-income families. You keep a portion of what you pick, and donate the rest back to the community.
- Store to Door (All ages): Grocery shop for seniors and people with disabilities who are homebound. Think of it as a fun in-store scavenger hunt for a great cause.
- Oregon Food Bank (ages 6+): Unpack and sort donated food destined for agencies that directly serve low income people in Oregon.
- Meals on Wheels (All ages): Meals on Wheels encourages family delivery of meals. It takes about an hour to deliver the hot meals and spend time with the seniors and people with disabilities who receive them.
Children- and Animal-Related
- Children’s Book Bank. (Ages 6+): Help spruce-up donated books which are distributed to low-income preschool children in the Portland area! Tasks include wiping covers, taping torn pages, erasing scribbles, covering inscriptions, and reinforcing worn spines.
- Northwest Children’s Outreach: (Ages 4+): NCO accepts donated toys, clothing, books, baby gear, hygiene items and more. Volunteers sort and pack up donated items to be distributed to families in need.
- Help the Animals at Dove Lewis. Donate towels, toys and other supplies to animals in need.
- Make a Dog Toy to Give. Making a braided dog toy is super easy, and fun to give. Check out this free tutorial.
If you have little ones too young for these activities, or if the volunteer times don’t work with your schedule, consider some of these creative and fun Do It Yourself projects, like making cards for homebound seniors, or toys and treats for cats and dogs in shelters.
For more great ideas, check out the Hands On Greater Portland monthly calendar. Hands On is a great resource for families looking to volunteer. For some tips from the experts at Hands On, including how best to navigate their website, read through to this post.