20 Excellent Volunteer Opportunities in Houston

20 Excellent Organizations in Houston to Give Your Time To

In a city as large and diverse as Houston, there’s nearly a never-ending amount of ways to give back to your community.  For that reason, we’ve gathered a list of organizations that could benefit from a wide array of skill sets and experience.  From helping run events to assisting in clerical and administration, the twenty volunteer opportunities listed below are among some of the most impactful organizations that largely rely on help from volunteers to maintain their ongoing operations.

1. Books Between Kids

Books Between Kids is a non-profit organization founded to serve Houston’s at-risk children by providing them with books of their own to build their home libraries.  The biggest ways volunteers can help Books Between Kids is by donating books and giving time. In giving their time, volunteers can assist in counting inventory, sorting donated books, and cleaning the warehouse.

2. Kids' Meals

Kids’ Meals is dedicated to end childhood hunger in Houston by delivering free nutritious meals to underprivileged preschool aged children.  Kids’ Meals is an ongoing, daily volunteer operation. Volunteers can donate their time by preparing meals in the kitchen, delivering meals, and participating in charitable events.

3. Food Allergy Research & Education

FARE is a leading national organization that works with millions of Americans to raise awareness of food allergies and  anaphylaxis. Founded in 2010, the organization’s main goal is to improve health and life for all Americans living with food allergies.  Volunteers can donate their time by participating in special events, hometown hero walks, raising awareness in schools, and much more!

4. Hope For Three

As of 2014, it has been reported that about 1-59 children had been identified with autism.  Hope For Three provides resources and support for autism affected households, as well as promoting awareness through and education.  Their volunteer opportunities range from office work to community reach and fundraising to special events.

5.  Houston Food Bank

Recognized as the largest food bank in America, the Houston Food Bank distributes nutritious meals to 800,000 individuals throughout the southeast region of Texas each year.  Whether it be food, donations, or giving time, there are many ways to give back to the Houston community through the Houston Food Bank. The primary ways to give your time are volunteering in sorting the pantry and assisting with meal prep in the kitchen for daily distribution.

6. Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation - Connect 4 Literacy

Hosted by the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, Connect 4 Literacy was established to help increase literacy in children throughout underprivileged communities in the Greater Houston area.  In the eloquent words of former First Lady Barbara Bush, “If you help a person to learn how to read, then their opportunities in life will be endless." Connect 4 Literacy welcomes volunteers to donate their time by assisting sorting donated books, mentorships, and reading volunteers.  

7. Houston Arboretum & Nature Center

Get outside, get back to nature, and give back to the community with Houston Arboretum & Nature Center.  Whether it’s learning new skills or expanding your knowledge, the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center provides training for all volunteer positions.  Their volunteer opportunities include conservation programs, education programs, administrative, and special events.

8. Galveston Bay Foundation

To support the preservation, protection, and enhancement of Galveston Bay through hands-on volunteers is the mission of the Galveston Bay Foundation Volunteer Program.  A majority of the volunteer opportunities that are available are weekend community-based shoreline cleanups. However, they do offer opportunities to be trained as an environmental educator, water quality monitor, and dolphin research assistant.

9. Houston Pets Alive!

Since 2014, Houston Pets Alive! has been committed to reducing unwanted animals and finding animals their forever homes.  Houston Pets Alive! acts a safety net for those animals that have to be moved out from municipal shelters to make room for new incoming rescues.  Their volunteer opportunities range from kennel maintenance and animal transport, all the way up to marketing and adoption counseling.

10. BARC Animal Shelter And Adoptions

As the only city shelter in Houston required by law to accept every animal regardless of breed or circumstances, Barc is the City of Houston’s Animal Shelter and Adoption Facility.  Barc is dedicated to providing veterinary care and placing animals into new homes.  Barc volunteers can sign up for assistance in animal care, adoptions, fostering, special events, and many other positions. 

11. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Being a nonprofit, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston requires volunteers to assist in operating key aspects of the museum.  Every year, the museum has over 1000 volunteers contribute to the historic art establishment of Houston’s museum district.  From teens to seniors, volunteers have the options to lead gallery tours, greet guests, assist in the gift shop, and much more!

12. Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition

Founded in 1979, Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition has been dedicated to providing exceptional for injured, ill, and orphaned wildlife.  Those who volunteer can expect to acquire a wealth of knowledge from hands-on training with the experienced staff. Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition entry-level positions are primarily responsible for daily feeding, animal care, and animal facility maintenance.

13. Target Hunger

Founded in 1989, the nonprofit is a community-based foundation that closely works with Houston neighborhood’s in need.  Each year, Target Hunger opens their doors to upward of a thousand volunteers who donate their time to help end food insecurity.  Target Hunger offers volunteer positions for working in food preparation & pantry set-up, distribution, educational and more.

14. Texas Children's Hospital

The Texas Children’s Hospital provides a wide array of volunteer positions through the Child Life Department, Learning Lab, Healing Notes, and Child Life Media.  All of the available positions from these departments combined are meant to ease and normalize children and their families. Volunteers can expect to participate in music instruction, elementary & upper level tutoring, library assistants, and more.

15. Houston Habitat for Humanity

Founded in 1987, Houston Habitat for Humanity has been empowering Houstonians by providing maintenance training, financial training, and building homes alongside volunteers.  Houston Habitat for Humanity has volunteer opportunities available for group, corporate, individual, and international. Typical volunteer projects range from building new homes for those in need to community projects.

16. Friends of Texas Wildlife

Based in Montgomery County, and the only one in the county, Friends of Texas Wildlife is a non-profit organization that provides care for displaced, injured, and orphaned wildlife.  The organization is made up of an entirely unpaid yet, highly trained staff that relies solely on volunteers for its operations. Friends of Texas Wildlife’s main two volunteer opportunities are animal rehabilitators and administrative & marketing.  

17. Ronald Mcdonald House Houston

Houston being recognized as the home of one of the largest medical centers in the world means there are people who come from all over the state and the world for medical care.  One of the biggest hardships is having to find temporary housing in the meantime. Volunteers aid in easing the transition by baking cookies, hosting meals & activities, and so much more!

18. The Periwinkle Foundation

Established in 1983 on the foundation of individuals dedicated to making a difference for children and their families affected by cancer and blood orders, the Periwinkle Foundation has played a vital role in improving cure rates.  The Periwinkle was initially founded as a camp for children with cancer, and has since continued to grow. Volunteers can do their part in filling positions such as data analysis & entering, writers, and general office help.

19. MD Anderson Cancer Center

As one of the largest cancer centers in the world, MD Anderson’s ongoing volunteer workforce is made up of over a whopping 3000 volunteers.  Volunteers help make cancer history at MD Anderson with their combined diverse backgrounds. MD Anderson offers volunteer opportunities for both on-site and off-site as well as teen volunteer leadership programs.

20. Star of Hope

Committed to serving the needs of individuals and families, Star of Hope provides structured programs centered around education, employment, life management and recovery from substance abuse.  Volunteers can help put a dent in the prevailing homeless issue in Houston by donating their time to Star of Hope. Those who give their time can expect to volunteer areas such as babysitting, assisting with residence services and meals, tutoring and more!

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