28 Easy Ways To Volunteer In Your Community


Last year, IKO Community Management gave homeowners more than 20 ways to give back to their communities, including donating gently used goods to the Salvation Army and volunteering at the local Soup Kitchen. This fall, we are listing a few new and innovative ideas for giving back, just in time for Thanksgiving:

  1. Ask about food-related allergies, then make a baked good for a school bake sale

  2. Visit a local senior center to read stories or sing for your new "grandfriend"

  3. Donate to Suited For Change, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that supports “opportunities for career success for women by providing professional and job-readiness skills”

  4. Offer to grade papers after class (upon your child’s teacher’s permission)

  5. Certify your pup as a therapy animal, and visit children’s hospitals, schools, or veteran’s center to spread some joy 

  6. Serve on the homeowners association to assist in planning free community events for the holiday season

  7. Volunteer to help set up Dads and Donuts or Moms and Muffins at your local school

  8. Ask that people donate to your charity of choice instead of receiving gifts for the holidays

  9. Be the voice for those without one -- literally -- through VocaliD, a nonprofit that brings speaking machines to life

  10. Run a station at Field Day or the Book Fair

  11. Offer to shovel snow, rake leaves, walk dogs, or pick up mail for a next-door neighbor

  12. Volunteer to coach a local youth sports team

  13. Cut out Box Tops for Education to indirectly donate money to your child’s school

  14. Aid animal keepers, interpret animal behavior for visitors, maintain grounds and gardens, and assist with special events at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C. or at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia

  15. Chaperone a school field trip before winter break

  16. Play Freerice, an online grammar game where 10 grains of rice are donated through the World Food Programme for every correct answer

  17. Drop off extra school supplies like pencils, markers, and erasers for your child’s classroom

  18. Volunteer at a crisis line, where many organizations will train you to actively listen as a teen crisis counselor

  19. Tutor children after school, whether your speciality is long division or Spanish conjugations

  20. Partner with the chamber of commerce or HOA to see if you can paint a mural with positive messaging 

  21. Donate money or resources to a cause close to your heart, from the Sea Turtle Restoration Project to World Wide Opportunities On Organic Farms and Helping Hands Monkey Helpers

  22. Help with your child’s classroom parties for the holidays

  23. Organize a charity run like the local turkey trots outlined in our Thanksgiving guide

  24. Get involved in your community theater by being an usher, distributing tickets, working on sets, or performing

  25. Give books to your neighborhood Little Free Library

  26. Keep violence off the streets, give people a second chance at housing and jobs, and improve the government’s food assistance program by volunteering with Code for America

  27. Get the Target debit card, REDcard, which can donate 1 percent of all purchases to a kindergarten through 12th grade school of your choice

  28. Raise a service dog (typically a 2-year commitment) through:

    1. Guide Dogs for the Blind
    2. Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind
    3. National Service Dogs
    4. CHAMP Assistance Dogs
    5. Canine Companions for Independence
    6. Autism Service Dogs of America
    7. Hero Dogs

Check out nonprofits VolunteerMatch and Do Something for more fun ways to give back to your local community. You can also download IKO’s Guide To All Things Thanksgiving for more ideas on family bonding through baking, running, and decorating:

Download the Guide

From all of us at IKO Community Management, happy volunteering!