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Maybe you have some extra time on your hands, or maybe you’re just in the giving spirit. All we know is there are more than enough great causes in Columbus to support with your time. Whether you’re an animal lover, an artsy type, a natural mentor, or a healthcare enthusiast — there’s a nearby volunteer opportunity for you. Here are 30 ways to get involved in Columbus.
If you’re an animal lover
- Pets Without Parents | Become a foster parent to cats + dogs, or volunteer directly at this non-profit shelter.
- Columbus Humane | Greet visitors, support special events, or provide cat, dog, and rabbit care.
- Franklin County Dog Shelter & Adoption Center |
Volunteer as a dog walker or runner + groomer or bather.
For the outdoorsy types
- The City of Columbus Recreation and Parks | Lend a hand at a litter cleanup, produce market, or through conservation efforts.
- Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks | Make sure the trails are safe, plant wetlands, or assist with horticulture.
- Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens | Volunteer through weeding, planting, or help at the seasonal Farmers Market.
If you’re interested in healthcare
- Columbus Free Clinic | Those seeking degrees in law or social work, medical and nurse practitioner students, and other undergraduate students can apply to volunteer at this clinic.
- Mount Caramel | Teens, college students, and adults have options to volunteer with patients, visitors, families, or provide pet therapy.
- Nationwide Children’s Hospital | Lead the way through public areas of the hospital or provide toy washing and playroom maintenance.
If you want to help your neighbors in need
- LifeCare Alliance | Deliver food through the Meals On Wheels program or assist in the local food pantry.
- The Columbus Dream Center | Help those experiencing homelessness by serving meals, gardening to provide nutritious meals, or volunteering when individuals come in for showers + laundry to make a relationship with them.
- Andrew’s House | Serve community meals, assist with yard work, or help your neighbors with cleaning and painting projects.
Natural-born teachers and mentors
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio | Become a mentor to children ages five through young adulthood and take your mentee to different activities or adventures.
- All THAT — Teens Hopeful About Tomorrow | Build a lasting relationship with a teen by assisting with schoolwork, career searching, and life skills.
- The Royal Oak Initiative | Help kids learn critical thinking skills through chess with this mentoring program.
If you’re passionate about supporting local minority groups
- Brown Girls Mentoring | Assist young Brown girls with self-care, self-image, and leadership.
- African American Male Wellness Agency | Contribute to the six initiatives of this organization — fatherhood, financial health, health and wellness, mental health, research, and mentorship.
- Special Skills Sports | Volunteer at various sports camps that are designed for those with developmental disabilities..
The artsy types
- Cultural Arts Center | Volunteer at community events such as the Columbus Arts Festival.
- Columbus Museum of Art | Provide museum tours, help with fundraising activities, or become a gallery educator.
- Wexner Center for the Arts | Assist patrons at events, provide arts-related education through programs, or guide visitors through galleries.
Supporters of veterans
- VA Central Ohio Health Care | Become a wheelchair escort, help with clinical needs, or assist in operational tasks like answering phones and driving veterans to appointments.
- VFW Department of Ohio | Volunteer in areas like sports and recreation, arts and music, or transportation services.
- Honor Flight Columbus | Assist with fundraising, administrative tasks, or become a guardian to support veterans on a trip to Washington D.C.
For the handy individuals
- Modcon Living | Volunteer for home repair projects, tool maintenance, and office help.
- Habitat for Humanity MidOhio | Help build homes for families in need.
- Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging | Assist with homemaking or home repairs for older adults or people with disabilities.
If you’re on a tight schedule
- Mid-Ohio Food Collective | Schedule a shift starting at just two hours long in a local food pantry.
- Ronald McDonald House Charities Central Ohio | Make a meal at home for families at the Ronald McDonald House.
- Columbus Pet Rescue | Gather goods at home such as fleece blankets, pet beds, and toys to donate to the shelter.