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Friday, July 13, 2018

5 Great Places to Volunteer Before School Starts

The summer is a great time to volunteer. Most of us have a lighter schedule with a few extra hours here and there. Wouldn’t it be great to turn them into good in our local communities? (Plus, outdoor volunteer opportunities are a great way to work on your tan!)

Sure, volunteering sounds great, but knowing where to start can be overwhelming. That’s why we put together this list of organizations that depend on volunteers. Take a look!

So, you want to use your summer or afternoons or weekends to do good in your community, but don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered! Here’s a list of a few places to consider volunteering this summer…


Libraries are great places to volunteer in the summer and throughout the year. They usually offer programs to children and families to excite their love of reading. You can volunteer to teach children how to read or be a reading buddy for a young reader in your community.

Food Banks

Food banks often rely on volunteers to help clients and keep their shelves organized. If your local food bank offers other resources like a community garden or healthy cooking classes there may be many other ways you can get involved. Give them a call to find out how you can help out!  

Habitat for Humanity

Remember when I mentioned working on your tan? This is how to do it!

Get in touch with your local Habitat for Humanity chapter to learn more about their current building projects. You’ve never used a hammer? No problem! They have professionals who can teach you the skills you need to help build a home for a family in need.

103 Habitat for Humanity chapters receive a 3- or 4-star Charity Navigator rating. Use our Advanced Search Tool to find your local organization.

United Way

United Way chapters often organize community volunteer events to help individuals, families, and local organizations. Get in touch with your chapter to find out what kinds of events they have planned for the summer. Activities could range from helping individuals run errands to painting and refreshing community spaces.

355 United Way chapters receive a 3- or 4-star Charity Navigator rating. Use our Advanced Search Tool to find your local organization.


Your local YMCA offers lots of sports programs and activities to children and families in your community. Get in touch and find out where you can lend a hand this summer. Perhaps they need help with an arts and crafts class or coaching a town sports team. 

There are lots of other places in your community to volunteer this summer. Call your town or city office to learn more about what other organizations are at work in your neighborhood and what volunteer events they have planned for the coming weeks.

78 YMCA chapters receive a 3- or 4-star Charity Navigator rating. Use our Advanced Search Tool to find your local organization.

And, remember to check out our Volunteer’s Guide before you get out there!

Have you had a great summer volunteer experience? We want to hear about it!
Comment below to tell us about what made it special or where you plan to volunteer this summer.

Written by Ashley Post, Communications Manager at Charity Navigator.


Unknown said...

Practical, inspiring list of possibilities - hope many more people try out at least one of them.

Unknown said...

Please don't forget your local animal shelters! They always need volunteers, and donations such as food, litter, treats, dog beds, etc.

Erica Seelig said...

Animal shelters also need dog walkers, people to sit with cats and kittens that need to be socialized. Foster parenting of dogs and cat goes like this. The parents sign up to be foster parents as a family and children old enough and/or responsible enough sleep with the dog or cat, groom them, walk the dog, play with the puppy of kitten! Some children might find out they want to be veterinarians when they grow up! It's a wonderful and relaxing to be around animals, and they need us, they really do.

Unknown said...

Also visit the site:

Unknown said...

You Do Know that the ONLY thing we rely on Charity Navigator for is VETTING CHARITIES!!
I am looking at your 5 great places and i do not see any ratings on how much of our money gets to the end need!!!!

Unknown said...

I really like the idea of volunteering at an animal shelter. It has to be so rewarding for the volunteer, plus the animals benefit greatly. I'm going to try my hand at volunteering to help dogs and cats at my local animal shelter this summer. Rosalie DeCaprio