South Sound volunteer opportunities

THE FAMILY SUPPORT CENTER needs volunteers to help at Pear Blossom Place, its 24-hour family shelter in Olympia. The center needs to fill a variety of shifts, including evenings and weekends. Training is provided and children are welcome to volunteer alongside their parents. For more information, contact Katherine at

THE STATE CAPITOL VISITOR SERVICES PROGRAM is recruiting volunteers to serve as tour guides and information specialists. A weekly shift commitment of three hours is required. To learn more, call 360-902-8887, or email

HEARTSTRIDES is a non-profit program located off of Littlerock Road, in Tumwater that offers therapeutic riding and horsemanship opportunities to all ages and abilities. It needs volunteers to serve as side walkers and note-takers, and to assist with fundraising efforts. Contact Jodie at 360-561-5328, email, or check out the website at, for additional information.

DISPUTE RESOLUTION CENTER has occasional need for volunteers to help with bulk mailings for roughly two hours at a time. Duties include folding and applying address labels at mailing “parties” where snacks are provided. Call the center at 360-956-1155.

RETIRED AND SENIOR VOLUNTEER PROGRAM (RSVP) needs volunteers 55 and older in the following areas: Activity volunteers are needed at the Family Support Center’s new family shelter. The Thurston County Food Bank needs volunteers to help pack boxes, distribute food to clients, pick up donations and sort items. Catholic Community Services needs volunteers to assist elderly and disabled people in their homes, doing light housework and simple home projects. SideWalk homeless advocacy program needs volunteers to be greeters in its office. Senior Services of South Sound needs volunteers to solicit auction items for a fundraiser and be part of a team of party planners. Homes First! needs volunteers to do community outreach, getting the word out at events, fundraisers and open houses. Catholic Community Services needs volunteers to drive elderly clients to medical appointments and essential errands. Community Youth Services and the Family Support Center need help sorting and organizing clothes at a clothing bank. ReBuilding Together needs volunteers willing to share their electrical, carpentry, and landscaping skills with older and disabled people who want to remain in their homes. Together! needs mentors for struggling youth. To learn more about these and other volunteer opportunities, contact Jennifer Thompson at 360-943-2773, ext. 21, or email

LOVING HEARTS is a crocheting and knitting group making items for charities that support babies, cancer patients, and men and women in shelters. It needs more people willing to knit and crochet. The group meets from 12:30-2:30 p.m. the third and fourth Mondays of each month at Yards of Yarn, 1800 Olympic Highway S, Shelton. For details, or to donate yarn, call Hilda at 360-432-8295.

THE YWCA OF OLYMPIA needs volunteers to work in the office for four-hour shifts and to stock the shelves of The Other Bank on Tuesdays. In addition, the YWCA always accepts donations of hygiene items such as shampoo and dish soap. Call Bree Lafreniere at 360-352-0593 to volunteer or donate.

THE BIGELOW HOUSE MUSEUM needs volunteers to tell the story of early Washington and pioneers Daniel and Ann Elizabeth Bigelow. Volunteers lead tours, coordinate events, manage membership records, and care for the house and gardens. Visit, email or call 360-753-1215 for details.

THE CRISIS CLINIC OF THURSTON AND MASON COUNTIES needs volunteers for its Crisis Line and Youth Help Line. After receiving 60 hours of training, volunteers offer free, anonymous, confidential, and nonjudgmental crisis intervention over the phone; the hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For details about the training, call Nanci at 360-586-2888 ext. 103, or go to The Crisis Clinic also needs volunteers for its working board.

THE AMERICAN RED CROSS MOUNT RAINIER CHAPTER needs volunteers to support military service members and military families with emergency communications and casework services. Call 360-352-8575.

LONG-TERM CARE OMBUDSMEN if you have a few hours a week to spare and dependable transportation, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program need volunteers to the concerns and questions of residents living in nursing homes, assisted living facilities or adult family homes. Volunteers receive 4-1/2 days of free training and volunteer a minimum of four hours per week. To learn more and to receive an information packet, call Paul Tosch at 360-943-6018.