South Sound volunteer opportunities

THE VISITOR & CONVENTION BUREAU needs volunteers to work four-hour shifts in the Visitor Information Center, helping visitors who come into or call the office, and putting together mailings. General computer skills are important, especially the ability to look up information online. Volunteers should have a good understanding of Thurston County, as well as a general sense of other areas of the state. Current openings are 1-5 p.m. Mondays and 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Fridays; occasionally additional shifts are open for substitutes. Contact Jennifer Leach at or 360-704-7544 for more information. Potential volunteers will be required to attend training.

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

HEARTSTRIDES is a nonprofit 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, note-takers, and to assist with fundraising efforts. Contact volunteer coordinator Jodie at 360-561-5328 or, 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.

VOLUNTEER CONNECTION is a website that matches volunteers with positions. More than 100 Thurston County non-profit agencies post their needs and events on Volunteer Connection. Fill out a mini profile and click on interesting positions at If you have questions or need help, call Sara Kukkonen at 360-943-2773, ext. 22.

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 provide free, anonymous, confidential, and nonjudgmental crisis intervention over the phone; the hotlines are 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.

THURSTON COUNTY seeks volunteers to serve on advisory boards, committees, and commissions. These groups meet on a regular basis and make recommendations on issues to the Board of County Commissioners. Call Danielle Westbrook, 360-786-5414, for details.

THE THURSTON COUNTY AMATEUR RADIO EMERGENCY SERVICE TEAM needs volunteers who want to help the community during disasters, and who are interested in ham radio. Volunteers can earn their technician license as part of training. For more information, visit, send an email to the Emergency Coordinator at, or call 360-529-1738 and leave a message.

NORTHWEST LIONS EYEGLASS RECYCLING CENTER needs volunteers to help the nonprofit that supplies used eyeglasses to those who do medical missions for the needy throughout the world. Volunteers inspect and wash glasses, determine prescriptions, and prepare glasses for shipment. Hours are available during the day and evenings. For more information or to tour the facility, contact Don Schmidt at 360-292-3511 or

AARP TAX-AIDE PROGRAM needs volunteer tax counselors to provide free income tax assistance and counseling to low- and middle-income taxpayers, particularly those age 60 and older. Volunteers will be trained during December and January. Computer skills are required. Volunteers of all ages and backgrounds are welcome. Counselors are expected to work a minimum of four hours per week. The program also is recruiting technical people who have a computer hardware or software background as well as front desk staff. To register, call 888-687-2277 or go to

THE CENTER FOR NATURAL LANDS MANAGEMENT needs volunteers for Tuesdays and the second Saturday of each month to gather at a South Puget Sound prairie preserve to do critical environmental restoration work. Activities range from burning brush piles and planting native wildflowers and grasses, to native plant seed collection and cleaning. Call 360-570-0762 or email to volunteer.

FRIENDS OF PAUL GRUDIS needs volunteers to purchase and deliver snacks for the homework club at Evergreen Vista. Also needed are donations of housewares, bedding, towels and kitchen wares. Several volunteers are needed each month. Call Lindsay at 360-352-1315.

KOKUA needs volunteers to “Be a Buddy” to an adult with disabilities. Volunteers are partnered with an individual with similar interests to go on outings or visit in the client’s home. Must be age 18 or older and pass a background check. Contact Randi Miller at 360-705-4665, ext. 120.