South Sound volunteer opportunities

MERCY HOUSING runs affordable housing for low-income families, seniors, and people with special needs, including Evergreen Vista Apartments at 1209 Fern St. SW in Olympia. One of the programs offered there is the Homework Club, where children can be supervised after school and get help with their homework. Evergreen Vista needs volunteers to purchase, donate and deliver snacks once a month for the Homework Club children. For information, call 360-352-1315.

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 alongside their parents. For more information, contact Katherine at

RETIRED AND SENIOR VOLUNTEER PROGRAM (RSVP) needs volunteers 55 and older. It provides consultation, placement and supplemental insurance benefits. Current opportunities: Activity volunteers are needed at the Pear Blossom Place Family Shelter run by the Family Support Center; the Thurston County Food Bank needs volunteers to 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 to simple home projects. SideWalk needs volunteer greeters in its office to distribute information about services. Senior Services of South Sound needs volunteers to solicit auction items for a fundraiser and help plan a party. Homes First needs volunteers to get the word out at events, fundraisers and open houses. Catholic Community Services needs volunteers to drive elderly clients to medical appointments and essential errands. Mileage is reimbursed. Community Youth Services and Family Support Center need help sorting and organizing clothes at their local clothing bank. ReBuilding Together needs electricians, carpenters and landscapers to share their knowledge and skills to help people remain in their homes. TOGETHER needs volunteer mentors to help struggling youth. To learn more about these and other volunteer opportunities, contact Jennifer Thompson at 360-943-2773, ext. 21, or

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

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 help lines 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.

BOOTS TO SHOES FOUNDATION is a nonprofit founded by two Washington businessmen to show their appreciation to military service members. Volunteer mentors attend a free mentoring workshop, then are paired with a veteran who they meet with twice a month. Mentors provide insight into the civilian workforce and discuss career goals and job search strategies. Go to

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.

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

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.