South Sound volunteer opportunities

HEARTSTRIDES is a nonprofit program off 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. If interested, contact volunteer coordinator Jodie at 360-561-5328 or, or check for more information.

RETIRED AND SENIOR VOLUNTEER PROGRAM (RSVP) connects citizens 55 and older with local volunteer opportunities that require anything from an hour a month or 10. Opportunities include: Catholic Community needs quality craft people to build wheelchair ramps and handle home repairs for seniors and people with disabilities, and other volunteers to do chores and small projects. Providence Sound Home Care & Hospice needs volunteers to provide comfort to patients and give respite to families. Training is provided. The Thurston County Food Bank needs volunteers to pack and distribute food packages, and meet and greet clients. SideWalk need volunteer greeters to offer support and information to those seeking shelter. Training is provided. Senior Services of South Sound needs volunteers to work at its travel desk, helping seniors book trips and provide information on what is available. The YWCA needs volunteers to help at the Girls Without Limits Program May 2, providing classroom management, curriculum planning and organizational support. To sign up for a volunteer opportunity or to learn about more, call Jennifer Thompson at 360-943-2773, ext. 21, or visit and click on RSVP.

VOLUNTEER CONNECTION is a website that matches volunteers with positions. More than 100 Thurston County nonprofit agencies post their needs and events on the site. Fill out a mini profile and click on positions you find interesting at For more information, call Sara Kukkonen at 360-943-2773, ext. 22.

THE YWCA OF OLYMPIA needs volunteers to work 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 360-352-0593 to volunteer or donate.

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 help lines run 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.

THE NORTH OLYMPIA FIRE DEPARTMENT needs volunteers to create websites, maintain vehicles, promote life safety education or work with teen fire cadets. Contact Lt. Derek Hall at 360-705-0234 or

LONG-TERM CARE OMBUDSMAN PROGRAM needs volunteer ombudsmen to listen to the concerns and questions of residents of nursing homes, assisted living facilities or adult family homes. Volunteers receive 41/2 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.

FRIEND TO FRIEND needs volunteers to visit with residents in nursing, assisted-living and retirement homes throughout Thurston County. Call 888-383-7818.

THURSTON COUNTY needs residents to serve on advisory boards, committees, and commissions that meet regularly and make recommendations on issues to the Board of County Commissioners. Call Danielle Westbrook, 360-786-5414, for details.

NORTHWEST LIONS EYEGLASS RECYCLING CENTER ( in Lacey is inviting the public to volunteer at its facility. The all-volunteer nonprofit supplies used eyeglasses to those who do medical missions for the needy throughout the world. Volunteers do everything from inspecting and washing glasses to determining prescriptions and preparing them for shipment. Hours are flexible; teams work during the day and evenings. For more information or to tour the facility, contact Don Schmidt at 360-292-3511 or

THE CENTER FOR NATURAL LANDS MANAGEMENT needs volunteers on 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 nutritious snacks for the homework club at Evergreen Vista on Olympia’s west side. 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 adults 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.