Southsound volunteer opportunities

THE FAMILY SUPPORT CENTER is looking for compassionate and energetic volunteers to help at Pear Blossom Place, our 24-hour family shelter in Olympia. We have a wide variety of shifts and needs to fill, including evenings and weekends. Training provided and children are welcome to volunteer alongside their parents. Our needs are expected to grow as the colder months approach, so join our amazing team now! For more information, contact Katherine at

THE CENTER FOR NATURAL LANDS MANAGEMENT (CNLM) Center for Natural Lands Management needs volunteers every Tuesday, Friday, and the second Saturday of each month to help preserve the endangered South Sound Prairies. CNLM is a non-profit dedicated to preserving and restoring endangered ecosystems. CNLM offers volunteer opportunities on the prairies on Tuesdays, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each Friday, at the nursery. Additionally, there are volunteer work parties from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., on the second Saturday of every month. Information: Hank ( or visit

MASTER GARDENER TRAINING The Washington State University Lewis County Master Gardeners are looking for volunteers to become Master Gardeners. Training involves on-line study, a full-day hands-on training on the third Tuesday of each month, and field experience in plant clinics and demonstration gardens. Monthly evening business meetings are on the fourth Tuesday of each month, and include continued education. Applications for the training program are available online at Cost is $200. Information: 360-740-1216, or email:

THE VISITOR & CONVENTION BUREAU is looking to add some new volunteers to our roster. Volunteers generally work 4-hour shifts in the Visitor Information Center, assisting visitors as they come into Thurston County. This includes helping visitors that walk through the doors, calling the office for information, and putting together mailings in response to requests for information. General computer skills are important, especially the ability to look up information online, as we get an array of questions asked daily. Volunteers should have a good understanding of the Thurston County area, as well as a general sense of other areas of the State. Currently regular openings are Mondays from 1pm-5pm and Fridays from 11-2pm; occasionally additional shifts are open for substitutes. Contact Jennifer Leach at or call 360-704-7544 for more information. Potential volunteers will be required to fill out an interest form and attend training before their first shift.

MERCY HOUSING is a non-profit organization that provides affordable housing communities for low income families, seniors, and people with special needs. In Olympia, Mercy Housing runs Evergreen Vista Apartments, at 1209 Fern St. SW, for low income families. One of the many programs they offer for their residents is Homework Club — where school-age children can be supervised after school and get help with their homework. Since good nutrition is important to learning, the resident services coordinator for Evergreen Vista tries to give the children a healthy snack every afternoon during Homework Club. Mercy Housing has limited funds to provide for their Homework Club program, so Evergreen Vista is in need of volunteers to purchase, donate and deliver healthy snacks for the children. Snacks could include fresh fruits, raw veggies with Ranch dip, low fat yogurt and cheese, graham crackers, whole wheat crackers, unsalted nuts, and much more. If you would be willing to purchase and deliver some healthy snacks once a month for the children, or would like more information, please call the resident services coordinator, at 352-1315.

HEARTSTRIDES is a 501(c)(3) non-profit therapeutic horsemanship program located off of Littlerock Road, in Tumwater. We offer therapeutic riding and horsemanship opportunities to all ages and abilities. We are currently seeking volunteers to serve as side walkers, note-takers, and to assist with fundraising efforts. If you are interested, please contact our volunteer coordinator, Jodie, at 360-561-5328 or email:, or you can check out our website at, for additional information.

THE MASON COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE needs dedicated retired individuals who are community minded and would like to donate some of their time to serve their community. Volunteers will assist with administrative duties, such as answering phones, fingerprinting, permit issuance, and public awareness programs. Assignments out on the road are available after 6 months of administrative duties in the office. A 12-hour training program will be provided. At the end of the training you will be donating a four-hour shift per week at the North Precinct in Belfair. Interested parties may obtain a volunteer application by contacting Chief Civil Deputy Jan Shepherd, at 360-275-4255 or 360-427-9670, ext. 316, or email Chief Shepherd at Interested parties can also stop by the North Precinct, at 23293 NE State Route 3, in Belfair, to pick up an application and talk to a volunteer personally. A background check is required for this position.

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. We have mailing “parties” and provide snacks. Join our congenial group! Call the center, at 360-956-1155.

RETIRED AND SENIOR VOLUNTEER PROGRAM (RSVP) United Way's Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) connects citizens age 55+ with meaningful volunteer opportunities in our community. Whether you give one hour a month or 10, sign up for short term projects or commit longer term all is valuable to help the common good. Bring your Hammer! If you are a quality craft person, lend a hand. Work with a team and build wheelchair ramps and handle home repairs to help seniors and people with disabilities stay safely in their homes. Catholic Community Services; take Care: Be a hospice volunteer. Work with patients providing comfort, while giving respite to families. Training is provided. Providence Sound Home Care & Hospice; fun glorious food: volunteer at a food bank. Pack and distribute food packages. Meet and greet clients and answer questions. Thurston County Food Bank; work for fun: help elderly and disabled people with chores they are unable to do. Work in their homes on small projects that will beautify their environment. Catholic Community Services; warm welcome: Be a greeter at a service that helps homeless people. Work with those seeking shelter providing information and empathetic support. Training is provided. Sidewalk; time to travel: volunteer at a travel desk at a senior center. Help book trips and provide information on what is available. Senior Services of South Sound; happy camper: help the Girls Without Limits Program, the first Saturday in May. Facilitator helps make camp a success. Provide classroom management, curriculum planning and organization support. YWCA of Olympia. To sign up for one of these volunteer opportunities or to learn about more in your area, call Jennifer Thompson, RSVP Volunteer Coordinator, at 360-943-2773, ext. 21 or visit our website at and click on RSVP!

VOLUNTEER CONNECTION is an online virtual website that matches you with volunteer positions that match your interests. There are over 100 Thurston County non-profit agencies that post their needs and event on Volunteer Connection and update them often. Fill out a mini profile and click on positions you find interesting. Check out Volunteer Connection at If you have questions or need assistance, call Sara Kukkonen, United Way of Thurston County VISTA at 360-943-2773, ext. 22.