One of the most important lessons we can teach our kids is gratitude. From their earliest days, we teach them to say thank you, to be grateful for what they have, and to share with others. As time goes by, however, sometimes it’s easy to forget to feel gratitude ourselves. One of the best ways to restore a sense of gratitude, in both ourselves and our kids, is to volunteer.
Volunteering can come in many forms. Whether you want to spend a few hours each week as a volunteer for a cause or need that is meaningful to you, or you want your teen to get involved as a volunteer, or you want to volunteer time as a family, there’s an opportunity out there.
To find the right volunteer opportunities for your family, you might want to start with an activity or area of interest that is special to your whole family and contact a related organization for available opportunities. But if you’re not sure where to start, we’ve compiled a list of volunteer resources in the Richmond area that offer chances for adults, youth, and families alike.
Browse the list below and find the opportunities that are right you, your kids, and your family – then get out there and start making a difference in your community!
Helping others feels good, and helps you feel good about yourself. Your local Red Cross can work with you to provide rewarding experiences, opportunities to utilize your talents, or provide training to help you serve your community. Youth between 13 and 17 years of age can register as volunteers here. Children under 13 must contact the local unit to complete a parental consent form and be accompanied by an adult for supervision. Click here to learn more.
Age: All ages
Host an Anthem LemonAid stand in your community and raise money for kids with cancer in Central Virginia. The event occurs in July and all supplies are provided by Anthem. Proceeds benefit the Infusion Center in the Hematology and Oncology Clinic at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. Click here to learn more.
The Autism Society of Central Virginia provides multiple opportunities for teens to get involved with ongoing activities and special events. Current volunteer activities include child care, bowling buddies, LEGO/ Game Club helpers, and volunteer photographers. Click here to learn more about each position; or to register as a volunteer, call (804) 257-0192 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Age: 16+ or 12-15 years with an adult
Volunteer opportunities include dog walking, kennel care, office help, administrative, special projects, and more. Opportunities are available for ages 16 and older to volunteer alone and ages 12-15 to volunteer with a parent or guardian. For the safety of both volunteers and animals, no one under the age of 12 is allowed to volunteer at this time. Click here to learn more about volunteer opportunities at BARK, register as a volunteer, and more. For questions, call (804) 449-2275 (BARK) or email email@example.com.
Age: 16+ (unless accompanied by an adult)
CARITAS volunteers serve those experiencing homelessness and facing addiction in Richmond by working through the CARITAS Shelter, Furniture Bank, Works Program, and The Healing Place. Click here to see a complete list of volunteer opportunities available to teens and adults or complete an online registration form. Call (804) 358-0964 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Volunteers are essential to the mission of Comfort Zone Camp – a summer camp that provides support and comfort to children and youth who have lost a loved one or family member. Teens can serve as Junior Counselors, but must be a minimum age of 15 to qualify. To learn more click here, call (804) 377-3430, or email email@example.com.
Age: 14+ (unless otherwise specified)
Youth and adults aged 14 years and above can serve as library volunteers in the Chesterfield County Library System. CCPL offers four library volunteer opportunities.:
- Garden Volunteer
- Homework Help
- MakerSpace Volunteer
- Teen Library Volunteer
Click here to fill out the volunteer registration form.
Age: 14 +
Adults have many opportunities to volunteer at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. Likewise, for youth (14-17), The Junior Volunteer Program provides a chance to experience the benefits of donating time and services to the community, and to explore career options in the health care field. There are a limited number of positions available for this popular program. Visit the VCU Medical Center Volunteer Services website to learn more.
Volunteers help to educate children, assist with groups, help with computers, participate in the art studio and more. All volunteers are asked to commit to a minimum of two shifts a month for at least six months. Typically, each volunteer shift is two hours long.
Complete a Junior Volunteer application here.
Age: 11+ (with parental/adult supervision)
Complete a Family Volunteer application here.
Find all other applications here.
Age: All ages
Connect Our Kids is an early stage nonprofit that aims to dramatically improve the outcomes of foster care placement in the United States by leveraging the capabilities of the technology revolution. Opportunities for involvement include hosting fundraisers (including grassroots efforts), raising funds and awareness as an Ambassador, giving a tax-deductible gift, sharing talents and skills as a direct volunteer, shopping AmazonSmile, or become a Friend of Connect Our Kids and share their important mission with your friends. Request a Connect Our Kids Communication Toolkit by emailing Hello@ConnectOurKids.org or click here to learn more about their many volunteer opportunities.
Age: All ages (ages vary by activity)
Enrichmond is a foundation serving Richmond’s people, parks, and public spaces and offers many volunteer opportunities through Friends’ groups, committees, special events and ongoing projects. Many volunteer activities involve work in community gardens, clean-up projects, special events and much more. Contact Enrichmond’s Volunteer Manager for questions about volunteering.
FeedMore provides valuable community-service opportunities for youth and family volunteers with the chance to build skills and directly participate in the fight against hunger. All volunteers working on the FeedMore campus during normal operating hours must 16 years or older. Children 11 years of age and older can participate as special event helpers, backpack packers, Meals on Wheels delivery riders (with a parent), and more.
For families and children too young to volunteer, there are opportunities to conduct food/fund drives, host “parties with a purpose,” or harvest home-based gardens to provide fresh produce to the community.
Age: Varying ages (youth can play lead roles in training and care)
Puppy Raisers prepare puppies for guide dog training. Raisers care for Guiding Eyes for the Blind puppies to help them learn the skills they need to assist those with visual impairments. Fill out the Puppy Raiser Application or contact Nora Pierre, Richmond Region Coordinator at (804) 301-2550 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Age: 5-18; plus family opportunities
With a wide array of volunteer opportunities available for nearly every age, Habitat for Humanity’s Youth Programs are the perfect way to help touch the lives of families in the Richmond area. See a complete listing of upcoming events and opportunities for youth, or click here for even more opportunities to volunteer individually or as a family.
Age: 14+ (Specific age requirements vary by program.)
With a wide range of volunteer opportunities available for teens ages 14 and above. Click here to see a complete list of available opportunities, including opportunities specifically for teens.
Age: Ages vary
Volunteers at Henricus Historical Park serve an important role. They help greet and orient museum visitors, assist historical interpreters in the living history areas, serve customers in the gift shop, provide support for special events, help with administration, and work behind the scenes. Categories available include:
- Gardens & Horticulture
- 1611 English Citie & Virginia Indian Site
- Animals & Habitats
- Visitor Center & Gift Shop
- Special Events
To request a volunteer application, please call (804) 748-1611 or email@example.com.
Age: Ages vary
Housing Families First assists families experiencing homelessness to build their capacity to live productively within the community. With a wide range of volunteer opportunities available, kids and adults of all ages can help families in need with their time, donations and services. Current opportunities involve:
Age: 8+ (with adult supervision)
On Wednesday evenings, the residents have classes, during which the children (from infant to teens) in the house are in need of supervision and activities. Volunteers provide supervision for this semi-unstructured time and may help with everything from crafts and games, to homework help, to changing diapers, to just hanging out. Volunteers may also be asked to assist with other tasks, such as cleaning rooms to prepare them for families and sorting and organizing donations.
DIY Volunteer Opportunity: Welcome Snack Bags
Age: All ages
Housing Families First welcomes our clients with decorated snack bags. Volunteer provide paper lunch bags, arts supplies, a drink, and individually packaged snacks, then decorate the outside of bags with messages of hope, drawings and/or stickers.
To find out about other volunteer opportunities, contact Terri Iguina, Operations and Volunteer Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 804-236-5800, ext. 24.
Age: 14+ (unless accompanied by an adult)
The James River Park System offers countless opportunities to support and maintain the beauty of the parks throughout Richmond. Teens and youth (with adults chaperones) can help clean trails, clean trash along shorelines, paint structures in the parks, remove graffiti, maintain trails, clear invasive species, and more. Browse the Global James River Park System event calendar to see available opportunities or visit the James River Park Volunteer page to learn how to register.
Age: High School+ (Age varies by project.)
Junior Achievement of Central Virginia (JA) pairs volunteer role models from the local community with K-12 classrooms to deliver programs that foster work readiness, entrepreneurship, and personal finance. Volunteer opportunities are available for both groups and individuals. Learn how to become a JA volunteer or complete an online volunteer application.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden has a variety of volunteer opportunities for adults, youth, and families. For teens (middle and high school) there are opportunities including service learning, summer volunteer opportunities, internships, and vocational training. Programs provide youth with the chance to learn new skills, get work experience, or earn community service hours. Click here to learn more or to apply for youth programs, or learn about family opportunities here.
Age: Teen/Youth/Family (See individual opportunities for age requirements.)
Volunteer programs include seasonal and ongoing positions for Environmental Education helpers, Estate Greeters, Easter Youth Leaders, and Junior Naturalists at Maymont summer camps. See a complete list of available opportunities here. Volunteer benefits include free access to the Nature Center, invitations to volunteer appreciation events, and a subscription to the volunteer e-newsletter. For questions, email the Volunteer Coordinator or call 804-358-7166, ext. 327; or submit a volunteer application here.
Age: 16+ or 14+ with an adult
Operation Paintbrush is a program that gathers volunteers to paint the homes of needy Henrico citizens. See current opportunities to volunteer with Operation Paintbrush at HandsOn Greater Richmond or Contact Ashley Catterton to inquire about the volunteer opportunities available through Operation Paintbrush.
Age: Ages vary (Contact Quill Theatre for details.)
Volunteer opportunities include:
- Production: sets, props, costumes, load-ins & strikes and backstage support
- Box Office: general office help
- Performances: box office, ushering, and backstage crew
- Audience Development: Hanging posters and help with social media
- Special Events: volunteer in a variety of ways for our yearly events.
Volunteering at the Quill Theatre is a great way to give back to the community and support the arts. Volunteers receive complimentary tickets to performances For more information or to volunteer for the upcoming season, email Melissa Johnston-Price at Melissa@QuillTheatre.org.
Richmond Public Library volunteers manage the Friends of the Library semi-annual book sales and work throughout the library system shelving, checking reports, participating in teen advisory groups, and more. School children ages15 and up looking for community service hours, “resume builders,” or those who just want to help out are encouraged to call (804) 646-7223 or to complete a volunteer registration form at Richmond City’s Neighbor to Neighbor website.
Age: 14+ or 7-13 with an adult chaperone
Volunteers at the SPCA are asked to commit to a minimum of six hours of service per month for a period of six months. Richmond SPCA volunteers take part in jobs such as cleaning and administrative tasks like filing and phone calls, and as they gain more experience, can receive additional training allowing them to interact with, train and care for animals. Other opportunities include:
- Foster Care
Foster care volunteers save lives by expanding our capacity to shelter and care for homeless animals beyond the walls of our Robins-Starr Humane Center by taking care of our pets in their own homes.
- Running Buddies
Volunteers ages 18 and over give our dogs some extra exercise by taking them on runs, enhancing our pets’ health and happiness.
- Animal Brigade Service Club
Middle school students (grades 6 through 8) learn more about their four-legged friends and how to help them through volunteer projects and humane education.
Age: All ages (in-house volunteers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult chaperone)
Volunteers help families and children who rely on the Ronald McDonald House as a “home away from home.” To volunteer in the house, all minors must be accompanied by an adult, but there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer as a group or family to provide meals, help at special events, or to help out around the house. However, children and individuals of all ages can be part of special offsite fundraisers, activities, and events. Click here to see available volunteer opportunities or contact Volunteer and Community Engagement Manager, Diana Villareal, at email@example.com or (804) 355-6517 with any questions.
Age: All ages (volunteers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult chaperone)
Shepherd’s Way Relief Center, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit community development center with a mission to provide relief from the afflictions of poverty in our community. Volunteer opportunities include serving and feeding the homeless and/or donating food and meals. To sign up, please click here.
Volunteers with the Special Olympics can be all ages and serve in many roles. With opportunities available all year round, all over Virginia, it’s easy to get involved. Click here to see other volunteer opportunities, check below to see examples of opportunities, or check out the Special Olympics Virginia calendar to find out what’s happening near you.
Age: 14+ (can be younger if accompanied by an adult or chaperone)
Event Volunteers are one or two-day volunteers who help with competition and fundraising events by assisting with set-up and clean-up, event logistics, competitions, scorekeeping, awarding, etc. To learn the volunteer age requirement find Special Olympics near you and contact your Area leadership or Region Director.
Volunteer 2 Cheer Fan
Age: All ages
Volunteer fans of all ages are encouraged to support Special Olympic athletes at state-level, regional, and local competitions all over Virginia, all year round. Volunteer 2 Cheer is a great way to inspire today’s youth to become tomorrow’s volunteer leader. Visit volunteer2cheer.com to sign up – no set time commitment required
Unified Sports® teams include people with and without intellectual disabilities in an effort to shatter stereotypes through positive interaction on the playing field. Find out if Unified Sports are offered near you and become a Unified Partner, locate Special Olympics near you. Unified Partners must be at least 8 years old and are required to complete the Class A Minor Volunteer Application. There is about a two hour/week commitment for each 8-10 week season
If you are interested in bringing a group to volunteer at the State Games, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Age: 16+ (unless accompanied by an adult)
The Virginia Home is a non-profit lifelong residential care facility for adults with permanent physical disabilities. The house provides care for 130 residents and relies on volunteers to help them carry out their mission of love and compassion. Volunteer opportunities include playing games with residents, providing entertainment, serving as a companion, providing facility support and much more. See all volunteer requirements and fill out the application here.
Age: All ages
Tricycle welcomes the support of motivated, hardworking individuals, families and groups (of all ages!) interested in bringing agriculture, nutrition education and healthy food access to Richmond’s urban core. Opportunities are available to work in community gardens and participate in other ongoing events. Every Thursday (April 11- November 14, 2019) from 10am-1pm they offer an open volunteer session at RVA’s Urban Farm (901 Bainbridge Street). Pre-registration is not required and you can come by for any amount of time that you’d like. Just be sure to fill out the volunteer waiver form first, then click here for ongoing volunteer opportunities and upcoming events.
Age: 16+ (or younger with a supervising adult)
For youth and adults alike looking to get involved with the arts, volunteering at the Virginia Rep Theater is the perfect opportunity. Volunteers are needed to serve as ushers to help seat patrons at performances, to serve as gift shop attendants, and to help with special events such as the Season Announcement and Open House, Anything Goes Gala, REP35 Happy Hours, and community events. In addition, Virginia Rep offers the 4th Wall program – a year long opportunity for teens who are specifically interested in getting more involved in theatre. All volunteers receive 10% off gift shop items, a $5 discount on Hanover and Signature shows, a $2 discount for Children’s shows, complimentary tickets to select shows during the season, and more. Email email@example.com to get started!
The Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) is a three-week residential program in which crewmembers live in various state parks and participate in restoration and conservation projects, as well as receiving environmental education and adventure opportunities during the evenings and weekends. Visit the Youth Conservation Corp information page to see a program overview, program elements, application processes, and more. For questions or to learn more about applying for the YCC, call (804) 625-3984 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Visual Arts Center of Richmond counts on their volunteers to provide valuable help with special events, gallery openings, administrative work, gardening, education and outreach, and much more. Volunteers must be at least 14 years of age, but ages vary by activity. Click here to see current opportunities or to register as a volunteer.
Age: All ages
The Volunteers of Louisa is a group dedicated to facilitating, promoting, and recognizing volunteerism in the Louisa County Community. In addition to monthly meetings, they compile lists of ongoing opportunities available for a range of ages, skills, and interests. Click here to see a complete list of volunteer opportunities currently available in Louisa County.
Age: All ages (under 18 will need the signature of a parent or guardian)
As a Watch the Wild participant, your task is to observe and report on the “wild” in your community, from wild weather to wildflowers, and from wildlife to plants and trees. Simply observe plants and animals in areas where you walk, travel or play regularly and record changes you see in your surroundings. If you are interested in volunteering for Watch the Wild™, complete the volunteer application online or contact Volunteer@natureabounds.org for a paper application.
Age: Teen/Youth/Family (Age varies by activity)
The YMCA offers many opportunities for community members to get involved as volunteers. See a complete list of available volunteer opportunities at Greater Richmond YMCA branches, then find the one that’s best for you and your family. Contact the branch directly to learn about any age restrictions or physical requirements. Examples of volunteer opportunities include:
Youth Sports Volunteers
Help coach a team or be a Program Assistant with any YMCA Youth Sports programs. No previous experience required.
Aquatic Program Assistants
The YMCA of Greater Richmond teaches over 3,000 children each year. Volunteers help teach water safety education and swim instruction. Volunteers are most needed Tuesdays – Thursdays from 10 a.m. – noon.
Greeters welcome everyone who comes into the Y – creating a welcoming and friendly culture. Hours are flexible.
Special Event Volunteers
Age: Varies by event
Volunteers are needed to engage in a variety of community programs and outreach initiatives throughout the year, including: special events at summer outreach camps, YMCA Bright Beginnings back-to-school outreach program, YMCA Christmas Connections program, and more. Contact your local YMCA to find the match that’s best for you and your family.
For more volunteer opportunities visit