As parents, one of our earliest undertakings is to teach our children how to be kind, generous and considerate. We teach them to share. We encourage them to think about other’s feelings. And we do our best to model those same behaviors ourselves. When it comes to putting those lessons into actions, taking advantage of volunteer opportunities is one of the best ways to create hands-on learning. Volunteering gives kids a chance to give back, while allowing them to experience firsthand the joy and gratitude that occurs for both those who give and those who receive.
The good news is that it’s never too early to get your kids involved. To find the right volunteer opportunities for your family, you might want to start with an activity or area that they have shown interest. Or perhaps you’d like to find activities that you can do as a group at home or at a volunteer event or location. Whatever your preference, we’ve compiled an expansive list of volunteer resources in the Richmond area that are specifically geared towards kids, or provide opportunities inclusive of youth, teens and young adults.
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 a FREE Anthem LemonAid stand in your community and raise money for kids with cancer in Central Virginia. Event occurs in July and 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 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
See individual facility requirements below.
Memorial Regional Medical Center
Weekend and evening hours available. Minimum time commitment is two four-hour shifts per month.
Richmond Community Hospital
Weekend and evening hours available. No minimum monthly requirement.
St. Francis Medical Center
Weekend and evening hours available. One-year commitment of two four-hour shifts per month.
St. Mary’s Hospital
Weekend and evening hours available. One-year, 100-hour commitment requested.
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Age: 14+ (unless otherwise specified)
Teens aged 14 years and above can serve as teen library volunteers in the Chesterfield County Library System. Click here to register and/or to see this and other Chesterfield County volunteer opportunities and requirements or call (804) 751-4142 to learn more.
Age: 14 – 17
The Junior Volunteer Program gives teens 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.
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. Click here to complete a volunteer form or call (804) 646-0954 to learn more.
FeedMore provides valuable community-service opportunities for youth volunteers with the chance to build skills and directly participate in the fight against hunger. 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.
Age: Teen/Youth (ages vary by activity)
Youth or “Junior” volunteers are needed as part of the The First Tee of Greater Richmond’s mission to provides youth with golf skills – and life skills. Volunteers assist staff in many different areas such as special events youth programming, administration, golf operations, and golf course maintenance. Learn more about The First Tee here or complete a volunteer application here.
Age: Varying ages (youth can play a 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 learn more with Puppy Raiser FAQs.
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 here.
If you are a high school student considering a future in the medical field or just wanting to give back to your community, consider the Junior Volunteer Program at HCA Virginia’s hospitals near Richmond.
Junior Volunteer Application
Junior volunteer Application
Age: 14+ (Specific age requirements vary by program. Click on the links below for more information.)
With a wide range of volunteer opportunities available for teens ages 14 and above, the Henrico County Teen Volunteer programs are a great way to become involved in the local community. Teen opportunities include Educational Helper, Fire Explorer, Heirloom Plant Gardener/Greeter, Helping Hands Volunteers, Keep Henrico Beautiful Program Helpers (for Park and School clean-ups), Receptionists & Recreation Instructors, Recreation Specialist Club Assistants, Teen Community Emergency Response Team (Teen CERT) Member, Libraries’ Volunteen Program and Workforce Center Assistant.
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 email@example.com or 804-236-5800, ext. 24.
Richmond Rainbow Girls is an organization that “Gets Girls Ready for Life,” by teaching them the skills to become successful women. However, their main focus is service to others. Every six-month term, the Rainbow Girls’ youth leader chooses a service project for the whole assembly to take part in, as well as a charity to donate money to. The main Rainbow Girls group is for ages of 11 to 20; the Rainbow Pledges group includes girls ages 6 – 1; and the Rainbow Sparkle group is for ages 3 – 5. To learn more or to contact Rainbow Girls of Richmond, click here.
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, visit the James River Park Volunteer Page or call Matt Mason, JRPS Volunteer Coordinator, at Matthew.Mason@Richmondgov.com.
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. Learn how to become a JA volunteer or complete an online volunteer application.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden has a variety of volunteer opportunities for youth including service learning, summer volunteer opportunities, internships and vocational training. They offer opportunities for middle and high-schoolers who want to work for a day, a week, a month, or year-round. 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.
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. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call (804) 358-7166, ext. 327; or submit a volunteer application here.
Age: 10+ (Under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.)
Saturdays, 9-11am (Apr-Sept)
If you enjoy gardening and the companionship of good folks, this may be the volunteer opportunity for you. The Meadow Farm Agricultural Guild works in the heirloom vegetable garden and in the crop field. Volunteer applications are required and can be picked up at the Meadow Farm Museum garden. For more information, email email@example.com.
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 Matt Farmer at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about upcoming events.
Age: Ages vary (Contact PCAV for specific event requirements.)
PCAV welcomes support from individuals and organizations willing to donate time, knowledge, and tangible or financial resources that can help positive parenting become the norm in all homes and communities across the state. To learn more email email@example.com or call (804) 359-6166.
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 fellow volunteer Kathy Kreutzer at Volunteer@QuillTheatre.org.
Richmond Public Library volunteers manage the Friends of the Library semiannual 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. Youth volunteers in grades six through eight may also apply to participate in our Animal Brigade Service Club. Click here to learn more about volunteering at the Richmond SPCA or sign up for a volunteer information session here.
Youth volunteers can help with exhibits, animals, nature programs and camps. Call (804) 745-7020 to learn more or visit the links below to apply for specific roles.
Assist Rockwood Nature Center animal keepers care and maintain animals and their habitats. Tasks include cleaning tanks and feeding animals. Knowledge of reptiles and amphibians or animal care preferred; hours are flexible.
Assist Rockwood Nature Center staff with camp programs. Hours vary based on camp, typically Monday – Friday; 8:30am – 1:30pm.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. For sign-up sheet, 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, its 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 process. There is about a two hour/week commitment for each 8-10 week season
If you are interested bringing a group to volunteer at the State Games, contact the Director of Volunteer Services, Ellen Costlow, at email@example.com.
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 opportunities to play games with residents, provide entertainment, serve as a companion, provide facility support and much more. See all volunteer requirements and fill out the application here.
Age: All ages
Tricycle welcomes the support of motivated, hard working 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. Click here for ongoing volunteer opportunities and upcoming events or call (804) 231-7767.
The Junior Volunteer Program provides students (ages 14-17) an opportunity to volunteer in a large, urban medical center where they are able to see the benefits of donating their time and services to their community. They are also given the opportunity to develop and appreciate their own abilities, and to learn about career opportunities in the health care field. This summer-only program is closed to applicants for the 2017 session, but will open back up in January 2018. Click here to learn more about VCU’s Junior Volunteer Program or contact Volunteer Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or (804) 828-0922.
Age: 16+ (or younger with a supervising adult)
For teens and youth looking to get involved with the arts, volunteering at the Virginia Rep Theater is the perfect opportunity. For teen ages 16 and older, volunteers are often need to serve as ushers to help seat patrons at performances. All volunteers receive 10% off gift shop items, a $5 discount on Hanover and Signature shows, $2 off Children’s shows, complimentary tickets to select shows during the season, and more. Click here to learn more or to register, submit an online form; email email@example.com; call (804) 783-1688, ext. 1145; or mail in a completed registration form.
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, contact VSP Director of Community Engagement and Volunteerism at (804) 625-3984 or 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
Click here to see a complete list of volunteer opportunities currently available in Louisa County. Contact programs of interest directly for information about responsibilities, opportunities and age requirements.
Age: All ages (under 18 will need the signature of a parent or guardian)
As a Watch the Wild participant, you 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 an online registration form, or download and mail paper forms. To learn more, see the Watch the Wild FAQ.
Age: Teen/Youth (Age varies by activity)
The YMCA offers many opportunities for community member 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 youth 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