Volunteering is a powerful way to make a change and an impact in the Richmond area. Now, with our fragile economy, it’s even more important to give back to community and help those in need. Volunteering has many benefits. It is a way to build a resume, have new experiences, meet new and interesting people, and learn about the world, as well as fulfill community service requirements for high school students. There are numerous organizations that facilitate ways to volunteer easily in the community. But you don’t have to make it that formal. You can also volunteer close by, calling an old relative, reaching out to an isolated older person in your neighborhood or congregation, or a family in your neighborhood that has fallen on hard times. In this challenging time with many people furloughed as well as many staying home with extra time and a willingness to share, there are a myriad of opportunities and resources for those wanting as well as giving help.
This list of Richmond-area organizations that work with volunteers offer people numerous ways to help, even remote and virtual opportunities:
•ACLU of Virginia volunteers serve as legal observers as well as advocates to help promote civil liberties and civil rights for everyone in the Commonwealth through public education, litigation and advocacy with the goal of securing freedom and equality for all.
•The American Red Cross of Virginia shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. Volunteers help with blood drives and more.
•Central Virginia Legal Aid Society is a non-profit law firm which provides free legal assistance to low income people in civil cases and preventive legal education in our communities. CVLAS needs volunteers from all walks of life. If you can answer a telephone, type a letter, know the alphabet (file), have carpentry or electrical skills, can use a copy machine, postage machine, we want you.
•Chesterfield Food Bank Opportunities in the warehouse, distribution and as a driver in this extreme time of need.
•Commonwealth Catholic Charitiese provide quality compassionate human services to all people, especially the most vulnerable, regardless of faith. Volunteers needed to help organize the baby clothes closet, drive vehicles, help English learners, help in their food pantry and mentor refugees and youth.
•Enrichmond acts as an umbrella non-profit organization for over eighty volunteer groups, special initiatives, and “Friends of” groups. Enrichmnd helps provide an increased level of accountability and transparency when and where private donations are made and assist in bridging the gap between our volunteer groups and local government agencies. Enrichmond is responsible for stewarding and activating Richmond public spaces through conservation and programming. At Historic Evergreen and East End Cemeteries, Enrichmond protects and restors the environment and facilitating engagement opportunities for the public. The TreeLab program is growing trees and beautification plants for use throughout the city.
•Feed More, prepares and distributes food to neighbors in need. With a service area that stretches across 34 counties and cities. Feed More is dedicated to providing neighbors who face hunger with one of the most basic necessities: nourishment. Services include Meals on Wheels. The Central Virginia Food Bank was created by 60 local churches and charities that were concerned about growing hunger and poverty in the region. The Community Kitchen, to cost effectively create cooked-from-scratch meals for neighbors in need across Central Virginia. With nearly 100 employees, close to 300 agencies and more than 200 volunteers a day, Feed More is able to carry out its mission of fighting hunger throughout its vast service area in Central Virginia.
•Goochland Cares is an organization of neighbors helping neighbors offering a safety net for those needing assistance with immediate food, housing, health, safety and other basic needs.
•Hands on Greater Richmond is a clearing house of various opportunities from one shot activities as clearing trees by the James River and working with a James River Park Ranger to ongoing activities to passing out food at various sites around the cities.
•Jewish Family Services transforms the lives of individuals and families and strengthen our community by providing the best options in care, counselingand adoption. Volunteers are needed to act as friendly volunteers to the elderly, offer telephone pals to the elderly, in administration, and special projects.
•The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Richmond Region Council addresses the issues facing the Hispanic population in the Richmond region. LULAC seeks tutors for Hispanic youth in English, Math and STEM.
•Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit housing organization commited to eliminating poverty housing from our community, and making safe, affordable housing a matter of conscience and action. We invite people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses together in partnership with workforce families looking to provide a better life and a stronger future. Volunteers help in the ReStore and in build projects.
•Resiliency Gardens are a project of Duron Chavis and Happily Natural Day to bring raised garden beds to those who need food around Richmond. Volunteers are needed to help with hands-on and behind-the-scenes administrative duties.
•The Sacred Heart Center is a nonprofit community center under the auspices of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond and guided by the Ignatian identity of the Society of Jesus. Sacred Heart Center envisions a society where all are welcome and all have the opportunity to develop their talents that contribute to the common good. The Sacred Heart Center Food Bank feeds between 25-40 families a week. They need donations for their food pantry as well as help preparing and serving food. They also have virtual English as a second language classes in the morning and evening.
•Virginia Poverty Law Center volunteers help break down systemic barriers that keep low-income Virginians in the cycle of poverty through advocacy, education, and litigation.
•The YWCA of Richmond works to empower women and their families by providing children quality, comprehensive childcare in our NAEYC-accredited Child Development Center (CDC), and offering victims of domestic and sexual violence with rescue, recovery and life-rebuilding programs that foster emotional, social, and economic stability. Our vision is of a community that protects the vulnerable, reaches out to those in need, honors personal courage, celebrates women’s successes, and embraces diversity and equality The YWCA’s sexual and domestic violence services offer victims of abuse confidential crisis housing, transitional housing, individual and group counseling, and comprehensive case management all free of charge to assist women and their families as they move from crisis into healing and rebuilding. The YWCA also operates a 24-hour a day, 7 day a week crisis hotline to connect people with services, and provide a lifeline for those in need. The YWCA’s Child Development Center offers high-quality preschool education in two convenient locations: downtown and on the Southside. Volunteers assist as hotline volunteers, hospital advocates and support.
Do you know of an organization that welcomes volunteers that should be on this list? Email the information to: email@example.com
Learn about more ways to give back in Richmond.
- The Ultimate List of RVA Parks and Playgrounds
- Visit Richmond MetroZoo
- RVA Dog-Friendly Parks
- Orchards and Berry Farms
- Special Resources
- Richmond boat launches and marinas
- Richmond Historic Cemeteries offer quiet solace of nature, window to the past and notable art
- Richmond area farmers markets
- Richmond area scenic drives