If you want to know how you can get involved in the Philadelphia community, you’ve come to the right place. There are plenty of opportunities where you can volunteer in Philadelphia! Whatever your unique talents are, there are certainly volunteer organizations that are in need of you — working with animals, building construction projects, mentoring kids, cooking meals and more are all among the best ways to get involved in Philly.
Whether you are a college student looking for volunteer opportunities in Philadelphia or a homeowner looking to give back to your city, this guide for volunteer work in Philly will give you plenty of ideas to pursue.
Volunteer From Home
Even with the widespread availability of vaccines, we are still experiencing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading many people to continue to stay within their homes. However, a pandemic doesn’t mean you have to stop volunteering. Here are five great ways to volunteer from home:
Donate to local charities: While it may not be the most hands-on kind of volunteering, you are still putting your resources to use for the community. Charities need donations to be able to provide their services, so choosing a charity you believe in and giving a donation can do a lot to help your community.
Make your home greener: Living a more sustainable life might seem like a personal decision, but it can also improve the environment around you. Reducing your energy use, planting trees, recycling and cleaning up nearby litter can all help to make your life and the lives of those around you a little more green.
Draw caring cards: For those with an artistic touch, the Jewish Relief Agency’s card-drawing program is the perfect at-home volunteer opportunity. You can draw comforting cards for those who are unable to leave their homes, and the JRA will make sure your cards are delivered.
Make phone calls: The JRA has also created the Friendly Phone Calls program, where you can sign up for a weekly 15-45 minute chat with a senior citizen who is stuck in social isolation. These phone calls can brighten their day, and they will certainly brighten yours as well.
Pack up old clothes: If you’re staying at home, you can dig through your closets to find clothes and other belongings that you don’t need anymore. Rather than simply throwing them away or letting them collect dust, consider boxing them up and sending them to local charities, which can distribute them to members of your community who them.
All of these projects can make a huge difference in your community, even if you don’t get to directly see the impact of your actions. And if you’ve never volunteered before, these might be great ideas for starting out before jumping into more large-scale volunteer options.
Volunteer in Your Neighborhood
While volunteering from home is a great option, especially during a pandemic, a large part of volunteering is actually getting out into the community. Here are a few ideas for volunteer work that can impact your local section of Philadelphia:
Organize trash cleanups: Trash cleanups are a volunteer opportunity that you can organize on your own! You can spend a couple of hours on a Saturday picking up trash on nearby streets, sidewalks and parks. If you want to clean an even larger area, see if you can organize a cleaning event with your neighbors.
Join your neighborhood committee: Neighborhood committees are voluntary associations formed by residents of a neighborhood to advocate for certain things in the neighborhood, like beautification, safety or health. Choose a committee that you are passionate about and start advocating to improve your local neighborhood.
Start a free library: There are over 100,000 Little Free Libraries in the world, so if there isn’t one in your neighborhood, now is the perfect time to start. These small libraries act as free book exchange points for your neighborhood, so setting one up can benefit everyone.
Start a community garden: If there are any vacant lots or open spaces nearby, see if you can turn the area into a community garden. You can come together with your neighbors to grow fresh produce that everyone can use. Not only will you eat healthier, but you’ll also make your neighborhood greener.
Volunteering in your neighborhood is a great way to volunteer close to home while still getting to see the fruits of your work. These projects allow you to engage with your community, building relationships with your neighbors as you better the living environment for everyone.
Volunteer Around Philly
If you want to volunteer in bigger ways than just around the neighborhood, there are plenty of ways to volunteer in the larger Philadelphia community. Countless charities and nonprofits will eagerly accept a willing worker! Here are a few of our favorite ways to volunteer with organizations in Philly:
Help homeless pets: The Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) is always looking for volunteers. You can help care for animals, facilitate adoption events or work behind the scenes at the shelter to keep it clean and running. PAWS is the perfect place for an animal lover to volunteer.
Pack food boxes: The team behind Small Things believes that any small thing a volunteer does will make a big impact. Working with Small Things, you can sort through donations and help pack food boxes to be sent out into the community, making sure food gets sent to those who need it.
Build homes for those in need: For those who like to work with their hands, Habitat for Humanity is always looking for volunteers to help build and repair housing for those in need. Whether you have years of construction experience under your belt or you are simply willing to learn and work hard, Habitat for Humanity can find a job for you.
Volunteer with other young professionals: Every second Saturday morning, Volunteering Untapped PHL hosts a different service event for Philadelphia’s young professionals to take part in, ranging from cleaning the trash in parks to cooking meals. After the morning’s volunteer session, there is an opportunity to meet up at a local bar to network and get to know your fellow volunteers.
Help at a hospital: Many volunteers serve at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), helping in areas like welcoming families, playing with kids during waiting periods, operating the Wawa coffee cart and giving directions. If you want to invest in the lives of children, volunteering at CHOP is the perfect opportunity.
While these organizations have plenty of great volunteer opportunities, there are countless other nonprofits in Philadelphia that are also looking for volunteers and donations. Whether it’s through the options we listed or through the Salvation Army, MANNA, Back on My Feet or dozens of other organizations, volunteering for a cause you are passionate about is a great way to help the people and the world around you.
Volunteer to Better Your Home!
For those who love living in Philadelphia, volunteering is a great way to give back to your community. If you’re looking for a new home in Philly and love volunteer work, you can also rest assured that there will be plenty of opportunities for you. Contact us today at Streamline Philly to find the home and community right for you.