40 Fab Volunteer Ideas for Individuals & Families

Ideas for Making a Difference from Home or in Your Community

In the name of promoting volunteerism and celebrating the spirit of doing Good, what can you do to pay it forward and make a difference in someone's life? Whether you’re looking for ways to pitch in from home or out in your community, SignUp has both fresh and traditional ideas to get your Good going!

Volunteer Ideas for Individuals & Families

Make a Difference from Home

  1. Put together blessing bags or first aid kits for those experiencing homelessness in your community – drop them off at a homeless resource center.

  2. Crochet sleeping mats out of plastic bags for your local homeless shelter.

  3. Create cards, write letters or send care packages to troops overseas. Pro Tip: Use SignUp to spread the word and have co-workers, family, friends and neighbors sign up to contribute items!

  4. Hand knit blankets or make quilts for local nursing homes.

  5. Sew face masks for frontline workers, grocery store employees, or the staff at a local restaurant. (See how a group of sewists used SignUp to support their communities during Covid-19.)

  6. Knit hats and gloves for NICU babies at hospitals.

  7. Raise awareness for your favorite cause on social media by sharing some of the organization’s posts or posting a testimonial video of why the cause is important.

  8. Shop for Good by making purchases through websites that donate portions of their sales to good causes – like these companies that support Meals on Wheels.

  9. Plant a row in your garden that you designate for food donations to a local soup kitchen.

  10. Grow flowers in pots or your yard – use them to make bouquets for nursing home residents, hospital patients, or homebound neighbors.

  11. Collect your spare change and donate it to a nonprofit organization once a quarter.

  12. Cut and donate your hair to an organization like Wigs for Kids or Angel Hair for Kids.

  13. Become a virtual tutor – this could be teaching anything from science, math, or language to teaching an elderly person internet skills or teaching a high schooler how to prep for the SAT.

  14. Be a virtual mentor – whether it’s career advice or life advice, offer your guidance to someone in need of direction.

  15. Volunteer virtually and support an organization you care about.

  16. Make and deliver a hot meal to an elderly or homebound neighbor, or to the nearest fire station or police station.

  17. Gather items for community members in need – think school supplies, backpacks, gently used clothing, non-perishable food, hygiene products, etc. – and drop them off at a local charity.

  18. Foster a shelter dog or cat.

  19. If you speak multiple languages, offer to be a translator at virtual parent-teacher conferences or PTA meetings, or volunteer to help someone practice his/her English skills through simple conversation.

  20. On your next birthday, ask for charitable donations instead of gifts – if you have a Facebook account, the social media platform makes this super easy to set up and post.

Volunteering Ideas In Your Community

  1. Collect trash around your neighborhood, local park or nearby beach - include your family in this fresh-air cleanup for added fun.

  2. Walk dogs at a local animal shelter and collect pet food, old towels and pet toys from your neighbors to donate. 

  3. Join your city’s graffiti removal team and get painting, cleaning up local businesses and public areas.

  4. Give blood or plasma at a blood bank.

  5. Volunteer at a local nonprofit supporting a cause you care about  – help sort food or work in the food bank’s garden, or dedicate time to the diaper bank’s sorting center.

  6. Sign up to volunteer at your local library or community center.

  7. Offer to be a crossing guard at a nearby elementary or to walk kids home from school.

  8. Build a book exchange box in your neighborhood to encourage reading and sharing.

  9. If you’re tech-savvy, offer your services to help older adults in your neighborhood learn their devices and use helpful apps.

  10. Volunteer to provide driving lessons to teens in your area (if you’ve got nerves of steel) – you will forever be a parent’s hero for this one!

  11. Spend time visiting or playing games with seniors at a local care facility.

  12. Become a mentor to a youngster with your local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters, at a local orphanage, or in your neighborhood.

  13. Be a volunteer reader or classroom helper for a teacher.

  14. Help build or repair houses with Habitat for Humanity.

  15. Serve those with disabilities in your community – read to the visually impaired, offer to hang out with a special needs neighbor while his/her caregiver takes a break, or volunteer with a disability-focused nonprofit.

  16. Volunteer to help at a charity race, concert or auction.

  17. Play your instrument at the children’s hospital or senior center (all levels typically welcome).

  18. Plant a tree (or a few) to help fight climate change – grow the tree in your own yard, ask neighbors if you can plant in their yards, or get permission from your local parks department to plant in a public area.

  19. Deliver care packages with food and toiletries to new resident families through your local immigrant support center.

  20. Volunteer at your local tax-aid center and help neighbors complete their returns and file for refunds.

Want to get the whole company, neighborhood, church, or team involved in your volunteering efforts? Plan a Service Day!


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