Be the Change: 20 South Seattle Volunteer Opportunities

Be the Change: 20 South Seattle Volunteer Opportunities

It’s National Volunteer Week — a time to promote and show appreciation for volunteerism throughout the United States and Canada, and especially here in South Seattle where there is no shortage of people and organizations diligently and selflessly helping neighbors every day.

That said, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2015 volunteer rate declined slightly with about 62.6 million people volunteering through or for an organization at least once. Across all age groups, educational levels, and other major demographic characteristics, women continued to volunteer at a higher rate than men.

Meanwhile, a growing body of research indicates volunteering provides individual health benefits in addition to social ones. Those who volunteer are said to have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who don’t volunteer.

Do you have some time to spare? Below is a list of 20 South Seattle volunteer opportunities that could use your help. Did we forget your favorite organization? Let us know and we’ll add it to our next list.

1. Amara
Amara works to ensure that every child in foster care has the love, support and comfort of a committed family – as quickly as possible, and for as long as they need. They offer a variety of different volunteer opportunities and are dedicated to providing child-focused training and ongoing support for volunteers. (5907 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S., Seattle WA 98118)

2. Atlantic Street Center
Atlantic Street Center is a non-profit, social service agency dedicated to helping families and communities raise healthy, successful children and youth. They achieve their mission by providing counseling, educational, social, and recreational programs for children, youth, and their families. (5150 S. Cloverdale Place, Seattle, WA 98118)

3. Bike Works
Bike Works is dedicated to building sustainable communities by educating youth and promoting bicycling. They offer collaborative youth programming designed to develop creativity, community and leadership, by repurposing and recycling bicycles and by keeping cycling accessible and affordable. (3715 S. Hudson St., Seattle, WA 98118; )

4. East African Community Services
The mission of East African Community Services (EACS) is to provide culturally responsive K-12th Education programs that keep our youth safe and help them succeed in school and life. Volunteers are the cornerstone of their work. (7054 32nd Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118)

5. El Centro de la Raza
As an organization grounded in the Latino community, El Centro’s mission is to build unity across all racial and economic sectors, to organize, empower, and defend our most vulnerable and marginalized populations and to bring justice, dignity, equality and freedom to all the peoples of the world. (2524 16th Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98144)

6. Got Green
Got Green is a Southeast Seattle-based grassroots organizing group led by people of color and low-income people dedicated to cultivating multi-generational community leaders of the Green Movement. Their goal is to turn the promise of the new, green economy into tangible benefits for our communities. (3518 S. Edmonds St.; Seattle, WA 98118; )

7. Kubota Garden Foundation
The Kubota Garden Foundation, founded in 1988, is a non-profit corporation that was established to support, enhance, and perpetuate the Kubota Garden within the spirit of Fujitaro Kubota. It provides free public tours, organizes volunteers and handles publicity and capital project resources for the Kubota Garden. (9817–55th Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118)

8. Neighborhood House
Neighborhood House partners with diverse individuals and families to build community and achieve their goals for health, education and self-sufficiency. Volunteers help immigrants, refugees and low-income people overcome the challenges they face in everyday life.
(multiple South Seattle locations)

9. Rainier Valley Community Clinic
Rainier Valley Community Clinic is sponsored by South Seattle Women’s Health Foundation, which is dedicated to creating spaces for high quality, individualized perinatal care and increasing capacity within the community for jobs in the healthcare industry for local women, especially those of color and immigrant women. (6061 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S., Seattle, WA 98118)

10. Rainier Valley Food Bank
Serving one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the nation, the Rainier Valley Food Bank (RVFB) provides healthy, well-balanced groceries to anyone in need of food. With more 1,500 hours of community volunteer hours each month, RVFB is a model for neighbors feeding neighbors. (4205 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118)

11. Rainier Valley Historical Society
The Rainier Valley Historical Society collects, preserves, exhibits, and interprets the history and heritage of the Rainier Valley and its people, and promotes public involvement in and appreciation of its history and culture. Its roots date back to 1891. (3710 S. Ferdinand St., Seattle, WA 98118)

12. Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club
The mission of Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need them most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. Adult volunteers are needed to inspire and enable kids to be their best. (4520 Martin Luther King Jr Way S, Seattle, WA 98108)

13. Refugee Women’s Alliance
ReWA is a non-profit, multi-ethnic organization that promotes inclusion, independence, personal leadership, and strong communities by providing refugee and immigrant women and their families with culturally and linguistically appropriate services. (4008 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way S., Seattle, WA 98108)

14. Southeast Senior Center
The mission of Southeast Seattle Senior Center is to promote the emotional, social and physical well being of aging adults. They provide a variety of programs and activities designed to enhance the lives of seniors in the South Seattle community. (4655 S. Holly St., Seattle, WA 98118)

15. Southeast Youth & Family Services
SEYFS is a private nonprofit youth and family services agency. Its mission is to assist children, youth and families in achieving safe, self-sufficient and stable lives by providing counseling, educational, social and life skills programs for children, youth and their families. Founded in 1974. (3722 S. Hudson St., Seattle, WA 98118)

16. Treehouse
Treehouse invests in the lives of young people who have faced the deep wounds from a crisis of parenting. In helping them to secure the essential education, basic material needs, and social experiences they equally deserve, they help kids in foster care discover their own resilience and strength. (2100 24th Ave. S. Suite 200, Seattle, WA 98144)

17. Urban Impact
Founded in 1987 to address the complex realities of urban poverty in Seattle’s Rainier Valley, Urban Impact partners with families and communities to break the cycle of social, material, and spiritual poverty. (7728 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118)

18. Ventures (formerly Washington CASH)
Ventures empowers aspiring entrepreneurs with limited resources and unlimited potential by providing access to business training, capital, coaching and hands-on learning opportunities for entrepreneurs, with a focus on women, people of color, immigrants, and individuals with low income. (2100 24th Ave. S. Ste. 380; Seattle, WA 98144

19. Wellspring Family Services
Wellspring Family Services is a nonprofit, multi-service agency serving low-income and vulnerable individuals, children and families in Seattle and King County.  For more than 120 years, Wellspring has been a source of opportunity for children and families to win their resilience, triumph over trauma, and reach their full potential. (1900 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98144)

20. Zeno
Zeno’s mission is to increase children’s competence and confidence in math with fun and engaging activities. They serve early learners and elementary school aged children in communities with the greatest need. Their vision is a world where everyone knows they can do math. (1404 E Yesler Way #204, Seattle, WA 98122)

Photo/Kubota Garden by Diana Vergis Vinh


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