There are many great places to volunteer your time in Indianapolis. Whether you like working with kids, animals, or adults, you will find many quality opportunities to give back to the Indianapolis community. Here are five great places to volunteer.
On the west side of Indianapolis, Wayne Township schools offer a HOSTS program. HOSTS stands for “Help One Student to Succeed.” Relying entirely on community volunteers, HOSTS trains individuals to follow simple lesson plans and work with students on specific reading skills. After training, volunteers spend one hour a week at the school reading with one 2nd or 3rd grade student at a time. This is a great program that I have been involved with and has seen results in students’ reading levels. HOSTS volunteers work weekly from September 13 – May 13. For more information, contact Tammy Butts at 317-227-8675, or email her at email@example.com.
Just west of Indianapolis is an animal rescue centered in Plainfield, Indiana. GRRACE (Golden Retriever Rescue and Community Education) specializes in the rescue and training of abandoned Golden Retrievers. They partner with animal shelters across Indiana and the Midwest to keep abandoned Goldens from being euthanized; often times, shelters will call GRRACE first when they receive or rescue Golden Retrievers, rather than put the dogs down. GRRACE relies heavily on volunteers to fulfill its mission. Some positions require training, but most don’t. GRRACE needs foster homes for rescued dogs. They also need people to help transport the dogs from shelters or to events. GRRACE also has several special events, such as pet fairs, that require assistance. There are many more ways to help this worthy charity. Find the volunteer application on the GRRACE website, or call them at 317-767-4095.
Although the YMCA employs hundreds of full and part-time workers, volunteers are always appreciated. The YMCA of Greater Indianapolis has several branches, and each utilizes volunteers in different ways. For example, volunteers are needed for child watch, special events, tutors, and hospitality services. However, there are two places where every YMCA in Indianapolis needs volunteers: Youth Sports Coaches and Strong Kids Campaign Fundraisers. Every branch of the Indianapolis YMCA offers a sports program for youth. When I grew up, I was always in YMCA soccer, T-ball, swimming, etc. The coaches for these teams are all volunteers, and the YMCA can never find enough of them. Usually the time commitment for coaches are to run practice once a week and attend one or more games on the weekend. The Strong Kids Campaign, now known as “Y for All,” is the fundraising effort the YMCA engages in annually to be able to provide financial assistance to participants in its programs. Volunteers are needed to help raise funds every year. As a fundraiser, you can expect to participate in or organize fundraising events, help with phone-a-thons, and ask for donations from businesses and individuals. All volunteers for the must pass a criminal background check. For more information about how to volunteer with theYMCA of Greater Indianapolis, contact the specific branch you wish to be involved with. A complete guide to Indianapolis YMCA branches can be found at the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis website.
Heartland Hospice is a care center located at 931 East 86th Street in Indianapolis. Hospice centers are dedicated to providing care and support to individuals with a limited lifespan and their caregivers. Heartland Hospice strives to provide care for all who are in need, regardless of their ability to pay. Consequently, volunteers have the opportunity to make a significant impact in both the quality of life of the people served as well as the ability of the organization to carry out its mission. Volunteers at Heartland Hospice may do anything from office work to arts and crafts to running errands to being a companion to those who stay there. To volunteer at Heartland Hospice, contact Dustin Ziegler at 317-351-3012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, the Indianapolis Children’s Museum offers many exciting volunteer opportunities for people of all ages. Volunteers must be committed to supporting the Children’s Museum mission of creating “extraordinary learning experiences that have the power to transform the lives of children and families.” The Children’s Museum uses volunteers to interpret galleries to guests, act as greeters, work in the museum store to ticket offices, run special projects, help out with special events, and much, much more. To volunteer, you must submit a volunteer application, preference sheet and resume if you have one, and be prepared to undergo a criminal background check. For more information, go to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum website, or contact Mary Batrich at 317-334-4603.
In addition to the individual websites for these organizations, Help Indy Online is a useful tool for finding volunteer opportunities within Indianapolis.