Today marks the beginning of National Volunteer Month, and one of the best ways you and your family can get involved within your local community is through volunteering. Fortunately, there are several Arizona-based nonprofit organizations that are consistently in need of volunteers to assist with serving their greater mission of helping others.
Volunteers are vital to the operation of Hunkapi Programs. Hunkapi Farms is a 10-acre farm in Scottsdale offering programs such as therapeutic horse riding, equine-assisted therapy, a first responder program, addiction therapy, and more. Without volunteers, the life-changing moments its participants experience every day would not be possible.
At Hunkapi, volunteers can choose from a wide variety of opportunities, all of which are designed to support the growth and expansion of the program. No previous experience with horses or disabilities is necessary—you will be taught everything you need to know.
United Food Bank
United Food Bank has been providing hunger relief to people in the East Valley since 1983. The local food bank collects, acquires, stores, and distributes food to 150 partner agencies and programs throughout five counties. Each year, United Food Bank distributes over 21.6 million pounds of food, equating to 49,000 meals a day. To help provide food for Arizona families facing hunger, United Food Bank relies on volunteers to assist with boxing and storing food. Volunteers, as young as5 years old, can help build food bags, sort and box food donations, and serve families at its food distributions.
Arizona Animal Welfare League
The Arizona Animal Welfare League is the oldest and largest no-kill shelter in Arizona. Founded in 1971, AAWL rehomes and rehabilitates more than 4,000 rescue animals across the state that have been abandoned or surrendered. In addition to adoptions, AAWL offers a variety of services such as animal foster programs, Rural Rescue outreach, youth education, and low-cost clinics. Residents can volunteer at the shelter and become foster pet parents.
New Life Center
New Life Center serves more than 1,000 children and adults annually through an emergency shelter and outreach support program, where more than 70% percent of the shelter population is children. In 2017, New Life Center served more children and provided more bed nights than any other single facility providing emergency shelter to domestic violence survivors in Arizona.
The work at New Life Center is possible through the incredible community of volunteers supporting us each and every day. Volunteers are always needed at Hope’s Closet, a thrift store in Goodyear owned and operated by New Life Center. It serves two important purposes crucial to their work with domestic violence survivors. First, every child and adult seeking refuge at New Life Center’s emergency shelter has access to all the clothing and furnishings offered at the store completely free of charge. This is to ensure families’ basic needs are met while they are residing in the shelter and upon their exit from the facility. Second, all proceeds from Hope’s Closet are used to support New Life Center’s shelter operations.
The Singletons is a homegrown Arizona-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization devoted to meeting the needs of single-parent families battling cancer by providing strength, hope, resources, and community. With the organization having experienced a 50% increase in families requesting support and services in the last year, there is a critical need for monetary donations, corporate sponsorships, and community volunteers to be able to onboard the families who need help.
Arizona Helping Hands
Arizona Helping Hands is the largest provider of essential needs for children in foster care in the state offering a variety of programs that need volunteers to help the foster community thrive. The nonprofit offers a variety of volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups, including the Basic Needs Program, which provides twin beds, cribs, crib-to-toddler bed conversion rails, clothing, diapers, and other essential items to foster care families (volunteers can help ensure children have access to clothes, shoes and other basic necessities by acting as a shopping guide and restocking shelves) and Birthday Dreams, which provides personalized, wrapped birthday gifts and items to create a special birthday celebration (volunteers can help create the best birthday ever for a child in foster care by decorating birthday bags, cards, and wrapping gifts).
Arizona’s Children Association
Arizona’s Children Association (AzCA) is one of the largest providers of child welfare and behavioral health services in the state of Arizona. The community’s support directly impacts AzCA’s ability to provide essential services to Arizona’s children. A way to show your support is by conducting a volunteer drive, where companies, churches, individuals, businesses, and other organizations can provide necessary items for children and families throughout Arizona. All donated items must be new.
Phoenix Children’s Hospital
At Phoenix Children’s, patients and staff count on its wonderful volunteers. Volunteers can provide hope, healing, and care for patients and their families through many different options, like engaging with patients at the bedside, assisting in the in-hospital school, or helping families find their way around the hospital campus. Phoenix Children’s in-hospital volunteer program is accepting applications. For more information, visit the link or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arizona Jewish Historical Society
The Arizona Jewish Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. AZJHS is seeking community resources and donations for its Capital Campaign with a goal to further educate the public about Jewish history. The renovations and expansion of the existing Cutler Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center will include a new building featuring a state-of-the-art, technology-forward, Holocaust education center with interactive features such as immersive media transition experiences.
Phoenix Rescue Mission
Phoenix Rescue Mission provides Christ-centered, life-transforming solutions to those facing hunger, homelessness, addiction, and trauma. The nonprofit Mission, which has been operating since 1952, is asking the public for support of its many programs designed to transform lives, including Hope for Hunger Food Bank, Hope Coach Street Outreach, Temporary Shelter Programs, Men’s Addiction Recovery Programs, and the Changing Lives Center for Women and Children.
Volunteering opportunities include hosting a food drive; working at the Hope for Hunger Food Bank; packing bags of food and supplies for mobile pantries and community outreach events; mentoring, tutoring, and serving to clients in recovery programs; traveling on the hot streets of Phoenix providing water, encouragement, and other resources to the homeless, and more.