April became National Volunteer Month in 1991 under President George H. W. Bush. It has been proven that those who participate in volunteer work lead happier, healthier lives. There are many other places and ways to volunteer your time, we wish we could fit them all here. We hope that this inspires you to get out and give back!

Advocate for Animals:

If you are an animal lover, you can volunteer your time helping the humane society! As a volunteer, you can work directly with the critters at the center, become a foster parent, or help out with fundraising and events. Visit their website to learn more.

Whatcom Humane Society: whatcomhumane.org
Skagit Humane Society: skagithumane.org

As a volunteer at the Orcas Animal Protection Society, you could provide companionship to animals waiting to be adopted, provide basic or medical animal care, assist visitors and clients coming to the shelter, help with fundraising, provide maintenance and general support of the shelter, and more! Visit their website to learn more: orcaspets.org

At the Friday Harbor Animal Protection Society, volunteers can work with animals at the shelter, become a foster parent, work at the retail store, or help with fundraising and community outreach. Learn more at their website: apsfh.com

Be Kind to Kids:

The Boys & Girls Club has many different ways to help out. They are currently looking for volunteers to run after school game rooms, support kids with homework assignments and build computer skills, coaching, and administrative support.

Whatcom County Branch: whatcomclubs.org
Skagit County Branch: skagitclubs.org

The YMCA teaches kids and adults to build relationships and community, lead healthy lives, and strive for higher goals. Volunteer at the Y by coaching teams, teaching classes, motivating kids, and inspiring someone!

Whatcom Family YMCA: ymca.net
Skagit Valley Family YMCA: skagitymca.org

Work With Words:

You can volunteer at your local library working with books, kids, and community members. Help teach classes, lead children’s activities and storytime, garden, organize shelves, promote library events, and more!

Whatcom County Library System: wcls.org
Mount Vernon Public Library: mountvernonpubliclibrary.org

The Whatcom Literacy Council is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to increasing literacy in adults. Become a tutor, teach classes, become an advocate, or help with fundraising events. Visit their website for more info: whatcomliteracy.org

Fight Famine With Food:

Volunteering at your local food bank is a great way to really make a difference. Many people want to give back to the community during the holidays, but help is needed year-round! At a food bank, you can collect donations from grocery stores, sort donations, and distribute food, among other tasks. Find a food bank near you!

Bellingham Food Bank: bellinghamfoodbank.org
Foothills Food Bank: foothillsfoodbank.org
Skagit County Helping Hands Food Bank: helpinghandsfoodbank.org
San Juan Island Food Bank: sjiscommunityresource.org

Help The Homeless:

The Opportunity Council advocates for and helps improve the lives of families, children, veterans, aging seniors and our most vulnerable residents through education, support, and direct assistance. Become a volunteer at The Opportunity Council by filling out the online application here: oppco.org

Homeless Project Connect of Skagit is working to end homelessness by providing a place where people are able to receive information and same-day services at a single location. They collaborate with health and human service providers, churches, civic groups, youth groups, businesses, and government organizations. Visit their volunteer page here: skagitprojecthomelessconnect.org

Northwest Youth Services is a nonprofit providing assistance to youth between the ages of 13 and 24 who are experiencing homelessness in Whatcom and Skagit counties. They have a few upcoming community volunteer opportunities. More info can be found on their website here: nwys.org

For other volunteer opportunities, visit the Volunteer Center of Whatcom County here: whatcomvolunteer.galaxydigital.com

For more content like this, check out Lindsey Major’s article on Helping Hands here.