Why So Serious? Fun volunteer opportunities in the Twin Cities

Looking for ways to have fun and relax while helping the community? Well, the Twin Cities are full of amazing volunteer opportunities for anyone looking to make a difference in their community.

Animal friendly organizations that focus on assisting animals through volunteer support provide an opportunity for students to enrich their lives by helping their furry friends.

The Humane Society in St. Paul is a great place for animal lovers! Located on Beulah Lane in St. Paul, the Humane Society allows volunteers to get involved in four easy steps. The first step includes simply meeting volunteer requirements, while the second step involves exploring possible volunteer opportunities to understand which opportunity relates most to the potential volunteer. Opportunities available include adoption support, animal bathers, dog walkers, and more. The third step to becoming a volunteer is to complete the online application (which includes a $20 application fee) and interview with a current member of the volunteer services team. The fourth step? Starting your volunteer role after acceptance! To start your volunteer experience, either contact the Humane Society by calling 651-645-7387, or visit http://www.animalhumanesociety.org.

Holly Abel ’16 spoke about her experience bringing her middle school students to an animal shelter. Abel ’16 said, “They were very welcoming to my middle school students and I, and the experience was really rewarding.”

For a refreshing break from the library, volunteering at Three Rivers Park District offers an energizing opportunity for students to aid the community through outdoor experience. Multiple opportunities for volunteering include handling or monitoring animals, providing customer service assistance at programs, events, and facilities and supporting nature through education programs. For more information, visit http://www.threeriversparks.org/volunteer/individual-opportunities.aspx, call 763-559-6706, or email volunteer@threeriverparkdistrict.org.

Volunteering at the Children’s Hospital in St. Paul is another great opportunity! Students can apply to be greeters, pet therapy volunteers, or to play with siblings of patients in designated play areas. Not only is this helpful for those interested in healthcare careers to gain valuable experience in a hospital setting, but the volunteer opportunities also present students with rewarding and enjoyable opportunities to help patients. Applications to volunteer at the Children’s Hospital can be found at http://www.childrensmn.org/giving/ways-to-give/volunteer-opportunities/volunteer-services.

Anna Carey ’18 speaks fondly of her experience volunteering at a hospital. Carey ’18 said, “It was nice feeling like I was making a difference, and it was a lot of fun.”

In Minneapolis lies another volunteer opportunity that involves having fun with childhood past-times you normally don’t participate in now that you’re technically an ‘adult’. Hospitality House Youth Development, a non-profit organization, focuses on “spiritual, intellectual and physical development of inner city youth and their families.” Hospitality House Youth Development offers opportunities for volunteers to engage in their community by helping youth and families attain advantageous resources. Volunteers assist in providing resources for children such as teaching children origami or face painting at organization events. Other information regarding multiple volunteer opportunities can be found at http://www.hhyd.org/volunteer/. You can also call the Volunteer Coordinator at 612-522-4485 ext. 13 to set up an interview or have your questions answered.

If none of the opportunities listed above appeal to you, have no fear! Multiple sites such as www.volunteermatch.org offer listings of volunteer opportunities in the area. With some research and patience, you will be able to find a volunteer opportunity that is right for you.

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