10 easy ways to get started volunteering in Austin in the New Year

Volunteer at Austin Diaper Bank

So you’ve resolved to get involved this year, but you don’t know where to start? GivingCity offers this list of “greatest hits” of volunteer opportunities to help you find meaningful, rewarding events for yourself and your group.

In the Austin area, there are some gold-standard volunteer opportunities that practically guarantee you and your group a great time and a meaningful impact – and that are simple to do! If you’re just getting started as a volunteer in Austin or if you want to explore something different, try one of these beloved Austin projects.

Just remember: These are very popular. You may need to sign up weeks in advance. Bring friends or family, and have fun giving back!

  1. Sort food at Central Texas Food Bank warehouse. Couldn’t be easier. You can find a slot online, show up, get trained, and start sorting food fast.
  2. Sort diapers at Austin Diaper Bank. Open boxes, sort sizes, bundle them up. Super important, and it’s tons of fun.
  3. Serve a hot lunch at Caritas of Austin. This is a great opportunity for a small group. The downtown Caritas offers a free lunch to anyone who needs it, Monday through Friday, and they’re always looking for good folks who can help serve it up.
  4. Organize an in-kind drive, like food for Central Texas Food Bank; kids’ party supplies for Pop-Up Birthday; women’s professional clothes, shoes, and makeup for Dress for Success; household items in a ‘welcome home’ basket for Foundation Communities; books for Bookspring; pet food for Austin Humane Society. These are great for small offices, teams, troops, and more. Compete against another group to make it event more fun.
  5. Drive a senior with Drive-A-Senior. It’s just what it sounds like. As people lose their ability to drive, they need help getting to appointments, the grocery store, and other errands. You can help get them there, and the times are very flexible.
  6. Deliver lunch for Meals on Wheels. There’s a background check and some training, but from there, it’s easy and fun to deliver a meal to a hungry senior once a week.
  7. Volunteer at Community First Village. Whether you can help in the garden, serve in the Community Grille or however you can pitch in, you’ll likely work alongside the formerly homeless residents and understand how much their lives have changed because they have a community and a home.
  8. Clean up a park with Austin Parks Foundation. With more than 300 park possibilities across Austin, there’s always a park that needs some TLC. And you can’t beat volunteering outside.
  9. Help build affordable housing with Habitat for Humanity. You don’t have to be a part of a group to work on a home-build. Just check out their listing of opportunities and sign up for a spring or fall build.
  10. Help maintain and harvest in a community garden with Urban Roots. You’ll work alongside and/or be led by students who are learning about gardening, food, and healthy eating. New opportunities weekly.

There might be some of the most obvious opportunities, but they’re obvious and common for a reason: They always deliver on a great experience. Much credit to the volunteer program officers for finding ways to get the community involved in the solutions.

Check out these opportunities – but hurry! These slots go fast.

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