Give back to the community by donating time and helping out at one of these many charities and public service organizations. The best part, volunteers can aid in areas that speak to them, be that with kids, animals, feeding people and so on, and sometimes get access to events and shows as well.
This list is meant to provide information on many of the local groups looking for volunteers, but keep in mind it’s always best to check in and find out what they need.
We divided our list up into categories to help you find the perfect fit. Check back regularly as we add more organizations that need your help.
If you volunteer somewhere and would like the organization to be added to the list, please leave a note in the comments, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meal Service and Food Banks in Denver
Throughout the Denver metro area food banks, soup kitchens and specialty organizations provide food for homeless, those facing economic hardship, elderly residents and people with disabilities. These non-profits are often looking for volunteers to help cook, distribute, clean and stock goods.
Get trained to volunteer in the distribution center to sort and package boxes of food to those in need. The food bank has shifts for individuals and groups six days a week at either of the centers, both right off I-70 in Denver.
One of the key components to Metro Caring is its fresh food market. Here shoppers are able to take home a weeks supply of groceries and choose from an array of nutritious foods based on dietary needs and preferences.
Volunteers sign up to greet participants, help connect people to resources and keep the market and warehouse stocked and organized.
Be a part of this non-profit that prepares and delivers meals for people living with severe illnesses. Each week Project Angel Heart’s professional chefs and registered dietitian prepare thousands of handcrafted meals tailored to meet the medical and dietary needs of those enrolled in the program.
Volunteers do everything from cooking, cleaning, packaging the food, delivery and decorating the delivery bags, the latter which can be do at home with (or without) kids.
Having partnered with farms, urban gardens and local donors, Denver Food Rescue has had a hand in opening up No Cost Grocery programs across the city.
Volunteers can pick up food, help fundraise, be a social media ambassador, fix up the bikes and trailers used for delivery, and work at the “stores” sorting food and distributing.
Family Assistance in Denver
For families and young people with kids there are a handful of organizations making a difference. Some offer housing, others job placement, and some work to help feed and cloth parents and children.
For teen moms, this organization provides free programs and opportunities for personal, educational and economic self-sufficiency. The women live in the house where they are fed, clothed and have free child care.
Those looking to help need to take a volunteer orientation and then they can aide the teens with education goals, work with the children, offer administrative support, manage the “store,” work in the kitchen and more.
Jewish Family Service is a nonsectarian, non-profit agency offering customized services to vulnerable individuals and families. There are many ways to volunteer here, for example working in the Weinberg Food Pantry, visiting an isolated older adult, supporting fundraising events, donation pick ups and more.
Apply online and find the right spot to give your time.
A number of services are provided here for women in need and their families. Programs include in-house stabilization, follow-up support and a transitional housing program, all with the idea to promote self-sufficiency.
Volunteers have many ways to help, from providing child care to working in the house to preparing meals and bringing it to the residents to share potluck style.
Homeless Shelters in Denver
There are many homeless shelters in and near Denver. Most have some sort of volunteer program where people can come in and help sort donations, serve meals, play games with kids and socialize with residents.
Under the branch of this religious organization places such as Samaritan House and Marisol Homes are run. Volunteers help serve food, take care of children, teach classes, work the front desk and maintain the warehouses.
Located at 1901 29th St. in Denver, here volunteers can prepare lunch bags here for the homeless to pick up and serve hot meals at dinner time. The venue is run by the Salvation Army, and for details you can call the main line at 303-295-3366.
Located at 2741 N. Federal Blvd., the family-focused Salvation Army shelter caters to homeless persons with minors. Volunteers are often needed here for serving dinner (5 to 7 p.m. daily), clean the facility and sorting thought donations and clothing.
Located at 4505 W. Alameda Ave., currently the Salvation Army-run shelter is looking for volunteers to answer phones, greet people, and distributing food boxes. The venue also is looking for volunteer music instructors for its youth programs. Check with the staff to find out how else you can help.
At-Risk Adult Populations
Focused mainly on adults who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of this, these organizations provide resources to help people get on their feet and heal.
The goal of this religious charity is to help people who are experiencing homelessness and addiction by offering emergency services, rehabilitation and community outreach.
There’s a long list of volunteer opportunities from prepping meals to warehouse support to mentoring. Find a complete list on the website, denverrescuemission.org.
For over 30 years the CCH has advocated for and provided a continuum of housing and a variety of services to improve the health, well-being and stability of those experiencing homelessness. Volunteer here as a licensed medical provider or as a long-term, individual volunteer. Groups are also welcome for various projects.
Hospitals and Medical Facilities in Denver
It’s safe to say almost every hospital and nursing home is looking for volunteers, so check out the one closest to you. Here are a handful of places activity seeking dedicated help.
Founder Linda Holloway started Bessie’s Hope over 20 years ago, an homage to her grandmother and as a way to make sure elderly people had a supportive place to live out their years.
There are a lot of ways to help out here, both for adults and kids. Join a youth and elder program, participate in the community and elder programs, or bring the whole family to visit with the residents.
The Denver Health volunteer program began in 1935 and now sees around 300 people a year. Ages 16-plus can sign up to help with animal therapy, drive the book cart around, host activities for pediatric patients and so much more. Each volunteer needs to commit to four hours a week and be screened before hand.
Find the location of this nursing home chain that’s closest to you, and then volunteer to hang out with residents, showcase a talent or just help out in general. There are many Morning Stars in and near Denver to choose from.
For 70 years this hospital has welcomed volunteers, who do everything from making lap robes for cancer patients to assisting families in surgery waiting areas to giving clerical support. There are specialty programs as well, which can be found by visiting the center’s website, healthonecares.com/locations/rose.dot.
Once vetted, volunteers can work at the welcome desk, in the emergency department, with pet therapy visitors and go around visiting patients. Ages 14 and up can volunteer, though the hospital does require a one-year commitment and an average of four hours of service each week.
Volunteer in Denver with Animals
There are many ways to help out animals without a home, and plenty of places in and near Denver that support these furry creatures. Some opportunities are with shelters, while others involve working a farm or even helping with wildlife. A lot of volunteer shifts include cleaning, as well as walking dogs, playing with animals and feeding.
There are a lot of ways to volunteer at this cat and dog rescue, including fostering an animal, helping out at adoption events, and giving a pet a ride to the vet or new home. Help out from home by doing administrative tasks such as making phone calls and database entry.
Care for the cats, dogs, small mammals and even horses at this organization that was founded in 1910. All volunteers must be at least 16-years-old, and able to commitment at least three hours per week for six months or longer.
Another way to volunteer is by joining the foster care program, which can be applied to online. There are multiple locations of the group, all across the Front Range.
Apply online to become part of the volunteer team at this Golden shelter. They are looking for dog walkers, those who can socialize cats, people with data entry skills and more.
No prior work with farm animals is needed, though experience is always appreciated at this Erie farm. Animal care shifts may include cleaning the living areas, filling up feed and water, organizing and cleaning the sanctuary, and giving plenty of love and attention to the resident creatures. Training is required, but there are no time requirements.
Though currently MaxFund isn’t accepting new volunteers to work with the cats and dogs, eventually they will be. Volunteering here costs $25 to pay for administrative fees and a background check. Once vetted, volunteers must be there at least four hours per month, for at least six months. They also have to be 14 or older, and those 14 to 15 must have an adult working with them as well.
Like animals but maybe you’re allergic to dogs and cats? One volunteer job Urban Wildlife Rescue needs people for is helping at local BINGO events that also act as fundraisers. Other jobs include keeping baby raccoons, foxes and squirrels fed around the clock, as well as cleaning cages and driving to pick up and drop off caged animals.
Volunteer at Attractions in Denver
Many local attractions, museums and institutions have roles for volunteers. Often the perks include passes or tickets as well as the feeling you’re helping out.
Those squeamish around bugs will not want to volunteer here, but if you’re not and have an interest in invertebrate, take the opportunity to help out the Butterfly Pavilion. Volunteers can work with plants and animals, talk to guests about the exhibits and more.
Just keep in mind that volunteers must complete an interview, background check, orientation, and pay a one-time orientation fee of $25.
Volunteer as an usher and see the plays, operas, ballets and the shows for free. At the moment the center isn’t taking on more volunteers, but check back on the website for updates.
With so many ways to volunteer, this spot is a great option for those interested in the sciences. Find a complete list of open volunteer positions online at dmns.org. You do have to apply, do an interview and submit a copy of your COVID-19 vaccination card.
There are four ways to volunteer at the Denver Zoo: As an assistant zookeeper, with the visitors coming to the zoo, in the horticulture department or prepping meals for the residents.
This means helping the zookeepers upkeep the areas, giving zoo-goers directions and answering questions, working the many gardens, and making the plate de jour for the animals.
Want to see the opera for free? Volunteer here as a tour guide, event greeter, usher, artist host, costume dresser, in the gift shop or as office support and get a chance to not only help, but see a show too.
Enter into the gallery space by volunteering at this nonprofit arts organization. There are many ways to engage this way, including assisting with art installation, visitor services, marketing and more.
Volunteer Options for Teens
Whether looking for places for a teen to volunteer for school credit, life skills or to put on a college application, there are a few key places. Check first to find out if they have an age stipulation that requires a parent to accompany them.
The Junior Volunteer Program at Children’s Hospital Colorado gives teens ages 13 to 18 the chance get involved in the community while building up life experience.
Here teens can do a full-year or summer volunteer program, which includes volunteer credit if needed. It’s about three hours a week, and there are various departments to work in.
Just when you thought your kid was too old for the Children’s Museum, they can start volunteering there. Ages 13-plus can check the website for current summer, event and ongoing positions. The only catch, you need to commit to a minimum of 50 hours of service and either have your COVID-19 vaccine or show a negative test each week.
Those 13 to 18 can explore a range of teen volunteer programs over the summer at the gardens, including a Junior Counselor program (ages 13 to 15). Find the complete list of opportunities online at botanicgardens.org.
If you’re 14 or older volunteering at this family-focused advocacy group is a good option. Sign up online and download the handbook.
Starting at age 14, kids can volunteer or do an internship with Habitat For Humanity. Because some opportunities involve power tools, some options require an adult to be present too.
Younger Kids Can Volunteer
One of the best ways to show kids about volunteering is to make scheduled trips to the park or playground and have them pick up trash. There are also a lot of charity races, which, while not exactly volunteering, showcases altruism.
Over all there aren’t many options for those under the age of 13 to volunteer, but here are a couple.
Have your little ones decorate bags for the weekly meals to be packed in. They can draw pictures to help cheer up the ill and disabled people who receive them. This can be done at home, you just have to go pick up the bags and register.
Get outside with your little one and volunteer at the farm together. The idea of this non-profit is to engage urban youth in learning about local food and agricultural systems.
Nature and Outdoor Volunteer Opportunities
Get outside and volunteer to help clean up the public areas and maintain Colorado’s natural surroundings.
There are a lot of opportunities to volunteer at Barr Lake State Park, from working at the entry gate to helping out with the archery range to maintaining the park. Find more details and sign up at cpwconnect.state.co.us.
The whole state of Colorado is looking for volunteers to help maintain its natural assets. Volunteers greet campers, perform light maintenance, help in visitor centers and more. Bonus, when you volunteer you also get camping and park passes. Visit cpw.state.co.us to find out what parks need help and to sign up.
There are so many ways to work with this non-profit environmental group. People of all ages can sign up to plant trees, build gardens, restore habitats, community outreach, business services and more.
Join the state’s oldest outdoor stewardship non-profit organization from April through October. The volunteer forms become available on line starting in February, and the overall goal of the group is to motivate and enable people to become active caretakers of Colorado’s beautiful natural resources.
Volunteer at Camps Near Denver
Throughout the year special camps take place to provide fun events for those with disabilities or facing severe illness. There are also basic summer camps that are looking for a helping hand.
The mission of Adam’s Camp is to bring children and young adults with developmental disabilities and their families to experience recreation in a camp environment. Visit the website at adamscamp.org to find out what opportunities are currently available.
This no-cost summer camp is for kids facing pediatric cancer and their siblings. All volunteers are vetted, but once signed up you can help out during the camp in many ways.
Each year this Gypsum camp offers an adventure for children with serious illnesses and their families. It’s free to attend, and the program relies on volunteers to help make it happen.
Events and Festivals
Each year there are hundreds of special events and festivals in Colorado, and many of them take volunteers. Often this means free admittance to the fete as well.
Get into the farmers’ market this season by helping out. Each year the Boulder County Farmers Market looks for volunteers to help deliver farm-fresh food to local schools, organizations, and families who need it; as well working the Boulder market location.
Love food but can’t pay for a ticket to the annual Denver Food & Wine Festival? Consider volunteering to pick up trash, work the door and help vendors set up. Check the website at denverfoodandwine.com for details once the current information is posted.
Each January comes this iconic celebration of all things cowboy, and for those 16 days help is needed. Volunteer in various spot including the working in the kids activity pavilion, monitoring the Coors Western Art Room, in guest services, helping out during the horse and livestock shows, administrative support and more.