Here’s Where You Can ‘Gift’ Back To Your Community By Volunteering

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It’s the holiday season in B-Town, the perfect time to ‘gift’ your local community by giving back in the form of volunteerism.

In that spirit, here’s a starter list of local volunteer opportunities – if you know of any others, please email us and we’ll add ’em:

ADDED 11/22/10:

The holidays can be a particularly difficult time for our clients and patients. All live at or near poverty level and many are estranged from their families. Both of these situations often occur as a result of having a serious mental illness. For those of you who want to help, we have created a list of items that would be very useful to our clients and patients, at this or any time of year.

For information about where to donate, or to host a drive at your place of employment or place of worship, please contact us at 206-933-7248 or [email protected]


  • Soap
  • Brush/Comb
  • Toothpaste, toothbrush and floss
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo
  • Feminine Hygiene Items


  • Twin mattress
  • New pillows
  • New phone
  • Kitchen stuff such as pots and pans, silverware
  • Coffee maker
  • Oven mitts and kitchen towels
  • New shower curtains
  • New twin sheet sets
  • Boxes of tissue
  • Canned and boxed goods


  • Wilson Evolution Basketballs(4 units are needed annually for Inpatient Services)
  • Clay and Paint Supplies
  • Used soft cover books (no romance)
  • Hats and Gloves (for homeless discharge patients)
  • New sweat pants and shirt sets (male and female)
  • New L and XL women’s plain white underwear
  • Women’s make up, finger nail polish, acetone, cotton swabs and q-tips
  • Men’s face wash, deodorant, lotion

The Highline Area Food Bank is always in need, of both volunteers, food donations and cash. Cash/check donations are best, as the food bank can then purchase items at special rates, thus making the donation stretch further.

To contact the food bank, call 206-433-9900 or email [email protected].

They’re located at 18300 4th Avenue South in Burien (Map).

According to Executive Director Mike Werle, current needs include:

  • Grocery Store Collectors to stand in front of stores (the current location is at Albertson’s through December)
  • Food Bank Workers in the food bank itself, sorting food and helping
  • Distributors for holiday distribution week is Dec. 20-22, and they need extra help then

The White Center Food Bank (10829 8th Ave SW Seattle, WA 98146; Telephone: 206.762.2848) is also in need of:

  • Grocery Rescue Drivers and Driver Support: We are looking for volunteers to drive our van and accompany our drivers to collectd donated food from food drives, local grocery stores and individual donors. Shifts are Monday-Friday from 8:30AM-1:00PM and 1:00PM to 5:00 PM.  A valid drivers license for driving, training in the grocery rescue program and a food handlers permit are requirements for both of these positions.  Training can be arranged by the food bank.  Minimum commitment: 1 day/week for 3 months.
  • Client Intake/Data Entry Support: We are looking for caring volunteers who would like to help clients fill out minimal paperwork and enter their information into our database. Client Intake volunteers will also be trained to help order and distribute items for low-income families with babies as well as Emergency Feeding Program bags for special dietary needs and after-hours emergency food needs.  Bilingual ++.  We are currently looking for volunteers to work on Wednesdays from 10 AM – 1:00 PM.  Minimum commitment: 1 day/week for 6 months.
  • Food Line Workers: The food bank serves approximately 100+ families each day that we are open! Volunteers help to stock shelves, package food, set up the produce and bakery department and distribute food to the community.  Training will be provided. Food handlers permit preferred and can be arranged through the food bank. Shifts run Monday, Wednesday or Friday from 10:00 AM – 1:30 PM.  Minimum commitment: 1 day/week for 3 months
  • Baby Pantry Support: Through our partnership with Westside Baby and other groups in the community, we are able to provide support to families with infants. The Baby Pantry is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM to provide items such as infant formula, clothing, baby food, equipment, and diapers. Volunteers will help take orders and distribute these items to families. Minimum commitment: 1 day/week for 3 months.
  • Help the Hungry Food Drive: Are you a member of a community group, club, or workplace? Hosting a food drive for the food bank can be a great way to support hungry children and families in White Center.  We can supply a packet of instructions and help to coordinate with grocery stores or your organization. We will also pick up donations as needed from your food drive.

The Highline Historical Society is seeking (click here to email them directly with your interest):

  • Oral history recorders
  • Archives assistance
  • Computer data entry help
  • Qualified researchers

Burien Little Theatre
has plenty of opportunities; according to Eric Dickman, Executive Director:

BLT can use the skills set of just about anyone with time and energy.

We build and entire world and then tear it down and build another 4 to 5 times a year.

A short list of what BLT could use is:

  • Set builders
  • Set painters
  • Office staff
  • Tax preparer
  • Bookkeeper
  • Publicity manager
  • Help with publicity
  • Help passing out posters and postcards
  • Writing press releases
  • Distributing press releases
  • Organizing set construction space
  • Organizing costumes
  • Wardrobe manager during run of shows (clean and repair costumes)
  • Building, finding, managing props
  • Managing concessions
  • Selling concessions
  • Program layout
  • Web master
  • Editor
  • Sound tech
  • Managing front of House
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Public speakers (fund raising)
  • Fund raising
  • Program advertising sales people
  • Photographer
  • Videographer

Basically if you have a skill and the time to volunteer there is place for your talent in live theater.

Read to Little Kids in Burien
Sponsor: United Way Volunteer Readers | Location: Primary Location is Burien, WA 98166, but other locations are available

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More than half of all kindergartners in our state are entering school without the social, emotional, physical and cognitive skills they need to be successful. Research shows that those who start behind often stay behind.The good news is that. . . moreYouth Program Tutor

Sponsor: New Futures | Location: Burien, WA 98166

Description of the Organization: New Futures is an organization that partners with families to create communities where children thrive. Our integrated, culturally relevant programs in low-income apartment complexes build skills, foster connectedness, and promote strengths.Responsibilities: 1. Engage and build relationships. . . more

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Know of any other volunteer opportunities? Please email us and we’ll add them to this post!

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