UW Combined Fund Drive

May 30, 2024

Volunteer for a good cause this summer

Summer is almost here! And it’s a great time to connect with your community through volunteering.

Research has found that volunteering has many benefits to you and the communities you serve.

We want to share a few of the many opportunities to give back through volunteering — either on your own, with your family or with a group of friends or co-workers. And we know that summer is also a great time for your kids to serve required volunteer hours for school.

You can learn more and get ideas about volunteering locally through the UW Combined Fund Drive. And find hundreds of volunteer opportunities through Volunteer Match or the Washington Combined Fund Drive database. Track your volunteer hours with our UWCFD volunteer tracker.

To get you started, here are a few volunteer opportunities with some of our favorite nonprofit organizations near the UW’s three campuses.


Northshore Senior Center

There are many flexible opportunities at Northshore to help senior citizens. You could lead exercises as a fitness instructor at Bothell, Kenmore or Mill Creek sites.

Can’t make it to a center? Consider writing thoughtful letters that can be mailed out to seniors and join the Kindness Crew, spreading positivity through your words!

Have administrative skills? Consider putting those computer and customer service skills to use as front desk support to greet visitors.

Woodinville Farmers Market

This is a great opportunity for families and kids to volunteer! Volunteer opportunities are split into morning (8 a.m.-noon) and afternoon (11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.) shifts

Hone your event management skills and help promote sustainability in our food systems by helping vendors or assisting at the visitors’ desk or kids’ activity table.


University District Food Bank

Help alleviate food insecurity in Northeast Seattle through volunteering in the front of the house, back of the house, home delivery program—or even helping tend the Rooftop Roots Farm.

Volunteer opportunities cater to a range of commitment levels, group sizes (up to 16) and ages (middle- and high-school students welcome!). Can’t commit to regular volunteering? Sign up for drop-in hours.

UW Food Pantry

Help UW students, staff or faculty who may be facing short-term food insecurity by volunteering in one of many ways.

The Food Pantry always needs people to check-in visitors, transport local produce donations from the UW Farm or other campus locations, join the gleaning team, organize food drives or table events to increase awareness.

King County Library System

Improve literacy and support the library as a welcoming space for all. Volunteer opportunities include leading Talk Time Classes, conversing with English language learners, serving as a Reading Buddy or tutor for K-12 students.

You can also volunteer virtually as a student greeter, Reading Buddy, Math Club instructor or tutor.

Path With Art

Support healing trauma through the arts as a creative mentor or support teaching artists as an in-person or virtual assistant, capturing photography, taking attendance, helping facilitate positive engagement. Two-hour classes typically run for four or eight weeks and are held on weekday afternoons/evenings.

Tilth Alliance

Get your hands dirty with one of the featured organizations in our recent Urban Gardening Lunch & Learn, hosted by the UW Combined Fund Drive. Tilth Alliance has volunteer opportunities working in gardens, farms, wetlands and forests. Volunteers can also help improve access to fresh produce in our community, celebrate community meals and support family and senior nutrition programs.


Reading Partners

Improve childhood literacy by volunteering to read with a local elementary school student, in-person or remotely.  Time commitment is as little as one hour per week.

Tacoma Community House

The Tacoma Community House provides educational, employment, immigration and advocacy services to the Puget Sound community. As an employment workshop volunteer, help connect immigrants and refugees to employment opportunities by reviewing resumes or conducting mock interviews.

Zero Waste Washington

Get involved with one of the featured organizations at May’s UW Combined Fund Drive Environmental Nonprofit Expo by volunteering for an upcoming South Sound Litter Cleanup. As a group, you’ll beautify parks and beaches and help advocate for policies that limit plastic waste.

We hope that you will be inspired to find a volunteer activity that resonates with you!