UW Combined Fund Drive

Volunteer in the community

Volunteer! It’s good for you. 

In study after study, researchers have found that people who volunteer lead longer, healthier, happier lives. Volunteerism correlates positively to stronger self-confidence, better quality of friendships and improved job prospects.

Ready to get back out there? Volunteering builds more robust social networks, and because volunteering often helps people discover their passions, the ability to tell one’s own story. Not quite ready for groups? There are plenty of virtual volunteer opportunities too!

You can easily track your time spent volunteering for CFD member charities using the CFD Volunteer Tracker.

Volunteer opportunities

Want to see what’s out there? Check out these volunteer clearinghouses:

  • Visit the United Way of King County’s volunteer site and search for thousands of volunteer opportunities.
  • Visit VolunteerMatch and find an opportunity that is just right for you.
  • Idealist.org is a nonprofit connecting people and organizations for jobs, internships, volunteer opportunities and graduate school fairs to help people advance their social impact career.

Get Outside

Washington Trails Association offers a variety of opportunities, from local one-day work parties to multi-day volunteer vacations, working to restore and maintain our state’s public lands.

In an effort to make all 2,500 acres of Seattle’s parkland healthy and accessible to all, Green Seattle Partnership offers a variety of local restoration, reforestation and work parties every week with over 1,500 events a year at 155 area parks.

Want to plant trees? Seattle’s Tree Ambassador program engages volunteers in leading educational tree walks, hosting tree stewardship events and planting trees with the Trees for Neighborhoods program.

For animal lovers

“Pandemic pets” are now being returned to shelters at alarming rates. Seattle HumanePAWS and Homeward Pet are great organizations that offer plenty of in-shelter volunteer opportunities such as clinic assistants and animal socializers. Seattle Animal Shelter particularly needs foster homes for dogs, cats and critters.

Seattle Veterinary Outreach, which provides free care for the pets of homeless people, has immediate need of medical staff and clinic support staff.

Want to be a puppy sitter? Summit Assistance Dogs’ single greatest volunteer need is for loving and devoted foster homes and sitter for their puppies and adolescent dogs training to become service pets.

Pasado’s Safe Haven needs volunteers for a variety of roles, including collecting and distributing donations at their pet food bank.

Got a car?

Chicken Soup Brigade needs volunteer drivers to deliver groceries and fresh meals to clients throughout King and Snohomish counties.

Phinney Neighborhood Association’s Hot Meals Program volunteers help by picking up food donations, hosting food drives and preparing, cooking, serving and cleaning up weekly meals.

Use Your Skills

Record yourself reading stories for kids! Neighborhood House seeks volunteers to read a favorite children’s book on video to be shared with participating families. Volunteers who speak other languages are especially needed.

Create fun DIY displays at a local Habitat for Humanity store – it’s not all hammers and nails. Want to build? Project sites are now accepting volunteers in Lake City and Renton for individuals and groups.

Cookies baked with love is a program for volunteers to bake cookies at their home for Recovery Café members attending a monthly resource connection day at the new South Lake Union café. This monthly event offers a variety of other opportunities as well.

Bake bread at home for Community Loaves, a grassroots community bread brigade supporting local food banks with fresh and nutritious home-baked bread.

Volunteer from Home

Amnesty International’s Amnesty Decoders network of digital volunteers helps conduct research into global human rights violations.

Help make the Smithsonian Institution’s collections more accessible by volunteering online to transcribe historical documents or edit Wikipedia articles related to their artifacts and research.

For those fluent in more than one language, Translators Without Borders combines language skills with humanitarian aid. Volunteers provide translations (10 million words a year!) to international organizations that focus on crisis relief, health and education.

Tutor underserved K-12 students online one or more hours per week in math, science, reading or writing.

United Nations volunteer programs include a variety of online options, such as writing, translating, design, research, outreach and event organizing. One cool op is to interview women and girls in STEM careers or educational programs for their Talking Tech program.

Human services

Family Law CASA of King County needs volunteers to serve as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) for children in court during custody situations. Training is provided and the position is largely virtual.

The ElderFriends program connects volunteers with isolated adults for regular one-on-one visits (currently by phone) in Puget Sound.

ROOTS Young Adult Shelter relies on volunteers to set up and clean up shelter areas, prepare and serve meals, hand out supplies, build positive relationships with guests, and more.

The American Red Cross relies on volunteers to carry out 90% of its volunteer work in preventing and responding to humanitarian crises. From boots-on-the-ground opportunities to behind the scenes work in outreach and fundraising, there is something for everyone.

Want to donate more than time?

The UW COVID-19 Employee Emergency Fund is providing up to $750 for a critical, temporary, and unforeseen financial hardship due to COVID-19. Financial grants do not need to be repaid and are not taxable as income.

Set up monthly payroll deduction or make a one-time gift through the UW Combined Fund Drive (UWCFD) to any of thousands of charitable organizations locally, nationally and internationally.

Additional UWCFD nonprofits around the Seattle area

Seattle World School

Seattle World School (SWS) is currently searching for volunteers willing to tutor students or assist in classes. SWS is a public middle and high school for low-income immigrants and refugees in Seattle, most of whom are also English language learners. Time commitment is usually an hour or two once a week, but it is flexible and can be as much or as little as the volunteer is willing to commit. No prior teaching experience or knowledge of another language is required, just an interest in helping under served young people.

Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington

Make a Wish partners with thousands of volunteers, donors and medical professionals in our community and has granted more than 7,600 wishes to children with critical illnesses in the last 35 years. Making these wishes come true takes a team and there are a wide variety of volunteer opportunities including wish granting, events volunteers, translators, gift list fulfillment, and more.

Washington Trails Association

Washington Trails Association mobilizes hikers and everyone who loves the outdoors to explore, steward and champion trails and public lands. Trails across Washington need our help and support more than ever. WTA welcomes anyone who wants to lend a hand and help out on trails—whether you’ve had years of experience or you’re brand new to tools.

Food Lifeline

Food Lifeline is dedicated to ending hunger in Western Washington by providing 90,000 meals to our hungry neighbors every day.  Volunteer teams and individuals repackage food for delivery to more than 275 food banks, shelters and meal programs. Learn about how you and your friends can help to end hunger in our community!

Summit Assistance Dogs

Our single biggest volunteer need is foster homes, both long and short term.  They are the backbone of our organization, and we couldn’t do our work without them.

Long-term foster homes help raise our puppies.  If you have the time required to train and care for a dog and a desire to help change a life, we welcome you to apply to become a puppy raiser.  We need you to attend regular training classes, devote 15-20 minutes each day to training, and care for the dog’s routine needs, including feeding, grooming, exercise and socialization. We will give you lots of support in return. To become a highly valued Summit foster home, please request an application form.

Seattle Education Access (SEA)

Northwest Education Access provides comprehensive and individualized support to help low-income young people, ages 16-29, build their own path to higher education and beyond. Volunteer opportunities include GED Success Tutors, College Placement Tutor, College Prep Tutor, Academic Tutor, and more

YouthCare

YouthCare works to end youth homelessness and to ensure that young people are valued for who they are and empowered to achieve their potential. YouthCare has paused all indoor volunteering but have put together a list of projects that can be done from home including hosting drives to collect needed items, provide meals, and more.

Pasado’s Safe Haven

Pasado investigates animal cruelty crimes and provides sanctuary and rehabilitation to animals who have suffered from abuse and neglect. In additional, they also advocate for better laws to protect animals and work to educate the public about how they can help end animal suffering. At Pasado volunteers help in the animal sanctuary, the pet food bank, assisting with the spay and neuter clinic, and support outreach efforts.

ROOTS Young Adult Shelter

ROOTS Young Adult Shelter builds community and fosters dignity through access to essential services and a safe place to sleep for young adults experiencing homelessness. We could not open our doors without our fantastic volunteer team. Right now, we’re looking for more people to fill Morning Floor, Overnight, and Dinner Meal shifts. No experience necessary; training and community provided!

YMCA of Seattle

Giving your time to volunteer at the Y is a rewarding and fun way to support neighbors, strengthen community, and connect with other amazing people. There are many ways to contribute, no matter the interests or schedules. Opportunities are available for individuals and families or work and personal groups. Volunteer today to give others a brighter, more hopeful tomorrow.

Treehouse

Giving Foster Kids a Childhood and a Future – We envision–and strive to create–a world where every child that has experienced foster care has the opportunities and support they need to pursue their dreams and launch successfully into adulthood. Volunteers power Treehouse, collectively donating an average of 1,100 hours per month – that’s the equivalent of almost seven extra full-time staff members. Volunteers strengthen every Treehouse program, working as tutors, event staff, Wearhouse organizers, envelope stuffers, members of the Board of Directors and much more. Visit Treehouse’s website for more information.

Seattle Ronald McDonald House

The Ronald McDonald House in Seattle provides more than 28,000 nights of housing a year for families with children receiving treatment at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Volunteers play a huge role in supporting our daily operations. As the second largest Ronald McDonald House in the world, we rely on volunteers to help us provide a warm and welcoming home-away-from-home for families. Each month, over 500 volunteers contribute their time to keeping the House open every day of the year.

Sanctuary Art Center

The Sanctuary Art Center is a collection of art studios providing programs for homeless and underserved youth ages 16-25 in the Greater Seattle area. The best way to help is to volunteer! From programs to policy there are lots of ways to get involved. Sanctuary Art Center is looking for passionate individuals to join our efforts in bringing creativity into the lives of young people. We currently have opportunities on our Board of Directors and in our Employment Internship Programs.

University District Food Bank

Volunteers help to distribute food to our customers 6 days a week Monday-Saturday. Volunteers assist with packing pre-made non-perishable boxes, shopping for customers, sorting donations, restocking shelves and helping us maintain a clean and safe grocery store.