Top five places to volunteer locally

Local bulletin boards are a great place to find volunteer opportunities.

Lauren Sexton

Local bulletin boards are a great place to find volunteer opportunities.

With summer break just around the corner, schedules will open up, allowing time to participate in local activities. Throughout the city, volunteer opportunities are available at numerous different locations. People may wonder if the opportunity will be engaging, beneficial, or even worth their time. To help, here is a list of the best places to volunteer around the community.

1. Local parks

SOLVE provides opportunities year-round. Here
is a list of all the dates they provide to volunteer.
(Lauren Sexton)

The Parks Department invites volunteers to work at Mary S. Young on the first Sunday of each month as well as Burnside and Maddax Woods Park on the third Saturday of each month. During these sessions, volunteers will be pulling out invasive species, including blackberries and English ivy. These blackberries take nutrients away from native plants and English ivy, if not controlled, can kill trees. In order to participate, volunteers must register by going to the SOLVE website. SOLVE is an organization that improves the environment by bringing Oregonians together. For more information about the monthly events, visit the West Linn Volunteer Page.

VolunteerMatch also provides opportunities where volunteers remove invasive species, reintroduce suitable native plants, help the expansion of walking trails, and assist in overall park maintenance. 

There is a consistent project that started on April 5 and ends on June 3. They meet from 8:30—11:30 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. All are welcome.





Rolling Hills Church is located on Borland Road, just down the street from Athey Creek Middle School.(Lauren Sexton)

2. Hope’s Closet

Offering food and clothing to people in need, Hope’s Closet is located at Rolling Hills Church and is completely run on donations. Volunteer sessions occur the first Monday of every month from 9—11 a.m. and the third Thursday of every month from 4—6 p.m. During these, you can help sort and organize clothing, help clients shop, and deliver clothes to other charities. All are welcome.

For more information about donating or volunteering, check out Hope’s Closet’s website, and if you have any further questions, contact Tosha Salyer at t[email protected].

3. West Linn Food Pantry

The church provides signs on its doors reminding people of the
occurrence of the food pantry. (Lauren Sexton)

Open on Thursdays from 3—6 p.m., the West Linn Food Pantry prepares and delivers food boxes for families in West Linn as well as Lake Oswego. Stationed inside the Willamette United Methodist Church, they are a non-profit charity relying on donations. These donations allow over 150 families to get supplies lasting three to five days. Donation information such as what items can be donated or where and when to donate can be found on their website.

Volunteers package food boxes, carry boxes to cars, and deliver them to houses. Email or call the food pantry to discuss what you could do to help. See their website for more information.



4. West Linn Library

The library has events weekly such as
family storytimes and lessons for kids to learn sign language. They also have events that do not come as regularly such as crocheting lessons, board game days, and events where you express your creativity while eating treats the library provides. For more detail about these events and others that are offered, look over the West Linn Library’s calendar. (Lauren Sexton)

Located on Burns Street, the West Linn Library is open on all days except major federal holidays. Their hours vary depending on the day but are always open at 10 a.m.. In order to volunteer, you must be 14 years old, fill out an application located on their website, and be ready to make a regular contribution. With the application, it may take several weeks for yours to be processed and hours are not guaranteed. 

What you can expect to do while volunteering is shelf reading, straightening shelves, shelf help, stocking the used bookstore, picking up books from book drops, and/or general library tasks. If you are interested in one of these, contact the Volunteer Specialist, whose information is included in the website, to arrange training. 

At the events held, performers, such as a soloist or a group, share what they have learned over the course of their quarter and the ways they have improved their skills. (Molly Lundstrom)

5. Youth Music Project 

Throughout the year, Youth Music Project will have fundraisers, concert weeks, and open mics where help and support would greatly benefit the event. Open mics occur the first Friday of every month and concert weeks happen quarterly for the students. The next concert week starts on June 12 and ends June 17. There is also the street team who is in need of volunteers to help distribute flyers on the street. If you are interested in any of these opportunities, check out their website to send them a note of inquiry.