2021 Volunteer Guide: 13 ways to give back in the Bay Area

This Adult Education Center aims to help advance literary skills and employment opportunities for adults. (Courtesy Adult Education Center)
This Adult Education Center aims to help advance literary skills and employment opportunities for adults. (Courtesy Adult Education Center)

This Adult Education Center aims to help advance literary skills and employment opportunities for adults. (Courtesy Adult Education Center)

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Bayou Animal Shelter strives to tailor pet adoptions to every person’s needs. (Courtesy Bayou Animal Services)
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The City of Pearland Adoption Center works to protect animals and promote adoptions of its animals. (Courtesy City of Pearland Animal Services and Adoption Center)

For those looking to help out in the Bay Area community, there are several local nonprofit groups that offer volunteer opportunities and accept donations. This list is noncomprehensive.


BETTER THE CITY

Friends of Freeman Library


This nonprofit helps support the Clear Lake City-County Freeman Branch Library. Any money raised through the organization helps fund events and services at the library.

Sample activities: working in the bookstore, researching, writing and submitting proposals

Donations accepted: money


16616 Diana Lane, Houston

832-927-5444

www.friendsoffreeman.org


Volunteer requirements: application, orientation, under age 18 allowed

Helen Hall Library

The Helen Hall Library is located in League City. It offers many volunteer opportunities, including ones that can be used for service hours.

Sample activities: tutoring, creating content, helping with program setup

Donations accepted: money, books

100 W. Walker St., League City

281-554-1111

www.leaguecitytx.gov/3146/helen-hall-library


Volunteer requirements: application, orientation, under age 18 allowed

CARE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

Exploration Green

Exploration Green is a 178-acre flood mitigation project and outdoor recreation spot in the Clear Lake area, turning a former golf course into detention ponds with various other amenities. Volunteers can work on the tree, wetland or prairie teams, each of which has different workdays.

Sample activities: removing invasive or aggressive species throughout each of the five phases, counting inventory, preparing the plants to go into the ground, weeding, installing wetlands, trimming plants, planting trees and prairie grass

Donations accepted: money, commemorative park benches, trees or tables

16205 Diana Lane, Houston

www.explorationgreen.org


Volunteer requirements: orientation, under age 18 allowed

Galveston Bay Foundation

The Galveston Bay Foundation’s mission is to preserve and enhance the Galveston Bay. Interested volunteers can sign up on the website to help at the foundation’s next community event, or engage in one of several ongoing volunteer-based activities.

Sample activities: marine debris cleanup, marsh grass plantings, removing abandoned crab traps, citizen science, education i.e. with school groups

Donations accepted: money

1725 Hwy. 146, Kemah

281-332-3381 ext. 207

www.galvbay.org/volunteer


Volunteer requirements: under age 18 allowed​​​

FEED THE HUNGRY

The Hunger Truck

The New York City-based initiative came to Houston in fall 2021 and has been serving meals weekly on Saturdays at rotating destinations. Activities such as meal preparation and care package assembly are based out of the MultiCultural Center in Webster. Detailed instructions are shared on-site each week. Volunteers must be age 10 or older.

Sample activities: preparing and cooking food, creating hygiene kits, assembling care packages

Donations accepted: money, kitchen supplies; prepared food from restaurants; paper goods and utensils; raw meal ingredients including produce, meat and grains; new socks, underwear and blankets for winter relief

951 Tristar Drive, Webster

https://bit.ly/hungertruckhtx


Volunteer requirements: application, under age 18 allowed​​​​​

HELP ANIMALS

Bayou Animal Services

This animal shelter strives to tailor pet adoptions to every person’s needs. It offers adoptions and fostering for animals and also offer discounts on adoptions fees for seniors.

Sample activities: cleaning and feeding animals, taking animals on walks

Donations accepted: money, dog food, cat food

3100 Deats Road, Dickinson

281-337-3117

www.bayouanimalservices.org


Volunteer requirements: application, orientation, under age 18 allowed

City of Pearland Adoption Center

The Pearland city organization works to protect animals and promote adoptions of its animals. It also educates on the benefits of spaying and neutering.

Sample activities: walking dogs, helping with cats, searching for lost pets, cleaning adoption center facilities

Donations accepted: money, dog food, cat food, toys

2002 Old Alvin Road, Pearland

281-652-1970

www.pearlandtx.gov/departments/police/divisions/animal-services-2422


Volunteer requirements: application, under age 18 allowed

League City Animal Care

The shelter is Galveston County’s only municipal no-kill animal shelter. Services range from stray animal intake and medical treatment to training programs and humane education. Volunteers must be age 12 or up.

Sample activities: answering questions and phone calls at front desk, helping adopters with introductions and counseling, performing adoption follow-ups, accepting donations, clerical assistance

Donations accepted: money, medical supplies, toys, food, leashes and more, based on Amazon wishlists

755 W. Walker St., League City

281-554-1377

www.leaguecitytx.gov/3899/league-city-animal-care


Volunteer requirements: application, orientation, under age 18 allowed

HELP THE COMMUNITY

Adult Education Center

This Pearland-based group aims to help advance literary skills and employment opportunities for adults. It is in its three-year strategic plan, in which it will focus on growing the group.

Sample activities: tutoring, setting up and cleaning events, event planning and fundraising

Donations accepted: money, books, office equipment, classroom supplies

2246 Washington St., Pearland

281-485-1000

www.adulteducationcentertexas.org


Volunteer requirements: application, background check, orientation

Forgotten Angels

The foundation helps serve people with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities. It provides job opportunities, places to live and enrichment activities.

Sample activities: sorting donations, prepping donations for sale, working at the foundation's garden

Donations accepted: money, resale shop donations

6302 Broadway St., Ste. 240, Pearland

832-243-5925

www.forgottenangels.org


Volunteer requirements: application, background check, under 18 allowed ​​​​​​

SUPPORT FAMILIES

The Bridge Over Troubled Waters

The Bridge has provided education, support, safe spaces, guidance and action item steps to those experiencing domestic violence, human trafficking, sexual assault, any form of trauma or abuse, family instability or housing issues for more than 40 years. In-person and virtual volunteer opportunities are available. Those interested can indicate their skill sets and availability online.

Sample activities: assisting with office duties, cataloging food pantry items, helping prepare meals, working with children

Donations accepted: money, baby supplies, kitchen supplies and more, based on Amazon and Walmart wishlists

3811 Allen-Genoa Road, Pasadena

713-472-0753

www.tbotw.org


Volunteer requirements: application, background check, orientation

Family Promise of Clear Creek

This community-based organization aims to combat the issue of homelessness in the Clear Creek area. It also helps people find local resources for other problems.

Sample activities: cooking and serving meals, playing with children, helping with homework

Donations accepted: money, cars, gas cards

14550 Hwy. 3, Webster

832-932-3963

www.ccfamilypromise.org


Volunteer requirements: application, background check, orientation, under 18 allowed

Interfaith Caring Ministries

The nonprofit organization helps people living in the Bay Area with rent assistance, emergency food, utility assistance, senior outreach and school supplies.

Sample activities: answering the phone, making appointments, sorting food, delivering groceries

Donations accepted: money, food, dental hygiene products, diapers, pet food, cleaning supplies

151 N. Park Ave., League City

281-332-3881

www.icmtx.org


Volunteer requirements: application, background check, orientation
By Sierra Rozen

Metro Reporter, South Houston

Sierra joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in September of 2021 after graduating with a degree in communication and a minor in journalism from St. Edward's University in Austin, TX. Sierra covers all things in the South Houston area but in particular covers Friendswood ISD, Friendswood City Council and Harris County METRO. Prior to CI, Sierra served as the viewpoints and life and arts editor for Hilltop Views, as well as interning for Austin Woman Magazine.

By Colleen Ferguson

Reporter, Bay Area

A native central New Yorker, Colleen worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact Newspaper before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. She covers public education, higher education, business and development news in southeast Houston. Colleen graduated in 2019 from Syracuse University and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, where she worked for the university's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange. Her degrees are in journalism and Spanish language and culture. When not chasing a story, Colleen can be found petting cats and dogs, listening to podcasts, swimming or watching true crime documentaries.