BETTER THE CITY
Freewheels Houston is an organization that takes used, donated bikes and redistributes them to people who need them. They also rely on volunteer mechanics to help fix the donated bikes. Application and orientation required. Under 18 allowed.
Sample activities: cleaning bikes, fixing flat tires, assisting with bike distribution
Donations accepted: money, bikes, helmets, bike locks
6020 Jessamine St., Ste. 204, Houston. 281-864-0725. www.freewheelshouston.org
United Way of Greater Houston
This nonprofit mobilizes volunteers and advocates to advance the common good by engaging communities around education, financial stability and health. Application and orientation required. Under 18 allowed.
Sample activities: assisting with book drive and Read Across America, sending virtual notes of encouragement
Donations accepted: money
50 Waugh Drive, Houston. 713-685-2300. www.unitedwayhouston.org
Montrose Grace Place
The nonprofit aims to provide a safe place for youth experiencing homelessness in the Montrose area. The organization hosts a youth night Mondays and Thursdays to provide youths with dinner and peer discussion. Application, background check and orientation required. Under 18 allowed.
Sample activities: provide mentoring, facilitate group discussions, cooking meals, setting up the table
Donations accepted: money, raincoats, bus cards, socks, underwear, menstrual products, blankets, sleeping bags
2515 Waugh Drive, Houston. 832-239-0824. www.montrosegraceplace.org
CARE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Katy Prairie Conservancy
This organization works to preserve and protect the acres that make up Katy Prairie for the well-being of the wildlife and people in the area. One of its main goals is land conservation and restoration of the prairie. Application and background check required. Under 18 allowed.
Sample activities: seed collecting, planting flora, tending the plant nursery
Donations accepted: money, land
Houston office: 5615 Kirby Drive, Ste. 867, Houston. Field office: 31975 Hebert Road, Waller. 713-523-6135. www.katyprairie.org
Plant it Forward
The nonprofit owns and operates urban farms in Houston that work with Catholic Charities’ local refugee resettlement office and Urban Harvest to provide refugees with agricultural backgrounds training and necessary housing. Application and orientation required. Under 18 allowed.
Sample activities: weeding, mulching, assisting with farmers market, hosting work days, creating content for veggie guide
Donations accepted: money, food stock
Fondren: 10595 Fondren Road, Houston. Westbury: 12581 Dunlap St., Houston. Montrose: 1318 Sul Ross St., Houston. Blossom Heights: 8720 Lipan Road, Houston. 713-432-0754. www.plantitforward.farm
FEED THE HUNGRY
Houston Food Bank
This nonprofit organization collects and distributes food to then give to hunger relief charities. The food typically comes from chain grocery stores that would otherwise be thrown away. The food bank provides access to 207 million nutritious meals in 18 counties in southeast Texas. Application and orientation required. Under 18 allowed.
Sample activities: inspecting and sorting food, building home delivery kits, meal prep, distributing food and school supplies
Donations accepted: money, food
East branch: 535 Portwall St., Houston. North branch: 146 Knobcrest Drive, Houston. 713-547-8604. www.houstonfoodbank.org
Second Servings of Houston
This nonprofit organization focuses excess prepared and perishable food. Second Services works to “rescue” this excess food from hotels, caterers, sports venues, distributors and retailers and deliver it to preapproved charitable meal sites so it can be provided to individuals in need. Application and orientation required. Under 18 allowed.
Sample activities: food rescuing and delivering, food show/festival rescuing
Donations accepted: prepared and perishable food from food safety-certified businesses only
8825 Knight Road, Houston. 713-824-4763. www.secondservingshouston.org
Special Pals Rescue Resource Center
This nonprofit animal welfare organization works to save animal lives and is the oldest no-kill shelter in Houston. The center provides adoptions, fostering, low-cost vaccinations and rescue boarding. Application and orientation required. Under 18 allowed.
Sample activities: animal care, cleaning, spreading awareness in the community
Donations accepted: money, dog food, cat food, trash bags, puppy pads, laundry detergent, carabiners, disposable rubber gloves
3830 Greenhouse Road, Houston. 281-579-7387. www.specialpals.org
Alliance for Multicultural Services
The nonprofit organization focuses on welcoming and empowering those who face financial, educational, health, language or cultural barriers by realizing their dreams through social-educational and wellness services. Application and background check required.
Sample activities: assisting with case management, being a job readiness mentor, conducting advocacy and outreach, translating
Donations accepted: money, baby items, hygiene items, household items, nonperishable foods and water jugs, Visa or Walmart gift cards, vehicles
6440 Hillcroft Ave., Ste. 411, Houston. 713-776-4700. www.thealliancetx.org
Houston Area Women’s Center
This social services organization works to combat the issues of domestic violence, sexual assault and sex trafficking. It provides crisis intervention services, support programs and violence prevention initiatives. Application and background check required. Under 18 allowed.
Sample activities: providing child care, answering hotline phone calls, assisting with administrative duties, special events
Donations accepted: money
1010 Waugh Drive, Houston. 713-528-6798. www.hawc.org
Houston Welcomes Refugees
Houston Welcomes Refugees is an organization that helps refugees through the resettlement process when they relocate to Houston. The group also helps connect them with resources during the first few months. Application, orientation and background check required. Under 18 allowed.
Sample activities: donating a welcome kit, delivering groceries, partnering and visiting with a family
Donations accepted: money, stocks, mutual funds
946 W. 17th St., Houston. 713-264-4370. www.houstonwelcomesrefugees.com
St. Vincent de Paul Bellaire Resale Shop
This shop is part of a larger network within The Society of St. Vincent de Paul nonprofit, which includes 1,800 volunteers and a food network of 21 food pantries. Application, orientation and background check required. Under 18 allowed.
Sample activities: donations and resale
Donations accepted: financial donations (honorariums or memorial funds, checks, employer matching, planned giving); in-kind donations; vehicle donations
5236 Cedar St., Bellaire. 713-669-9410. www.svdphouston.org/shop