5 Places to Volunteer

April 13, 2022

5 places to volunteer in Southeast Ohio

By Juliana Colant | For The Post

At the heart and soul of communities are organizations that work to make it a better place. Whether it's by reducing waste or providing food or housing for the impoverished, there are always ways community members can help others. Consider taking some time to give back to communities in Southeast Ohio by volunteering at one of these five organizations.

UpCycle Ohio

UpCycle Ohio is a makerspace and thrift store that strives to provide eco-friendly and affordable shopping and resources. The social enterprise works to build a more sustainable community through upcycling gently used merchandise.

This effort reduces the negative impact on landfills and the planet. UpCycle Ohio is a part of Rural Action, a non-profit trying to "revitalize" Appalachian Ohio. Volunteers sort through thrift store merchandise and get first dibs on any products.

If volunteers find things to purchase, they also receive a 40% discount after their shift. Shifts are typically three hours, but any length of time is welcome. UpCycle encourages volunteers of all ages to participate.

Contact UpCycle Ohio at 740-447-9014 or email info@upcycleohio.com.

Passion Works Studio

Passion Works Studio, a community arts center, promotes working artists with developmental disabilities. Located at 20 East State St., Passion Works is a collaborative space that gives artists the chance to express themselves. Volunteers get hands-on experience by helping prepare art materials, so be sure to wear clothes that are safe to get paint on!

Passion Works Studio also has several ways to volunteer without being in the space. It's encouraged to interact with Passion Works Studio social media pages, share a message online about why you enjoy the studio or make a card/drawing/letter for an artist and send it to the studio.

The studio only hosts a limited number of volunteers due to COVID-19, so interested participants can sign up for shifts at givepul.se/76hbfd. Also, volunteers must be fully vaccinated.

For more information, call 1-740-592-3673 or visit passionworks.org.

Good Works, Inc.

Good Works, Inc. is a Christain community organization that helps people experiencing poverty or homeless in rural Appalachia. Good Works Inc. has a wide variety of volunteer opportunities and there is something for all interests. At the Timothy House, a temporary place for people experiencing homelessness, volunteers can help with different tasks such as serving and cooking meals, socializing with the house members, organizing the food pantry and cleaning. Another program is Friday Night Life, a community event hosted every Friday evening.

Volunteers assist by providing rides to and from the event, preparing meals and helping organize fun activities such as crafts or sports. If you like to get your hands dirty, try volunteering with Good Works Property Maintenance by doing things like gardening, painting and lawn mowing. Volunteers must take a tour of the facilities and fill out a volunteer application. Good Works, Inc. can be reached at email@good-works.net or 740-594-3339.

Visit good-works.net for more volunteer information.

Southeast Ohio Foodbank & Regional Kitchen

The Southeast Ohio Foodbank & Regional Kitchen is a Hocking Athens Perry Community Action (HAPCAP) division based in Logan, Ohio. According to their website, 1 in 6 individuals and 1 in 4 children struggle with hunger in Southeast Ohio.

As an individual or in a group, volunteers can pack monthly food boxes, deliver Meals-on-Wheels, prepare meals and assist at local food distribution sites. Facilities are located across the ten-county region: Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Morgan, Perry, Vinton and Washington.

To lend a helping hand, email volunteer@hapcap.org or call 740-385-6813.

Head Start

Head Start is a federal program for low-income families that provides free preschool for children ages three to five. Through the Head Start program, volunteers work in the classroom by assisting with clean-up and lunch and engaging with them on the playground. Volunteers receive training and guidance on rules and expectations before starting.

If volunteering more than three days a month, participants must complete a background check and physical exam. Head Start will assist in arranging the background check and provide a form for the physical. Centers are located in six different counties.

To learn more about volunteering for Head Start, check out hapcap.org/opportunities/volunteer/ or call the main office at 800-868-1093.

AUTHOR: Juliana Colant
EDITOR: Madyson Lewellyn
WEB DEVELOPMENT: Anastasia Carter