In honor of Global Volunteer Month (April), I offer you another of my themed free printable bucket lists. This one details Print – 50 Ways to Volunteer. Each of these ideas is relatively small, but can make a big impact. Especially when people all around the world dedicate themselves to such altruistic acts.
But don’t think you have to travel to the other side of the globe to make a difference. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities much closer to home. Let’s begin there.
Jesus told a parable in which a king commended his servants, saying, “I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in, 36I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you visited Me.”
When the servants protested that they had no recollection of doing any of those things, the king replied, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of Mine, you did it for Me.”
Clearly, then, one of the best ways for believers to serve God is by serving their fellow man. Need inspiration or ideas on where to begin? You’ll find fifty of them on the following list.
50 Small but Impactful Ways to Volunteer
Stock shelves at a food pantry
This is a fun group activity, so bring some friends along to help.
Sing hymns at a retirement center
Bring copies of the songs you sing so the residents can join in, too.
Work in Vacation Bible School
If your church hosts VBS in the summer, there’s a good chance they need volunteers to run the program.
Clean up litter at the city park
A stranger once spotted my kids collecting trash along the roadside and gave them $100 to thank them for taking care of our community!
Run errands for a shut-in
Offer to pick up groceries or drop clothes at the cleaners.
Mow the lawn of a single mom
Send your teen over with a mower once he’s finished cutting grass at your house.
Serve meals at a local soup kitchen
Lots of folks volunteer to do this at Thanksgiving, so spread out the blessing by asking when your help would be most needed.
Paint houses with Habitat for Humanity
Our high schoolers have done this as a service project before.
Shovel snow for a sick neighbor
You may prevent a slip, which might otherwise add injury to illness.
Send a soldier a note of encouragement
The deployed especially love hearing from folks at home.
Collect canned food for a food drive
Our postal workers do this once a year, and we all leave our donations in the mailbox for them to pick up while delivering the mail.
Sew lap blankets for cancer patients
Put your stitching skills to work.
Deliver care packages to the homeless
Include granola bars, beef jerky, bottled water, gospel tracts, etc.
Tutor underprivileged students
Inquire at a local school or foster placement center for referrals.
Knit soft caps for premature babies
The neonatal ward keeps a supply extra-small caps on hand.
Man water tables for a 5K race
Such races provide a great opportunity to give cups of cold water to the thirsty.
Donate time at your local library
Our kids have helped shelve books and lead story time for preschoolers.
Serve as a runner for Meals on Wheels
Deliver hot meals to those in need.
Play games with nursing home residents
Our sons spent a few semesters calling weekly bingo games for a center down the street.
Babysit for a harried mother
Give her a break to run errands without wrestling with car seats.
Attend your precinct convention
Get involved in grassroots politics and help shape your party’s platform.
Run a book sale to raise funds for the library
Cull your own book stash or ask neighbors for donations.
Donate diapers to a maternity home
Baby wipes and other baby supplies are usually welcome, too.
Work as a docent at a local museum
Pick a subject you’re interested in; museum staff will train you what to say.
Get trained as a wildlife rehabilitator
Learn how to properly care for orphaned baby animals or injured wildlife and prepare them for release back into the wild.
Help campaign for an elected official
Knock on doors for a brand new like-minded candidate or for one seeking re-election.
Sit with hospice patients who have no family
We have friends who’ve done this for years and view it as a ministry.
Invite international students for a holiday meal
You’ll learn about other cultures while sharing a piece of your own with students who can’t always fly home over holiday breaks.
Have a garage sale and donate proceeds to charity
Let shoppers know where the money will be going.
Stuff shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child
You can even host a shoebox stuffing party and invite your friends to participate.
Join a grassroots group
Such groups will keep you informed on what’s going on in your city, state, and country.
Man phone banks for a charity drive
They’ll give you a script for making phone calls.
Write a letter to the editor
Let him/her know what you think about issues affecting your community and why.
Mentor a young person
Get plugged in through the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program or something similar.
Provide respite care for foster parents
Give them an occasional date night or weekend away.
Take a meal to a new mom
Check for food allergies and avoid excessively spicy foods if she’s breastfeeding.
Support a child through Compassion
A small monthly check to Compassion International goes a long way to making a difference in the lives of these children and their families.
Sing with a church or community choir
This is a great outlet for the musically inclined and blesses the listers to boot.
Candy stripe at the local hospital
Larger hospitals often have volunteer programs for everyone from teens to senior citizens.
Host missionaries on furlough
Give them a place to rest up and relax before it’s time to return to the field.
Rake leaves for elderly neighbors
Be sure to ask whether they want you to mulch the leaves, bag them, or toss them in the compost bin.
Grow vegetables & share the produce
Vine-ripened produce is so much more delicious than what you can get in the store, so share some of that goodness with the folks around you.
Ring the bell for Salvation Army
Our family traditionally does this every Christmas.
Play an instrument in a civic orchestra
Another opportunity to share your gifts and talents for those able to play a musical instrument.
Run for school board or city council
Help mold the direction your town and its learning institutions take.
Read to a neighbor whose sight is failing
You can read books aloud for their enjoyment or offer practical help by reading their letters and mail to them.
Pass out gospel tracts with Halloween candy
We have several styles of free printable trick-or-treat tracts you may choose from.
Teach Sunday school
Or serve as a helper if you don’t want to shoulder the full responsibility (this is normally a 1-year commitment, unless you just sign up to sub for teachers who are sick or out of town).
Pray for others
Whatever other volunteer tasks you undertake, you should bathe them all in prayer and ask God to bless the people you’re serving.
This is a voluntary act that is so very important, so don’t neglect to let your voice be heard next time the polls open!
Download our 50 Ways to Volunteer Bucket List
However you choose to donate your time and talents, I pray God will richly bless your volunteer efforts! To print a copy of the 50 ideas listed in this post, just click on the link below: