As we approach the end of the year and enter the season of giving, it can be valuable to reflect on opportunities where you can volunteer and give back your time and talents to the local Scottsdale community.
If you have been searching for meaningful ways to connect with a good cause in the area, we have provided a list of some of our favorite organizations around the Valley that allow you to volunteer in a hands-on way. There are volunteer opportunities for all age groups and interests, which ensures everyone in your family will walk away from the experience they choose feeling fulfilled about giving back!
Volunteer at Hunkapi
If you love horses and want to learn more about equine therapy, consider volunteering at Hunkapi.The name Hunkapi means “we are all related,” and that is the guiding principle of what the Hunkapi horse farm works to accomplish. This nonprofit therapy riding program started out of research done at ASU, and has now moved to their permanent Scottsdale location. This horse farm offers equestrian programs to help people with disabilities with sensory and motor skills and emotion regulation. Hunkapi offers horse programs for a range of ages and backgrounds and helps individuals with autism, ADD, and PTSD.
If you fill out the volunteer form on the Hunkapi website, you will be invited to the farm to help as an equine assistant during some of Hunkapi’s programming events. There is also an option to sponsor a horse on different monetary levels, which helps cover the costs of having some of the service animals on the property. This is a great volunteer opportunity for those who love being outdoors, love spending time with horses, and want to volunteer in a super hands-on manner.
Tranquility Trail Animal Sanctuary
Tranquility Trail is an animal sanctuary that specifically offers care for a wide variety of bunny rabbits and other small animals rescued or surrendered from neglectful situations. Some of these animals have suffered from trauma in their pasts, so the animal sanctuary specifically looks for volunteers who are kind, gentle, and love animals!
Anyone ages 9 or older can volunteer at Tranquility Trail Animal Sanctuary, which makes this a great volunteer spot in Scottsdale where your whole family can participate. If you volunteer with children under 16, it is required for adults to be present.
Volunteers will help clean the bunny’s living quarters, play with the animals, and help the staff get organized for special events and programs.
Fresh Start Women’s Foundation
Fresh Start Women’s Foundation is an organization that helps empower women to live their best lives professionally and personally, no matter what circumstances or hardships they have experienced in their past. As a volunteer with this organization, you can be a career coach to help your client take the right steps to be set up for success and move forward in a new fulfilling career. In order to volunteer as a career coach at the foundation, it is required that you have a background of professional working experience, and those with HR experience are preferred.
Fresh Start Women’s Foundation also offers mentoring programming, which provides women the opportunity to receive professional support and guidance from volunteers. If you would like to be involved but neither of those options work for you, there is also an opportunity to get involved and help out with their computer literacy classes, and help women learn necessary technology skills they will use out in the workforce.
Volunteer at the Scottsdale Public Library
For those who love reading and are passionate about literacy, volunteering at one of the Scottsdale Public Library branches will be a very rewarding experience. Each library branch may need volunteers in a slightly different capacity depending on their needs and programming, and certain volunteer opportunities can be seasonal.
They are currently accepting volunteers for specific areas such as computer class instructors, Scottsdale heritage programming, and to assist with some of the youth activities.
In the summer, the library always offers volunteer opportunities for teens and adults to help out with the Summer Reading Program by working the table in the library, helping spread awareness, and assisting readers of all ages to get signed up to participate.
Extended Hands Food Bank
If you want to give your time to feeding the hungry, there are always volunteer opportunities at Extended Hands Food Bank. Volunteers are essential to helping with sorting, boxing, and bagging of the food on a daily basis.
This volunteer opportunity is open for groups of any size, including high school students or larger organizations. You are required to have your food handlers license to help out at Extended Hands Food Bank.
Preserve Park Steward Volunteer
If you are passionate about preserving Arizona’s natural landscape and love being out in the desert, consider becoming a park steward volunteer. The Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department is always looking for new volunteers to assist the Park Rangers and join the conservation team.
As a conservation volunteer you will get to spend a lot of time out on various hiking trails being a trail monitor, maintaining the trailheads, picking up litter, and providing educational information to those hiking in the area. This is a wonderful way to volunteer for anyone who deeply cares about Phoenix’s nature preserves, as a lot of knowledge to share about the area, and enjoys being out on the trails.
Welcome to America Project
The Welcome to America Project offers an opportunity to volunteer with an organization that helps refugees get established in a home in Arizona. The refugees the program welcomes come from a wide variety of locations and situations around the world. The program promotes inclusivity, and Welcome to America welcomes volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to help the refugees get settled in their new neighborhoods. This is a great volunteer organization for larger groups, as you can help out as a school, church, or neighborhood and everyone will get a chance to participate.
There are a couple of different options on how to volunteer with Welcome to America. The first is to participate in their Saturday Welcomes program, where you can deliver furniture and household items to the refugees’ new home.
You will help them set up their space and get to hear some of their inspiring stories about the circumstances that brought them to Arizona. Most of the sites are located around the Tempe/Phoenix area, but details on the exact location will be provided once you sign up.
Another option is to help in the warehouse to sort the donations. As part of this, you will make bundles of items for the families that will get distributed to them as they are getting settled. While you won’t get to interact with the families at the warehouse, you can still feel good that you are doing meaningful work to help them get settled in their new lives.