Community Resources and Volunteer Opportunities

Opportunities to Volunteer

Western Massachusetts is rich in community resources and volunteer opportunities. The following are a variety of area organizations offering support and looking for volunteers. To search for volunteer opportunities by town, visit YOU Generate Volunteers in Massachusetts

18 Degrees offers a culture of opportunity, access, family empowerment and community engagement in Berkshire and Hampshire counties.

The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.

Amherst Community Arts Center is an organization devoted to furthering visual arts education in the Five College region where people of all ages and abilities can come together and learn about art and creating. (No org website)

Amherst Historical Society seeks volunteers of all ages interested in history. Training provided, hours flexible.

Amherst Survival Center is an area resource providing food, clothing, health and community through volunteer efforts.

Big Brothers Big SistersBig Brothers Big Sisters Of Hampshire County seeks dedicated adults to serve as positive role models in local children’s lives. Bigs (mentors) commit to at least one year (or three semesters for college students) to meet once per week with their Little, as well as regular case supervision and volunteer training.

Birthday Wishes Inc. seeks volunteers to help bring birthday parties to homeless children in shelters across western Massachusetts.

Bright Spot Therapy Dogs seeks human/canine teams to meet the demand for certified therapy dog teams to visit the over 80 health and education facilities in its network, including nursing homes, schools, hospices, children’s reading programs and anywhere canine companionship can be of benefit.

Catholic Charities (Diocese of Springfield) serves immigrants, refugees and asylees in Berkshire, Franklin, Hamden and Hampshire counties. They also work toward preparing individuals and families for independence and self-sufficiency. They have a variety of volunteer opportunities available.

Center for Women and Community provides innovative and informed education, leadership opportunities, advocacy, and support services that address the cause and impact of sexism and recognize the multiple oppressions experienced by women. CWC offers services to people of all genders within the diverse communities of Hampshire County, the Five Colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

CISA Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) strengthens farms and engages the community to build the local food economy.

Cancer Connection offers a haven where people living with cancer, their families and their caregivers can learn how to cope with their changed lives and bodies and emotional turmoil by sharing strategies and resources.

Craig’s Doors is a non-profit organization focused on assisting the local homeless population with their various needs as well as ending the stigma surrounding homelessness. Our organization has a resource center, emergency shelter, and offers community breakfast once a week. We are looking for volunteers to work in the shelter and at the community breakfast held every Wednesday morning.  

Dakin Humane SocietyDakin Humane Society welcomes volunteers for its Leverett and Springfield sites.

Earthdance has year-round volunteer opportunities for supporting dance, somatics, and interdisciplinary arts events in our rural community-based facility in Plainfield, MA.

Food Bank of Western Massachusetts seeks volunteers interested in a hands-on experience to help sort donated food items at their Hatfield facility. This is a vital part of their food redistribution process and the Food Bank has an ongoing need for more volunteers.

Freedom Cafe at UMass works to build a vocational center each academic year to help both victims of human trafficking and children and teens in areas of high risk of being trafficked.

Friends of the Children offers innovative programs that serve children in, and aging out of, foster care. Their programs support basic needs, while also looking holistically at the needs of every young person.

Girl Scouts Of Central And Western Massachusetts is seeking fun, enthusiastic individuals to serve as role models to girls ages 5 to 11. Volunteers will develop meaningful relations with girls and adults; explore areas of STEM, arts and crafts, animals and more while mentoring girls to feel empowered to be leaders.

Highland Valley Elder Services is a federally mandated advocacy service for nursing home and rest home residents. Ombudsmen are volunteers trained to assist residents of nursing and rest homes with benefits, rights and entitlements guaranteed under federal, state and local laws.

It Takes A Village is a local nonprofit offering free postpartum support to families with infants and young children living in Western Massachusetts. Their mission is to increase practical and emotional support and decrease social isolation, all while engaging the community to understand their responsibility in welcoming the newest members of their Village.

Kestrel Land Trust is dedicated to conserving the land that sustains the quality of life and ecological integrity of the Connecticut River Valley.

Massachusetts 4-H Program seeks adult volunteers needed for a couple of hours each month to serve as club leaders for local 4-H clubs. Leaders provide skills from their own areas of expertise while developing meaningful relationships with youth ages 5 to 18. 

MA Nature ConservancyNature Conservancy of Massachusetts is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people.

Northampton Survival Center strives to improve the quality of life for low-income individuals and families in Hampshire County by providing food and other resources with dignity and respect.

Overlook Hospice Team is looking for volunteers in Amherst, Hadley and surrounding communities to provide companionship, respite care and support to hospice patients and their families.

Performance Project is an intensive, arts and youth leadership program in Springfield that creates opportunities for young people to claim a public voice in their community, and beyond. 

Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity builds Homes, Hope, and Communities for Families in Hampshire and Franklin County.

The Polus Center's Envision Success Project (ESP) helps blind and visually impaired students (ages 14-22) in Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin Counties to learn work readiness and job seeking skills. Drivers are needed to provide transportation to educational field trips, internships and social activities. To learn more about this opportunity, contact Nona Haroyan at 774-420-5678.

Student Bridges works to increase college access and success for underrepresented students by building partnerships with local schools and community organizations; offering college awareness, preparation and success activities; and advocating for enhanced institutional and public policies and practices.

Visit Hampshire County offers information about the breadth of cultural, educational and recreational resources in Hampshire County, home to the Five College campuses. 

Volunteers In Northampton Schools is looking for volunteers who can give one to two hours a week or more of their time to local schools.

YOU Generate Volunteers in Massachusetts is a statewide service connecting people interested in volunteering with organizations looking for a wide variety of expertise and support. 

(Photos courtesy: Five College Community Based LearningBig Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County, Dakin Humane Society and the Massachusetts Nature Conservancy)