There’s nothing more rewarding that giving back to your community. Since living in The District, I have done my best to volunteer as much as my schedule will allow. But I’ve found that many of my friends are always asking me, “How do you find your volunteer opportunities? Where can I look?” With so much going on across the city, I feel that there’s always an opportunity to donate time to a variety of costs. While I’ve had a great deal of luck finding a number of great organizations that align with my passion for education, I want to share with my fellow millennials just a few organizations here in Washington, D.C. that are always looking for volunteers to share their time and talent. ServeDC, VolunteerMatch, Idealist and Greater DC Cares are great resources to research other opportunities as well. I will continue to add to this list, but to begin here are six organizations to volunteer with:
1. Higher Achievement. If you love education and enjoy working with talented and bright middle school students, then this is the organization for you. Founded in 1985 by Greg Gannon, Higher Achievement looks to close the opportunity gap for middle school students in the DMV. With five locations in The District and one in Alexandria, Higher Achievement gives volunteers the opportunity to mentor scholars one night a week in the subjects of math, literature and science. I’m a proud Ward 6 mentor, and I just love the Higher Achievement culture and building relationships with the scholars every week.
2. Food & Friends. As one of the largest volunteer organizations in The District, Food & Friends strives to create a community caring for men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses by preparing and delivering specialized meals and groceries in conjunction with nutrition counseling. This organization offers many opportunities for volunteers to donate their time, and you can learn more about those here.
3. Michelle in Training. Inspired by the beauty, poise and leadership of our First Lady Michelle Obama, MiT looks to empower young women in high school with important skills in social intelligence, philanthropy, and cultural Awareness, just to name a few. This is a three year program for the students, and MiT is always looking for young women professionals that can participate in their classes, activities, field trips, and events.
4. Capital Cause. An organization gear to the young professional, Capital Cause strives to encourage individuals between the ages of 21-35 to maximize their to maximize their financial and skills-based contributions through collective giving. As a member of Capital Cause myself, I have truly enjoyed working with my peers to creatively and strategically solve problems that face our community. Once you join as a member, you’ll be exposed to a number of opportunities to give back to the DC community at large.
5. Divas MPH. Are you passionate about women’s health? Then becoming a volunteer with Divas MPH will give you the opportunity to share that passion with others throughout the communities in the DMV. They are looking for dedicated volunteers who share our mission to educate, empower, and mobilize women to create healthy communities. There’s one thing though: all volunteers MUST have an interest in women’s health.
6. Capital Partners for Education. With the mission of improving the futures of low-income youth by helping them receive a quality education, graduate from high school, and attend and complete college, CPE looks to connect working professionals with high school students in a two year relationship. Mentors are encouraged to meet with their mentees once a month, and chat with them weekly on a unique online platform created by CPE.
There you have it! As I stated above, I will continue to add to this list over time. Do you have a favorite organization to volunteer with? If so, comment below or tweet me so I can add them to the list!
Here’s to philanthropy,