dsc_0006-croppedPortland’s spirit of volunteerism reflects our love of life, nature, the environment, and each other. And for those of us in the active Boomer community, it’s our time to give back to make our communities better places to live both now and in the future.

Boomers bring a lifetime of experience and skills that our communities need and value. We take our skills from paid jobs and invest ourselves in our communities. It’s a win-win.

Volunteering tops many Boomer bucket lists, yet many are confused or clueless about where to start. So where should you begin? With yourself, of course.

First, look at your skills and experience. Consider causes you feel passionate about. Or the opposite – what causes do you want to learn about? If you’re looking for a cause to support, keep reading.

Next, find organizations with opportunities that match your skills, interests and passions. These are as varied and diverse as the fabric of the community. Believe it, they want you!

Here’s how Boomers on the Loose™ in Portland can help.

  • Browse through the What Am I All About? questionnaire. It will help you focus on your natural skills, interests and passions, and types of work you’d like.
  • Look through categories of organizations under Things to Do.
  • Click on the Organization or its volunteer page to find out more.
  • Use the volunteer options list below to help you discover possible volunteer paths and lead you to some options. Look for a general category that interests you and the types of volunteers they typically need. Click the links to find out more or see Things to Do on this website.

Volunteer Paths

  • Animal Lovers. Find your niche in organizations that rescue and care for dogs, cats and other small animals, horses, birds and other animals. Help care for animals, work in office or at outreach programs. Or get your pet certified as a therapy animal for friendly visits at nursing homes and health care facilities.
  • Arts & Culture. Behind-the-scenes volunteers in our diverse community of art and performance serve as docents and curators; design, build and maintain sets, sew costumes, usher, sell concessions, work in gift shops, or put teaching, writing, photography, website and office skills to work.
  • City and County Government. Opportunities at local government agencies include service on advisory boards, commissions and committees; helping at parks and recreation outdoor activities, community farmers markets, city events and festivals; and assisting with various social services. See Volunteer Websites and Organizations.
  • Community Service. Volunteers give back to help the disabled, hungry and homeless, and people facing health and mental health challenges at many non-profit and faith-based organizations. Volunteers work in outreach activities and behind-the-scenes administrative and technology areas.
  • Healthcare. Volunteers assist with patients in hospital, community health, mental health and hospice settings. They also help with office and administrative tasks and community outreach programs and events.
  • Libraries. More than books, today’s libraries are gathering centers for learning and education with community classes and activities for all ages and interests. Volunteers assist with shelving, special projects, teaching, programs and events, maintaining media and much more.
  • Museums and Historical Sites. Volunteers help preserve history and help others appreciate the past. You can work with a particular facet of history such as art, architecture, transportation, or home life. Or the history of your community. Opportunities are endless.
  • Non-Profits. At the heart of non-profit organizations are volunteers who bring a wide variety of skills, interests and talents to serve their communities and keep their organizations running. For more see Arts & Culture, Community Service, Care for the Environment, Volunteer Websites and Organizations, or the volunteer pages on individual non-profit websites.
  • Outdoor Volunteering. Opportunities for the outdoorsy are plentiful in environmental organizations, “friends-of-park” and parks & rec activities, and public gardens. Volunteers help restore parks, natural and wildlife areas, plant trees, shrubs and flowers as well as teach and guide groups.