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35+ volunteer opportunities in and around Columbia where you can lend a hand

It’s the holiday season and a perfect time to help a neighbor. This list of volunteer opportunities in Columbia, SC includes everything from Sistercare to the Columbia Museum of Art.

Woman duct taping a box closed at a food drive.

Give back to our vibrant community. | Photo via AllSouth Federal Credit Union

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Maybe you have some extra time on your hands, or maybe you’re just in the giving spirit. All we know is there are more than enough great causes in Columbia to support with your time. Whether you’re an animal lover, an artsy type, a natural mentor, or a healthcare enthusiast — there’s a nearby volunteer opportunity for you. Here are 35+ ways to get involved in Soda City.

Natural-born teachers and mentors

Girls on the Run Columbia | Inspire girls to strengthen confidence and other important life skills. Sign up to become a coach and guide a team through the curriculum.

Big Homie Lil Homie | Become a mentor and build strong, trusting relationships, positive attitudes, and life skills through mentoring and enriching life experiences. You must be able to spend at least one hour with your mentee each month.

Transitions Homeless Center | Create and lead a class to help clients learn practical skills like budgeting and applying for jobs or recreational activities like art, fitness, and hobbies.

Epworth Children’s Home | Become a cottage partner and provide caring relationships with groups of children.

If the holidays are your favorite time of the year

Harvest Hope | Help feed families during the holidays by volunteering for the crisis pantry or organizing a food drive.

Families Helping Families | Sponsor a family, disabled adult, or senior citizen and help provide those in need with food, clothing, and holiday gifts.

Epworth Children’s Home | Volunteer or donate to “Christmas with Epworth” — an annual drive for community members to fill the holiday wishes of children at Epworth.

Supporters of veterans

South Carolina USO | Connect service members to family, home, and country. Welcome visitors, talk with someone over a cup of coffee or provide a free phone call to a loved one.

Hidden Wounds | Help out this volunteer-run organization to provide resources to local families. Join the community, create a fundraiser, or make a donation.

Midlands Blue Star Mothers | Support this organization made primarily of mothers of military members by making a donation or helping with a drive.

If you want to be there for abuse victims

Dickerson Children’s Advocacy Center | Help children feel safe + comfortable or make a donation to the wish list.

Pathways to Healing | Volunteer in the office, become an advocate for the organization, or become a crisis hotline worker.

Sistercare | Sistercare helps people identify and leave abusive relationships. Participate in a community training event, volunteer, or donate something from its wish list.

If you have a passion for supporting disabled community members

Able SC | Whether as a Travel Ambassador, Travel Navigator, Volunteer Driver, or Office Volunteer, your skills are needed.

Special Olympics of SC | Whether you want to volunteer for a single day’s event, several hours a week, or year-round, there are plenty of opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others.

Family Connection South Carolina | Help out at events + conferences, complete office tasks, or assist with parent support groups.

United Cerebral Palsy of SC | Support programs and services for this organization offering day service + residential support for people living with developmental disabilities.

If you want to stay in your home

American Red Cross | Assist in areas like disaster services, fundraising, and recruitment.

American Cancer Society | You can support fundraising events and advocate for cancer survivors remotely, help out in-person at an event, or become a driver.

Family Connection South Carolina | Explore virtual volunteering opportunities and make a positive impact on the lives of those with disabilities and special healthcare needs.

If you’re a mental health advocate

National Alliance on Mental Illness | You can support those experiencing mental illness by leading a support group, sharing your story as a presenter, or assisting in other areas like outreach, events, recruiting, social media, graphic design, and more.

Mental Illness Recovery Center, Inc. | MIRCI creates pathways to recovery for individuals who are experiencing or at risk of mental illness + homelessness. It also offers committee opportunities to find the best fit for you to give back.

If you live and breathe Columbia

Columbia Museum of Art | Help instill a love for the arts by facilitating art experiences, providing customer service, supporting administrative tasks, and more.

Historic Columbia | Support fun + educational events, work as an interpretive guide, host walking tour guides, and more.

Serve & Connect | Fill out a form to find an opportunity to help the organization’s mission to help police and citizens work together as one community.

Self-proclaimed bibliophiles

Richland Library | Donate your time and skills to one of the library’s many locations around the Midlands.

Midlands Reading Consortium | Give 30 minutes a week to assist a striving reader throughout the school year.

The outdoorsy types

Congaree Riverkeeper | Participate in river sweeps throughout the year + learn how your daily practices affect our rivers.

Foodshare South Carolina | Lend a hand to pack food boxes or coordinate deliveries.

Keep the Midlands Beautiful | Keep Cola’s roads clean by adopting a highway, street, or waterway + helping on clean-up days throughout the year.

If you’re an animal lover

Riverbanks Zoo | Local volunteers contribute more than 23,000 hours to Riverbanks Zoo and Garden annually. Find the requirements to volunteer, here.

Reach out to local animal shelters to donate, foster, love on animals, and adopt. Visit the City of Columbia’s Animal Services, Animal Mission of the Midlands, PawmettoLifeline, Humane Society, or PetsInc.

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