Spend a day volunteering in Milwaukee
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel keeps up a weekly listing of short-term volunteer opportunities in Milwaukee County. From driving around elderly residents at the Lutheran Home to stocking the food pantry at Friedens Community Ministries, there are plenty of places you can lend a hand.
You can also call Volunteer Milwaukee, a service of the Nonprofit Center, at (414) 273-7887 or visit its website here for more information on all the current volunteering opportunities in the city.
And, check out the organization's holiday volunteer guide here for seasonal opportunities to shovel snow for older adults, make holiday crafts or spread holiday cheer with music.
Give to a holiday toy drive
Help brighten a child's holiday season by donating a present in a toy drive. You can find donation bins at many stores across Milwaukee.
Make an in-kind donation to a Milwaukee shelter
Shelters like the Milwaukee Rescue Mission are always in need of donations of personal care items, food items and clothing items. This time of year, they are especially in need of winter clothing like scarves, insulated gloves, pajamas, socks, men's long underwear and winter jackets for men and women sizes large-XXL.
Other shelters in Milwaukee (with links to their needs and how to donate) include:
- Hope House
- Guest House of Milwaukee
- Pathfinders Youth Shelter
- Casa Maria
- The Cathedral Center
- Community Advocates
- Repairers of the Breach
- Salvation Army of Milwaukee County
- Walkers Point Youth and Family Center
As a bonus, many of these organizations have volunteering opportunities of varying levels of commitment.
Serve a meal
Volunteer with animals
Another idea: If you have a well-behaved dog at home that completes a certification as a therapy animal, you two can volunteer together. Places like Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care look for pet therapy volunteers for hospice patients.
Share your skills on Catchafire
You can use your professional experience and skills to make a difference on Catchafire. Share your expert advice with nonprofits through consulting phone calls or volunteer to work on projects like helping an organization build a website, make a brochure, etc.
Become a tutor
Volunteer at the YWCA Southeast Wisconsin and tutor adult learners in writing and math or teach a class on computer skills, interview skills and more.
Other places to volunteer as a tutor:
- Literacy Services
- Milwaukee Public Library
- Neighborhood House Milwaukee
- United Way Vello Tutoring
- Hope House
- Journey House
Become a youth mentor
Other mentorship programs:
- Arts in Milwaukee MARNmentors
- Express Yourself MKE
- Running Rebels
- Girls in Tech Milwaukee
- Operation DREAM
Or search for a program with MENTOR Greater Milwaukee (MGM).
Environmental organizations don't go completely dormant in the winter. Check out volunteering opportunities at River Revitalization Foundation, Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful, The Urban Ecology Center and Surfrider Foundation Milwaukee.
Though I’m sure no organization would ever turn down a monetary donation, here are ways to give back to the people and organizations of Milwaukee that don’t involve spending dollars, but spending time in the community instead.
Lend a hand for a day, make an in-kind donation or make it your New Year’s resolution to commit to more volunteering in Milwaukee in 2019 and beyond.