Volunteer opportunities and easy ways to begin helping others

High-Impact Volunteer Opportunities

We all want to make a difference and there’s no reason to reinvent the wheel. The nonprofits listed here make it easy to find the right ways for you to get engaged and change lives. You can choose from one-time opportunities like writing letters to hospitalized kids to ongoing commitments like online mentoring of first-generation college students. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list. It’s a list of nonprofits that I personally vetted and included in my book HumanKind: Changing the World One Small Act At a Time. Easy to work with and responsive to emails, these organizations provide great opportunities for individuals and families.

  • Give gifts to kids and families who could use some help during the holidays – You can give gifts to foster children, families in financial distress and military families through Toys for Tots, the Angel Tree program and similar nonprofits.
  • Support foster youths – Many foster youths bounce from home to home and don’t receive the love and attention they deserve. These nonprofits provide a variety of ways to help.
  • Best charities to donate to – Donations to the nonprofits in this section have an outsize impact and offer extraordinary opportunities to change lives. I’ve also listed a couple of organizations that provide research to help you find worthy nonprofits.
  • Donate to specific individuals, families or classrooms – Many small donations add up and change lives. The following organizations provide opportunities to help meet the needs of specific families, kids and entrepreneurs. Includes Donors Choose, Kiva and other nonprofits.
  • Bone marrow donation, bone marrow registry, and organ and blood donation – Add yourself to the worldwide bone marrow registry to save a life. It only takes a cheek swab. You can also register for blood and organ donation.
  • Write letters of encouragement to people who could use support – There are many organizations that will forward your letters of support to hospitalized kids, women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, troops on the front lines, children in foster care, refugees and others in need.
  • Opportunities to help veterans – These are opportunities to support our veterans with letter-writing, care packages, career mentoring and more.
  • One-time mentoring and coaching opportunities – If you’re interested in influencing a life, there are countless organizations that can help. Some programs will have to wait until we’re free to socialize in person again, but some operate virtually and offer a great way to help from home.
  • Long-term mentoring and coaching opportunities – The nonprofits in this section provide opportunities for you to build long-term relationships. You can choose from online, one-on-one or group mentoring.
  • Help people celebrate – When you’re a hospitalized kid or a child in a homeless shelter, you might not have a birthday celebration or get a gift. If you’re a foster youth in college, there might be no one to send you a care package. These nonprofits answer those needs.
  • Help people with cancer – You can write letters of support to women who have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer. If you’ve had cancer or have been a caregiver to someone who has, you can sign up to serve as a mentor to someone who is newly diagnosed.

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"The most uplifting and life-affirming book in years." - Forbes
HumanKind Book
"The most uplifting and life-affirming book in years." - Forbes
Bestseller

True stories about how one small deed can make a world of difference.

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