Where can a bunch of people volunteer in the Seattle area?
September 16, 2012 7:16 PM   Subscribe

I need a place where 50-75 people can spend a weekday (not weekend) volunteering in the Seattle area in late October. The only unacceptable answer is "go clean up this trail / move these heavy rocks / pull these blackberry bushes."

I need to find a volunteer opportunity for my team of 120 people. Not all of them will come, thus the 50-75 person estimate. We will be providing food for ourselves. This nonprofit or whatever need only provide things for us to do.

We'd probably get there between 10 and 11 and leave between 2 and 4. Or whatever the org needs.

My first inclination is Northwest Harvest - give me more things to pick from!
posted by kthxbi to Grab Bag (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Just to clarify - are you looking for an indoor volunteer opportunity? Or just one that doesn't require manual labor? What you describe as unacceptable answers are a little vague.
posted by arnicae at 7:33 PM on September 16, 2012

Response by poster: Indoor or outdoor is fine. Those that I say are unacceptable are based on us doing that in the past and people not enjoying it. So, I guess hard manual labor is out, and being alone out in the middle of the wilderness cleaning up trails is out. Though I'd rather get too many suggestions than not enough.
posted by kthxbi at 7:42 PM on September 16, 2012

Seattle's Habitat for Humanity takes groups, and they work Wednesday - Saturday. The name and phone number for the person to contact about group volunteers is on this page of their website, under #3.

I did this with a group in Houston, and it was fun and rewarding, and not hard at all.

Do you know about the idealist.org site? It's like a monster.com website. Search for volunteer jobs and Seattle, and you can then filter the results for groups, for one-time several hours. Right now, they have 32 listings for Seattle one-time group volunteer activities.
posted by Houstonian at 8:03 PM on September 16, 2012 [2 favorites]

You might try Gilda's Club Seattle. A wonderful organization, providing free support to anyone touched by cancer. They are located on Broadway.
posted by jennstra at 8:22 PM on September 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

I did about three months working on a Habitat for Humanity site in Portland. Every weekend giant groups would come through. Every Wednesday and Thursday the regulars and a few randoms would spend all day, both days, fixing their mistakes.

This may not be indicitive of every HFH site! But the site supervisors seemed to think it was. Something to consider.
posted by curious nu at 9:34 PM on September 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've volunteered in a group setting at a downtown Seattle homeless shelter (which needed to be cleaned and painted) and at the Ronald McDonald House in Laurelhurst, which was a wonderful experience. The latter may have required background checks - not sure, since we were already cleared to be around children through our employer. Also, pouring beer at a number of Seattle beer fests, but you may be looking for something more meaningful?
posted by halogen at 12:00 AM on September 17, 2012

it's a really fun and easy to coordinate afternoon to stay in the office and make bagged lunches with sandwiches for a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter. It would require some financial contribution (or people bringing in bread, etc) but it is manageable and a great group activity.
posted by saraindc at 1:52 AM on September 17, 2012

Best answer: You might want to contact your local United Way office. They put on a Day of Caring event each year and bring big employer groups to non-profit orgs to volunteer for a day. The Day of Caring itself is obviously out, but the UW folks will most likely have a list of local non-profits who are used to having big groups come volunteer, and may be able to help set you up with one.
posted by nerdcore at 9:15 AM on September 17, 2012

Ronald McDonald House is great for groups. You can see some possible group activities at your local RMH if you scroll down here.
posted by halseyaa at 10:30 AM on September 17, 2012

Hopelink has, in the past, taken large groups of volunteers to package up bags of donations. I don't know if that's a regular event.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:32 PM on September 17, 2012

Response by poster: As an update, I emailed my united way office early last week and haven't heard a thing back yet. I'll probably ping again tomorrow and then move on to Hopelink. We actually just finished a team-wide canned food drive for Hopelink so it would be sweet to go back there in late October and help out if they can handle us.
posted by kthxbi at 3:03 PM on September 23, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks to all of your help, we are volunteering at the Food Lifeline in Shoreline later this month!
posted by kthxbi at 11:03 PM on October 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: If anyone ever needs to take a large group of 30-50 people somewhere to volunteer in the Seattle area, definitely check out Food Lifeline ... we had a GREAT time on Friday and felt like we made a huge impact (20,000 pounds of food repackaged and ready to be sent out to food banks!).
posted by kthxbi at 10:30 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

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