Volunteer Opportunities in Eliot

This article features organizations in Eliot to help our residents learn what exciting opportunities are located in our amazing neighborhood.  Volunteers are needed all year long.  Part 1 of 2.

Albina Cooperative Garden

Albina Cooperative Garden’s mission is “to grow food to share with coop members, community members, and especially those in need.” According to their Facebook page, they also want to “use the farm to educate schools and others about the importance of growing healthy food and other plants for healthy habitats.”

The Albina Cooperative Garden is the largest urban farm in the inner Portland area. Join them to learn about organic gardening, composting, pollinator habitat, and pruning while meeting some neighbors and giving back to the local community at the same time. Volunteers will be weeding, spreading compost, digging, planting, watering, transplanting, harvesting and pruning all of which are needed to grow organic food in an urban farm setting.

Volunteers should plan to wear outdoor/gardening gear appropriate for  the weather, a water bottle, and gloves. Tools will be provided on site. Membership is required ($75-100) with scholarships available.

Albina Cooperative Garden
N Russell just west of  N Vancouver
(503) 490-5185

Ronald McDonald House

According to their website, the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon and Southwest Washington provides a “home away from home” for families with seriously ill children, and supports initiatives to improve pediatric health.

The Portland and Bend Ronald McDonald Houses are built on the simple idea that nothing else should matter when a family is focused on the health of their child—not where they will get their next meal or where they will sleep. Their volunteers remove the stress of everyday life by keeping the Houses beautiful, the kitchens full and the children entertained. Volunteering with the Ronald McDonald House is an enriching experience not only for the volunteers, but for the thousands of families who walk through the doors. There are many ways to get involved!

There are many volunteer opportunities. You can commit to a weekly or monthly shift, or volunteer periodically as you are able, or help us out with event-specific opportunities.

Ronald McDonald House
2620 N Commercial Ave

Title Wave Used Bookstore

The Title Wave Used Bookstore sells retired Multnomah County Library materials at discounted prices. Their inventory includes more than 20,000 used books, audiobooks, CDs, DVDs and magazines at bargain prices.

Volunteers are an important part of Title Wave operations. They help with customer service, cashiering, sorting materials, pricing, shelving and much more.

Check for current openings and apply to be a Title Wave volunteer. Contact Volunteer Serviceswith questions.

Title Wave Used Bookstore
216 NE Knott St
Volunteer Services : 503-988-5731

Friends of Multnomah County Library

Do you like to be around fellow book lovers? Friends of Multnomah County Library provides supplemental funding for the public library. The money collected from the Friends Library Store helps to fund the Pageturners book groups, Adult Summer Reading Program and other  library initiatives.

Each year hundreds of volunteers donate their time to support the Friends of the Library. Every volunteer makes a measurable impact in the funds that Friends raises for the Library’s life-enriching programs and services. Friends offers many rewarding volunteer opportunities for individuals, and high school, college, corporate, or community groups of any size.  You can help out with the annual Fall and Spring Book Sales at the Lloyd Center Doubletree Hotel, help sort donated items in the book room, or work a shift at the Friends Library Store at the central library location downtown.

To find out how you can be part of this important team, contact Lisa Jordan, Membership and Volunteer Coordinator.

Friends of Multnomah County Library
216 NE Russell St

VOA Men’s Residential Center

The Volunteers  of America (VOA) has many different programs across the city.  A volunteer can work with kids, teens or even adults helping them to enrich their lives and live up to their potential. The VOA Men’s Residential Center (MRC) is located in Eliot and has many volunteer opportunities for one time events or ongoing volunteering.

The  MRC is a drug and alcohol treatment facility for men referred by the criminal justice system. The men residing in the 52-bed facility enter voluntarily after being referred from the Multnomah County criminal justice system. Most entering have never known lives without crime, and many have used alcohol and drugs from the early ages of ten or twelve. The program is six months of intensive, tightly structured treatment ultimately learning how to monitor their own thought processes in order to recognize and prevent relapses, practice anger and stress management, as well as learn communication and living skills.

The MRC holds events throughout the year like the winter holiday dinner, Annual Alumni Celebration in the spring and the much anticipated and enjoyed block party in August. Volunteers are needed at these events to help set up, serve, and clean up.

Volunteers are also needed on a regular basis at their front desk (3-4 hours per week on a regular shift).

Bring your creative talents to their Creative Expressions Art Therapy group as a guest instructor (past volunteers have offered pottery painting and creative writing).

I, personally, volunteered at the MRC bringing my trained pet therapy dog to visit the residents weekly which was not only fun for them but also was great for my dog.

Assistance is also needed with donation procurement/fundraising/grant writing for the Al Forthan Memorial Scholarship.

Many different opportunities abound and all you have to do is reach out to Alex Rice, the MRC volunteer coordinator at arice@voaor.org to see where they need assistance. You can sign up through Volunteers of America and request to volunteer at the Men’s Residential Center or any of their other programs by emailing to volunteer@voaor.org or calling 503-595-2009.

VOA Men’s Residential Center
2318 NE MLK Blvd

Children’s Book Bank

As their website states, “volunteers are the heart and soul of this community effort to solve the book gap.  The Children’s Book Bank welcomes many types of volunteers—from individuals and groups who have two hours to give to those who can help a few hours each week or month to those who have professional skills to contribute or want projects of their own.  Every helping hand allows us to serve more children.”

Reminisce with other volunteers about a favorite book while cleaning books to be redistributed to kids in need. This job is family friendly so consider bringing your kids and help out. Want to make sure there is a good variety of books to distributed? Then sorting and bundling books is the job for you. If you would like to bring books to classrooms and have access to a car you can volunteer to deliver books weekly.

Consider Children’s Book Bank when you are looking for your next volunteer opportunity.

Children’s Book Bank
1915 NE 7th Ave

St.Philip the Deacon

Does volunteering to serve a nourishing meal sound like a way you can give back to your community?  St. Philip the Deacon has hosted a Saturday lunch in The Deacon’s Dining Hall every Saturday for 20 years. The Deacon’s Dining Hall serves neighbors and the larger community throughout the year. Guests weekly receive over 200 hot meals and take away meals. Nourishing guests with a respectful environment is the goal.

Helpful volunteers serve meals, prepare food, pick up food and clean up after the lunch. Committed volunteers are church members with other families, clergy and guests.  You are welcome to join the volunteer team.

St. Philip is also long supported by the Oregon Food Bank in fighting the hunger of so many people. If you can volunteer to pick up food from the food bank, or “shop the dock” as it’s called. The number of meals depends on how much food can be picked up.  Groups from organizations or even a group of friends are also encouraged to sign up to volunteer.

St Philp the Deacon
120 NE Knott Street