Get Involved to Give Back
The essential guide to San Antonio's best organizations to get involved and give back
San Antonio is a great place to get involved and make an impact on the community. Here are some of the best volunteer opportunities available at local charities, organizations, and nonprofits.
United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County
Through May 27, volunteers will collect decorated shoeboxes donated by San Antonio Shoes and fill them with toiletry items for individuals, families, and organizations for the Shoebox Project.
You can also help at the United Way Kids Festival, an official Fiesta community event sponsored by the Texas Cavaliers in celebration and promotion of early childhood development. The event is scheduled from 11 am to 3 pm April 23 in Lockwood Park. You can sign up for all UWSA volunteer events here.
Inner City Development
This community-based organization responds to emergency, educational, and recreational needs on San Antonio’s west side. Volunteer to help coach teams, supervise youth programs, stock the food pantry, provide counseling, organize fundraising activities, and maintain the grounds and facilities. Call 210-224-7239 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Office of Historic Preservation
May is designated Preservation Month in San Antonio, and you can help preserve the city’s history by becoming a tour guide and assisting with historic surveys and community events. You also have the opportunity to get hands-on experience in minor repairs to maintain historic property with the Students Together Achieving Revitalization program.
San Antonio Parks and Recreation
It’s spring in San Antonio and a great time to help make the city's parks shine. From cleaning graffiti and planting trees to becoming a Trail Watch volunteer, there is something for everyone.
Green Spaces Alliance
On May 7, join gardeners, bicyclists, runners, and walkers on the annual SicloVerde Bike Tour, a unique ride through the city’s community gardens. If you’re interested in volunteering, contact Angela Hartsell at email@example.com. You can also sign up for other Green Spaces volunteer activities here.
San Antonio Food Bank
Volunteers can help pack food on May 7, 21, and 28 at the San Antonio Food Bank in preparation for the upcoming Day of Action on June 18.
San Antonio Botanical Garden
The garden’s new "Storybook Houses" exhibit is inspired by fairy tales and children’s books, and offers a chance to volunteer at an educational event. Help children do a simple craft, garden, or game activity from 9:30 am to noon on May 14 when the garden holds its Worms at Work event based on Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin. Other upcoming reading activities include Virginia Lee Burton’s The Little House on June 11 and Dr. Seuss’ Oh, the Places You’ll Go on July 9.
The garden will soon segue into its summer exhibit, “Winged Wonders,” which highlights pollinators, and will offer more volunteer opportunities. Email Nadezhda Garza at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
San Antonio Museum of Art
Become a docent to tell stories of art and history to school-aged children and museum patrons of all ages. No formal background is needed, though an interview, orientation, and training are required. Head to the next preview session on June 23 from 4 to 6 pm.
Animal Care Services
Animal Care Services is always in need of animal lovers who can bathe, groom, walk, and socialize the center's furry friends. The organization also needs volunteers to help with groundwork, administrative work, adoption, off-site events, photography, laundry, and more.
Krystine Ellan, ACS volunteer program coordinator, says volunteering with ACS gives people an opportunity to give back to the community. “Not only are volunteers helping the community, they’re helping each individual pet,” she says.
Join ACS June 27 through July 1, when kids can attend the Animal Allies day camp. Campers are assigned a pair of dogs to train throughout the week. There is a $150 fee for the event, and registration is made by appointment.
Days of Caring
Participate in Days of Caring on July 16 to help UWSA and San Antonio Parks and Recreation maintain park trails; paint and clean playground equipment; and pick up litter along parks, creeks, lakes, gardens, and more.
San Antonio Youth Literacy
Become a reading buddy to work one-on-one with students in 30-minute sessions and help improve literacy throughout the community. A training session for the 2016/2017 school year will be held from 5:30 to 7 pm August 4 at the SAYL office.
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