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Volunteer opportunities fit for any schedule

Nowhere is the phrase “A little goes a long way” more fitting than when it comes to volunteering. Acts big and small can make a huge difference, and there’s no reason to think you don’t have enough bandwidth. Whether you’re a retiree with newfound free time or a busy working mom trying to juggle career and family, there’s a volunteer opportunity that fits your lifestyle—and your schedule. Here, we break some down based on time commitment required.

Volunteer opportunities fit for any schedule | Buffalo Magazine

Students from Canisius College volunteered in March 2017 at the Matt Urban Hope Center’s clothing boutique. The Hope Center, located in the Broadway/Fillmore neighborhood, is a one-stop shop for community residents and individuals experiencing homelessness. (Matt Urban Hope Center)

A 3-6 month project

8-10 hours/week (average)

  • Opportunity: Hope Center Clothing Boutique
  • Organization: Matt Urban Center
  • Duties: Hang donated clothing on racks, offer customer assistance
  • Ideal for: Those who can spare time within the hours of 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon.-Fri.
  • For more: Call 893-7222 ext. 313

1-3 hours/week or month

  • Opportunity: Volunteer driver
  • Organization: Hearts and Hands
  • Duties: Give seniors rides to grocery stores, doctor appointments and other necessary visits, along with transportation to places like favorite coffee shops or bridge games that keep them active and part of the community
  • Ideal for: Any licensed driver over the age of 18
  • For more: Call 406-8311 ext. 102

2 hours/week, same day and time

25 hours/year

One lunch hour/month

One-time dinner program

  • Opportunity: Cooks for Kids
  • Organization: Ronald McDonald Charities of WNY
  • Duties: Plan, shop for and prepare “home-away-from-home” dinner for guests of the Ronald McDonald House. Meals are prepared at the house.
  • Ideal for: Groups of 10 people or under, aged 14 and over
  • For more: Call 883-1177 to schedule a date

The time it takes to make a pie

  • Opportunity: Pie-It Forward
  • Organization: Buffalo City Mission
  • Duties: Bake a pie for community-wide drive for home-bound people in need as part of the Mission’s Thanksgiving meal for the Turkey Express.
  • Ideal for: Individuals, schools and businesses (Artisan Kitchens once baked in their showroom)
  • For more: Visit Buffalocitymission.org

Keep in mind

Many of these organizations have multiple volunteer opportunities. If those listed aren’t exact matches for your skills or interests, visit their website or give them a call to see how else you can help. For a more complete list of volunteer opportunities in Western New York, visit VolunteerWNY.org.

Volunteering lowdown

  • Around 25 percent of people volunteered in 2015
  • People ages 25-54 are most likely to volunteer
  • Married people volunteer more (29.9 percent) than those who have never married (19.9 percent)
  • Volunteers spent a median of 52 hours annually on volunteer activities, most (72 percent) with a single organization.

(Bureau of Labor Statistics study, 2015)

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