12 ways to volunteer in PGH this year

Volunteers arranging donations. Getty Images

Volunteering in your community is beneficial for everyone involved. When you have a purpose outside of yourself, your mental wellness thrives. Resilience, optimism, and overall happiness all improve when we feel motivated by projects and people. What better way to enhance your own quality of life than by volunteering in your community this year? Fortunately, Pittsburgh has no shortage of opportunities for giving back.


Spend Time Outside


There are many volunteer opportunities outside. Whether you’re spending time in the city parks, wilderness areas, or outdoor markets, these volunteer roles will combine doing good with some much-needed sunshine.


Bloomfield Saturday Market


Running every Saturday through November, this bustling market hosts local vendors in the heart of Bloomfield. Sign up to volunteer as a greeter, help set up/tear down canopies, assist patrons with bagging and carrying items to their cars, and answer questions at the information desk. You’ll be supporting the local farmers and artisans who bring so much spirit to the community.


Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy


The Pittsburgh Parks system is central to a thriving connection with the natural world throughout our city. With so many amazing parks to maintain, the Parks Conservancy always needs volunteers. There are recurring volunteer events, special park maintenance days, and opportunities for groups to help make a difference. Apply to be a Park Star to spread the word about the parks’ importance.


Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership


If you’d like to volunteer your time doing various tasks in a vibrant atmosphere, join the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership team. Keeping downtown PGH clean, inviting, and welcoming is a big job. Whether you’re cleaning graffiti, raking leaves, or tending to flower pots, you’ll get to see your work’s immediate impact on the downtown atmosphere.


Give Back to Our Children


Volunteering your time to work with children is one of the best ways to make a lasting impact on our community. You’ll provide support, care, and resources to the children who will one day be our neighbors and coworkers.


Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh


Libraries offer a world of opportunity for children. From reading to technology, kids who visit the library can always use a helping hand. Check out the many ways you can volunteer at Carnegie Library; be a reading buddy, run a special event, or help mentor teens after school.


The Children’s Institute


If you’re available for a weekly volunteer shift, you can make a big difference working with the children at families at The Children’s Institute. The day school provides opportunities for children with disabilities to learn, explore, and feel empowered. Volunteering here has an impact that ripples throughout the community.


YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh


Would you like to make an impact in a fun, active environment? Volunteer at the YMCA to work directly with children, plan events, coach, or serve on an advisory board. With year-round programming for children and youth, you can easily find a place that uses your talents.


Provide Food and Care Year Round


Many families volunteer with food banks and shelters during the holidays, but the need starts long before November. In addition to resources, community members need company, care, and support during medical interventions or recovery.


Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank


The food bank provides a variety of services throughout the year to several populations. You can help prepare food boxes for seniors, harvest produce on the farm, complete administrative work, or sort food at the warehouse. Volunteers like you donated over 60,000 hours of time last year — add to that total for 2023!


Allegheny Health Network


Volunteering to work with patients undergoing treatment or recovering from illness is a wonderful way to bring care and support to a potentially difficult time. AHN has several volunteer opportunities, including the Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP), art therapy, pet therapy, and clerical work.


Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh


Cooking, cleaning, and providing transportation are just some ways to volunteer your time with the Women’s Center & Shelter. The women and children here depend on the safe space while they plan for the future. If you join the volunteer team, you’ll be part of a community that has helped lift these women up for over 50 years.


Empower Your Community


Pittsburgh is a wonderfully diverse city, and volunteers can help make sure that programs supporting diversity continue running at full strength for the rest of 2023.


PGH Equality Center


Support this organization that serves as an ally for LGBTQIA+ people in our community. Volunteers with PGH Equality Center help run fundraising events, facilitate teen programming, and organize outreach materials.


Jewish Family and Community Services Refugee Program


One of the most extensive refugee resettlement services in the area, the JFCS program needs volunteers to help with every aspect of relocation. You might help a family learn English, support enrollment in public programs, track down essential items, or volunteer at the after-school club.


Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh


With a goal to “help African Americans and other minorities succeed in Pittsburgh’s socio-economic mainstream,” the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh constantly needs volunteers for events, education, and community outreach. You’ll have the opportunity to form lasting networks of organizations and individuals committed to change.


Choosing even one volunteer opportunity each year can actively help our community work towards positive change, so choose today to start being part of the solution.



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