Giving back to your community is important for so many reasons: you can help make D.C. a better place, you assist your fellow Washingtonians in need, and it just feels good!
We know that when you're in your early 20s and 30s, donating serious dollars to causes you care about isn't always financially possible. But we can all spare a little bit of our time, right? So we’ve put together a list of organizations you can get involved with ASAP in the DMV area.
This should go without saying, but trees are pretty amazing. They provide shade, help create clean air and make our communities even more beautiful. Help restore and protect D.C.’s tree canopy by planting trees with Casey Trees in the fall and spring. Most immediately, Casey Trees is looking for volunteers to help weed, mulch and water young trees this summer.
Bread for the City does it all when it comes to helping low-income individuals receive the items and services they need in D.C. Whether it is food, clothing, medical care or social services, Bread for the City helps provide people with the tools to prosper. Get involved with this organization by working at their food pantry, clothing room, gardens or other special events.
To fight hunger here in the District, DC Central Kitchen is turning food waste into nutritional meals given to shelters, schools and nonprofits. But you know what they say -- give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you give him the skills to feed himself for life. Thus, DC Central Kitchen is also training jobless adults in culinary arts, and then they hire many of them to help prepare the meals provided by the kitchen. Volunteers are needed to assist the kitchen staff with the food prep, such as washing, chopping and peeling ingredients. No previous experience is required.
Martha’s Table’s mission is to help children, families and the community by “increasing access to quality education programs, healthy food and family supports.” There are several ways you can get involved with Martha’s Table as a volunteer, including helping to prepare meals, delivering meals, working at the clothing thrift shop and assisting with educational programs.
If you’re an avid reader of DC Refined, then you probably already know about Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. This organization helps dogs and cats find their forever homes. Lucky Dog relies on volunteers in so many different ways. Volunteers can be adoption coordinators, handle the lovable pets at adoption events, foster dogs and cats until they have adopters and much more. *Editor's Note: Lucky Dog also happens to be the organization DC Refined partners with for our annual Bachelors and Puppies photoshoot!
This is another organization that works to take care of animals and help Washingtonians find their perfect furry companions. Get involved by taking dogs on a run, working at special events, assisting medical staff with veterinary services, fostering an animal and other care. Each Monday, DC Refined highlights a new pet from HRA in need of a loving family, so if you're looking to help by actually adopting, be on the lookout for our Pet of the Week feature.
Suited for Change helps provide local women who are entering the job market with professional clothing. Volunteers can help with styling, leading workshops for career preparedness, sorting donations or working special events. Have professional clothing and accessories you no longer need? You can also donate your items.
Know of an organization in D.C. looking for volunteers? Let us know!