While decent paying jobs may be scarce in this town, chances to do some good and meaningful work are plentiful. Opportunities to volunteer and make a difference around Corvallis so often have a habit of turning into unexpectedly excellent adventures, and that time well-spent adds up to real impact quickly. Thanks, of course, to our community’s unique diversity of social capital, and the insatiable optimism and philanthropic spirit some of you out there seem to share.
If you’re between jobs, bored after class, not quite retired yet—or maybe you have no idea what tomorrow’s schedule looks like—maybe take a moment to think about investing it in others (be they human or otherwise). There are quite a few local organizations with regularly occurring volunteer opportunities that warrant mention. This list is heavily limited by what I could fit on the page, and is by no means exhaustive.
If you would like help getting the message out about one-time or ongoing volunteer events, you can always write to us here at the Advocate: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chintimini Wildlife Center. Their mission is to provide care for injured and orphaned wildlife, with the hope of getting them back into their native habitats. Connecting people and wildlife also makes a great opportunity for education. Caring for creatures isn’t all—for those who are artistically talented, they could use your help, too. For info, visit http://www.chintiminiwildlife.
Community Outreach, Inc. COI is a nonprofit organization that provides a wide variety of services to aid those in crisis. Volunteers can assist with medical and dental clinics, Mari’s Place Childcare Center, as shelter assistants, or in a variety of student internships. For info, visit http://www.
Community Services Consortium. In partnership with programs like Linn-Benton Food Share, CSC helps people in Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties access resources to overcome poverty and build brighter futures. Everybody eats; everyone’s help counts. An array of opportunities exist for individuals, groups, and event volunteers. For info, visit http://communityservices.us/
Corvallis-Benton County Public Library. All that and a stack of books, the library sure does a lot for this town. Volunteer opportunities change over the course of the year, so read up online and fill out an application. Help with circulation, children’s programs, join Friends of the Library, or the Library Foundation. Find out more at http://cbcpubliclibrary.net/
Corvallis Bicycle Collective. Put “volunteer bike stripper” on a resume someday; it’d certainly catch a few eyes—talk about genuine local experience. CBC could use some help to recycle a few parts off donated bikes, though. Any bicycle maintenance experience level is acceptable. Volunteers can stop by anytime during normal shop hours at 707 NW 11th Street. For info, visit https://www.facebook.com/
Corvallis Department of Parks and Recreation. Volunteers are needed year-round. Help out with events, coach sports, teach crafts, build trails, or assist with a few administrative tasks. All sorts of opportunities are available; they can accommodate any number of schedules and occupations. For info, visit http://www.corvallisoregon.
Corvallis Environmental Center. The Edible Corvallis Initiative, Avery House Nature Center, and Energize Corvallis all accept volunteers. Help create, educate, and engage a healthy sustainable community. For more info, visit them online at http://www.
Habitat for Humanity. Volunteers don’t just build and repair homes. They’re also needed to help out in the ReStore and administratively, to serve on committees, and assist with community engagement. The Benton County and Albany areas each have programs. For more info, visit http://bentonhabitat.org/
Heartland Humane Society. Help care for homeless animals as a shelter volunteer, in the thrift shop, or help from home by fostering animals. Spend some time to do some human-animal bonding. That has a tendency of turning out alright. Volunteer orientations are available by appointment. For info, visit http://heartlandhumane.org/
Institute for Applied Ecology. Sign up as a volunteer and help conserve and restore native species and habitats. Learn about rare plants, local vegetation and conservation research. Negative comments in regards to the use of the scientific names for living things in daily conversation should be immediately dismissed. Nobody needs that kind of negativity. For info, visit http://appliedeco.org/get-
By Matthew Hunt