Giving Back in 2020
In a time where so many things vie for our attention, it’s easy to forget about the people around us, and to overlook the impact they may have on our lives. This year, why not invest some time into your community? From serving on an advisory board to cleaning up the Willamette River, there are plenty of opportunities to give back. Here’s a look:
Benton Habitat for Humanity
Founded in 1991, Benton Habitat for Humanity works to make safe, affordable homes available to the community. Benton Habitat is always looking for volunteers to help with the various construction and home repair projects they have going on. If you consider yourself a handyhuman, this may be the volunteering opportunity for you. Volunteers can also work at the ReStore which sells affordable home improvement items, or at Benton Habitat’s offices taking care of administrative duties.
For more info, visit bentonhabitat.org/
Boards and Commissions
For those seeking to help influence the future of Corvallis, the City Council has more than 20 advisory boards and committees, all comprised of volunteers. Members take on an advisory role to the City Council, working collaboratively with each other to provide input on important issues.
For more info, visit corvallisoregon.gov/bc
CASA – Voices For Children
CASA is a nonprofit organization that provides advocacy on behalf of children in foster care – the only one of its kind in Oregon. Volunteers can receive training to become an advocate, providing guidance for abused and neglected children as they work their way through the court system. Volunteer advocates
For more info, visit https://www.casa-vfc.
Chintimini Wildlife Center
The Wildlife Center seeks to rehabilitate injured wildlife, with the end goal being to reintroduce them to back into their natural habitats. Volunteers can expect to get hands-on experience nursing wild animals back to health, contributing to the Wildlife Center’s newsletter, and helping run various educational programs.
For more info, visit chintiminiwildlife.org/
From hosting community events to providing a deep pool of literary resources, the public library is a cornerstone of community life in Corvallis. Yet none of it would be possible without its team of volunteers who dedicate countless hours to keep the library in tiptop shape. Volunteers help with book circulation, staff fundraising events, participate in children’s reading programs, and more.
For more info, visit cbcpubliclibrary.net/
Corvallis Environmental Center
The Environmental Center runs programs on nature education, healthy local food, and energy conservation. Though there are various volunteering opportunities throughout the year, the most notable one is Starker Arts Garden for Education, or SAGE, where more than 800 people participate each year. Additionally, SAGE’s Food for Families program works to supply soup kitchens and food pantries with fresh produce.
For more info, visit corvallis environmentalcenter.org/10194-
Greenbelt Land Trust
For over 30 years, the folks at Greenbelt Land Trust have worked to conserve various properties around the Willamette Valley. Those interested can sign up for various events throughout the year, such as Greenbelt’s Volunteer Naturalist program in which volunteers are trained to be trail guides at Bald Hill Farm and act as ambassadors for Greenbelt. Beyond this, Greenbelt has also hosted workshops and Willamette River cleanups, which can always use more helping hands.
For more info, visit greenbeltlandtrust.org/
Heartland Humane Society
The Humane Society’s various open-door animal shelters provide care for mankind’s furry friends, caring for more than 2,000 animals each year. Volunteers here can participate in animal care, animal socialization, and community outreach.
For more info, visit heartlandhumane.org/
The Majestic Theatre
There’s a dizzying amount of work that goes into any stage production, much of it handled by passionate volunteers. Whether you fancy yourself a thespian, or would like to help with the myriad of other behind-the-scenes operations, the folks at the Majestic will likely find a use for you and your skills.
For more info, visit majestic.org/volunteer
Parks and Recreation
With events happening year-round, Corvallis Parks and Recreation is always looking for extra help. Volunteers may find themselves beautifying our local parks, maintaining the various hiking trails in the area, organizing community events, or even coaching youth sports teams.
For more info, visit corvallisoregon.gov/
Started in 1982 by a group of parishioners from St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Stone Soup has since become a collaborative effort from several of Corvallis’s faith communities. Whether cooking, serving, or washing dishes, volunteers come together each day of the week to provide a free meal to those in need.
For more info, visit stonesoupcorvallis.org/
Willamette Writers on the River
As Corvallis’ own chapter of the Willamette Writers Organization, Writers on the River is always looking for volunteers to help organize events, produce content for their newsletter and social media outlets, and help with fundraising. If you’re interested in Corvallis’ writing community and would like to lend a hand, this may be for you.
For more info, visit willamettewriters.org/
Youth Volunteer Corps
For our younger community members, the Youth Volunteer Corps presents a wide variety of opportunities to get involved. From wildlife restoration to leaf raking to community events, volunteers here have the chance to pick up a diverse set of skills while forming connections with their peers.
For more info, visit yvccorvallis.org
These are but a few of the many opportunities that arise in our little town. If you know of any organizations around the area that could use a helping hand, feel free to email us at calendar@corvallisadvocate.