You’d like to help out and give back to your community, but you’re not sure where to find volunteer opportunities. Columbia, SC is full of places where you can lend a hand and give back. We pulled together this list of ideas to get you started volunteering in Columbia, SC. Here are some places around Columbia that are happy for contributions of both supplies and time!
Volunteer: Columbia, South Carolina
Soldiers Angels is focused on supporting veterans through a variety of programs and has both in-person opportunities as well as virtual opportunities. Writing letters and making care packages for the deployed is one way in which even the youngest family members can contribute to this organization though they have other opportunities for almost everyone.
Youth Volunteer Corps
Youth Volunteer Corps welcomes children ages 11-18 and encourages parents to volunteer with their kids. Some recent past events include a fall clean up and community clean up.
This season there is an upcoming Shoe Drive opportunity taking place November 30, 2023 – December 1, 2024 and a Back in Stock event taking place on December 16, 2023, which offers an opportunity to help a family in need. Find more information on both of these Youth Volunteer Corps Projects on their website.
Local Animal Shelters
- Pawmetto Lifeline helps homeless cats and dogs in the Midlands area and strives to reduce the overpopulation of pets by providing discounted spay and neuter appointments. Their Boots in Service program was created to help veterans’ pets receive medical care while their owner is away from home or receiving care themselves. Pawmetto Lifeline requires volunteers to be at least 16 years of age but younger family members are encouraged to help through donation drives or raise money through kid friendly fundraisers, lemonade stands or selling baked goods.
- Final Victory Animal Rescue is a non-profit cat and dog rescue that focuses on providing a loving and positive experience for animals while working towards the ultimate goal of finding a forever home. They offer a wide variety of volunteer opportunities including building structures, on-site assistance, special events, photography, transportation, and dog socialization. Please contact them for questions regarding the age requirements for each category.
- City of Columbia Animal Services has animals available for adoption/foster and welcomes volunteers of all ages. Opportunities include hands on help such as enrichment for the animals, dog walking and cat socialization and helping behind the scenes to enhance services and programs at the shelter. Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian while volunteering.
Harvest Hope is the largest food bank in South Carolina and strives to eliminate hunger across our communities. In addition to accepting food donations, they also rescue food from stores and spread it across the state’s shelters, soup kitchens and pantries. They have volunteer opportunities which are critical to the success of their organization. Volunteers must be 11 years of age and accompanied by an adult if ages 11-15.
Junior League of Columbia
Junior League of Columbia focuses on teaching youth, specifically girls in 7th-12th grade, the importance of volunteering. They offer a formal program and will be awarded a certificate upon completion.
Kids That Do Good
Kids That Do Good is a great resource to check frequently as they have volunteer opportunities in Columbia available for all ages. and The opportunities are searchable by location which is great if you’re looking to take a day trip or add a charitable component to your next family trip!
Families Helping Families
Families Helping Families helps provide services around the holidays including Christmas gifts, food, and clothing. Opportunities include food preparation, warehouse help, answering calls, and donations among others.
Marine Corps Reserve Toys For Tots
Toys For Tots is another program that welcomes both volunteers and donations around the holidays.
Toy and Supply Drives
- Toy Drive @ Airport High School: New, unwrapped toys can be dropped off at the main office of Airport High School from now until November 17, 2023.
- Drive n’ Drop Supply Drive: Come together as a community and make a positive impact in the drive n’ drop senior resources supply drive. Things needs are soup cans, cereal, peanut butter, toiletries, and more. All donations will be benefiting Senior Resources and Meals on Wheels.
More Volunteer and Charitable Events
More Ideas for the Whole Family: Volunteering
- Deliver cards to Nursing Home residents
- Contact Local church to find events or opportunities
- Donate Clothing for Newborns in the NICU
- Volunteer at a local zoo, farm, or nature center
- Make bird feeders to place in your yard
- Deliver meals or treats to your local firehouse
- Distribute holiday cards or gifts to children in the hospital
- Make and distribute care packages for the homeless or keep in your car to hand out when the opportunity arises
- Help your child create a collection box for their birthday (or any time of year) and select a cause they care about then ask classmates, neighbors, and party invitees for items to donate
- Make a DIY dog or cat toy and deliver to a local animal shelter
- Read to an animal at your local ASPCA or Humane Society
- Visit WorldWildlife.org and let your child select their favorite endangered animal, give a craft or drawing of the animal to friends and family in exchange for donations and then “adopt” the animal and receive a matching plush
- Build and fill a “free book library” outside your home where neighbors can take one or leave one!
- Gather and deposit food to a local food bank (or shop your pantry if it is unopened and within date)