In a city as large and diverse as Houston, there are numerous community needs – and a plethora of charitable organizations working hard to meet them. Volunteering with a local charity is a great way to make a difference in the lives of others while meeting people and developing skills. Volunteering is also useful for church, school or business groups to deepen relationships and commitment. Here are a few group volunteer opportunities in the Houston area.
The Houston Zoo’s mission is to provide a fun, unique, and inspirational experience fostering appreciation, knowledge, and care for the natural world. A day at the zoo in Houston’s beautiful Museum District can provide your group with the kind of experience promoted by the Houston Zoo. You and your teammates might assist with beautifying the zoo grounds by raking, planting and other landscaping tasks. Or you might spend your time indoors working on such tasks as assembling printed materials, stuffing goody bags or prepping for special events.
If working with a youth group, note that the Houston Zoo requires one adult chaperone for every five volunteers less than 18 years of age. Most projects are scheduled to last up to four hours, and the zoo can accommodate a maximum group size of 30 volunteers.
Contact: Erin Quassa
Location: 6200 Hermann Park Drive
Houston, Texas 77030
Houston Food Bank
Houston is known for its outstanding cuisine scene, as well as the locals’ oversized enjoyment of good food; help share that joy with the disadvantaged among us by volunteering at the Houston Food Bank, located in north Houston. The Houston Food Bank’s mission is leading the fight against hunger, which is accomplished primarily through distributions of produce, meat and non-perishables to area food pantries, senior seniors, domestic abuse shelters and other social service agencies. The Food Bank also provides hot meals prepared in its kitchen, as well as nutrition education and job training programs. The Houston Food Banks is the largest Feeding America food bank in the country, and feeds an impressive 865,000 unique individuals annually.
The Houston Food Bank needs volunteers to sort and package food items for distribution. Groups of five or more are welcome to work shifts at their warehouse or kitchen, with opportunities occurring Monday through Saturday. Volunteers must be at least eight years of age, with children under the age of 16 requiring adult chaperones. Volunteers must make an appointment before working their shift, and there is a dress code for safety purposes (close-toed shoes, no shorts or skits above the knee and no low-cut shirts).
Contact: Ashley Cousan
535 Portwall Street
Houston, Texas 77029
2445 North Freeway
Houston, TX 77009
This last organization is not as well-known as the others, but Medical Bridges provides important services by helping meet the medical needs of those living in countries lacking the quality healthcare that Houston is known for. The organization’s mission is creating medical miracles, which is accomplished by distributing surplus medical equipment to healthcare providers around the world.
Volunteers help sort and pack supplies at their warehouse located near the Texas Medical Center. Volunteers must be 15 years of age or older, and Medical Bridges can accommodate a maximum of 15 individuals at a time. Medical Bridges will train you on how to sort and pack the equipment; volunteers are advised to dress comfortably, and most of the work is done standing up. Groups are also advised to schedule their service time at least two weeks in advance.
Contact: Diana Cano
(713) 748-8131 ext. 204
Location: 2706 Magnet Street
Houston, Texas 77054