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Give Back to Boost Your Health

Motivating volunteer options

Giving back to your community or doing something kind for a friend are sure ways to boost your mood and put your own concerns in perspective. If you are retired and find yourself drifting, you aren’t alone. Research has found that volunteer work is often the answer to keeping your mind sharp, combating depression and providing a chance to meet new people.
From working with adoptable animals to providing meals to the elderly, we found some volunteer opportunities in our area that you may not be aware of.

Boys and Girls Club of Toledo

There’s a reason why the Boys and Girls Club name carries such weight to it. Through education and numerous activities such as after school programs, the Boys and Girls Club of Toledo has provided support and inspiration to young people for over a century. Volunteer opportunities include tutoring, mentoring, coaching, special events, programming assistance and much more.

Call 419-241-4258 or visit bgctoledo.org to learn how to get involved.

Seagate Food Bank


There are lots of ways to help seniors and others suffering from food scarcity at the Seagate Food Bank. Collect donated goods, help with distribution, or get involved with Project PJ or The Banks Family. Project PJ delivers bedding, pajamas, stuffed animals, tooth brushes, and all the things kids need to have a comfortable bedtime. If you enjoy dressing up and doing a bit of acting, you can be a member of The Banks Family— a fork, spoon and knife trio who travel through schools, teaching kids what they need to know about good nutrition.

Visit seagatefoodbank.org or call 419-244-6996 to get involved.

The Giving Circuit

This new small business is always accepting volunteers to fulfill their goal of bringing together the arts and nonprofits for unique fundraisers. Think concerts, art exhibits, literary conventions, and anything else related to creativity to give back. If you know of a nonprofit that would like to join forces with The Giving Circuit, they are accepting applications. They also need venues and creative types to help with entertaining, innovative fundraisers.

Message the group on Facebook.com/thegivingcircuit to find out how you can help.

Mobile Meals


The organization currently helps about 500 people per day, often allowing people to stay in their homes rather than going to a nursing home. The work of caring volunteers makes Mobile Meals possible, providing food for people who are temporarily homebound, disabled, elderly, or who have special dietary needs. They even have a Weekender Program for children, as well as a program to deliver pet food for those furry friends in need.

To learn more, visit mobilemeals.org or call 419-255-7806.

Metroparks Toledo

There are endless opportunities to volunteer for Toledo’s Metroparks, a great option if you are looking for interesting ways to get more exercise. Maintain the park as a garden keeper, trail steward, or native seed nursery helper to help keep the parks beautiful. Or engage in educational programs as a counselor to teach leadership skills to teenagers.

Call 419-407-9703 or visit metroparkstoledo.com to see how you can best serve this custodian of Toledo’s natural beauty.

Wood County Humane Society


If you’re an animal lover, the Wood County Humane Society is the place for you. They provide multiple avenues to get involved, most of which require some training. They need people to volunteer at the shelter, but you can also elect to be a foster pet-parent. Kittens under six weeks old require 24-hour care until they can eat on their own, and many animals need similar attention while recuperating. The Society’s newest program, Doggy Day Out, requires no training. It simply involves taking a dog out on a field trip to give them some exercise, mental stimulation and exposure to potential adopters. Dog walkers are encouraged to take pictures and video of their adventures to share on social media. What a fun way to give back!

Visit wchumane.org or call 419-352-7339.

Cherry St. Mission


This local charity offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities in service of the financially insecure and the homeless in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. Whether you’d prefer to work in a kitchen, driving a van to transport guests or deliver meals on Thanksgiving Day to those in need, Cherry St. Mission has plenty of ways for you to give back.

419-214-3357. cherrystreetmission.org.

Claver House

The Claver House is a soup kitchen that serves meals 9-10am Monday-Friday, and opens at 7:30am for breakfast. The organization is all about providing nourishment through the comfort of a hot meal and kind conversation. Their biblical motto is “whatever you do for the least of these, you do for Me.” It’s the kind of volunteering that gets you socializing with others who love to help, but it’s also a way to share stories with people who could use a kind ear and compassion— a great choice for extroverted volunteers.

419-705-3955. toledotogether.org

Family House

This non-profit organization has helped homeless families find housing and social services through education and community resources since 1985. They are looking for volunteers to serve meals, sort donations, paint walls and do an array of other tasks to improve the process for families in need. Through programs like their family house kitchen, clothing closet, health education (including nutrition, medical care, and parenting classes), exist to help families become self-sufficient.

419-242-5505. familyhousetoledo.org.

Lakeside Theatre Company


Whether you are a creative type or a people person who likes getting to know fellow theater-goers, Lakeside Theatre Company would love to have you volunteer with them. They are looking for people to work on creating sets and costumes, but they also need ushers and people to help send out mailings. If you appreciate the arts, this non-profit theatre is certainly a worthwhile scene.

Contact them at 917-885-7450 or visit thelakesidetheatrecompany.com to learn more about their future projects and needs.

Aurora Project


Empower homeless women by providing education and shelter for them and their kids. As a volunteer, you can take part in house maintenance if you are the fixer-upper type. Or, if you have a passion for teaching and have leadership skills, there are mentorship opportunities. The Project also needs people who can babysit, prepare meals and organize activities— there are ways for volunteers of all personalities and backgrounds to help out.

Call 419-244-3200 or visit auroraprojectinc.org to learn more.

Beach House


This historic house gives volunteers the opportunity to help the homeless in the greater Toledo area by taking part in house upkeep and a variety of programs that assist with health, employment, education and basic living. You can be a volunteer support staff member, run errands, help plan events, serve meals, and try to get people to donate to the organization. Visit their website to learn about all the different capacities in which you can contribute your time as a volunteer.

To get involved, call 419-241-9277 ext. 103 or check out beachhousetoledo.org

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