Volunteer opportunities abound in Seattle for those looking to make a difference in the community. Whether you favor animals, city government, parks and recreation or the judicial system, here are some great ways to get involved in Seattle. 

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The Seattle Public Library relies upon the efforts of a dedicated group of volunteers to bring people, information and ideas together in an effort to enrich the lives of Seattleites and build a sense of community. Among the services needed are adult tutors, book group facilitators, branch and department support volunteers, computer instruction assistants, English as second language (ESL) classroom assistants, homework helpers and event ushers. A broad range of other skilled and semi-skilled opportunities is available as well.

The Probation Department of the city’s municipal court system needs help maintaining records and files, as well as conducting correspondence with other criminal justice agencies, treatment facilities and service providers. These duties fall under the heading of Case Aide for the Probation Services division of the court system. Your strong organizational skills, as well as your familiarity with Microsoft Office and Excel will be put to good use helping to rehabilitate those who have demonstrated they deserve another chance in society.

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Seattle’s Animal Shelter volunteers help rescue thousands of animals every year. They help with the direct care of animals, fund raise, and foster animals in their homes. The Seattle Animal Shelter Foundation is an all-volunteer non-profit. Primarily engaged in fundraising, its mission is to enrich and enhance the lives of the animals cared for by the Seattle Animal Shelter. In-Shelter volunteers help walk dogs, provide adoption assistance and perform clerical duties. Foster care volunteers care for injured animals in their homes to give dogs and cats a better chance of finding a new home.


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Parks and Recreation volunteers serve as coaches for athletic leagues, program instructors, and special events coordinators. They also care for the city’s athletic fields — performing services such as placing bases, prepping pitching mounds, and lining the infield for the city’s Little League baseball teams. Environmental Education Guides enhance, promote and foster appreciation of nature by connecting families and students with Seattle’s parklands and providing educational opportunities. They also receive training on Pacific Northwest flora, fauna and habitats, as well as environmental education techniques for diverse audiences.

If city government intrigues you, there is a wide array of opportunities to serve on various boards and commissions affecting city policy. The city council and mayor appoint residents of Seattle to over 70 such organizations, allowing them to contribute to and influence decisions affecting the city. Volunteers provide advice and feedback on a gamut of issues from human services, to land use, to bicycles, to civil rights.

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These are but a few of the many great ways to get involved in Seattle. Volunteering to make your city a better place to live gives you more appreciation for your home town, leaves you with a good feeling and it’s a wonderful way to get acquainted with a host of like-minded individuals.

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