Top 10 Places to Volunteer (Doses of Grateful)

Ashley Nettles

I’ll be honest. When I’m stuck in a line of cars backed up to the M on a Bridger pow day, I’m not grateful. Not even a little bit. There have been some occasions when I have decided that cold smoke or no cold smoke this zoo of humans is not worth it. I turn the car around and mumble-grumble my way back, forgetting all the things in life that I could be appreciating. Luckily, it usually doesn’t take me long to admit I live in an incredible community of people. Who all happened to be heading to Bridger Bowl this particular morning. Ugh… 

If you’re like me and need to get out of your own funk sometimes, I recommend the following doses of grateful:

Fork & Spoon (Formerly known as Community Café)
If you ever harbored a dream to work in a restaurant, this is for you. Fast paced, but not stressful, time goes quickly as you serve local patrons. A typical dinner shift is usually 3-4 hours and they’ll happily feed you whatever is on the menu for the night. Don’t have the time for a full shift? Stop by and grab a bite, paying whatever you can. The food is always delicious, as evidenced by their mouthwatering Instagram. https://www.forkandspoonkitchen.org/volunteer/

Food Bank 
This important service assists 1 in 8 Gallatin County residents. Last summer, their Summer Lunch Program served 29, 333 meals to area children. The volunteer opportunities are varied, from delivery driver to apple picker. Assembling lunches for children is a great activity for families and groups. Find opportunities at https://gallatinvalleyfoodbank.org/give-help/volunteer/volunteer-opportunities/

Eagle Mount
There is little more rewarding that seeing a huge smile from someone you helped reach a dream. This program began in 1982 to help people with disabilities lead active lives. Skiing, riding, swimming, fishing, kayaking, climbing, cycling and more are offered through their programs. They provide training for all volunteers to learn effective ways to communicate and teach, and how to provide a safe and fun experience for the participants. This opportunity is an outdoor lovers dream. https://eaglemount.org/volunteer/why-volunteer/

Thrive
Their mission is for all children to have the opportunity to grow, succeed and become valuable members of the community. Thrive offers many programs dedicated towards mentorship and development. Their CAP Mentor program is a weekly one-hour commitment to a local student. Girls for a Change is a state-wide Summit hosting workshops for 8-12th grade girls. Girls on the Run pairs coaches and running buddies with girls preparing for a 5k run. To sign up for their volunteer newsletter go to: https://allthrive.org/volunteer/

Befrienders
This organization provides companionship, support and advocacy for the aging population throughout Gallatin Valley. You are matched with a senior and will spend at least one hour each week together. Activities are up to your and your senior, from going out to lunch, playing games or just visiting. http://www.befriendersbozeman.org/volunteers/

Big Brothers Big Sisters
Shaping a child’s future can be incredibly fulfilling. Becoming a ‘Big’, you’ll be matched with a ‘Little’. For a few hours a month you’ll spend time together doing whatever it is you enjoy. They are also looking for volunteers on event planning committees and their board. Find more info here: https://www.bbbs-gc.org/volunteer/

Family Promise
Their vision is to end homelessness in Gallatin Valley and have provided shelter and opportunities to 568 people. They coordinate an Interfaith Hospitality Network made up of faith communities throughout the valley. There are a variety of volunteer opportunities, from direct service with a family to yard work, maintenance and tutoring. Find your best fit here: http://www.familypromisegv.org/volunteer

Help Center
If you’ve been told you’re a great listener, this is for you. The help center provides a 24-Hour Crisis Line as well as Telephone Reassurance Programs, Suicide Intervention & Prevention, Child Advocacy, and foster family support. For Crisis Line Volunteers they ask for 6-9 months of weekly 4-hour shifts. Telecare, where they make calls to elderly or disabled individuals that are alone, require one 8-11 a.m. shift per week. https://www.bozemanhelpcenter.org/volunteer.html

Gallatin Valley Land Trust
It’s Bozeman- we love our trails. But a lot goes into making them enjoyable. If you don’t mind a little dirt and sweat, volunteering for trail maintenance projects can help keep our trails in great condition. Would love to contribute but not up to shoveling? Fill out their volunteer match form to let them know what skills you can donate. gvlt.org/get-involved/volunteer/

Cancer Support Community of Montana
Providing resources and support to cancer patients and anyone affected by cancer, this community center offers a wide range of services. Volunteers serve in a variety of capacities, including receptionist, office administration, community outreach, mailings and event assistance. https://cancersupportmontana.org/support-us/volunteer/

If you need more reasons to volunteer this season, consider this: Volunteering has been proven to boost your mood, lessen stress and mentally strengthen you. 60% of hiring managers consider volunteering a valuable asset. Studies have shown that those who volunteer see improvements both mentally and physically. But all that aside, volunteer because it makes a difference. Your community needs you. And you need your community. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the impact you can make. 

This was made by

Ashley Nettles

Ashley Nettles is a Bozeman native that enjoys all the outdoors has to offer. In her pack you can find plenty of La Croix, a novel, a high heel or two, and financial plans for her clients. She can be contacted at anettles@dadco.com.

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