Volunteer Programs


What is Volunteer Columbia?

Volunteer Columbia connects citizens who want to serve with city staff and departments who have opportunities to help! The mission of the City’s Volunteer Programs is to provide valuable opportunities to build community while volunteering in city government. Volunteer Programs is located in City Hall, 701 E. Broadway, fifth floor, in Community Development. We can be reached at 874-7499 or Volunteer@CoMo.gov. Do you enjoy fun, rewarding and new experiences? Then Volunteer Columbia has just the opportunity for you! Follow us on Facebook or Instagram to stay up-to-date with all of the latest news!  

Here’s how you can volunteer!  APPLY TO VOLUNTEER

Volunteer Information Center – SELF SCHEDULE AND LOG HOURS

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Medical Reserve Corps:  The Columbia/Boone County Medical Reserve Corps will be resuming their meetings beginning in October of this year. There is also a wonderful volunteer opportunity coming up for MRC volunteers on February 8 , 2019 during the day time hours, as Boone County will be participating with surrounding counties in a drill in an exercise scenario for a mass vaccination clinic for Small Pox. This volunteer opportunity and more will be discussed in the upcoming meetings. RSVP to these meetings by e-mailing Rebecca.Estes@como.govopens in a new window. The last MRC meeting for this year will be December 20, 2018 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Agenda: To Be Announced.

ECO Cleanup: Saturday, December 29, 2018, 1:00-3:00 p.m. Volunteers will meet for a cleanup of Garth, Blue Ridge & Providence. Self schedule or for more information contact Jody Cook or call 573-874-6271. Thanks to volunteer Lisa Meyer for organizing her “Give a Hoot” litter pickups on the north side of town! 

Special Olympics: Volunteers are needed to assist with Basketball on Mondays & Tuesdays from 6-8 p.m. at New Haven Elementary, 3301 New Haven Rd, starting Monday, November 26- Monday, March 4, 2019.  If you are looking for an exceptional volunteer experience, please contact Jessica Sida. Volunteers must commit to the entire season and have a Class A Application on file. 

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service:  Saturday, January 12 (weather permitting) This event is for groups or individuals interested in an environmental cleanup from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Volunteers will meet at Cosmo Park at the Rainbow Softball Complex 1615 Business Loop 70 W. 

R.O.C. 7K Trail RunSaturday, January 26 starting at Cosmo Park, 1615 Business Loop 70 W-Antimi Shelter. Volunteers are needed to assist with registration, aid station support, course support/direction, and finish line/post race support.

Fix It Fair:  January 26:  The City of Columbia and the Mid Missouri Solid Waste Management District are partnering to host Fix-it Fairs. These events bring together expert repair volunteers with participants interested in learning how to fix their broken stuff. The next event is scheduled for January 26th, 1-4 p.m., Daniel Boone Regional Library. We have helped folks fix small appliances, electronics, tools, clothes, bags, bikes, outdoor gear, small furniture, and many other items. Our previous events were successful and our volunteers are ready to take on more participants, we are also always looking for more volunteers.  To help, contact mmswmd@CoMo.gov or call 573-817-6422.

Bring Your Own Big Wheel: Saturday, February 2 at ARC 1701 W. Ash. Volunteers are needed from 8:30-10:30 a.m. to assist with set up, registration. event execution, and tear down. 

Recycling Ambassador Training: Tuesday, February 12, 6:00-8:00 p.m.  at the ARC, 1701 W. Ash. Do you have a passion for waste reduction, recycling and creating a sustainable environment for future generations? Make a contribution as a Recycling Ambassador assisting with outreach, recycling education, waste audits and litter sorts. For more information about our Recycling Ambassadors program contact Jody Cookopens in a new window573-874-6271. 

The Stonegrinder 7K: Tentatively scheduled for Saturday, February 16 starting at Capen Park, 1600 Capen Park Drive. Volunteers are needed to assist with registration, aid station support, course support/direction, and finish line/post race support.

CARP (Columbia Aquatic Restoration Project): Wednesday, February 20 & Thursday, February 21, 6:00-8:30 p.m. Classes will be held at Parks Management Center, 1507 Business Loop 70 W. Participants should plan to attend both nights and share 18 hours of service on projects held in our parks on weekend mornings.

Adopt A Trail Training: Tuesday, February 26, 2019, 6:30-8:00 p.m. Volunteers are asked to care for a quarter mile section of trail to remove invasive species and litter and work to establish new plants. 

Treekeepers Academy: Saturday, March 9, 2019, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at Parks Management Center.  At Treekeepers Academy volunteers will learn about tree identification, pruning and planting and commit sharing 36 hours of service assisting on tree projects in our parks on Saturday mornings. Lunch will be provided!

Park and ECO Cleanups:  Volunteers are instrumental to keeping Columbia’s streets, parks and streams clean. There are multiple opportunities for individuals and groups to help. Self schedule for any of the following, or contact Jody Cook or call 573-874-6271 for more information.  These litter events are leader lead with gloves, bags and safety vests provided.        

Litter Event Leaders help us engage  other volunteers in caring for our environment!   Tasks include bringing supplies (provided by the City), checking in volunteers, providing basic instructions, and helping them have a great cleanup!  

Columbia Parks & Recreation Community Recreation Program has several volunteer opportunities including: 

  • We are looking for piano instructors and guitar instructors!!
  • Foreign Language Instructors: Share your foreign language skills  with children and/or adults – 3 program choices available, great opportunity to change someone’s life! E-mail Mary Dewey to volunteer or call 817-5077. This activity will continue again in the fall.  You do not have to be an expert, just willing to teach (instructional materials are provided) and confident.
  • The Armory Science Klub (ASK) is looking for a teacher to work with young scientists.  Projects may include: making volcanoes, discovering chemical reactions, launching rockets, etc.  Experiments will vary each session.
  • The Sho-Me Sho-Stoppers are looking for dance instructors!  If you have the skills and energy for this amazing opportunity, contact Mary Dewey with Community Recreation in Parks & Recreation.
  • Hoppers Double Dutch Team is looking for a Double Dutch instructor! If you enjoy double dutch/jump rope then contact Mary Dewey to find out how to get started!
  • Share YOUR special skill through Community Recreation! If you have a talent or passion that you’d like to share with kids, teens, adults or seniors/boomers but don’t see it listed here, let us know! Contact us to share your idea.

The City’s Volunteer Program and the Stormwater Education Program are partnering on a volunteer program to allow residents to adopt a rain garden.

Graffiti Removal: Neighborhoods and individuals are invited to adopt public areas that are frequently tagged with graffiti.

Student/Internship projects: We have a variety of semester (or longer!) projects ideal for students including sidewalk snow removal and recycling education. Contact us to learn more!

Board & Commission Openings – There are many great ways to serve our City!   

Office of Neighborhood Services

View our Event Calendar to see the many opportunities for volunteers.

Complete a volunteer application, you can fill it out online, or print out and mail it to us. Our address is Volunteer Programs, City of Columbia, P.O. Box 6015, Columbia, MO 65205.

Office Location Information:
We are located at 701 E. Broadway, in City Hall. We are part of the Office of Neighborhood Services, in the Community Development Department. Our office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Because we have a small staff we recommend calling before you make a trip to our office. We look forward to your visit!

Volunteer Guide for new and existing volunteers

Why Volunteer?

As a volunteer, you become a partner with Volunteer Columbia to implement programs that benefit you, your neighbor and the community as a whole! The City offers innovative volunteer opportunities that foster personal growth, development and satisfaction. We will work to find a volunteer assignment that will fit both the talents and the time you want to share. At the same time you can meet new people, explore new careers, stay active after retirement, or spend quality time with your family. By sharing your time you’re helping others and making a difference in your community.

If you are interested in other volunteer opportunities with the city, e-mail us at Volunteer@CoMo.gov or call 874-7499. Volunteer opportunities exist in every department and together we’ll find the right one for you!

View Budget Information for this Department.


Volunteer Columbia Logo


City of Columbia
Community Development Department
Office of Neighborhood Services ~ Volunteer Programs
P.O. Box 6015
701 E. Broadway – 5th floor
Columbia, MO  65205
(573) 874-7499