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!

Here’s how you can volunteer! APPLY TO VOLUNTEER

Volunteer Information Center – SELF SCHEDULE AND LOG HOURS


Join Our Email List


The Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services Department is looking for volunteers to assist with child care as a way to support citizens who attend the Eating Smart Being Active and Cooking Matters classes.  Volunteers are needed on Thursdays for the Eating Smart Being Active through October 11 from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Armory Sports Center, 701 E Ash St.  Volunteers are also needed Wednesdays from 5:30-7:30 for the Cooking Matters class September 26-November 1st (the last class is held on a Thursday due to Halloween) at the Columbia/Boone County Public Health & Human Services Building, 1005 W Worley St.   All child care volunteers must be 18 years old or older, participate in a background screening which includes a background and reference check.  For more information, contact Laura McCulloch at (573) 874-7769 or Laura.McCulloch@CoMo.govopens in a new window

Neighborhood Park Fun Days:   Volunteers are needed to help in the kids’ activity areas, each night from 5:15-7:45 p.m. Join us for these events:

  • Whitegate Neighborhood, Wednesday, September 26 
  • Downtown Optimist Park, Wednesday, October 10
  • Indian Hills Park, 5009 Aztec, Wednesday, October 24

Household Hazardous Waste Collection (HHW: ) Volunteers are needed to assist with Paint Consolidation and Traffic and Direction. Shifts are available 8:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. Traffic volunteers greet citizens and direct to the proper lane. Paint volunteers open cans of water based paint and consolidate into five gallon buckets. It’s a bit messy, but people really enjoy it. Aprons, gloves and shoe covers are provided. HHW takes place at 1313 Lakeview on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month through November.  Future dates are October 6, October 20, November 3 and November 17. 

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.

  • Saturday, September 29– South Providence Trail, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Volunteers will meet at 4115 S. Providence Veterans United parking lot .   
  • Saturday, October 6– Smiley Ln and N. Providence, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Volunteers will meet on Arctic Wolf  Ct and N. Providence.
  • Saturday, October 13th is Hinkson Clean Sweep. The Hinkson Clean Sweep is a city-wide stream cleanup event where volunteers work together to clean area streams.  The 2018 Hinkson Clean Sweep will take place on Saturday, October 13 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.  Volunteers may choose one of five locations:  Flat Branch Park,  West Worley St, MU Hinkson Field,  Moon Valley Rd and the Grindstone Nature Area.   Supplies such as gloves, safety vests and trash bags will be provided to all volunteers.  To learn more, contact Jody Cook at (573) 874-6271 or jody.cook@CoMo.gov
  • Saturday, October 20,  9:30am-11:30am, Cosmo Park, 1615 Bus. Loop 70 west. Volunteer check in near Buford Shelter an Steinberg Playground
  • Saturday, November 3– Downtown Optimist Park and Surrounding streets, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Volunteers will meet at Downtown Optimist Park, 100 E. Forest                                                                

Adopt A Spot Workday – Saturday, October 6 – 10 a.m. to noon at Providence & Green Meadows.  Volunteers will be weeding and re-mulching Adopt A Spot beds at this intersection.  Please let us know if you can help! 

Bear Creek Run Half Marathon on Saturday, October 13-  The Bear Creek Run Half Marathon has quickly become a favorite race in Mid-Missouri.  The 2018 Bear Creek Run will take place on Saturday, October 13.  Volunteers are needed to help with Course Support from 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m.  Volunteers will be placed at Oakland Park, Cosmo Park and other locations along the Bear Creek Trail to provide course direction and encouragement to racers.

Fix It Fairs: October 13 & 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. We have scheduled the next two events: October 13th, 1-4pm, City Hall; and January 26th, 1-4pm, 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 first three 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. 

Special Olympics is looking for volunteers to help with the following sports:

  • Bocce will be held on Tuesdays, from 6-7 p.m. at West Middle School, 401 Clinkscales Rd., starting on July 10 through September 25.
  • Golf will be held on Thursdays from 6-8 p.m. at the L.A. Nickell Golf Course at Cosmo Park, 1615 Business Loop 70 West starting on July 12 through September 27.
  • Tennis will be held on Wednesdays from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Tennis Court 6 at Cosmo Park, 1615 Business Loop 70 West, starting on July 18 through September 26. 
  • Bowling will be held on Saturdays, from 12-3:30 p.m. at the AMF Town & Country Lanes, 1508 N Providence Rd, starting Saturday, October 6 through Saturday, November 17.
  • Basketball will be held 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 Brian Higginbotham. Volunteers must commit to the entire season and have a Class A Application on file.   

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! At the same time you can meet new people, explore new careers, stay active after retirement, or spend quality time with your family. Best yet — you’re helping others and making a difference in your community.

The City offers innovative volunteer opportunities that foster personal growth, development and satisfaction. The City will work to find a volunteer assignment that will fit both the talents and the time you want to share.

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! 

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

9 24-18