Volunteer Programs


What is Volunteer Columbia?

Volunteer Columbia connects citizens who want to serve with city staff and departments who have opportunities to help!  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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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, through 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 19, 2019 (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.  (THIS EVENT IS RESCHEDULED FOR FEBRUARY 2, 2019)

Respite Care Event for Foster Families: Friday, January 25, 2019, 5:30-9:30 p.m. Volunteers will interact and supervise children. There is a meal at 6:00 p.m.,  children will swim in the arc pool (bring your swimsuit), then watch a movie or do a gym activity the last hour of the program.

R.O.C. 7K Trail Run: Saturday, 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. (This volunteer opportunity is filled-Thank you!)

Medical Reserve Corps:  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.  RSVP by e-mailing Rebecca.Estes@como.gov opens in a new window

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. Register here. For more information about our Recycling Ambassadors program contact Jody Cook opens 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!

Household Hazardous Waste Collection: Volunteers are needed to assist with traffic and direction and paint consolidation. Shifts are available 8:00am-10:00am and 10:00am-12:00pm.  Household Hazardous Waste is located at 1313 Lakeview. This is an ongoing opportunity the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month April through November. Self schedule or contact Jody Cook for more information. 

 Household Hazardous Waste Schedule


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 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.

View Budget Information for this Department.

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