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


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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 class beginning on August 23-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 starting 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: August 29 & September 12 Volunteers are needed to help in the kids’ activity areas. The August Neighborhood Park Fun Day will be held at Auburn Hills Park from 5:15-7:45 p.m. The September events will be held at Longview Park on Wednesday, September 12 and at the Whitegate Neighborhood on Wednesday, September 26 from 5:15-7:45 p.m.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection (HHW: ) September 1 & 15- Volunteers are needed to assist with Paint Consolidation and Traffic and Direction. Shifts are available 8:00a.m.-10:00a.m. and 10:00a.m. -12:00p.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.

Columbia Crawdads-Columbia Crawdads are volunteers who care about our environment by picking up litter. Crawdads events are scheduled the 2nd Saturday morning of each month.  The next Crawdads Cleanup will be Saturday, September 8, 9:30-11:30 a.m. along the Bear Creek Trail.  Volunteers will meet at the Bear Creek Trailhead off of Creasy Springs, 3200 Creasy Springs Rd. 

The 41st Annual Heritage Festival & Craft Show will be held on Saturday, September 15 and Sunday, September 16 at Nifong Park,  3700 Ponderosa St.  Volunteers are needed both days to help with parking from 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m. and 12-4 p.m.; assist with hayrides from 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. and 1-5:15 p.m. and support the children’s activity area (i.e. making crafts, assisting with children’s games, etc), from 9:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 12:15-3 p.m. and 2:45-5:15 p.m.

Recycling Ambassadors Training: Tuesday, September 18, 6:00pm-8:00pm at the ARC, 1701 West Ash.  Recycling Ambassadors are trained on the City of Columbia’s recycling programs, alternative recycling options and waste reduction tips.  The trainees are asked to give 12 hours of service sharing their knowledge educating the community about waste reduction, recycling, the importance of recycling properly and the power that each of us has to make a difference.  Opportunities include staffing education booths, giving presentations, conducting community outreach projects and assisting with waste audits and education events. The registration form can be found here. For more information contact Jody Cook or call 573-874-6271.

Family Fun Fest– Family Fun Fest is a series of five themed festivals with activities and entertainment for the whole family.  Volunteers are needed to help supervise inflatables and may be assigned others tasks.  Volunteers are needed from 5:45-8:30 p.m. at Cosmo Park (1615 Business Loop 70 West)-Burford Shelter on  September 19.

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 the following:  

  • Registration at Oakland Park from 6:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.- Volunteer will assist staff with packet pickup. 
  • 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.
  • Finish Line Support from at Oakland Park from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.- Volunteers will cheer on racers closing in on the finish line and assist with distributing post race food. 

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.

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.   

The Blue Thunder Cross Country Team is looking for Assistant Youth Cross Country Coaches.  If you enjoy running and have a passion for working with youth then this is the opportunity for you.  Practices are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-7 p.m. and Saturdays from 10-11 a.m.  The season begins on August 28 and goes through early-mid September.  Volunteers interested in helping out must be 18 years old or older and must participate in a background screening.  For more information about the Cross Country program, contact Camren Cross at Camren.Cross@CoMo.gov or (573) 874-6378.

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.

Getabout Columbia a project of Columbia Parks & Recreation has opportunities for Trail Ride Leaders and Education Campaign Assistants. 

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! 

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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