"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong." — George Washington Carver
Illustration of a camera. One of the easiest and quickest ways to find the perfect local volunteer opportunity for you is to visit the website for Hands On Birmingham (HOB), a program run by the United Way. Their mission is to connect people with organized and meaningful volunteer opportunities to improve their community. You can browse hundreds of hands-on service activities in every area of interest on the HOB website, and you'll probably find something you like — HOB partners with almost 200 nonprofits and schools in five different counties.

You can also look for opportunities with the following organizations, many of which may be of interest to students in the Pre-Health program:

Nobody longs for a safe and loving family more than a child in foster care. As a CASA volunteer, you are empowered by the courts to help make this dream a reality. You will be the one consistent adult in these children’s lives, vigilantly fighting for and protecting their fundamental right to be treated with the dignity and respect every child deserves. You will not only bring positive change to the lives of these vulnerable children, but also their children and generations to come. And in doing so, you will enrich your life as well. Learn more on their website.
The Alabama Wildlife Center is Alabama’s oldest and largest wildlife rehabilitation facility and annually receives over 1,600 birds from more than 100 different species. AWC is a nonprofit organization with a dual mission: (1) to provide medical and rehabilitative care for Alabama’s injured and orphaned native birds in order to permit their return to the wild, and (2) to educate people in order to heighten awareness and appreciation of Alabama’s native wildlife. They have internships (paid and unpaid) and volunteer opportunities. Learn more on their website.
Alacare Hospice volunteers complete the circle of care that is extended to each of our hospice patients. Alacare Hospice Volunteers become part of the Hospice Team improving patients’ quality of life by supplementing attention and companionship provided by Alacare Hospice staff. Additionally, Administrative Support Volunteers assist with clerical support duties in all branch locations throughout Alabama.
Hospice care creates an environment of comfort and dignity for both patients and their families. Hospice Volunteers have an amazing opportunity – their helping hand and calming presence can make an enormous difference in the lives of others. If you have a passion for caring for others and are looking for a way to make a difference in people’s lives, we hope you’ll consider becoming a hospice volunteer. Learn more on their website.
The foundation's mission is to build international goodwill, cross-cultural understanding, and a peaceful future through educational and cultural exchange. Learn more on their website.
Our goal is to make a positive difference in the lives of children, and volunteers are key to ensure that happens. In each of our programs, volunteers are vital to creating positive relationships with our students. Volunteers are positive role models, cheerleaders, and just friendly smiling faces that show our children that we care about them. Learn more on their website.
Being a Big Brother or Big Sister is one of the most enjoyable things you’ll ever do. Not to mention, one of the most fulfilling. You have the opportunity to help shape a child’s future for the better by empowering them to achieve. And the best part is, it’s actually a lot of fun. You and your Little can share the kinds of activities you already like to do. Play sports together. Go on a hike. Read books. Eat a pizza with extra anchovies. Or just give some advice and inspiration. Whatever it is you enjoy, odds are you’ll enjoy them even more with your Little — and you’ll be making a life-changing impact. Learn more on their website.
The Birmingham Zoo is Alabama’s must-see attraction, drawing more than 575,000 visitors annually. Approximately 950 animals of 230 species call the 122-acre Birmingham Zoo home, including sea lions, rhinos, and endangered species from six continents. Volunteers work in a variety of roles at the Zoo, including animal care, education, and guest services. Learn more on their website.
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama raises funding for cutting-edge breast cancer research at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. Volunteers help with the Foundation's many events. Learn more on their website.
We need people to join our greeter team and serve as "the welcome wagon" and "wayfinders" in our new city. Oz has its yellow brick road, but here at Children's, we have the "Patients Journey." The second floor is called Main Street, and is the major thoroughfare for our patients, families and guests as they navigate our campus. Greeters will be the compass for the trip. Learn more on their website.
Hospice volunteers make up a critical component of the hospice team. Volunteers help patients and families providing additional support. There are two types of volunteers. Patient Volunteers visit with patients and provide support to them and to their caregivers. Other volunteers provide additional support to patients and families. Learn more on their website.
The Center serves the unmet needs of people experiencing personal crisis or mental health issues and respond with services that promote coping, emotional health and well being. Are you looking for a special opportunity to know that you can make a real difference in the lives of individuals? Learn more about opportunities on their website.
First Light is a Center for Homeless Women and Children located in the heart of downtown Birmingham. It offers the only emergency shelter accepting homeless women and homeless women with children 24 hours a day in the area. Volunteers established First Light. The shelter in the basement of First Presbyterian Church was operated solely by volunteers. Even though First Light now has a staff providing social and administrative services, it is the presence of volunteers who are here daily and nightly which allows the center to survive. Learn more on their website.
Offers different living options for full-service senior living. Specializes in assisted living. Learn more on their website.
Hand in Paw's mission is to improve the health and well-being of children and adults by serving those with physical, emotional, educational, or psychological needs through interactions with professionally-trained Animal-Assisted Therapy Teams. Learn more on their website.
The museum is dedicated to the preservation, restoration, and operation of historically significant railway equipment. Our exhibits, operating railroads, and educational programs function as both a unique means of tourism and recreation, and also a way to preserve the rich history of Alabama and our nation.

“But I really don’t know anything about trains” you think, “how can I be useful there and enjoy volunteering?” We are just doing things you probably have done all your life at work and home but just in a railroad museum setting! Learn more on the website.
Impact seeks talented undergraduate and graduate student volunteers to serve with our initiatives. You can choose the initiative that most aligns with your passion and skills and gain valuable experience while making a difference in the lives of those living in poverty. We can also help connect you to course credit or extra credit opportunities at many universities. Learn more on their website.
Volunteer to mentor a pregnant teen/teen mother in IMPACT Mentoring Program's one-to-one community based mentoring program. Make a difference in as little as an hour a week. Learn more on their website.
The office determines needs of senior adults, especially the economically and socially deprived, while helping them maintain the highest level of independence. There are volunteer opportunities for individuals who are interested in assisting with variety of programs, such as delivering meals to homebound older adults, making friendly visits to nursing homes, providing telephone coverage, and other duties that will help older adults remain in their homes. Learn more on their website.
People who say Junior Achievement has changed their lives often credit their JA volunteer. Sometimes it takes that one caring adult to recognize the potential in a young person that might have been missed by others. By becoming a Junior Achievement volunteer, you can empower young people to own their economic success by sharing your experience and JA's proven and engaging lessons. Learn more on their website or their Facebook page.
The Jefferson County Council on Aging administers the Meals on Wheels program. It provides nutritious meals to homebound seniors throughout Jefferson County through a small group of paid staff and a corps of over 600 volunteers. Learn more on their website.
The services you will give as a Hospice volunteer will profoundly improve the quality of our patient's lives. Friendly visits enable families to keep their loved ones at home, around the people they love, and the things they love. Assisting with errands helps a tired family cope with their many challenges and allows them time with their loved one. Simply holding a patient's hand can ease their mind and comfort their spirit. Learn more on their website.
Each day our supporters positively impact the lives of women and children who are survivors of abuse. Through volunteerism, financial support and advocacy, SafeHouse continues to develop programs that aid survivors of abuse and educate future generations to reduce risk. Learn more on their website.
Sixty years ago the Rev. David Cady Wright, rector of St. Mary's-on-the-Highlands Episcopal Church, was concerned that many of his parishioners would not have a dignified, comfortable retirement. It was Rev. Wright's pastoral concern which gave St. Martin's its beginning. Now it is a comprehensive retirement community, with a skilled nursing center, an assisted living facility, a secure Alzheimer's community, and a new comprehensive therapy and transitional care program. Learn more on their website.
A horseback-riding program for physically, mentally or emotionally challenged individuals. The volunteer program has more than 280 participants who provided over 11,000 hours of service in 2013. Volunteers participate primarily as side-walkers or horse-handlers, but also feed horses, clean stalls, clean tack, and help maintain facility grounds. Learn more on their website.
SouthernCare is one of the nation’s largest hospice providers. Volunteering takes no advanced medical training or great commitment. It can be as simple as reading to, or spending time with a patient a few hours a week. It is small deeds of kindness that so profoundly enhance the lives of our patients and those who love them. Learn more on their website.
Located in the Riley neighborhood in southwest Birmingham, the Center is a non-profit organization designed to enhance the quality of life through human services to children, youth, senior adults, and families by providing holistic programs that foster a sense of well being in all individuals, to develop leaders for tomorrow, and create a compassionate atmosphere for all individuals within the community. Learn more on their website.
YouthServe is committed to promoting youth volunteerism and leadership, while giving young people the tools to make positive differences in their communities. The organization believes that today’s youth, regardless of their race, religion, or socioeconomic background, need the opportunity to reap the benefits of volunteering. Equally as important, our communities need the support of youth volunteers. We also believe that all youth have the power and potential to be community leaders. Learn more on their website.
The YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. There are several ways for volunteers to support our organization, including:
  • After-School Enrichment Program
  • Domestic Violence Services
  • My Sister's Closet
  • Santa's Workshop
  • Special Projects
Learn more on their website.