Help us make Eugene and Springfield Cities of Kindness in Oregon

Volunteer and Advocate

Volunteer and Advocate

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi.

Shelter the Homeless

Egan Warming Center (a program of St. Vincent de Paul)– A coalition of community members representing service providers, religious congregations, nonprofit support agencies, social activist communities and local government who have come together to ensure that homeless people in Lane County have a warm and safe place to sleep when temperatures drop below 30 degrees between November 15th and March 31st.

Volunteers needed for: Setting up the shelter, prepare and serve meals, providing supervision and oversight during operation and cleaning up afterward.

Location: Nine locations in Eugene and one in Springfield.

Volunteer requirements: Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age and must be willing to attend a required volunteer orientation session prior to serving.

Volunteer shifts:
Shift 1: 6:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Shift 2: 10:00 PM – 6:00 AM (usually broken up into sub-shifts)
Shift 3: 5:30 AM – 9:00 AM

Thursday, Nov 21, 6:30pm – Valley Covenant Church, 3635 W 18th Ave, Eugene
Saturday, Dec 7, 10am-Noon – Trinity United Methodist Church, 440 Maxwell Road, Eugene (River Road Area)

Contact: info@eganwarmingcenter.com or volunteer@eganwarmingcenter.com
Fill out a volunteer application here

Community Supported Shelters – Provides temporary shelter for people experiencing homelessness.  Operates 3 Safe Spot Camps for up to 60 people who can stay up to 10 months while taking steps to improve their lives and secure long-term housing.  Builds and places Conestoga Huts at churches/temples and businesses.  

SquareOne Villages – Creates self-managed communities of cost-effective tiny homes for people in need of housing.  Two communities in Eugene, one in Cottage Grove, and more underway.  

St. Vincent de Paul – Provides beautiful, quality, affordable rental housing in Lane and Marion counties. About 1,400 units of housing have been completed since 1988.  Also provides a number of service-enriched programs to make sure people can maintain their housing. People shouldn’t have to choose between paying their rent and paying for other necessities such as groceries.  

Shelter Care – Provides temporary and emergency housing for people in crisis including: Emergency shelter for families with children and transitional housing with case management for adults with psychiatric or medical conditions.

Feed the Homeless

FOOD for Lane County Is dedicated to eliminating hunger by creating access to food. Volunteers can help by serving a hot meal to the homeless at their Dining room, or volunteer in their food pantries or vegetable gardens, or package rescued food.

Location: variety of locations in Lane County

Volunteers needed for:

Day Kitchen
Monday through Thursday afternoons, volunteers prepare food for the Family Dinner Program, repack bulk products, sort and clean donated produce and perform other kitchen tasks as needed.

Meals on Wheels
Volunteer delivery drivers are needed to deliver noontime meals to homebound seniors in the Eugene area, from 10:30am pick up to 12:30pm equipment dropoff. Total time commitment is approximately two hours per week. Drivers use their own cars.

Family Dinner Program
Volunteers are needed at FOOD for Lane County’s Dining Room to assist with food preparation in the afternoon and with serving meals and clean up in the evening. The Dining Room serves meals Monday through Thursday.

Evening Kitchen (FREX)
FREX volunteers repackage rescued food for distribution to pantries and meal sites around Lane County. The FREX kitchen operates Monday through Friday evenings and depends on a staff of more than 150 volunteers each week.

Volunteers are needed year-round at FFLC’s two gardens to participate in a variety of activities, including soil preparation, planting, harvesting, composting, and greenhouse projects. Large groups of volunteers can be accommodated by special arrangement.

Seed to Supper
Seed to Supper is a comprehensive, six-week beginning gardening course that gives novice, adult gardeners the tools they need to successfully grow a portion of their own food on a limited budget. Seed to Supper Garden Educator volunteers teach classes at community host sites.

Nutrition Education
FOOD for Lane County’s Nutrition Education Program provides nutrition education, basic cooking skills and tips on how to stretch limited food budgets to income-eligible audiences throughout Lane County. Classes are taught by volunteers.

Senior Grocery Program
The Senior Grocery Program provides groceries to low-income seniors in our community. A short orientation is required prior to beginning deliveries. Deliveries are scheduled between the hours of 9am and 5pm Monday through Friday.

Summer Food Program
FOOD for Lane County serves free, nutritious lunches to children during the summer through its Summer Food Program. Volunteers prepare lunches at Meadow View School, 1855 Legacy Street, Eugene, and serve lunches to children at sites located throughout Lane County.

Warehouse (including Food Sorters)
Warehouse volunteers help with basic warehouse tasks such as cleaning, loading and unloading trucks and vans, sorting donated food and helping with pick-ups and deliveries. Available shifts vary during the warehouse operating hours Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm.

Volunteer shifts: variable, depending on the program

Training/orientation: depends on the program

Contact: Dan Budd, 541-343-2822

Interfaith Breakfast – The Sunday Breakfast is an all-volunteer interfaith response to hunger serving up around 300 people each Sunday. Breakfasts are served at the First Christian Church in Eugene and volunteers are welcome. To volunteer contact the Coordinator and leave your name and contact information.

Contact: Susan Matthews, Breakfast Coordinator, breakfast@heartofeugene.org

Burrito Brigade – Meals are distributed to hungry people on the streets in the Eugene-Springfield area. 100% volunteer run.  Meets every Sunday to make about 500-600 burritos. Meets every Saturday to make about 200 sloppy joes in pita pockets.

Volunteers needed for: 1) help wash, cut, and prep veggies for the burritos as well as help roll and wrap all the burritos. 2) help distribute burritos by foot, bicycle, or automobiles directly to the hungry. On foot, distribution is usually in a group.

Location: First Christian Church at 1166 Oak Street (For access, go to the back of the church and ring the bell by the back door.) 

Volunteer shift: Sundays, 11am-3pm. (2:00 pm for burrito delivery)

Contact: While volunteers are welcome to just show up, they prefer that you RSVP to a Burrito Brigade event on their Facebook page. If you have questions or if you’re bringing more than five people, please email burritosundays@gmail.com.

Pita Brigade – Meals are distributed to hungry people on the streets in the Eugene-Springfield area. 100% volunteer run.  Meets every Saturday to make about 200 sloppy joes in pita pockets.  

Volunteers needed for: help wash, cut and prep veggies; make barbeque sauce and cook the sloppy joes, fill pitas with sloppy joes, and distribute to the hungry at 13 regular locations in Eugene. Meals and water bottles are handed out on foot, bicycle and via cars.

Location: Bethesda Lutheran Church at 4445 Royal Avenue, Eugene (Please enter the kitchen by the North end of the Church, towards the playground) through the wooden gate

Volunteer shift: Saturdays from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm (1:00 pm for distribution only)

Contact: While volunteers are welcome to just show up, they prefer that you RSVP to a Burrito Brigade event on their Facebook page. If you have questions or if you’re bringing more than five people, please email burritosundays@gmail.com.

Volunteer Opportunities through United Way of Lane County

Day of Caring is a fun, meaningful way for your business or organization to strengthen teamwork while actively improving the community. One day a year, hundreds of volunteers perform service projects for dozens of non-profit agencies across Lane County. It’s a great way to connect, get out in the community, and lend a hand to local non-profits. Contact our volunteer team to find out more: dayofcaring@unitedwaylane.org.

Day of Action These special projects fill a particular community need and offer one-time volunteer and sponsorship opportunities. Days of Action are a fun, easy way for your group of friends or employees to participate in a fulfilling community service project.  Contact our volunteer team to find out more volunteer@unitedwaylane.org.

Advocate for Social Justice

Previously, social justice has been a concerted effort by those who work in the social work industry. We envision a new era of mindful social justice in which the greater community has a stronger understanding and care for the marginalized. We believe there are endless opportunities for connection, cultural integration and making peace within ourselves and our communities through mindfully kind action. For more information about mindful social action go to: Mindful Social Justice.  
Organizations in Eugene/Springfield advocating for social justice include:

Community Alliance of Lane County

Since 1966 Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC) has worked to create a more just and peaceful community by collaborating with organizations, government and individuals to bring about lasting change. CALC has five social justice programs:

Springfield Alliance for Equity and Respect (SAfER) promotes human rights, responds when abuses of human dignity occur, and urges public institutions to address social justice concerns.

Back to Back: Allies for Human Dignity (B2B) mobilizes people to take a stand whenever and wherever human rights and dignity are threatened. B2B works to increase safety and respect in the community, especially for groups targeted by bias and personal attack.

Progressive Responses: Action for Peaceful Tomorrows works to educate and mobilize community members to promote peace by building communities that respect human rights and the environment.  

Shelter Rights addresses homelessness as an issue of economic justice and human rights. This program promotes policy changes and increased services to prevent homelessness and to assist homeless people.

Truth In Recruiting (TIR) is a joint project of CALC and the Eugene Chapter of Veterans for Peace. Providing one-on-one outreach to high school students, TIR aims to educate students and school staff about military recruiting policies and alternatives to military service.

Contact: (541) 485-1755, info@calclane.org

Downtown Languages

Downtown Languages is dedicated to increasing opportunities for immigrants and building respect and understanding across cultures by providing language, literacy, and other educational programs.

Eugene-Springfield NAACP

The mission of the NAACP is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.

In Lane County, primary activities include implementation of education programs and events for public awareness and community building. The Eugene Springfield NAACP also coordinates institutional collaborations to increase cultural inclusion.

The NAACP Youth Councils’ mission is to educate, connect and motivate local youth, toward collective community involvement, cultural pride, and strong cross cultural relationships to buildup strong youth in our communities.

ACT-SO provides a forum through which youth of African descent demonstrate academic, artistic and scientific prowess and expertise, thereby gaining the same recognition often only reserved for entertainers and athletes.

Back to School/Success in School collaborates with Lane Community College, volunteers and resources help motivate at-risk students to stay in school.

Trans*Ponder is a support, resource, and educational organization for the transgender/gender diverse community and its allies, based in Eugene. Trans*Ponder offers several monthly meetings, special events for Trans/Gender Diverse folks, inclusivity trainings to professional organizations and businesses, and advocacy services.

Volunteer Opportunities Across America

America’s Natural and Cultural Resources Volunteer Portal

This website allows individuals to search for volunteer opportunities by key words, by city/state, by federal, state, county and/or local agencies, by interest area, and by housing options (for volunteer opportunities away from home).

Corporation for National and Community Service

The Corporation for National Community Services (CNCS) website provides information on how to volunteer with AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and in your community. Their volunteer search function allows users to search for volunteer opportunities by category, location or key words. Their comprehensive report, “Volunteering in America,” includes national, state, city, and demographic data about volunteering and civic engagement in America. The report also includes overall rankings of cities and states by their volunteer rates and resources to promote volunteering in your community. CNCS is the leader for national days of service like Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, and 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance.

1-800-942-2677 (toll-free)
1-800-833-3722 (TTY/toll-free)

Experience Corps

Experience Corps is a program of the AARP Foundation made up of volunteers who are dedicated to helping children become great readers before completing third grade. The goal of the program is to improve children’s literacy, strengthen our communities, and help develop cultures of inspiration in our schools and support our hardworking teachers. Volunteers must be 50 or older, have a high school diploma or GED (minimum), pass a criminal background check, pass a basic literacy screening, attend 25 hours of annual training, and volunteer five – 15 hours a week during the school year.

Contact: 1-202-434-6400


VolunteerMatch is the largest volunteer network in the world, connecting volunteers with non-profit agencies. They have connected 14.3 million volunteers with over 122,000 nonprofits. The website search function allows a user to search by category and/or location. The organization also offers webinars and business solutions for companies and organizations developing volunteer and giving programs.

Contact: 1-415-241-6868