Volunteer

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Friendly House.

A neighbor-helping-neighbor philosophy has been a strong tradition at Friendly House since our founding as a settlement house in 1930. We achieve our goals by recruiting and coordinating community members to assist staff by working with children, older adults and families and by helping at special events. We have over 950 individual and group volunteers who contribute thousands of hours of service each year.

Covid-19 Update

Friendly House is closed due to the Covid-19 virus until April 28th at the earliest. Volunteer opportunities will be extremely limited until we are able to reopen. Some critical services are still happening remotely. Please check out our Facebook page to learn more about the virtual community building that Friendly House is doing every day.

We offer a variety of volunteer opportunities to which you can contribute your time and talents through direct service or behind-the-scenes work—seasonal or ongoing, short- or long-term. Individuals and groups are welcome. Talk to our volunteer manager today to find a way of getting involved that works for you!

Important Notes

  • Please visit the links below for current openings. Thank you for understanding that due to seasonal fluctuations, program needs and current volunteer schedules, some positions may not be available.
  • A background check (arranged with the volunteer manager) may be required for volunteers 18 years and older.
  • In most cases, individual volunteers must be at least 15 years old. There are exceptions, including special events, volunteer groups and younger teens accompanied by a parent/guardian. Please inquire.
  • Volunteers under 18 years old must provide a completed parent waiver form.
  • If we cannot fulfill your volunteer needs, you may find opportunities through handsonportland.org and www.volunteermatch.org

Volunteer Application

Not sure what you’d like to do yet? Fill out our volunteer application and then come in for a tour and discussion with our volunteer manager about the best fit for you at Friendly House. Or feel free to contact us at volunteer@friendlyhouseinc.org for more information.

Current Volunteers

Current volunteers can confirm their schedules, record and view their hours, and manage their volunteer profiles here at our Volunteer Information Center.

Friendly Thoughts

I had my first visit today with a senior. The gentleman needing help was just delightful! It was so great to be able to help this lovely man out, and I look forward to meeting with him again.

Friendly Visitor volunteer

Volunteer Groups

Volunteer groups play a vital role in our work, bringing energy, teamwork and efficiency to projects and events where time matters. We are happy to host volunteer groups for currently planned volunteer events, or we can work with you to come up with a team service project that is fun and rewarding for your group.

Recent volunteer groups include SELCO Community Credit Union, Charitable Chicks, Apple, National Charity League, Nike, Slabtown Kiwanis Club, and University of Portland.

Please contact our volunteer manager volunteer@friendlyhouseinc.org or (503) 228-4391 to discuss different opportunities.

Event Volunteer Opportunities

We would love to have your help with special events! These are one-time experiences that do not normally require any special skills or previous knowledge of the service areas.

Please see the listings below for details and to sign up through our online sign-up link at the end of the listing. If you have questions, or would like more information, please contact our volunteer manager at volunteer@friendlyhouseinc.org or call (503) 228-4391.

Due to COVID-19, all in-person events have been cancelled until further notice. Please check back later for upcoming event opportunities.

Event Volunteer Opportunities

We would love to have your help with special events! These are one-time experiences that do not normally require any special skills or previous knowledge of the service areas.

Please see the listings below for details and to sign up through our online sign-up link at the end of the listing. If you have questions, or would like more information, please contact our volunteer manager at volunteer@friendlyhouseinc.org or call (503) 228-4391.

Due to COVID-19, all in-person events have been cancelled until further notice. Please check back later for upcoming event opportunities.

Senior Program & SAGE Volunteer Opportunities

There are several ways to support our community’s older adults. Our Senior Program helps folks aged 60+ maintain their dignity and independence in their own homes through care coordination, transportation assistance and other services. Volunteers are essential in providing companionship and other help for our community’s isolated older adults.

Our SAGE Metro Portland program, which provides culturally specific services to LGBT older adults, allows volunteers to work with LGBT clients. Why is that important? Because 90% of elder care in our nation is provided by family caregivers, but LGBT older adults are more likely to live alone and have inadequate family support, which combined with discrimination from housing, medical, and other service providers, makes LGBT older adults an exceptionally marginalized group of people in our society.

Friendly House’s most pressing need is for Friendly Visitors.” These are volunteers who we assign to a single client with the intention of forming a long-term friendship. These partnerships are almost always rewarding and mutually beneficial for both the Friendly Visitor and the client. If you are interested in a less lengthy commitment, we do have other Senior & SAGE program volunteer needs:

Community Donations

We need volunteers to pick up donations of food and other resources for our older adults from local businesses. We have a variety of different partners and our volunteer manager can work with you to find something that fits your schedule.

Drivers for Senior Trips

We are seeking volunteers to drive seniors to fun destinations. Volunteers must complete a training, criminal background check and drug screening.

SAGE Volunteer Hosts for Socials

Are you interested in being a volunteer host dedicated to attending and representing SAGE at happy hours or social events? We have regular monthly events and one-time opportunities.

Meal Site Assistants

Friendly House, in partnership with Meals on Wheels People, hosts community lunches provided on a donation basis to all adults 60+ every Monday and Friday from 11:30—1:00. We can always use help with set-up, meal serving, interacting with guests and clean-up from 11:30–1:15.

To get started, please complete a volunteer application. If you have questions please contact our volunteer manager at volunteer@friendlyhouseinc.org or call (503) 228-4391.

Friendly Visiting

Friendly Visitors offer companionship and a variety of supports to senior clients as needed. Some possibilities are light housekeeping, grocery shopping, yard work, support with projects, helping with pets, cooking and meal prep and/or outings together with a senior client. The clients who are interested in having a Friendly Visitor are usually experiencing isolation and need help maintaining their independence living in their own home. Not only will you be bringing companionship to someone who may be lonely, but you will also be helping them to retain their dignity, quality of life, and ability to remain in the home of their choice instead of being forced to seek a care facility.

Friendly Visitors can request to be matched with one of our SAGE Metro Portland clients if that is their preference.

The onboarding process is simple: a brief orientation with the volunteer manager and a background check. Once approved, our staff will introduce you to a client, and together, you will set a schedule for your visits.

Our Friendly Visitor Orientations are on the first Tuesday of the month at 5:30pm. Please email volunteer@friendlyhouseinc.org if you would like to be added to the attendee list.

Are you an older adult interested in having a Friendly Visitor? Please contact us at referral@friendlyhouseinc.org.

See the impact that Friendly Visitors have on our customers and volunteers alike in the video below.

Below are a few samples of clients that are seeking a Friendly Visitor:

Downtown client needs support: Client is recovering from surgery and has limited ability to move/lift things. Looking for help with housekeeping, organizing and grocery shopping.

Client seeking walking partner: This client experiences health conditions that put her at risk for falls. She would like more opportunities to get out and exercise safely. Needs someone who likes to take walks to join her. Located in downtown Portland area.

North Portland SAGE Metro Portland client seeking companionship: This female client, whose partner recently passed away, is seeking a female volunteer to join her in activities like going for walks or out to eat. Client has 2 cats and enjoys art and quilting.

Calling all food lovers: A 67-year-old man living alone in downtown Portland is in need of meal prep assistance. He is invested in maintaining a healthy diet due to his chronic health condition. He is on oxygen and struggles with activities that take a lot of energy. He would love for someone to prepare a meal that can last a few days.

Friendly Thoughts

I just wanted to say a word about how much I appreciate my volunteer. He has been helping me with my yard work for several months, and I can’t begin to tell you how helpful he has been. Besides being an incredibly hard worker, he is simply a very nice guy. We seem to have clicked since we first met, and I have enjoyed each time he has been able to help me with my yard work. There is no way I could accomplish what needs to get done without help. I have to say this is a perfect match and has taken so much pressure off my shoulders. Thank you, Friendly House, for providing this service and thank you to my volunteer!

Friendly House SAGE Client

Children’s Programs Volunteer Opportunities

A unique aspect of Friendly House is that we provide high-quality childcare and educational services for a broad range of families from different socio-economic situations. You may at any point in your volunteer experience work with children experiencing houselessness, economic hardship or extraordinary circumstances. We make sure that all children in our programs receive the same high-quality childcare, regardless of what their families can afford to pay, and we take special care to keep the identities of scholarship recipients confidential. A cornerstone of Friendly House philosophy is our belief that our community is strongest when we ensure that all children in our programs are having their needs met, regardless of their circumstances. 

Preschool: Volunteer opportunities with our three- to five-year-old children.

Preschool Classroom Help

We always need an extra set of hands in the classroom. From helping with art projects, to blowing bubbles on our playground, we would be happy to have your help.

Preschool Lunch Buddy

Can you come in and have lunch with us? Our preschoolers love having guests for lunch, and our staff appreciates adult helpers serving, encouraging and engaging the children at our family-style lunch tables.

Preschool Gardener: Our lovely preschool garden needs some TLC. Come help care for our garden space!

If you are interested in any of these Children’s Programs volunteer opportunities, please fill out our volunteer application. Our volunteer manager will meet with you and sign you up for a brief orientation and a background check. Once approved, our staff get you up to speed and get you started!

After School: Volunteer opportunities with our school age children, K-5th Grade.

After School Assistant

Come lend a hand in one of our classrooms with our After School Program. We are always looking for people to help kids with homework, snacks, play-time, and assisting teachers during activities. This is a fun and rewarding volunteer position, and the kids love working with our volunteers! Volunteer one day a week or all five.

 

After School Clubs Assistant

After School Club days occur every Thursday afternoon, run on eight-week cycles, and can focus on just about anything. Some past clubs include: Musical Instrument Making, Monster Party Club, Superhero’s Club, Paint Like Picasso, Blog Club, and Nothin’ but Net Sports Club. Come assist a club in their weekly activity from 4-5:15. Do you have a special skill that you’d like to teach our kids? Talk to us if you can commit to all eight weeks.

Homework Helper/Reading Buddy

This is our biggest need during the school year. Homework helpers are paired with an individual or a small group of students (1-5th grade) to help them complete and understand their homework. For kindergartners, who don’t get homework, we are looking for volunteers to read to individuals or small groups of students. The kids always love this activity, and it is a ton of fun for volunteers.

Homework Club/Reading Buddy time happens from 3:30-4:15pm Monday–Wednesday, so we ask that volunteers arrive at 3:15 if possible to help with the transition from snack time. Though the time of day is not very flexible, the days of the week and frequency of your volunteer schedule are entirely up to you. We hope to have volunteers come at least once per week, for at least a three-month commitment, as children learn best from volunteers who appear consistently.

Community Recreation and Education (CRE) Volunteer Opportunities

Our CRE Program needs instructors who are willing to donate their time to teach free classes and helpers who enjoy setting up and aiding our diverse activities. Here are a few of the opportunities we have available now:

Pickleball Game Volunteers

Do you love pickleball? Come join us on Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:30-11:30am, to help set up and put away nets and occasionally jump in a game if needed.

Movie Night Volunteers

Once a month we host a free movie night in our gym. We are seeking two to three volunteers that would be interested in helping with table and chair setup, serving refreshments, and clean-up. Volunteers will be offered refreshments and stay to watch the movie. Ages 15+ welcome to volunteer.

If you are interested in any of these CRE volunteer opportunities, please fill out our volunteer application, and our volunteer manager will contact you. If you have questions please email our volunteer manager volunteer@friendlyhouseinc.org or call (503) 228-4391.

Operational Support Volunteer Opportunities

We have a variety of one-time and ongoing volunteer positions available. If you have a specific skill you’d like to offer the community that you don’t see listed here, please fill out our volunteer application or contact our volunteer manager at volunteer@friendlyhouseinc.org to discuss how we can best create a fit for you at Friendly House.

Volunteer Tax-Aide Local Coordinator

Between January and April, AARP Foundation tax-aides come to Friendly House throughout the week to provide free personal tax assistance to our community. We are looking for someone that is accounting/taxes oriented, can do e-filings, and can manage a small team of tax preparers. AARP will train interested volunteers. This opportunity would be great for a retired CPA or someone downsizing their workload that wants to do some consistent short-term volunteer work. Please email volunteer@friendlyhouseinc.org for more details.

Friendly House Committees and Board of Directors

Do you feel passionate about our community? Do Friendly House’s efforts to build community resonate with you? You might be ready to join one of our committees, or our Board of Directors. To learn more about these important roles, please visit our Board of Directors page for more information.

Please fill out our volunteer application to get started volunteering at Friendly House! If you have questions please email our volunteer manager volunteer@friendlyhouseinc.org or call (503) 228-4391.

Friendly House is a nonprofit tax-exempt organization under section 501©(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to Friendly House are tax deductible. Our Tax ID number is 93-0524232.