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27 volunteer opportunities in Indianapolis

This list of volunteer opportunities in Indianapolis, IN includes everything from packing food for Hoosiers in need to fostering pets.

A woman with an apron moving a box of fresh vegetables

The Circle City has a variety of organizations with volunteer opportunities.

Photo via @gleanersfbindy

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Maybe you have some extra time on your hands, or maybe you’re just in the giving spirit.

All we know is there are more than enough great causes in Indy to support with your time. Whether you’re an animal lover, an artsy type, a natural mentor, or a literature enthusiast — there’s a nearby volunteer opportunity for you.

Here are 23 organizations to get involved with in the Circle City.

Natural-born teachers and mentors

  • Exodus Refugee Immigration | From taking your international neighbors to get their first library card to helping them with homework and budgets, this opportunity is one that will not only give you fulfillment, but also a new pal in the city.
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Indianapolis | Make a difference in a child’s life by coaching a sport, tutoring, or teaching a new skill to one of the many young members of the Boys and Girls Club.
  • Camptown | This local nonprofit is on a mission to challenge, mentor, and teach young people about life through outdoor adventure + nature programs that help build confidence, character, and hope.

If you live and breathe Indy

  • 500 Festival | Start your engines, race fans. The 500 Festival relies on thousands of volunteers each year and has opportunities for Indy residents to distribute snacks, greet spectators, staff various events, and host fourth-graders on field trips to the IMS.
  • Indiana Historical Society | Get in the seasonal spirit by lending a hand for the Festival of Trees or work year-round as a collections or conservation volunteer.

For the social butterflies

  • Random Acts of Flowers | Arrange your best bouquets with this organization, which makes “personal deliveries of hope and encouragement” to neighbors in hospitals and healthcare facilities.
  • Dress for Success | Help Indy women achieve financial independence by providing them with professional clothing and a network of support. You can be a personal shopper (hello dream job), collect and sort donations, mentor career-focused women and raise funds.
  • Damar | Damar offers a full range of services for children, teens, and adults with developmental, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities through residential + community-based treatment, autism services, education, and outpatient behavioral health.

If you’re an animal lover

  • IndyHumane | If you can’t get enough of our furry friends, consider donating a little of your time to IndyHumane. The cats + dogs will thank you for it.
  • Friends of Indianapolis Dogs Outside (FIDO) | Drive down alleys to find dogs in need, mix food for the pantry, or help fundraise for the outdoor pups around town.
  • FACE low cost animal clinic | From providing office assistance to hosting a supply drive, there are many ways for cat-loving Hoosiers to help out.
  • Indiana Canine Assistant Network (ICAN) | Being a “Litter Host” doesn’t mean you’re responsible for picking up trash, it actually means you can take care of a pregnant doggo during the weeks leading up to her delivery and spend eight weeks with the puppies afterward.
  • Paws & Think | This nonprofit organization focuses on the at-risk community — both human and canine. Its programs, including pet therapy and youth canine programs, serve Marion and the surrounding counties.

For the outdoorsy types

  • Keep Indianapolis Beautiful | You can volunteer to pick up trash in neighborhoods around the city or join a group of volunteers planting trees to beautify our streets.
  • Indy Parks | Help take care of the city’s 11,000 acres of park space.
  • Bike Indianapolis | Make Indy more bicycle-friendly by fundraising, planning events, or becoming a Bike Ambassador.

If you want to stay in your home

  • Conversations to Remember | If you’re a high school or college student, you can connect with Indy seniors and help them feel less lonely via video call.
  • New Hope of Indiana | Help Hoosiers with disabilities virtually by assisting with enriching social experiences like bingo, exercise classes, movie watch parties, and book club.

Self-proclaimed bibliophiles

  • Indy Reads | Longtime book buyer, first-time volunteer? Give back at Indy Reads’ new location in Fountain Square by helping fellow Hoosiers overcome literacy limitations that might be in the way of successful education and careers.
  • Kurt Vonnegut Museum & Library | If you’re interested in supporting young writers through mentoring and teaching, this might be for you.
  • Indianapolis Public Library | Love hanging out with toddlers? Volunteer to be reader for storytime or lead a crowd of young ones in a craft activity. If older kids are more your scene, challenge one of the library’s teen patrons to an Uno match.

For the handy individuals

  • NeighborLink Indianapolis | Pick up the paintbrush and give aging houses a little makeover, brush up on those DIY skills, and harness those organizational talents for seniors in the city.
  • Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity | Sign up as an individual or group and help build a house for a family in need.

If you want to help your neighbors in need

  • Gleaners Food Bank | This Feeding America member food bank puts over 2 million pounds of food on Hoosiers’ plates every month, thanks to its volunteers. You can hand out food directly to your fellow Indy residents, sort donated food, and more during your shift.
  • Second Helpings | This group not only creates more than 4,500 nutritious meals from rescued food each day, but its job training program prepares adults with barriers to employment for culinary careers. Whether you’d like to chop produce, answer phones, deliver meals, or teach students, there are ample opportunities to help.
  • Horizon House | Become a life-long community advocate for your Hoosier neighbors experiencing homelessness by working in the donation center, landscaping, or lending a hand in the kitchen.
  • Indy Hunger Network | If you have a background in culinary arts or nutrition, lead a class for IHN’s Cooking Matters program.
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