Top 5 Ideal Charities for Student Volunteers in Minneapolis

By Shanique Wright on March 26, 2017

College students are always seeking new volunteer opportunities to improve their hours, while others do it habitually as a means of community service.

However, with the demands of college and reliability of many nonprofits, it can be difficult to find organizations that suit your self-interest and schedule. Here are the top five ideal charities for student volunteers living in Minneapolis.

People Serving People

Located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, this organization seeks to provide a temporary home for homeless families and at-risk children. It is noted as the largest family-focused shelter in Minnesota that provides a hospitable environment and many work and housing opportunities for the residents. Individual volunteers can make a lasting impact on the lives of the families that reside within the facility. Located a block from the Vikings Stadium, volunteers can easily commute via light rail to the shelter.

Resident Resources Assistant: If you are excellent at providing customer service in a fast-paced environment, then the front desk allows you to make an impact during their 24/7 human services operation period.

Daytime Early Childhood Development Program Assistant: For volunteers who are passionate about children and helping them to mature and develop, there are several opportunities to assist Educational Services staff to interact with toddlers and infants (6 weeks to 2.5 years).

K-5 Educational Support, Tutoring, and Enrichment: Individuals will read one-on-one with an assigned child and support the resident children in homework and appropriate grade lessons, crafts, and games.

Games and Gifts: For volunteers who have a creative side and can assist the staff in packaging family game packs for new families and prepare birthday gifts for children.

Play and Learn: If you are enthusiastic about children’s educational interaction then you can join the parent and child music play time and exploration led by an instructor from MacPhail. Volunteers are asked to assist staff in providing a fun-filled playtime for children ages 6 months to pre-K, while parents attend a session led by Minneapolis Crisis nursery.


Reading Partner: Volunteers will serve as an ambassador and build awareness of the issues for those experiencing global poverty, contact congressional leaders in support of poverty-reduction programs, and manage and implement fundraising campaigns.

Meal Server: Meal servers will assist workers and cooks to serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner to families and assist with the necessary cleanup afterward.

Building Beautician: Volunteers assist the housekeeping department with general cleaning duties and building maintenance.

Donation Assistant: If you are organized and good at sorting items then donation assignment is a perfect fit and only requires you to assist the donation team with sorting donations so that the donated items get to prioritized departments.

Development Assistant: This task requires good penmanship as volunteers will be asked to write thank you cards, address envelopes, and facilitate with event preparation with donor relations.

Feed My Starving Children

Feed My Starving Children offers opportunities for those looking to volunteer in a competitive nature as a group while serving those in need. This organization allows you to pack nutritious meal ingredients by means of Mobilepack events which connects volunteer families and friends across the United States who share the same passion and self-interest for ending global hunger.

Founded in 1987, Feed My Starving Children is a Christian nonprofit organization that provides nutritionally complete meals for malnourished children around the world. If you are off campus and looking for a drive out of the city to volunteer, they have three locations in the state of Minnesota: Canhassen, Coon Rapids, and Eagan.


The Animal Humane Society

If you are a lover of animals and looking for a semi-permanent volunteer experience then the Animal Humane Society is the perfect charity for you to extend this care to animals that are in need of a home. As the leading animal welfare organization in the upper Midwest, Animal Humane Society is changing the way that animal care communities support their animals from innovative medieval and behavioral programs to investment in outreach and advocacy against animal abuse and exploitation. There are five locations throughout the twin cities where you choose to volunteer: Buffalo, Coon Rapids, Golden Valley, St Paul, and Woodbury.

The community outreach program provides community-based education and resources and volunteers help distribute flyers, attend tabling events to advocate for animals, package dog food, and perform data entry work.


Additionally, students involved in university veterinary programs have an opportunity to join Kindest Cut. in this program, volunteers assist with client interactions and preparation of surgical materials at the Melrose Animal Clinic. The program also provides out-of-state travel opportunities for volunteers.

The Borgen Project

Do you hate global poverty? Are you looking for a way to contribute to the many campaigns fighting to end this? Are you looking for a telecommute volunteer opportunity? Then the Borgen Project is ideal for you. It is a nonprofitable organization based in Seattle that allows volunteer writers, editors, and lobbyists to join the fight against ending global poverty.


Volunteers opportunities and internships are based online with the expectation that individuals commit for a minimum of three months.

Advocate: Volunteers will serve as an ambassador and build awareness of the issues for those experiencing global poverty, contact congressional leaders in support of poverty-reduction programs, and manage and implement fundraising campaigns.

Writer: Volunteers will work independently and write two articles for the Borgen Project’s blog and magazine on issues regarding global poverty as well as assist with advocacy and fundraising campaigns

American Red Cross Minnesota

If you love to get involved directly with volunteering, this nonprofit organization prevents and alleviates human suffering by mobilizing volunteers and donors towards relief projects involving victims of natural disasters and those affected by the aftermath. Volunteers participate in a range of activities from blood drives to CPR and first aid programs.


The volunteer application process is quick and easy for college students. By simply creating a Red Cross ID, you will gain access to a page requesting you to fill out an application with your personal information and contact preferences. After submitting your form you will be contacted on the different ways you can volunteer and impact the lives of those experiencing suffering.

Volunteering not only enhances your resume but it creates experiences that help to teach college students the importance of compassion and selflessness towards those who are in need the most. These moments make the sought after four-year college experience even more worthwhile,  especially when you transfer your adrenaline and passion into helping to make a difference in the lives of others.

Shanique Wright is a Jamaican native with a passion for writing and doing research on social issues and ways to help end global poverty. She is the founder of the blog layeredonionz where she provides discussions on issues surrounding politics, race, class and gender.

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