Where Should You Volunteer in Fargo?

Della Phillips, Editor-in-Chief

One of the easier (and more rewarding) boxes to check to be “North Dakota Choice Ready” is 25 hours of volunteer service. In my experience, 25 hours really isn’t that much when you break it up, and the experience can be invaluable. If you volunteer for an hour a week, you could reach that goal in six months. If you throw in a few longer days, like helping with an event, you’ll pass 25 hours before you even realize it. In the meantime, you’ll make valuable connections with people and might even discover a new passion.

Here are some great places to volunteer your time in Fargo:

The YWCA provides women in need with shelter, food, clothing, childcare, education, counselling and transportation. People under 18 can sort donated items, help with cleaning, prepare food or hygiene kits, or help in the kitchen. However, you must have someone over 18 volunteering with you. If you’re 18, there are opportunities that involve working more directly with residents.

Gigi’s Playhouse is an organization that provides completely free educational programs for kids and adults with Down syndrome. They rely on volunteers to help at their programs, such as cooking classes, programs for parents and their children, and Teen Tastic, a peer-led program that promotes social skills.

A great one-off event to participate in (potentially with a group) is a walk to raise money for American Cancer Society or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. AFSP has their an “Out of the Darkness” walk on NDSU’s campus on April 15. On May 24, you can participate in “Relay for Life” at West Fargo High School for ACS.

Homeward AnimalĀ Shelter would be a good choice for someone comfortable with a longer-term commitment. They ask volunteers to commit to a minimum of two hours per week for at least six months, doing things like socializing the animals or helping with cleaning or organization.

Many of these organizations welcome groups to come in and volunteer. If you have a club, church group or group of friends, this could be a great way to bond while helping your community.

I would highly encourage everyone who is able to volunteer in high school. Not only is it intrinsically rewarding and can provide you with great work experience, but colleges love to see people who are involved in their communities. The best time to start is now.