Volunteering at a Local Non-Profit Can Make a Big Difference
Giving your time to service others is not only beneficial to your community and to the less fortunate, but it can also make a better and happier YOU! There have been many case studies and research about volunteering and how it improves your health and happiness.
Below is a list of local non-profits in the Durango area, but this is only a fraction of the wonderful non-profits within our community. Please give a helping hand to make a difference in someone’s life.
Manna’s Soup Kitchen
Manna Soup Kitchen was founded in May, 1985. The previous winter, a woman died from starvation in a horse stall at the La Plata County Fairgrounds in Durango, Colorado. Scrawled on the wall beside her were the words, “nobody cares.” This tragedy resulted in a small group of Christians organizing to provide food for the hungry. In 2015 Manna served over 65,000 meals per year including breakfast, a hot lunch, and hot and cold to-go dinners. With its mission statement of feeding the hungry still the top priority, Manna has expanded its services to the homeless and less fortunate in our community.
Manna Soup Kitchen is appreciative of all our volunteers. We would love to get you on our calendar! To help cook, serve and clean-up from 9-1 seven days a week or to aid Manna in food pick-ups from various establishments, please contact Jason via email, at [email protected] or 970-385-5095 ext. 5., (c) 541-274-1226
Women’s Resource Center
The Women’s Resource Center in Durango, Colorado, advocates for the personal empowerment and economic self-sufficiency of women and families in La Plata County.
Since opening in 1987, the Center has grown from helping 200 women in our first year to expanding the scope of our services and programs to assist more than 1300 individual women and their families each year. Join WRC’s committed corps of volunteers. You’ll meet new people, make new friends and feel great about helping an organization that helps other women. There are a variety of ways you can help. If you have a special talent to offer, please let us know so we can help you find the perfect opportunity.
- Volunteer at fundraising events such as Men Who Grill or Girls Night Out
- Become a presenter at the “Girls to Women, Women to Girls” Conference
- Help out with mailings and provide other office support
To volunteer please contact Christy Schaerer at 247-1242 or email her [email protected].
Boys & Girls Club
The Boys & Girls Club provide a fun, safe place that kids can call their own, where they are inspired to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens. Being a member of the Boys & Girls Club satisfies the age-old desire of young people to have a “club” of their own. The Club’s door is open to girls and boys when they need a fun, safe place to go.
The Club has full-time professional leadership supplemented by part-time workers and volunteers.
If you are interested in volunteering at the Boys & Girls Club, please contact Kelsey Bonar at 970.375.0010 (ext. 4) or email: [email protected]
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Being a Big Brother or Big Sister is one of the most enjoyable things you’ll ever do. Not to mention, one of the most fulfilling. You have the opportunity to help shape a child’s future for the better by empowering them to achieve. And the best part is, it’s actually a lot of fun. You and your Little can share the kinds of activities you already like to do.
Play sports or games together. Go on a hike. Read books. Help with homework. Eat a pizza with extra anchovies. Or just give some advice and inspiration. Whatever it is you enjoy, odds are you’ll enjoy them even more with your Little—and you’ll be making a life-changing impact.
Volunteering just a few hours a month with a child can start something amazing. So why not apply to be a Big today. There are kids out there ready to get started. Are you?
Think you want to be a Big Brother or Big Sister in either our Community-based or School-based programs? Please contact our office at [email protected] or 970-247-3720
Adaptive Sports Association
Join Adaptive Sports Association (ASA) and our extensive team of volunteers for another winter season on the snow working with people with disabilities. We will train intermediate to advanced skiers and snowboarders to teach adaptive snow sports. No previous experience with ski/snowboard instruction or with disabilities is necessary. The benefits of volunteering are significant, including:
- FREE ski improvement clinics
- Improved skills to help people with disabilities enjoy the experience of winter snow sports
- Discounted skiing at Purgatory Resort
- Generous discounts at a number of local businesses
- Pro (discounted) deals on ski equipment.
Come and help ASA offer adaptive programs and outdoor summer programming to individuals with disabilities, as well as their friends and families.
We also include adaptive sports for kids! During the summer season, volunteers are needed to assist with regularly scheduled whitewater rafting, flat-water canoeing, lake kayaking, cycling and camping. Other activities will include rock climbing, water-skiing, and sailing. No experience is necessary and we provide all training.
For more information, please contact our office at 970-259-0374 or e-mailing [email protected].
Meals on Wheels
The Meals on Wheels Program helps sustain dozens of home-bound seniors and their caregivers within our communities. Thanks to our hundreds of volunteers, hot meals are delivered to the homes of seniors within the delivery zone Monday through Friday. Frozen meals are also available for the weekends or to those people outside of the delivery boundaries. Monday through Friday Meals on Wheels are the same meals served at the Senior Centers in each community.
Durango Meals on Wheels Delivery Areas:
Durango City Limits
South: Bodo Park/Colorado Hwy 3
West: Intersection of Wildcat Canyon Rd.West Hwy 160
East: Florida Road/Timberline Drive
North: Hermosa/where the tracks cross the highway
Call the Food Service Manager at (970) 382-6435 for more information or to sign-up for Meals On Wheels delivery.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat helps families of low and moderate incomes become homeowners by building and partnering in the creation of affordable housing. HFHLPC also builds community partnerships that promote spiritual values and individual responsibility. The Habitat for Humanity of La Plata County is proud to be a local builder for 20 years, securing affordable homes of 39 since 1994. Join us as we celebrate 20 years of existence serving our local community and economy.
If you’re interested then fill out their online form here.
Four Corners Alliance for Diversity
To create a safe, welcoming and empowering community for all LGBTQ+ people.
The Four Corners Gay and Lesbian Alliance for Diversity works to promote equality and social justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people in the Four Corners area. We provide education, information, support, community outreach as well as special events and activities for the community.
Four Corners Alliance for Diversity is always looking for volunteers who would like to contribute their time and talents. Please let us know if you are interested in joining the Board of Directors, are a local business leader/organization and would like to present a workshop/seminar, become a champion and advocate who would like to campaign for a local issue, or you would like to volunteer for an upcoming event. And, we love new ideas, so let us know what inspires you and what you’d like to share with the group!
Call 970-385-7202 or fill out the online form to start volunteering!
Durango Trails 2000
Trails 2000 is your local trails non profit connecting you to the outdoors. We plan, build and maintain trails, educate trail users and encourage connectivity on road, path and trail. The leaders behind the Silver and Gold Levels Bicycle Friendly Durango; the Commuter Challenge, SMART 160 trail and the Chapman Hill Bike Park Project, we are involved in all elements of connectivity. But your support is vital as all of our trailwork happens only due to the generous help of volunteers. We care for all types of trails: hike, bike or horse and we encourage everyone to join in. Our group is very involved in the community and in trail planning from singletrack to bike paths. We’ve been working on planning connections for over twenty years!
Please call (970)259-4682 or go here.
Music in the Mountains
For over 30 years, Music in the Mountains has produced an exceptional summer music festival with musicians of the highest caliber. We have entertained, educated and delighted audiences with the richness of classical music, and complemented concerts with year-round educational programs for youth.
Join the thousands of music enthusiasts who support the performing arts by becoming part of the Music in the Mountains summer festival. You will meet wonderful people, make new friends and share in our mission to entertain, educate and delight audience with the richness of classical music. We appreciate our dedicated volunteers and have opportunities available throughout the year.
Click here for an application
The Garden Project of Southwest Colorado
The Garden Project is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that has been growing a healthier community in Southwest Colorado since 1998. We provide resources and services to schools and organizations interested in starting or enhancing a garden program. Services include program facilitation, on-site consultation, sharing tools and educational materials, and general support services. Garden programs include building raised beds and compost bins, transplanting seedlings, mending the soil, companion planting, and integrating the garden with school curriculum.
Volunteers are an integral part of The Garden Project. Every year volunteers provide over 1,500 hours of time at our school and community gardens. Volunteers are welcome at upcoming garden days, community events, or are welcome to create their own volunteer opportunities.
Fill out the online form here!
Durango Fire & Rescue
In 2015, Durango Fire Rescue responded to 4831 calls including a vast array of medical emergencies, structure fires, vehicle accidents, water rescues, hazardous materials spills, automatic fire alarms, wildland fires, and technical rescues and searches. Our organization provides these services through the work of 160 dedicated members, comprised of volunteer firefighters and medics, full-time firefighters and medics, part time and contractual employees, and an administrative staff; all who are focused on providing the quickest, most effective, and best service for our community.
In addition to emergency call response, our fire prevention bureau provides many services for the community. Our members interact with thousands of La Plata County citizens from the very young to the elderly, and everyone in between through programs and services such as: code enforcement, inspections, plan reviews for construction, fire alarm and fire suppression system inspections, burn permits, and community education and fire prevention. Our goals are simple: provide high quality public safety and community service, to improve the quality of life in our community and help make it a safer place to live.
Click here for more information on volunteering.
Click here to fill out the volunteer application.
La Plata County Search & Rescue
La Plata County Search & Rescue is a non-profit organization under the direction of the La Plata County Sheriff’s office. They are run by an elected board of officers and the county emergency services director. Since they are a non-profit, nearly all of their funding comes from grants, donations, and fund raising (primarily our annual pancake breakfast during the Snowdown festival).
LPCSAR mission is to provide unpaid professionals who are trained and dedicated with necessary equipment, knowledge and resources to assist the La Plata County Sheriff’s Department in search and rescue operations and public safety in back-country and technical settings.
You must submit legible copies of your current First Aid, CPR, and CORSAR card or Hunting/Fishing license and $12 dues with your application in order to consider your application complete.
Click here to become a member/volunteer.
Iron Horse Bicycle Classic
In 1972 a group of 36 riders decided to celebrate the first run of the train in the spring by accepting the challenge. It’s been all up hill since then. In 41 years the Iron Horse has become one of the classic bicycle events in the West. Durango is centrally located between Denver, Albuquerque, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City. The Iron Horse is an ideal early summer meeting of the riders from each of these cycling centers as they attempt to bring home the glory to their own communities. In recent years the participants have come from every state and many foreign countries to ride the famed Iron Horse course. Each year hundreds of riders will feel the thrill of descending into Silverton and looking to see if the train has arrived. And familiar faces will be there, as many people come back year after year to the “best race we have around.”
If you want to volunteer e-mail us at [email protected]
Friends of the Durango Public Library
“The purpose of this organization shall be to maintain an association of persons interested in books and libraries; to focus public attention on library services, facilities and needs; to accept donations of books, magazines, desirable collections, endowments, bequests and money; and to engage in fundraising activities on behalf of the library.”
The FRIENDS sponsor year-round programs for adults, children and teens. We provide funding for the annual Literary Festival and its guest authors. We help the Durango small business community through workshops. We have purchased toddler-friendly computers for the Children’s library. Everywhere you go in our library you’ll encounter FRIENDS’ contributions, big and small!
Would you like to be a FRIENDS bookseller at our Book Store? Or maybe volunteer at one of our quarterly book sales? Contact Rose at 970-382-0875 or [email protected]
d*cat (Durango Community Access Television)
DCAT can always use volunteers. You’re needed because you have a skill. Whether it’s organizing a show, helping with a fundraiser, community outreach, editing or running a camera, you can do something others can’t. You have abilities that community groups and charities need.
You provide a unique experience and insight to a group or organization. Offering your thoughts and opinions can be as useful as any technical expertise. At DCAT, one of our strongest features is the diversity of our people -volunteers, board, and staff. Non-Profit organizations and community groups rely on help from the community to achieve their goals.
Contact us at [email protected] or 259-2802
La Plata County Humane Society
LPCHS is a nonprofit organization created to enhance the quality of life in our community by encouraging the humane treatment of animals. Our philosophy is to preserve the lives of the animals entrusted to us.
The Humane Society was created to provide shelter for homeless animals, to rescue animals in distress, to assist in the investigation and prosecution of reported cruelty and abuse, to attempt to find homes for unwanted animals, and to encourage kindness and responsibility toward all living things through humane education.
Please contact Carolyn Bollinger, Volunteer Coordinator at [email protected] or call (970) 259-2847 x.109
Spring Creek Horse Rescue
Spring Creek Horse Rescue is celebrating its 40th year. We are a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization located near Durango, Colorado, in the beautiful southwest corner of the state. We are dedicated to providing a second chance for abused, neglected, outgrown and unwanted equines of all breeds. We are a 100% anti-slaughter rescue that emphasizes the rehabilitation and placement of horses into loving, forever homes.
Volunteering for a horse rescue can be both physically and emotionally difficult but the benefits far outweigh the challenges. Helping a horse go from near starvation to a happy, healthy home can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. And, the best part is you only need two things help, a big heart and a willingness to help. Our organization has an on-going need for volunteers with a variety of skills. Opportunities range from tasks like cleaning out stalls and office work to professional marketing and horse trainers.
Ph: (970) 884-4425
Email: [email protected]
“Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve…. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr.