Volunteering for Social Justice in Bloomington

Here’s a list of organizations that rely on volunteers and provide services in opposition to racism, ableism, sexism, poverty, xenophobia, homophobia, and transphobia.

Most of these organizations are 501c3, which means they’re largely apolitical. Some may require a background check, especially if they involve working with kids or vulnerable populations.

I have included religious-based organizations only if I know they do not discriminate in their services and that they do not tie their services to attendance at, or receipt of, religious material or services. (In other words, the Interfaith Winter Shelter is here, the Salvation Army is not. I’m not sure about Wheeler Mission–can anyone tell me?)

This is crowdsourced, not comprehensive, so I’m open to adding to it if anyone has suggestions. Links to websites are helpful.

The Bloomington Volunteer Network has a great database of volunteer opportunities far more extensive than this list.

Feel free to contact me with additions.

All Options Pregnancy Resource Center – literally all-options pregnancy support, from infertility and adoption support to abortion funding. Office tasks, outreach, distributing donated materials, peer counseling.

Hoosier Abortion Fund is a new project through All Options to fundraise for improved abortion access in Indiana. Apply here to join.

Amethyst House – transitional housing for people in recovery from substance use disorder. Volunteer to help in the office.

Area 10 Agency on Aging – housing, community support, transportation, resources for low-income elderly people. Huge numbers of volunteer opportunities, from teaching exercise and art classes, to repairing elders’ homes, to delivering food, to just visiting elderly people who may be lonely.

Bloomington Food Policy Council – developing food security by assessing gaps and advocating for policy changes. They need volunteer researchers, event planners, and general advocates.

Bloomington PRIDE – LGBTQ+ arts and culture organization, including programming for LGBTQ+ youth and seniors. The Prism Youth Community and the Aging and Caring Network are both parts of PRIDE. Event-based volunteering, and year-round event planning and coordination.

Community Kitchen – soup kitchen, and backpack buddies program to feed free-lunch children over the summer. Help cook and serve meals, and pack bags for backpack buddies.

El Centro Comunal Latino – culture and education center for the local Latinx community, including all ages tutoring and immigration information sessions. They always need tutors.

Girls Inc – educational and after-school programming for girls. Volunteer to help with sports or education programming, summer camps, or events.

Habitat for Humanity – provide housing to the homeless. Volunteer to help build a house, or volunteer at the ReStore which sells donated furnishings etc. to raise funds.

Hoosier Hills Food Bank – food bank that supplies many area food security organizations, including Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, Community Kitchen, Wheeler Mission, etc

Indiana Recovery Alliance – harm reduction, including needle exchange (for as long as it’s legal…), for people with substance use disorder. Follow the IRA Volunteers facebook group for opportunities.

Interfaith Winter Shelter – low-barrier overnight homeless shelter coordinated by several Bloomington religious organizations. Help staff the shelter.

Life Designs – Support for seniors and people with disabilities across South-Central Indiana. Administrative, event planning, and fundraising volunteer positions.

Meals on Wheels – delivers meals to individuals homebound due to illness or age. Help deliver meals.

Middle Way House – domestic violence and sexual assault crisis center. Phone volunteers, office volunteers, I think also advocacy for survivors when they choose to report their assaults.

Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard – food pantry, food justice organization, tool-share. Help stock and distribute food, volunteer in the garden, or help lead education programming.

New Hope Family Shelter – high-barrier homeless shelter that does not split up homeless families. Huge variety of volunteer opportunities here, from building a shed to developing an affordable housing guide.

New Leaf, New Life – offers services to people incarcerated in the Monroe County Jail during incarceration and afterward. Volunteer to help lead enrichment groups, help with office tasks, and help with transition programming for inmates being released.

Planned Parenthood – affordable reproductive and sexual health services. Be an escort to help women get into the clinic safely, be involved in activism.

Positive Link – HIV/AIDS health and resources organization. Start by attending a meeting of the Community Aids Action Group (CAAG), and go from there.

Purdue Extension Monroe County – 4H! Huge numbers of volunteer opportunities in camps, after-school programming, education programming, etc. Additional programming in health and human services, environment and natural resources, food and nutrition. Contact Courtney Stewart at stewa229@purdue.edu.

Shalom Center – homeless shelter, services provider, and soup kitchen. Help staff the shelter and kitchen.

South Central Community Action Program – Huge variety of services for low-income people. Volunteer with Head Start, or take one of a huge number of volunteer opportunities to counter poverty.

Spencer Pride – events and education for and about GLBTQ+ folks in rural Indiana. They have a new community center downtown. Event-based volunteering, and possibly opportunities in their community center?

Stone Belt – support and housing for adults with developmental disabilities to facilitate independent living. Various volunteer opportunities; details not specified on their website.

Sycamore Land Trust – protects, restores, and keeps in trust thousands of acres of land across Indiana. Volunteer to clean and maintain preserves, clear out invasive plants, and more.

VITAL (Volunteers in Tutoring Adult Learners) – what it says on the tin!


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