Community Service Opportunities

Marcus O'Malley -- March 5th, 2008

A few weeks ago there was a post on ways to be green. That got me thinking about the same for community service. I know there are a number of great services going on in Harrisonburg and would like to hear about them. I was asked this week for a list of community opportunities by a few groups I thought that there may be people looking for opportunities to serve the community and others that need help.

Below are a few resources for opportunities to help out. What are you involved with?


  • JMU list for students
  • Boys and Girls Club – mentors, tutors, graffiti removal
  • Big Brother, Big Sister – mentors
  • Our Community Place/Little Grill Soup Kitchen – every Monday they need food and help cooking and cleaning up
  • Healthy Community Council – assist with youth, improving health care, or improving the green areas in H’burg
  • Church communities all have a number of youth and community related activities and always need more help
  • Mission Rummage w/ Care in Broadway has helped 100+ people without homes to stay warm and many to find work
  • OCP – Thursdays from 4-6pm offers writing letters to prisoners (they have paper, stamps, addresses, etc.)


  • United Way – show your businesses support for the community by helping raise money or attending events
  • Healthy Community Council could definitely use more business leaders
  • Chamber of Commerce or Shenandoah Valley Technology Council outreach committees

Those are just to name a few. Let me know if you have any questions about getting plugged into the above and I’ll get you some information.

11 Responses to “Community Service Opportunities”

  1. Justin C says:

    Teaching / Mentoring – This can be done through some of the groups already mentioned or through many other organizations. As far as I know, all of the colleges in the area have various youth based educational camps that need volunteers.

    Black’s Run Clean-Up – I should probably leave this to someone who knows more than me (feel free to explain more). I participated in this for the first time with a few friends last year and had a great time. If you don’t know anyone interested in going with you, email me and you can join the Immerge Crew.

    Community Resource Center – It’s located in Muhlenberg Church and as far as I know has two main purposes. First, to be a central informational source for all non-profits and services in the area. Second, to serve as a central list of available volunteers. So if you wanted to participate in something, but don’t know what, they’ll help find you some service work.

    Habitat for Humanity – This is a group I knew more about when I lived in Roanoke. I’m not sure how active they are in H’Burg, but if they are it’s a great group to work with!

  2. Seth says:

    special olympics
    basketball practice tonight @ 6 @ the rec center. all the kids who usually come help are getting wild on spring break. check in at the table right as you enter the building.

  3. Bubby says:

    Thanks Marcus! I’ve been searching for the right local volunteer opportunity for my VT Engage pledge. Lots of good ideas here.

  4. Josh says:

    Bubby, Are you doing VT Engage with the local alumni chapter? The Massanutten chapter seemed to have fizzled out the last time I checked, but I’d love to know of projects to team up with other Hokies on.

  5. Bubby says:

    Josh: no, I’m not aware of the Massanutten alumni group. I think immediately I’ll try to help out with the food kitchen, but I’m open to other opportunities.

  6. Thanh says:

    Cool post. I’m not a member of all these organizations, but I have worked with many of them from time to time on different projects/ programs:

    – Blacks Run/ Downtown Clean Up Day – (follow up to Justin C’s comment.) This year’s event will be on Sat April 12. visit: for registration and more information. If you have young children, or can’t wake up early enough to help clean up :) , feel free to stop by later in the morning/ early afternoon for some live music, and visit The Green Scene: education expo for games and fun.
    – Harrisonburg City Boards & Commissions – – Any one of these are a great opportunity for individuals to become involved in local government. Residents get to work along side city staff and council members to make decisions and recommendations from things ranging from transportation safety, parks & recreation, planning, etc.
    – Harrisonburg City Bicycle & Pedestrian Committee – made up of residents and staff who plan and prioritize bicycle and pedestrian needs in Harrisonburg. Contact me at thanhd [at] harrisonburgva [dot] gov if you’d like more information.
    – Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition – see their mission statement, they are advocates for safe bicycling, I’ve seen some of their members at elementary school walk to school day events, they do trail work around the area for everyone to enjoy, and they also work with the forestry people on management of the GW National Forest,
    – Safe Kids of the Central Shenandoah Valley –
    – Girls Scouts –
    – Kiwanis Club of Harrisonburg – – “Serving the Children of the World”
    – Blue Ridge Area Food Bank –

  7. David Miller says:

    Don’t forget the Friendly City Food Coop,

  8. Melissa says:

    I love that community service is being discussed and promoted. There are MANY worthy non-profits and organizations to become involved with in our community. As an employee of Big Brothers Big Sisters, I can attest to the need for additional adults to step forward and serve as Big Brothers and Big Sisters to youth in our community. If you’re interested, you can follow the web link listed above or call 433-8886.

    PLEASE NOTE: the Boys & Girls Club has an incorrect web link — it directs you to the website for the local Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. THESE ARE TWO DIFFERENT ORGANIZATIONS.

    If you are interested in Big Brothers Big Sisters:
    If you are interested in the Boys & Girls Club:

  9. marcus says:

    Apologies Melissa – I looked them up at the same time and copied the wrong link. I corrected the original post as well.

  10. Grant Penrod says:

    Thanks for mentioning the Community Resource Center Justin C. I’m on the board of directors and that is exactly what they do. It is a great way for people who want to help do something, but aren’t sure what, to volunteer. They can be reached at (540) 433-3888 or

  11. Marcus says:

    Few more:

    March 15 Taste of the World – NewBridges fund raiser dinner and concert call 438-8295 for more info

    April 19 CRC Rubber Duck Race

    May 21 UW and CRC Day of Caring:

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