Volunteering in Philadelphia: Ways to Love Your City This Spring

Are you looking for a way to give back to your city this spring? Philly is home to a number of volunteer opportunities. Whether you want to clean up your neighborhood park or help out at a farmers’ market, there’s sure to be a position that’s a good fit.

Whether you’ve recently purchased a home in Philly or have been living here for ages, you might be on the look out for ways to give back to your city or ways to help those around you. The spring can be an ideal time for volunteering in Philadelphia, as there are plenty of indoor and outdoor activities and events that need people like you.

Love Your Park

Since it’s home to one of the biggest city parks in the U.S., it should be no surprise that Philly is big on its parks. For the fourth year in a row, people will have the chance to show their support of their local park during Love Your Park week, running May 9–16. Although events take place at city parks throughout the week, the main draw is the volunteer day, scheduled for May 9. If you are interested in participating, you can sign up on the Love Your Park website to find out more details about a volunteer event taking place at a park near you.

Support the Free Library

Bookworms who are interested in volunteering in Philadelphia can work with the Friends of the Free Library. You can volunteer with the library in several ways. If there’s a neighborhood branch near you, you might join the branch’s Friends Group, or start your own group, if there isn’t already one. As part of the Friends Group, you can work with the local librarians, offering tutoring to students, reading stories to children, or working on the grounds of the library. Another option is to volunteer at one of the two bookstores run by the library. Volunteers at the bookstores need to be available on a pretty set schedule, so it’s a good option if you are looking to help out on a weekly or even daily basis.

Help out at a Farmers’ Market

If you love your local farmers’ market, the spring is a great time to sign up to be a volunteer. The Food Trust has a number of volunteer opportunities at the markets it runs from the late spring through the late fall. If you like the idea of supporting local food and produce, but aren’t keen on working outdoors during the rain or in the summer heat, you can sign up to volunteer with the Fair Food Stand, in Reading Terminal Market, instead.

Help Out on a Farm

Helping out at a local farmers’ market is great, but what if you actually want to get your hands dirty and experience what it’s like to work on a real farm? You’re in luck. Philly might be a city, but it’s also home to number of farms who need the support of volunteers. In Francisville, you can work with Urbanstead, an organization that works to improve food security, during one of its Volunteer Days, on April 25. If you aren’t available then, you can reach out to the volunteer coordinator to learn more about other chances to work on the farm.

The volunteer opportunities listed above are just a drop in the bucket. Serve Philadelphia, an initiative created by the Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service, features a number of other ways you can give back to your city this spring and beyond.

Image Source: Flickr/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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