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COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

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Volunteer Center Staff is on temporary furlough with no access to email or voicemail due to Columbia Association's closure. 

Family & Youth Group Volunteers

Creating a Volunteer Team is the best way for families or groups including youth to register to volunteer together. 
The Team leader creates the team, registers the team members for a volunteer opportunity and is responsible for keeping the team informed and ensuring their attendance.

  • A Volunteer Team makes it easy for groups to volunteer with children and for one person to coordinate a group that wants to volunteer together.

  • Signing up your family or group for a volunteer opportunity as a team lets the organization know how many volunteers will be serving and reserves the required number of spaces for your team.

  • Team members do not need to be registered with Volunteer Center Serving Howard County in order to volunteer with the team.

  • Children under 13 years cannot register independently, but can be a team member.

  • Creating a volunteer team allows a parent or adult leader to register youth under 13 years for a volunteer opportunity.

  • Normally a unique email is needed to register as a volunteer. Contact information for team members can be either a unique email or a non-unique phone number (i.e. team leader's phone number).

Learn about being a Volunteer Leader at one of our free Volunteer Leader trainings held several times a year. Click here for more information.

How To Get Started

Step 1: Register

The Team leader must create and account (register) on this site in order to Sign Up for or Express Interest in a volunteer opportunity.

Step 2: Create a Volunteer Team

  • Login to the site (you will then be on the Account Overview page). Select For Volunteers in the main menu, then My Account, then My Teams.  Click on the Create New Team button.

  • Complete the form adding all team members and click the Create Team button.
    Note: for each team member you will need either a unique email or a non-unique phone number. If a team member does not have an email or you prefer not to use it, just leave that field blank and use the Team Leader's phone number (as the method of contact). The Team Leader will be informed via their email of information relating to the volunteer opportunity. You will also need to input age for minors.

  • Once your team has been created you will manage the team on the My Teams page.

Step 3: Find Volunteer Opportunities

There are several ways to find volunteer opportunities for groups.

► Click on the age of the youngest team member to view suitable opportunities. Note: some of these opportunities may require volunteering with an adult. See the section on filtered searches below to create your own searches with additional filters.

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► Calendar view

The Calendar view  lists Date & Time Specific Volunteer opportunities (find under Find Opportunities or click on one of the calendar icons). Often these are events that need larger numbers of volunteers and sometimes can use teen volunteers.  

► Filtered Search

Search the listing of posted volunteer opportunities using Additional Filters to select opportunities that have been marked as appropriate for groups and or the appropriate age for your group.

  • From the Volunteer Opportunities/Search results page
    In the Advanced Search section, enter the appropriate zipcode, time frame or distance if desired.

  • Under Additional Filters click the + on Appropriate For

  • Enter the age of the youngest team member.

  • You may also want to check the box for Groups. If you don't get any results with both filteres, try removing the group filter and searching again. 

  • Click Refine. 

► Youth

Groups looking for opportunities for youth should check our Youth Volunteerism page for additional helpful information on Youth volunteerism.

► Resources

Check our Resources page for links to other organizations involved with volunteering and project ideas.

Step 4: Express Interest/Sign Up

Now you're ready to register your team for a volunteer opportunity listed on our site. Find your opportunity then click the Signup (express interest)  with a team link at the bottom of the opportunity registration box.  You will be prompted to select your team and then select the team members you want to sign up for the opportunity.
NOTE: If the opportunity does not have an Express Interest/Sign up with a Team link, the Team leader should use the link provided to email the Opportunity Leader and inquire about their group serving.


Considerations for Group Volunteering

How many people are in your group?

The larger the group, the more difficult it will be to find opportunities. Consider splitting into smaller groups, or offering shifts.

When are you available to volunteer?

Projects during the evening and sometimes even weekends, can be more challenging to find as most community organizations operate during traditional business hours. 

Consider the time of year.

If you want to work outdoors, think about what time it gets dark and the weather conditions. School holidays may also have an impact on participation or project availability.

How long do you want to volunteer for?

In our experience, 2-4 hours is the ideal length of time for group projects, particularly if the work is hard manual labor - remember, you can always go back again.

What ages are your group members?

Be sure to select a project appropriate for all members of your group.

What do you want to do?

There are many choices available to you. Think about the skills and interests of your group.

Do I have a budget to help with supplies?

If the project requires supplies, this can be very costly for the community organization, particularly when large groups are involved.

Don't be afraid to ask.

If you don't see anything suitable for your group, that doesn't mean that the opportunity doesn't exist. If you see a community organization that you are interested in helping, contact the Volunteer Coordinator and ask!


Volunteer Center

6310 Hillside Ct.
Columbia, MD 21046