Four Unique Ways to Volunteer in Alexandria

July 30, 2015 / editor

From birth, we’re taught to share. Share our toys. Share our money. Share our lives.

If we had to ask what was hardest to share, we’re willing to bet “time” would take first place. As news anchor Tom Brokaw said in his speech to Stanford graduates in 2006, “It’s easy to make a buck. It’s tougher to make a difference.”

We’d add that it’s also one of the most rewarding things you can do! When you volunteer in Alexandria, you’re not just helping others–you’re also giving yourself a mental and physical boost, and your social and professional lives will benefit as well. Here are some unique ideas to get you started, based on your hobbies and preferences. Grab some friends and volunteer in Fairfax County and Alexandria today.

For Health and Wellness Buffs: Inova Alexandria Hospital

As an Inova Alexandria Hospital volunteer, you’ll have the opportunity to make every visitor as happy as possible. A challenging feat, but one that definitely adds incredible value to the hospital environment, especially on busy days. You’ll also get the opportunity to go behind the scenes and offer support to the hospital staff or provide customer service. This is especially a great opportunity for those who hope to get into medical fields, and the perks are pretty great–but it’s not for everyone, particularly if you don’t enjoy customer service roles. Check out details below!

Time Commitment Level: High

  • 4 hours/week, minimum of 100 hours/year
  • Mandatory interview & application
  • 2 hour orientation & training

Ready to get started volunteering at Inova Hospital? Head here.

For Animal Lovers: The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria

Pets are pretty easy to love–hence the popularity of animal shelter volunteering in Alexandria. And for good reason, too. You’ll get plenty of love back from shelter animals, and if you’re thinking about getting a cat or dog (we welcome pets at The Parker), you may meet your new pal here. If you’re smitten but aren’t sure you could commit for the lifetime of a pet, you can also foster a pet from Animal Welfare League of Alexandria. Additional volunteer duties include: office support, sorting donations, greeting visitors, special event assistance, and more. Think you have what it takes to boost the quality of life for shelter dogs, cats, and small animals? Check out the requirements!

Time Commitment Level: Medium-High (depends on whether fostering)

  • 2 hours/week, minimum of 6 months
  • Application
  • Orientation and 1-hour workshop
  • 1.5 hour mentor training sessions (up to 3)

Ready to get started volunteering at The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria? Head here.

For Bookworms: Dream Dog Foundation’s Alexandria Bookshelf

If the idea of spending all day at a book drive or gathering donations thrills you, the Dream Dog Foundation’s Alexandria Bookshelf program is perfect for you. You’ll experience the satisfaction of contributing to literacy in Alexandria while working in a low-key role. Send out an email to invite your friends and family to share their gently used books for children at any ABS drop off site.

Time Commitment Level: Very Low

  • Flexible hours
  • Contact friends and family for book donations
  • Gather books and drop off at site

Ready to get started volunteering at The Alexandria Bookshelf? Head here.

For Nature Lovers: River Farm Volunteering

If you’ve ever strolled through River Farm Gardens, in all of its Alice-in-Wonderland glory, you’ve probably realized this beauty didn’t just happen. And you’d be right–teams of volunteers dedicate themselves to keeping River Farm looking fresh. And one of them could be you! If you want to help but don’t want to pull weeds, other volunteering options include creative design, photography, administrative projects, garden shop support, and more.

Time Commitment Level: Low-Medium (flexible, depends on volunteering job)

  • Flexible hours
  • Email or call (703) 768-5700 and discuss options.
  • Work may require moderate physical activity

Want more info about volunteering at River Farm? Head here.


Looking for more volunteer opportunities? We don’t blame you. Once you get started, it’s hard to stop! Check out Volunteer Alexandria for up-to-the-minute volunteer opportunities in Alexandria, VA. Looking for an apartment that’s close to all the action? Check out the best apartments for rent in Alexandria, VA, and get in touch with us at The Parker today!

Image Source: Flickr

Tagged: Alexandria, local businesses, The Parker, Things to Do in Alexandria, volunteering