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Meaningful community solutions require more than money or programs or policies. The kind of real and lasting change that benefits everyone is only possible when people from all walks of life are willing to roll up their sleeves and go where they are most needed.

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COVID-19 Volunteer Opportunities

Use your time and talent to support neighbors and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Volunteer Where You Work and Live

Every day, people develop lasting solutions to local issues. Whether volunteering to help a family file their taxes, providing rides for an ill or injured service member or veteran, or tutoring
primary-school students, it’s through the efforts of ordinary people that we can do extraordinary things.

  • United Against Food Deserts

    In 2018, Kellogg Company ramped up its fight for the 12 million people who live in urban food deserts across the U.S. Through United Against Food DesertsKellogg and United Way are combating the growing issue of food insecurity, and ensuring more people have access to healthy and nutrient-dense foods.

    Kellogg volunteers and local nonprofits have worked tirelessly to make a lasting impact on their communities by building community gardens. Because of their support, more than 3,000 people now have access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

    Did you know ...?

    One-in-eight Americans face hunger every day. Many of them live in food deserts: areas or neighborhoods that are a mile or more from a supercenter, grocery store, farmers' market, or other source of healthy and affordable food. And when families can’t get nutritious food, it makes it tougher for kids to focus in school and stay healthy.

    Kellogg addresses food insecurity with other hunger-relief efforts that include: committing its workforce to volunteer days, food donations, the expansion of nutrition-education programs to reach children, and engaging millions of others in food-security efforts.

  • A Reading Revolution in San Diego, California

    A new initiative called Rowan Reading Rebels is already bearing fruit in City Heights: 91 percent of participating students have accelerated their reading levels and writing proficiency, and 33 percent improved their school attendance.

    The results are amazing, and yet the strategy behind it is common sense. Just ask Carmen Richardson, who volunteers every Tuesday and Thursday to work one-on-one with the students from Rowan Elementary School. The work differs depending on the needs of the particular child: sometimes it’s letters on whiteboards and beginning level reading; sometimes it’s sentence work.

    The goal of Rowan Reading Rebels is to ensure that the children are reading at grade level by 3rd grade, a crucial milestone on the path to academic success.

    Did You Know…?

    Kids who are not reading at grade level by 3rd grade are four times more likely to drop out before earning their high school diploma. That’s why United Way has recruited more than 350,000 readers, tutors and mentors to help young people discover a love of learning—and translate that passion into success in school, work and life.

  • Helping People Save More in Lafayette, Louisiana

    Byron, a father of five, learned he might qualify for an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). While preparing taxes at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site, he discovered he was eligible for $5,600 in EITC. With that money, he was able to tackle his home’s mold problem, which was giving one of his children headaches and asthma flare-ups. Byron is one of thousands of local residents who have benefited from his initiative.

    At VITA sites across the United States, our volunteers help millions of Americans save more of their hard-earned money.  Through VITA and MyFreeTaxes.com, our online free tax preparation and filing service, Americans have claimed more than $10 billion—savings that people can use for essential needs like their next rent check, books that their kids need for school or a much-needed doctor appointment.

    Did You Know…?

    Research has shown that the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) encourages work, reduces poverty and leads to long-term gains in child health and academic success. The EITC doesn’t just put more money into people’s pockets; it’s a investment in the long-term success of multiple generations and entire communities.

Volunteer Initiatives

United Way Day of Action

Day of Action

Each year on and around June 21, tens of thousands of people in hundreds of communities around the world come together for United Way's Day of Action to address the issues that matter most to them. For some, it’s stuffing backpacks full of books to encourage reading and improve early literacy. For others, it’s planting community gardens to foster civic pride and promote affordable, healthy eating. In that sense, Day of Action mirrors the work that we do all year-round: empower people to affect positive change. 

Get Involved in United Way's Day of Action

Alternative Spring Break

Alternative Spring Break

From restoring community gardens to cleaning up debris, United Way Worldwide joined with Aeropostale to rally volunteers around the California communities affected by 2018's deadly wildfires, which destroyed more than 100,000 acres and displaced hundreds of thousands of individuals and families. 

During their week of service, Alternative Spring Breakers gained in-depth exposure to the mid- to long-term recovery efforts underway in the region, and assisted people who are currently displaced or homeless, replanted trees and spruced up public spaces. 

Learn more about 2019's Alternative Spring Break

Read, Tutor, Mentor

In the U.S., research shows that children who read proficiently by third grade are more likely to graduate high school. Other benefits stack up over time: students who graduate high school are better able to find jobs with livable wages, live longer lives and have children who also graduate on time. And studies show tutoring is one of the most reliable methods for improving reading outcomes — families, teachers, government, business leaders and community members all have roles to play.

You can change a life by volunteering to read with and tutor students and adults alike. Many programs ask for only 30 minutes a week, either in-person or online. Learn more.