A New Year, A New You: Our Volunteer Guide

A new calendar year and a new semester doesn’t just mean a new set of classes. It’s prime time for a refreshing set of extracurricular activities! We rounded up a few of our favorite volunteer resources and organizations to give you a head start on a fantastic, feel good new year!

This valuable volunteer resource provides information about free and low-cost volunteer opportunities worldwide. Once you register as a SE7EN volunteer, you’ll be able to create a special volunteer profile, and in turn, access a variety of volunteer open calls, such as working on an urban farm, like the ModCloth staff did on Earth Day ’09.

Jane Doe No More
JDNM aims to “shorten the time from crime to healing” for victims of sexual assault. Founded by Donna Palomba, a victim of sexual assault who used her negative experience to create a thriving team of professionals and volunteers, JDNM aims to improve the way society responds to sexual assault in order to achieve a full, fast and healthy recovery for victims.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls
We dare you to read through Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls’ mission statement and not be inspired. Phrases like, “We want to abolish all the obsolete traditions that restrict many girls’ free musical expression and obstruct their access to the world of music” epitomize the organization’s inherently punk mindset, which is that creating music is for everyone regardless of gender. Check out their website and get involved in a number of ways, including giving a donation or sharing your music skills at the camp!

Big Brothers Big Sisters
You’ve undoubtedly heard of this internationally renowned organization, which thrives on the positive influence of adult role models who act as personal mentors to boys and girls of all ages. If you’re searching for a life-changing experience with humble effects that will last a lifetime, volunteer this year.

826 National
Through one-on-one tutoring, workshops, scholarships, and so much more, 826 National, a nonprofit with locations in eight cities across the country, hopes to encourage students to become passionate about writing. By catering to a variety of skill levels and interests, 826 National successfully produces high-quality published works, like newspapers or short story collections, which epitomize the organization’s dedication to the advancement of written language in America’s youth.

Dress for Success
Take a peek into your closet–do you own any professional clothing which no longer receives the love and attention it deserves? If so, you might consider donating your office-ready wares to Dress for Success, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing disadvantaged women with economic independence. In addition to supplying interview and workplace attire to women in need, Dress for Success oversees the Professional Women’s Group and the Career Center, two subsidiary programs which provide women with workplace training and transitional guidance.

Uniform Project
If you were inspired by Sheena Matheiken’s inventive, fashion-forward method of raising money, you’re in luck! Those who want to dress for a cause can easily do so, thanks to the Uniform Project’s latest development: a DIY platform for anyone who aspires to take on the Uniform Project challenge. Check out the platform today and you could have a fun, charitable new project to entertain you, and the ones around you, all year long! Not familiar with UP? Check out our interview with Sheena!

What are some of your favorite volunteer organizations, ModReaders? Share your suggestions with us in the comments below, and be sure to include the organization’s location, if applicable, as well as a website URL and your own experiences!


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  1. Avatar
    Katie 01/07/2011 at 2:03 pm #

    For the past decade, my family and I have volunteered with Special Olympics. It is the most rewarding experience – I look forward to it every year. Last year, a friend of mine told me about Polar Plunge, an event that raises money for Special Olympics. And even though the event requires me to jump into Lake Michigan in early March (after they chip away the ice, of course), I am excited to be doing my part again this year. Our team donated $15,000 last year and are shooting for $30,000 this year! Please help us reach our goal, but more importantly, to support the great athletes of Special Olympics.

    If anyone is interested, I can post photos of the insanity when the time comes!

  2. Avatar
    Molly 01/08/2011 at 8:43 am #

    I work for a great organization called Bike & Build. Each summer, 256 young adults (18-25) pedal their bikes coast to coast in the name of affordable housing. Each rider raises at least $4,000 that in turn is distributed to affordable housing organizations like Rebuilding Together and Habitat for Humanity. Over eight seasons, we’ve contributed $2.7 million, with nearly half a million dollars in grants last year alone!

    Bike & Build is a great way to use cycling (which is certainly quite the trend these days) to raise money for a great cause while also empowering young adults for a lifetime of service and civic engagement.

  3. Avatar
    Louise 01/18/2011 at 3:24 am #

    My favourite is WWOOF, worldwide opportunities on organic farms! Norway here I come…

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