Volunteer Harmony: Boise Weekly's Annual Volunteer Guide 

Creating lasting relationships between volunteers and those who need them

Are you tired of one-way relationships? Of giving and giving and never getting anything back? Tired of wasting your downtime just sitting on the couch? Are you looking for a more meaningful connection?

At Boise Weekly, we believe you can have that kind of deeply rooted relationship that leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. Best of all it's easy--all you have to do is find the right match for you in our annual Volunteer Guide.

Think of us as matchmakers, pairing organizations looking for that special someone--or "someones," in many cases, but we're not judging--with community members who are looking for active relationships in which they can truly give of themselves.

Whether you're the type who goes for an artist or a do-gooder, or you see children in your future, the right volunteer opportunity is waiting for you. Remember, not every potential volunteering match for you is listed here--you may have to be bold and step out on your own--but it's a good starting place to find lasting happiness. You can always visit the Volunteer page at boiseweekly.com if you're looking to expand your relationships throughout the year.

We've given you the tools, the next step is up to you.


Agency for New Americans

When refugees first hit the ground in Boise, a new home and a new culture can be a little overwhelming. But the Agency for New Americans is there to help with the transition.

The nonprofit depends on numerous volunteers to help with job coaching, teaching English, working with refugee families, mentoring new arrivals on local culture and daily life, as well as by helping out with office work and fundraising. Would-be volunteers can start by filling out an application--available online--then attending an orientation and training for some positions.

Contact: Yasmin Aguilar,yaguilar@mtnstatesgroup.org

Website: anaidaho.org

Phone: 208-338-0033, Ext. 269


A.L.P.H.A.

Allies Linked for the Prevention of HIV and AIDS has been the driving force behind education about HIV and AIDS in the Treasure Valley for years, and the organization has a loyal group of volunteers to thank for helping further its mission. Volunteers are always needed to do a little bit of anything and everything, from office work to staffing outreach events.

Volunteers are also needed at Exposure A.L.P.H.A. Interchange, the nonprofit's retail thrift store. New volunteer orientation is held every other Thursday.

Contact: Scott Weisenberger,scott.weisenberger@alphaidaho.org

Website: alphaidaho.org

Phone: 208-424-7799


Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Idaho

Sometimes kids need a positive influence in their lives in the form of someone who can serve as a mentor and friend. Big Brothers Big Sisters matches kids with adults willing to give some of their time to make a difference in a child's life.

Volunteers need to be able to meet with their little brother or sister two to four times a month for a full year, and the organization is particularly looking for men to step up and be big brothers. After applying online, would-be volunteers meet organizers for an interview and undergo a background check, including references. Big brothers and sisters need to be at least 16 years old.

Contact: Olivia Sorensen, sorensen@bbbsidaho.org

Website: bbbsidaho.org

Phone: 208-377-2552


Boise Art Museum

As the Boise Art Museum continues to grow, so too does its need for volunteers to support the museum and its mission.

Museum volunteers do everything from taking admissions and greeting patrons to working in the museum store and serving as docents--they're even needed to work in the administrative office and help run BAM's many programs. Of course, the biggest demand for volunteers comes at the annual Art in the Park fundraiser, when hundreds are called upon to help make the event happen.

Anyone interested in donating time can check the BAM website to request an application.

Contact: Visitors' Services, Melissa, Ext. 34, melissa@boiseartmuseum.org; Office, Hana, Ext. 10, hana@boiseartmuseum.org; Education, Kimberly, Ext. 36, kimberly@boiseartmuseum.org; Art in the Park, Mary Corrock, Ext. 14, marycorrock@boiseartmuseum.org

Website: boiseartmuseum.org

Phone: 208-345-8330


Boise Bicycle Project

Boise has a mini love affair with Boise Bicycle Project, continually naming it the best local nonprofit in Best of Boise voting. It's not hard to understand why. BBP fixes donated bikes to be given to area children, refugees and those in need, while running bike safety programs for kids--and it's all done with volunteer effort.

Volunteers fix bikes, teach bike maintenance classes, lead safety programs, run community bike drives and help out at numerous events throughout the year. Regular volunteer orientations are held year-round, but more information on helping out can be found online.

Contact: Jimmy Hallyburton,boisebicycleproject@gmail.com

Website: boisebicycleproject.org

Phone: 208-429-6520


Boise Philharmonic

The musicians of Boise Philharmonic have the music part down, but that doesn't mean the arts nonprofit doesn't still need a little help making sure the show goes on. In fact, the Phil works with volunteers throughout the year, doing assorted office work like sending out mailers, printing projects and assorted administrative tasks. It also needs helpers at its numerous events, lending a hand with setup and cleanup.

Contact: Karen Louise Falk, karenlouisefalk@hotmail.com

Website: boisephilharmonic.org


Boise Rescue Mission

This faith-based organization provides both shelter and counseling to Boise's homeless population, and needs volunteers to help it do its job.

Volunteer duties include serving meals, sorting donations, office work and serving as drivers, mentors, job coaches and tutors. Volunteer opportunities are available throughout the year, so contact the mission for specific information and openings.

Contact: Glenn Compton, glennc@boiserm.org

Website: boiserm.org

Phone: 208-639-3297


Boise River Volunteers

Boise might not be the sought-after high desert city it is were it not for the Boise River running through town; and the river might not be what it is without the Boise River Volunteers.

The group works to clean trash from the river throughout the floating season, as well as come to the aid of many a troubled rafter or tuber. Boise River Volunteers holds weekly cleanup floats down the most popular section of the river throughout the summer floating season.

Anyone interested in joining the cleanup crew can contact the group through its website.

Contact: Chris Crawford

Website: riverhelpers.com


Boise Schools Community Education

Life experience is a grand thing, especially when you can share your knowledge with others. The Boise Schools Community Education program has helped valley residents keep learning for more than 40 years by offering a wide variety of evening classes and lectures at area schools.

The popular program includes a vast array of subjects, including technology, languages, cooking, art, fitness, travel, photography, crafts and more. All classes are taught by volunteers, who come up with the subject of their classes and arrange them around their own schedules.

Visit the website for applications.

Contact: communityed@boiseschools. org

Website: boiselearns.org

Phone: 208-854-4047


Boise WaterShed

It can be hard to imagine a wastewater treatment facility as an educational and enriching experience, but only if you haven't been to Boise WaterShed, where staff and volunteers work to educate the public about the importance of conservation and nature.

Adult volunteers are needed to help run the numerous group field trips for students who come to check out the interactive programs at WaterShed, as well as help during the facility's numerous public events. Teens are invited to join the Green Teen Program, during which they spend an entire summer working on indoor and outdoor conservation programs.

WaterShed staff is also running educational programs at the new Hyatt Wetlands park near the corner of Maple Grove Road and Chinden Boulevard. Volunteers are needed to help with field trips and group tours.

Contact: Cindy Busche,boisewatershed@cityofboise.org

Website: boiseenvironmentaleducation.org

Phone: 208-608-7300


Boys and Girls Club

It's all about looking out for the kids at the Boys and Girls clubs in Ada County--as it should be. The clubs offer a place where kids can hang out, participate in activities, play sports or games, or do homework.

Adult volunteers are needed to help the nonprofit by leading field trips, assisting with lunch and snack times and giving a little one-on-one time to club members. Volunteers are particularly needed to help with homework.

Volunteer orientation takes place every Wednesday at 6 p.m. at both the Garden City and Meridian locations, but contact each club to find out its specific needs. Volunteers can get an application form online.

Contact: theclub@adaclubs.org

Website: adaclubs.org

Phone: Garden City club, 208-639-3170; Meridian club, 208-954-5030.


Capital City Public Market

While the downtown farmers market is in the middle of some big changes this year, it still needs volunteers to help the local food-art-etc. extravaganza running smoothly.

Volunteers are needed for everything from manning the information and veggie valet booth to helping process EBT and credit card transactions. Time commitment and skills required vary, so check out the website for more info.

Contact: friendatthemarket@gmail.com

Website: seeyouatthemarket.com


Children's Home Society of Idaho

The Children's Home is dedicated to providing counseling and therapy for children who have been through some serious challenges. No child is ever turned away, regardless of his or her family's ability to pay.

Volunteers are needed for specific projects throughout the year, including helping at the Race to Robie Creek and with the City Santa program each December. This June, the organization will be the beneficiary of the Tips for Charity program at Alive After Five. Each Wednesday throughout the month, 15-20 volunteers are needed to run the beverage booth at the night concert series. Proceeds will go to the Children's Home Society.

Visit the website for more information, as well as additional volunteer needs throughout the year.

Contact: Joanne Taylor,jtaylor@childrenshomesociety.com

Website: childrenshomesociety.com

Phone: 208-343-7813, Ext. 1510


City of Boise Parks and Recreation

In times of dwindling budgets, volunteers have become even more important to the Department of Parks and Recreation. In fact, they rack up tens of thousands of hours of labor.

The department is always in search of people who are willing to get their hands dirty--and maybe even break a sweat--with projects like weeding, planting and building picnic tables. Volunteers can take part in the Adopt-a-Park program to help maintain their favorite parks, or the Boise in Bloom program, in which they take responsibility for a park flowerbed throughout the year.

There are also a couple of big community projects each year, including cleanup days along the Boise River and in the Foothills, as well as the Rake Our Parks event in the fall. Volunteers are always needed to help with youth programs at the city's neighborhood centers, as well as with the Adventure Program, which helps disabled residents get involved in outdoor recreation.

Check the website for specific volunteer opportunities.

Contact: Jerry Pugh,

jpugh@cityofboise.org

Website: cityofboise.org/Departments/Parks

Phone: 208-608-7617


Community Cakes

Everyone needs a cake now and then, and Community Cakes makes sure everyone gets that special treat by baking cakes for patients in area hospices and elder-care facilities, as well as for local foster kids.

Community Cakes (formerly known as Angel Cakes) is a group of volunteer bakers who make birthday cakes for those who might not get one otherwise, as well as supporting events like National Adoption Day, Valentines for Vets and baking monthly at the Boise Ronald McDonald House.

Volunteers are asked to bake and deliver one cake per month. Anyone interested in joining the baking army can fill out a volunteer application online. After submitting the application, a recruitment officer will call to set up a time for a home visit and orientation.

Website: communitycakes.com


The Community Center

For the past 30 years, The Community Center has provided an outlet for Idaho's LGBT community. Volunteers are always welcome to help staff the center and maintain the database, which serves as a statewide resource for the LGBT community. The Community Center also needs volunteers to help with its work at the June Pride Festival.

Contact: Rick Ramos,

info@tccidaho.org

Website: tccidaho.org

Phone: 208-336-3870


Create Common Good

Create Common Good helps refugees get on their feet once those feet hit the ground in Boise, helping them find jobs and learn new skills, as well as opportunities to work on a small, local farm growing vegetables that are sold to support the organization.

Workers are needed to help on the farm, as well as to staff the group's farm stand. There's even a drop-in farm work day every Thursday morning throughout the growing season. Would-be volunteers need to fill out an application before they start working, but more information is available online.

Contact: Neva Geisler,neva@createcommongood.org

Website: createcommongood.org

Phone: 208-991-3799


Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge

If flora and the fauna are your thing, it's hard to find a better place to focus your energy than the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge. Migratory birds and wildlife all head to the refuge along the shores of Lake Lowell south of Nampa, and volunteers help staff do everything from getting rid of invasive plant species to leading school field trips and educational programs.

Volunteers can also help with regular wildlife surveys conducted at the refuge, as well as working in the visitors center.

Anyone interested in pitching in--whether as an individual or a group--can start by filling out a volunteer application online or at the refuge headquarters.

Contact: Heidi Fencik,deerflat@fws.gov

Website: deerflat.fws.gov

Phone: 208-467-9278


Eagle Bike Park

The Eagle Bike Park has become a favorite of mountain bikers who like to escape to the trails in the Foothills bordering Eagle. All those trails are the result of a whole lot of volunteer hours spent both creating and maintaining them. And with big plans for the area comes the continuing need for volunteers to put their backs where their wheels are and help with trails. To get on the volunteer list, check out the website.

Contact: Boise Area Mountain Bike Association, bamba.imba@gmail.com

Website: eaglebikepark.org


Family Advocates

Family Advocates is the safety net for at-risk families in the Treasure Valley, as well as watching out for foster children, but it needs numerous volunteers to help its many efforts.

The organization needs people willing to work as court-appointed special advocates. CASA program volunteers represent the interests of foster children in all court cases, trying to ensure that the needs of the children take the forefront. A legal background is not required, but a significant time commitment is: Volunteers must undergo a 30-hour training course then dedicate at least 10 hours a month to the work, which includes meeting with children, doing background research and making official recommendations to the court.

The organization also needs volunteers for its Home Visitor program, which provides in-home visits for new or struggling parents.

If your time is more limited, Family Advocates always needs help with basic office duties, as well as volunteers for two major fundraising events.

All volunteers must submit to a background check and fingerprinting, which costs $40. Anyone interested can start by filling out an application form, available on the website.

Contact: Brad Talbutt,information@familyadvocate.org

Website: familyadvocate.org

Phone: 208-345-3344


Foothills Learning Center

The Foothills Learning Center is focused on celebrating not only the wonder of the Foothills, but the environment as a whole with educational programs and classes for families and children.

Volunteers of all ages are needed to help with those public programs, doing everything from helping with educational events to teaching workshops to working in the native plant garden. The Learning Center's popular Second Saturday is also a great opportunity for volunteers to get involved. Any positions that work directly with children require a background check.

Log on to the website to download a volunteer application.

Contact: Kristin Lundstrom,klundstrum@cityofboise.org

Website: bee.cityofboise.org/foothills

Phone: 208-493-2535


Friends in Action

We all need a helping hand every now and then, and that seems particularly true as we get older. Friends in Action matches volunteers with seniors who need a little help staying independent and living in their own homes. Volunteers do everything from giving rides to medical appointments, grocery shopping, yard work, housekeeping, minor repairs or just stopping by for a visit.

Volunteers must fill out an application and undergo a background check.

Contact: Melissa Radloff

Website: fiaboise.org

Phone: 208-333-1363


Giraffe Laugh Early Learning Centers

Giraffe Laugh is a nonprofit that helps provide child care, regardless of a family's ability to pay. The center also works with the Marian Pritchett School, allowing teen mothers to continue their education while their children are cared for.

Volunteers help with everything from rocking babies to organizing the group's fundraisingers. The group also needs help performing various tasks around the center, including reading to children, cleaning classrooms, working in the gardens of its various locations and transporting materials between sites.

The crew at Giraffe Laugh has an online system allowing volunteers to create user profiles and view all the available opportunities. To check it out, or to create your profile, visit giraffelaugh.org. All positions that work directly with children require background checks.

Contact: Amber Murray,amber@giraffelaugh.org

Website: giraffelaugh.org

Phone: 208-424-3387


Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity puts a lot of elbow grease into its efforts helping Treasure Valley families in need create a place to call home. Volunteers are at the heart of the program, which builds affordable housing for qualified families who are willing to put sweat equity into the construction.

Volunteers not only help construct the homes, but pitch in at the ReStore, where donated construction materials are sold to help support the organization. Volunteers also serve on committees, as well as work as family partners with the families selected for the program.

Contact: Construction, Sarah Waltman; Habitat ReStore, Tod Wingfield;info@hfhboise.org

Website: hfhboise.org

Phone: Construction, 208-331-2916, Ext. 315; ReStore, 208-375-5256


Idaho Botanical Garden

From concerts and wine tastings to gardening classes and massive holiday light displays, Idaho Botanical Garden has grown (pun intended) into a hub of the community.

Volunteers are a key part of the machine that keeps the garden humming, doing everything from working and planting in the garden to providing guided tours of the garden to helping with all sorts of events, classes and gatherings. Volunteers even lend a hand with the popular summer concert series, outdoor movies and festivals.

Anyone interested in volunteering must fill out an application, available online and at the garden office.

Contact: Karen Christeson,karen@idahobotanicalgarden.org

Website: idahobotanicalgarden.org

Phone: 208-343-8649


Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence

With such a heavy mission, this organization needs some extra hands doing the lifting. Help with office work and research projects, as well as helping with outreach efforts, is always welcome.

To learn more about the nonprofit's work preventing domestic abuse, stalking and sexual assault, as well as volunteer info, visit the website.

Contact: Keziah Sullivan, keziah@engagingvoices.org,

Website: engagingvoices.org

Phone: 208-384-0419, Ext. 315


Idaho FoodBank

In recent years, the Idaho Foodbank has been an ever more crucial part of the community, helping keep Idahoans from going hungry. But that massive effort requires help from a whole lot of volunteers who contribute at nearly every phase of the operation.

Volunteers are particularly needed to sort and repackage food donations. Help is also welcome in the warehouse. There are service opportunities for groups and families, depending on the project, and foodbank staff is willing to work with organizations to host their own food donation drives.

Worker bees are needed with the Picnic in the Park summer program, which helps make sure children have a good lunch when schools are on summer break.

Organizers are currently focusing on gathering the roughly 300 volunteers it takes to staff post office locations across the valley for the National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive on Saturday, May 11.

Contact: Cathe Scott,volunteerservices@idahofoodbank.org

Website: idahofoodbank.org

Phone: 208-577-2720


Idaho Historical Society

With Idaho celebrating its 150th territorial anniversary, state history is getting a lot of attention this year. But the Idaho Historical Society is always looking for buffs of bygone days to help at any of the society's facilities.

IHS maintains not only the State Historical Museum, but the Old Idaho Penitentiary and the State Historical Library. Volunteers can assist educational programs and work with the historic collections and exhibits at the museum, or donate some time with the archives at the library. But those who like their history with just a touch of the macabre can focus their efforts on the penitentiary, where volunteers lead tours of the facility.

Anyone interested can check the Historical Society's website for information and an application.

Website: history.idaho.gov

Phone: Idaho State Historical Museum, 208-334-2120; Idaho Historical Society, 208-334-2682; Old Idaho Penitentiary, 208-334-2844


Idaho Humane Society

Everyone deserves a loving home, and the Idaho Humane Society is dedicated to making sure our four-legged friends have homes, too. The nonprofit has to stretch its budget to make sure that happens, and volunteers are key to that mission.

Volunteers are needed for a range of activities, from walking, bathing and grooming dogs, to playing with the cats. Helpers can also serve as adoption assistants, answering questions and matching people with prospective pets, as well as doing community outreach work.

If you'd rather work outdoors, the grounds of the facility always need maintenance, making sure the animals have as nice of a home as possible until they are adopted. Visit the website to fill out a volunteer application before signing up for an orientation. There is a $10 orientation fee and some positions require animal handling classes.

Contact: Melanie Larson,volunteer@idahohumanesociety.org

Website: idahohumanesociety.org

Phone: 208-331-8553


Idaho Shakespeare Festival - DKM PHOTOGRAPHY
  • DKM Photography
  • Idaho Shakespeare Festival

Idaho Shakespeare Festival

When it comes to volunteer opportunities, it's hard to get more popular than working at Idaho Shakespeare Festival. In fact, volunteer openings for the 2013 summer season are already full.

It's an all-out competition for the chance to spend an evening in the outdoor amphitheater, catching a free show. Of course, the real cost of admission is helping take tickets, handing out programs, ushering and picking up trash at intermission and after the performance.

So, why would we tell you about a volunteer program that's filled up? Because ISF has a waiting list for volunteers willing to step in at the last minute if someone can't make their assigned night. It might be a long shot, but at least it's a shot.

Contact: Chandra Woodward,chandra@idahoshakespeare.org

Website: idahoshakespeare.org

Phone: 208-336-9221


Idaho State Capitol Tours

Even when the Legislature isn't in session, the Idaho State Capitol is still a fascinating place. Volunteers serve as guides of the historic building throughout the year. Scripts and training are provided for the hour-long tours.

Contact: capitoltours@lso.idaho.gov

Phone: 208-332-1012


Idaho Youth Ranch

Idaho Youth Ranch is more than a chain of thrift stores. The Youth Ranch runs programs that help kids who are on dangerous paths, including shelter homes and through an actual ranch program near Rupert.

The nonprofit needs volunteers for a variety of jobs, including working in the retail stores, fixing up the shelter homes, fundraising, working on special projects and serving as mentors to kids in the program.

All volunteers must undergo a background check, and applications are available from the volunteer coordinator.

Contact: Leslie Marston,

volunteers@youthranch.org

Website: youthranch.org

Phone: 208-377-2613, Ext. 3140


Interfaith Sanctuary

As Boise's main homeless shelter, Interfaith Sanctuary is constantly trying to balance the needs of a growing homeless population with resources, something it couldn't do without volunteers.

Volunteers perform a variety of duties at the shelter, but are especially needed to fill nightly shifts checking in people staying at the shelter and getting them settled, as well as serving food. Workers are also needed to help clean in the morning, and organize activities, programs and group volunteer efforts. Applications are available online. Staff will contact potential volunteers after submission.

Website: interfaithsanctuary.org

Phone: 208-343-2630


International Rescue Committee

Arriving in Boise as a refugee can be overwhelming for those who are suddenly living in the middle of an unfamiliar culture. But the folks at the IRC are there to help with the transition, supporting refugees and their families for their first eight months in the United States with things like job placement, housing, English classes and various programs.

IRC is always in need of help with everything from clerical duties to working directly with refugees as mentors. Opportunities are available to work one-on-one with refugees in jobs classes, helping with resumes and interviewing skills, as well as helping with the IRC's women's program, which teaches life skills to high-risk women.

Anyone interested in working with the group should start by filling out an application. A background check is required, and IRC staff will work with volunteers to find a position that works with their time constraints and skills.

Contact: Shannon Davis-Jones,shannon.davis-jones@rescue.org

Website: rescue.org/us-program/us-boise-id

Phone: 208-344-1792, Ext. 20


Peregrine Fund World Center for Birds of Prey

Idaho is renowned for its wild places and wild creatures, and The World Center for Birds of Prey is dedicated to keeping it wild. The organization is a centerpiece for raptor conservation, with an array of educational opportunities that go hand in hand with its recovery work.

While it enjoys an international reputation for its work, the center still needs the help of volunteers: namely, as tour guides and Interpretive center ambassadors, who staff the gift shop and greet visitors. Volunteers are also in demand to help guide school field trips.

No prior experience with birds or retail is required, but volunteers do need to fill out an application online and go through both orientation and training. Background checks are required for some positions.

Contact: Genny Gerke,

ggerke@peregrinefund.org

Website: peregrinefund.org

Phone: 208-362-8257


Public Library

It seems like public libraries have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent years, reclaiming their prominent roles as places not only to find a book or video, but as community hubs where people go to access the Internet, catch lectures or take part in family friendly activities.

But in an era of tight budgets, volunteers are even more important. Public libraries across the Treasure Valley need people to help prepare and shelve books, handle donations for annual book sales, organize public events and put on summer reading programs.

The Boise Public Library has need for volunteers at each of its branch libraries across the city. The library bases its volunteer effort on its website, which posts opportunities as they become available. Would-be volunteers are asked to fill out an online form and be ready to undergo a background check.

Volunteers are also needed with Friends of the Boise Library, which puts on used book sale fundraisers and runs the bookstore.

Website: Boise, boisepubliclibrary.org;Garden City, notaquietlibrary.org

Phone: Boise, 208-384-4076; Garden City, 208-472-2941; Friends of the Boise Library, 208-384-4198


Ridge to Rivers

Boise has won national accolades for its quality of life, and a key component of that is the extensive trail system crisscrossing the Foothills. But it takes more than top 10 lists to keep the Ridge to Rivers trails in top shape. Luckily, there seems to be no shortage of volunteers willing to step up and break a sweat in the name of their favorite trail system.

In fact, there's a waiting list for those who want to help maintain and expand one of Boise's most popular attractions. Opportunities to work on the trails depend on the project, but usually involve trail construction. The best chance to work on a trail is during specific large-scale projects. Watch the website for new opportunities.

Contact: David Gordon,dgordon@cityofboise.org

Website: ridgetorivers.cityofboise.org

Phone: 208-493-2531


Special Olympics Idaho

Special Olympics Idaho has a big job organizing competitions for Idaho athletes, but it's a job made far easier with the help of people willing to donate their time.

There are service opportunities year-round, with enough variety to match just about anyone's time constraints and interests. Jobs include serving as coaches and mentors, helping with the logistics at events, fundraising, serving as medical staff at events and acting as management and sports management team members.

The first step to volunteering is to fill out an online application form. Anyone who wants to work closely with athletes will have to submit to a background check.

Contact: Matt Caropino,

matt@idso.org

Website: idso.org

Phone: 208-323-0482 or 1-800-915-6510


Stage Coach Theatre

There's more to putting on a play than what audiences see on the stage. Stage Coach Theatre--one of Boise's longest-running community theaters--welcomes backstage helpers willing to lend a hand with costuming, creating sets or any number of duties.

The company also needs front-of-the-house staff, including the customer service side of the arts, by selling concessions, cleaning, stocking supplies, ushering, taking tickets and other assorted duties. Ages 12 and older are welcome (as long as minors are accompanied by an adult).

Contact: Kim Librum,stagecoachtheatre@gmail.com

Website: stagecoachtheatre.com

Phone: 208-342-2000

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Tree Stewards

Maintaining the trees in the City of Trees is no small task. That's why Boise's Community Forestry crew needs help to keep the trees that fill the city's right-of-ways and parks healthy and maintained.

Tree stewards join city crews one morning a week to help prune public trees. But joining the pruning brigade takes some planning: Volunteers must complete a series of tree-care classes held in late February and early March in order to be certified to be a steward, so it's never too early to plan ahead.

Contact: Ryan Rodgers

Website: cityofboise.org/forestry

Phone: 208-608-7700


TRICA

The Treasure Valley Institute for Children's Art is doing everything it can to make sure kids across the valley have access to an array of arts programs. The nonprofit never turns away any child because his or her family can't afford tuition.

TRICA depends heavily on volunteers, who do everything from helping put on the multitude of events the organization is involved with to helping fix up the old Immanuel Methodist Episcopal Church in Boise's North End--a years-long effort to make the former house of worship its permanent home. The organization hosts work days, as well as efforts with individual groups focused on specific projects, both on the interior of the building and the grounds.

Volunteers are also focused on helping with fundraising for the nonprofit's capital campaign so TRICA can eventually move all of its services to the church. For more information on specific volunteer projects, contact TRICA.

Contact: info@trica.org

Website: trica.org

Phone: 208-344-2220


United Way of Idaho

So you want to volunteer somewhere, doing something, but you're really not sure where or what--don't let your indecision scare you. The crew at United Way of Idaho works to match volunteers with organizations spanning a broad spectrum of needs and interests. United Way also hosts numerous groups of its own, offering ways for people to get involved in the community with various levels of commitment.

The organization has partners in education, youth, health and finance, and it serves as a clearinghouse for volunteer work. It works with individuals, as well as sets up projects for groups, companies and schools. The best way to get started is to create a user profile online.

United Way also facilitates several service groups. The Junior Service Club is for junior high school students and offers a hands-on, yearlong project driven by students. High school students can join the Youth Venture program, a similar group that has numerous projects.

Adults who want to get more involved can join LEAP, which is focused on specific issues and works to engage more members of the community.

Volunteering for some projects requires a background check.

Contact: Mary Edwards,medwards@unitedwaytv.org

Website: unitedwaytv.org

Phone: 208-336-1070, Ext. 128


Valley Regional Transportation

It can be difficult for seniors and the disabled to get out and about to run errands, but the GoRide Volunteer Driver Service is designed to help those who can't get out on their own. Volunteers give rides to those who need to go to the doctor, pharmacy, grocery store or on other errands.

Volunteer drivers are reimbursed for the miles they drive and time commitments vary. All volunteers must go through a background check, as well as a defensive driving class and have insurance. Contact: David Pederson, dpederson@valleyregionaltransit.org

Website: valleyregionaltransit.org

Phone: 208-345-7433


Veterans Affairs Medical Center

In order to provide the best care possible for our military veterans, the Boise VA works with hundreds of volunteers each year in a variety of jobs.

Volunteers are particularly needed to drive a van used to transport patients in Canyon County to the Community Based Outreach Clinic. Help doing clerical duties is also a priority, but jobs range from stocking shelves, serving as couriers and visiting patients in the hospital.

Anyone interested should call the volunteer office to pick up an orientation packet. Background check required.

Contact: Sharon Clark,

sharon.clark@va.gov

Website: boise.va.gov

Phone: 208-422-1176


Women's and Children's Alliance

The Women's and Children's Alliance has been fighting domestic abuse for more than 20 years, helping women, men, children and families who have faced domestic violence or sexual assault. The nonprofit organization has need of volunteers for an array of jobs, from clerical work to staffing in the crisis shelter, manning the hot lines and helping with special events.

WCA is also looking for workers at its thrift store, as well as people to join the Ambassador Program, which deals with community outreach.

Anyone interested in volunteering can start by visiting the WCA's website, where they can check out current needs, fill out an application and schedule a tour of the facility.

Contact: Tami Fisher,

tfisher@wcaboise.org

Website: wcaboise.org

Phone: 208-343-3688, Ext. 41


Zoo Boise

Zoo Boise is continually growing, becoming an even more popular community hub. In fact, volunteering at the zoo can be extremely competitive.

To focus its efforts, the zoo hosts volunteer interviews twice a year, with training sessions scheduled in May and September. Anyone looking to land a summer volunteer slot needs to have an application in ASAP, since interviewing will only be done through April.

Volunteers are needed to work as Conservation Cruise boat drivers, captaining a boat across the zoo's lagoon. Zoo Naturalist volunteers are also needed to work in the educational aspects of the zoo, including the giraffe feeding station, Wallaby Walkout exhibit, the butterfly exhibit, Zoo Farm, Sloth Bear Encounter and at education stations where visitors are introduced to the animals.

Volunteers must commit to at least four hours per week, pay $35 for a manual and uniform shirt and have a negative TB test each year. Conservation Cruise driver positions include a background check.

You can start the process by filling out an application available on the zoo's website, or call or email for more information.

Contact: Tracy Bryan,zoovolunteer@cityofboise.org

Website: zooboise.org

Phone: 208-384-4125, Ext. 206 :

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