Places to Volunteer in Tulsa
Updated: Feb 5, 2020
Websites to Help You Find Volunteer Opportunities
Tulsa is an upbeat city with philanthropic residents who are passionate about building a flourishing community. The generosity and creativity of the city’s dwellers are evident in the hundreds of non-profit organizations that aim to improve life in Tulsa in various capacities. Whether you are interested in serving in homeless shelters, mentoring programs, pet care, or environmental campaigns, engaging in the community is an enriching experience.
Finding a place to serve can be a daunting task for there is a myriad of non-profits. Although there is an abundance of charities that need volunteers not all of them will necessarily fit your area of interest. Fortunately, there are multiple websites that allow you to determine what volunteering opportunity suits your desires.
One volunteering database you can explore is called VolunteerMatch.org. By simply typing in your zip code, you will find a diverse range of places you can serve. The tabs that allow you to specify what activity you would like to be involved in whether it is “Children and Youth” or “Arts and Culture” are extremely helpful in connecting the individual to a specific project. VolunteerMatch is simple to use and attracts 1.3 million visitors each month--it’s helped connect over 14 million people to non-profits around America.
Idealist.org is another website that connects users with volunteer opportunities once they specify their skills, interests, and location. If you are interested in catapulting a career in nonprofit, work the Idealist website is an effective resource for finding available jobs or internships.
Another useful volunteering database is the Tulsa Area United Way. Unlike VolunteerMatch and Idealist, this website is tailored specifically for nonprofits within the city. The core value of the Tulsa Area United Way is to "advance common good by focusing on the three building blocks of a better quality of life - education, health/safety, and financial stability." This is achieved by recruiting volunteers of various passions and areas of expertise, then linking them to non-profits they can support. Furthermore, this organization allows individuals to financially support charities around Tulsa.
Areas of Interest
In the journey of finding what volunteer position suits your desires, it is essential to pinpoint your area of interest. Below are a list of areas of interest and potential volunteering opportunities in Tulsa.
Build a community by serving some of Tulsa’s most vulnerable communities through multiple outreach opportunities. Meals on Wheels is a non-profit that provides nutritious meals to the homeless on weekdays from 8 am to 11 am. By serving with this organization, you will not only be delivering a meal, but having friendly conversations and uplifting those in need.
Perhaps you are more interested in serving the Tulsa community through education. Reading Partners is the optimal opportunity for you! By applying online and attending an orientation you will be paired with a student who is struggling with reading. Dedicating one hour each week to sit with your student and go through a structured curriculum you will teach a child the importance of literacy as well as build a friendship.
Tulsa not only has a myriad of churches, but also has numerous charities. John 3:16 Mission is a ministry that has been serving the city's at-risk communities through food drives, counseling services, and clothes distribution since 1952. Join the team by serving in multiple sectors that include men's, women's, family, children's and youth's ministry. Apart from John 3:16 Mission, you can explore other nonprofits such as the Salvation Army and Catholic Charities of Eastern Oklahoma.
If you would like to have an impact on local youth, 100 Black Men of Tulsa is an organization you can join to pursue their mission "to improve the quality of life within our communities and enhance educational and economic opportunities for all African Americans." You can also mentor entrepreneurs and small business owners through organizations like Score Tulsa, 36 Degrees North and The Forge.
Health & Medicine
If you’re interested in promoting wellness, consider volunteering at the Saint Francis Health System. Out of the goodness of your heart, you can join a community of 800 volunteers to enhance the hospital experience of patients. It’s not necessary to be experienced in the health sector because all volunteer activities are supervised. Apart from being an integral part of the hospital's daily operations, you can also participate in fundraising initiatives for various projects such as purchasing high-tech medical equipment and intensive care ambulances.
Arts & Culture
You can appreciate this city's past by serving in various arts and culture organizations. Become a guardian at Tulsa Historical Society and Museum by volunteering to collect, preserve and present the city's history. You could serve as a greeter at the society's events, develop programs to educate the public about Tulsa's past or conduct oral history interviews. The society provides ongoing training and educational opportunity to fully immerse you in the city's history. You must be at least 18 and be able to work one three-hour shift each month if you want to volunteer at the Tulsa Historical Society.
Guthrie Green, a lush park in downtown Tulsa, offers city-dwellers countless opportunities to engage with one another. Movie Nights on the lawn, Sunday concerts, and free fitness classes are some of the popular events that make Guthrie Green “where Tulsa comes together.” Although attending the festivals and concerts held on the Green are entertaining, it is more satisfying to get involved in the behind-the-scenes work of putting together these fun events. Volunteer opportunities are posted on the park's website.
Tulsa’s performance arts scene is alive and thriving. If you are interested in helping a stunning production come together, then perhaps volunteering at the Tulsa Ballet will be the right fit for you. Once you complete the volunteer application available on the website, you can serve backstage, work with children during outreach programs, or assist in sales of merchandise. Apart from Tulsa Ballet, there are volunteers needed at the Tulsa Symphony all year round. Email email@example.com to see if you could be a part of the orchestra’s marketing, hospitality, or education team.
Animals & Nature
Are you an animal lover? Or perhaps you have a green thumb? There are multiple opportunities for nature enthusiasts to serve in Tulsa. At the Tulsa Zoo, you could volunteer as a tour guide or docent. If you want to be a one-time volunteer there is a chance for you to serve as Zooper Trooper at the arts and craft events, carnival games, and mini pumpkin painting. There are also opportunities for young adults from the age of 13 to 17 that are interested in animals and conservation to serve in the Zoo Teen program.
Alternatively, Tulsa SPCA, a non-profit that provides a safe transitional shelter for cats and dogs, has multiple volunteer opportunities for those interested in pet care. By visiting their website, you will find a list of ways you can serve which include being an adoption counselor, foster parent, or education ambassador. To ensure that you are equipped for the task, Tulsa SPCA offers training for volunteers that starts with a 45-minute orientation at the shelter followed by specialized training in your area of interest.
There is also a chance for you to contribute to the Tulsa Botanic Garden mission to promote the beauty of plants by volunteering at one of the six stunning gardens. To expand your knowledge of nature and interact with other like-minded people contact the Director of Programs and Events at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918.289.0330 for more details.
It feels good to do good. The smile you put on the face of the well-fed homeless, the newfound confidence of a literate child, and the beauty of a performance art production make serving the community so rewarding. Don’t hesitate to find a nonprofit that upholds your values and wholeheartedly give back to the city of Tulsa through your service.