Volunteer Opportunities


ServeGR.com is a local website that connects people to ongoing volunteer opportunities that play to their strengths, use their passions, and fit their schedule—all within the greater Grand Rapids area. Maybe you like to work behind the scenes, or would rather work with people. Perhaps you're passionate about women's issues or immigration or the arts. Or your schedule is such that you can only volunteer on weekends or during the day. The opportunities you'll find on ServeGR.com are ongoing and will help you answer "Is this the right fit for me?" with details that walk you from your first question through your first shift. All along the way, site coordinator Heather Colletto is available to assist you in finding a good fit!

Grand Rapids and Michigan BLUE Magazines

Julienne Williams, a writer for the Grand Rapids magazine and the Michigan BLUE magazine, is currently doing research for an article focused on people who make things from things that wash up on the shores of Lake Michigan - such as jewelry, garden stepping stones, wind chimes, etc, made from sea glass or stones, items made from drift wood, items made from found Petoskey stones... she is especially interested in talking to people who make and sell such items.

If you or someone you know can help, contact Julienne Williams at williaju@gvsu.edu.

Senior Leadership Grand Rapids

Senior Leadership Grand Rapids (SLGR) was formed over 25 years ago and was affiliated with Leadership Grand Rapids and the Chamber of Commerce. SLGR separated and became associated with GRCC's Older Learner Center for several years and is now hosted by the Area Agency on Aging.

SLGR organizes events that assist older adults to recognize their talents and skills and find purposeful activities to enhance their lives and communities.

To that end, we sponsor a volunteer resource fair each year and provide training opportunities. Our 2016 fair was held in September with over 40 non-profit agencies participating at the public museum location. These agencies are looking for older adult volunteers. We will hold a training session next May to help seniors find direction and purpose through volunteering.

We are looking for a few more people to serve on our leadership team of twenty. The time commitment is minimal - we meet the third Thursday of each month from 9 to 10:30 - and members are expected to serve on at least one committee and help at events.

For more information please contact Ginger Randall at randallg@gvsu.edu

KCTCC: Become a Volunteer Tax Preparer

Every year millions of dollars in tax refunds and credits go unclaimed by those who need them the most. Through 17 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites throughout our community, the Kent County Tax Credit Coalition helps working individuals and families achieve economic success through free tax services and financial literacy courses. 

Be a part of this great work by becoming a volunteer tax preparer!

  • Learn a new skill and become certified by the IRS.
  • No experience necessary.
  • Short-term commitment. 
  • We will train you in basic tax law and the IRS will certify you for free! 

Learn more about KCTCC and sign-up!

Tax Preparer

New program in the making:  Challenge Scholars Program on the west side of Grand Rapids

Two areas of interest for GVSU retiree volunteers:

  • Working with GVSU’s Tim Marroquin, TRIO Educational Talent Search, at Union High School to support interest in higher education and help parents and students who are first generation college-bound to understand simple things that they need to know about how to get into GRCC or GVSU or other schools and how to be successful
  • Adopting a teacher in an elementary school to support them and their students as they work to instill a college-going culture in the school

This program is in the development stages.  If you are interested in more information contact Jane Royer from Encore at jroyer@grfoundation.org

Cub Scout Pack #3129 is looking for volunteers to help. They meet on Fridays from 6 pm - 7 pm at Sherwood Park Global Studies Academy - Chamberlain Ave SE (off of Kalamazoo SE).

Contact - Derek at moorederek@yahoo.com for more information or to sign up.


Encore inspires individuals to establish "encore" opportunities (paid and unpaid) for people to use their passion, skills, and experience in the second half of life to build a better community. For more information, visit this Encore link.

Schools of Hope Tutoring Program

Children who don't read will become adults who do not succeed! The Schools of Hope mission is to ensure that children in the Grand Rapids Public Schools have access to caring adults to assist them with reading support and enrichment. Schools of Hope, in partnership with GVSU, provides trained volunteers for reading intervention in the Grand Rapids Public School district, with a focus on grades 1-3. All volunteers must attend a mandatory two hour training session and undergo a Michigan State Police background check.  For training information please visit www.hwmuw.org or contact Ruth Stegeman at stegemar@gvsu.edu .  Reading tutors are accepted all year long.

Heart of West Michigan United Way

Heart of West Michigan United Way Volunteer Center invites you to join us during your retirement years.

Share your special talents and experiences with your community.
Meet new people, and learn new skills. Ask us about our exciting new program that engages volunteers age 50+ in addressing our community’s social issues.

Get more information by selecting the United Way Volunteer Center here!


GVSU Office of Sustainability Practices

The Office of Sustainability Practices has volunteer opportunities for retirees.  The Zero Waste football games and other events as well (ArtPrize, etc) provide opportunities for you to become involved with sustainability. This is not a glamorous volunteer opportunity.  With the zero waste initiatives we are often sorting trash, compost, recycling, etc. so it can get pretty messy sometimes. However, if you like to get your hands dirty and you believe in sustainability, this may be an opportunity for you.  If you’re interested contact:

Mandy Rodgers
Graduate Assistant
Office of Sustainability Practices
Lake Michigan Hall 260 | Grand Valley State University
Phone 616.331.7366 | Fax 616.331.8685

Photo of retiree

Volunteer. It feels good!

GVSU Standard Patient Program

The GVSU Standard Patient Program is looking for people interested in working with nursing, health sciences and social work students. These are paid positions, usually around $15.00 per hour.  If you are interested in participating please contact:

Cindy Bartman
Standardized Patient Program Coordinator bartmanc@gvsu.edu 

Page last modified August 14, 2018