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When it comes to building social capitol, nothing is better for your soul (and your network) then identifying worthy volunteer opportunities and devoting your time to them.

For some, it may not be a matter of finding a worthy cause, but choosing one. There are a host of organizations addressing imperative causes like homelessness, education, civil liberties, and more. We’ve done the legwork and chosen 5 institutions worth your money and your time:


If recess was one of your favorite subjects in elementary school then Playworks may be the great place to volunteer.  This school-based non-profit organization focuses on play in the school environment. Students across the District get to experience physical activity and play in a new and different way.

For more information on Playworks and volunteering, check out their website.

Human Rescue Alliance

If kids and play aren’t really your thing and your heart tends to lean towards furrier friends, the Human Rescue Alliance may be the place for you.

This organization focuses on protecting animals, supports families, and advocates for positive change to create a world where all animals can thrive.  They offer volunteer opportunities for individuals, youth, and groups. There is a $25 fee to volunteer, but they do offer scholarships to those you cannot afford the fee.

For more information on Human Rescue Alliance visit their website.

D.C. Central Kitchen

D.C. Central Kitchen has been fighting hunger and poverty in the greater Washington, DC area for three decades. According to their website, they provide over 3 million meals a year for shelters, schools, and non-profits. In addition to providing meals, they also have a culinary program that helps jobless individuals find careers in restaurants. Grab a group of friends or go solo and flex your skills in the kitchen. Find a date on their calendar by visiting their website.

Reading Partners

You are academically inclined, and you want to share your knowledge with children. If this describes you, Reading Partners may be a great volunteer opportunity for you. This school-based program partners volunteers with students in low-income communities throughout the city.

Volunteers are trained to work with students who are at least six months behind their grade level in reading.  This program requires a commitment of at least one hour per week of your time. Interested in making a commitment to help a student read?

Visit their website for volunteer opportunities.

Habitat for Humanity DC

You know how to hang drywall and love home improvement projects. You can hammer a nail into wood without hitting your thumb. But seriously, whether you’re handy or not, consider lending your time to Habitat for Humanity DC.  Habitat DC has been building homes and supporting affordable housing initiatives for 30 years. Their work has built almost 160 homes for DC families.

If you want to be a part of building a family’s home and future, sign up to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity DC.