Finding the perfect fit for volunteerism

Finding the perfect fit for volunteerism
Ann Thomas, center, reacts while holding a slide in place as it is attached to the new playground at Dutterer Family Park in Westminster Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. (DAVE MUNCH/STAFF PHOTO / Carroll County Times)

Monday, in honor of the work of Martin Luther King Jr., the United States will celebrate a national Day of Service, where people enjoying a three-day weekend from work and school are invited to volunteer to help improve their community.

The Day of Service comes at a convienient time of the year, as annually one of the top 10 New Year's Resolutions, according to the University of Scranton's Journal of Clinical Psychology, is to volunteer more often.


Carroll County has a number of nonprofits working in and around the community. For those who want to get out and help in the upcoming year, the Times has gathered a list of organizations working in Carroll, divided by their focus to help you choose the organization that's right for you. To find out what volunteer opportunities are available in 2016, feel free to call or visit these organizations websites below.


Humane Society of Carroll County


Volunteers with the Humane Society provide everything from direct animal care to advocating at public events. Orientation sessions are held throughout the year for those interested in working with the animals. Options include kennel cleaning, dog walking, fundraising, transporting animals, cat cage cleaning and more.


Boys and Girls Club of Westminster


This club provides after-school activities for boys and girls in the area, sponsored and supervised by volunteers. Volunteers work directly with the youth of the club, for a minimum of one hour per week for 12 weeks. The greatest need for volunteers is during the middle-to-late afternoon hours of the school year.

Voices for Children, Carroll County



Court-appointed special advocates work with children in the juvenile court system to ensure the best outcomes from abused, neglected or abandoned children. CASA volunteers are trained by the organization and are appointed by judges to each case. Volunteers must be at least 21.

Project Linus


Project Linus, named for the "Peanuts" character, provides new handmade blankets to children in need. Volunteers create original blankets to be distributed by the organization.

Catholic Charities Head Start


Head Start provides prekindergarten preparation for low-income families, including early education, child development and intervention services. Head Start is currently searching for volunteer administrative assistants, baby rockers, chaperones, classroom assistants and data entry assistants.


Carroll County Food Sunday


Food Sunday distributes meals weekly to families in need from their locations in Westminster, Eldersburg and Taneytown. Volunteers pack, sort and organize food as well as greet and interview clients to determine the right packages for them.

Meals on Wheels


Meals on Wheels is searching for delivery drivers and visitors to present hot meals from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. There are also openings for minute squad members who fill in for regular drivers or visitors who are away. Other volunteers make phone calls with seniors or arrange social visits.


Bear Branch Nature Center


The Bear Branch Nature Center features family-friendly nature programs and activities. Volunteers lead programs and take care of the animals on site, including reptiles, insects, amphibians and birds of prey. Volunteers also help prepare programs and take care of Nature Center upkeep.

Carroll County Forest Conservancy District Board


The Forestry Board provides information on protecting the health of trees throughout the county by planting and protecting local wildlife. They are currently searching for Weed Warrior volunteers to remove non-native invasive plants from Piney Run Park. Volunteers must be at least 11 years old and undergo a two-to-four hour training session.


Access Carroll


Access Carroll provides health care and health-care services for low-income residents in the county, including primary health care, family dental care, lab testing and referrals. Volunteers aid in the clinic as well as in the office, managing community events and fundraising. Access Carroll is always searching for professional volunteers to support their medical and dental services.

Bello Machre


Bello Machre works with children and adults with developmental disabilities. The organization offers at-home support as well as lodging in the Bello Machre home. Opportunities are available for volunteers of every skill level. Bello Machre needs volunteers for yard work and one-on-one time with those being served.

Carroll Hospital Center


Volunteers of all ages are welcomed at the hospital and provide services as varied as flower delivery to personal care. Volunteers slots are available for positions 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Youth between the ages of 14 and 18 can participate in the Junior Volunteer Program, which will take place over the summer.

Change, Inc.


Change, Inc. works with individuals with developmental disabilities, helping and encouraging them to live independently. Volunteers can work directly with the clients, or help manage and maintain the facility, including setting up and clearing lunches and other clerical tasks. Volunteers must be at least 16 and available between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays.

Mosaic Community Services



Mosaic Community Services is dedicated to aiding adults with mental illnesses, providing comprehensive health services. Volunteers share their time and talents in various projects throughout the year.


Habitat for Humanity of Carroll County


Habitat for Humanity provides affordable housing for those without a place to live. Volunteers fall into two main categories, construction and clerical workers. Construction volunteers go on site to help build affordable housing, while clerical workers help plan and fundraise for each of the organization's projects.

Human Services Programs of Carroll County


HSP provides assistance for low-income Carroll residents, providing everything from advocacy, resource referral and assistance with basic needs and life skills training. Volunteers have the option of working directly with clients or behind the scenes helping the organization run smoothly.

The Shepherd's Staff


The Shepherd's Staff offers outreach programs for individuals in a time of need, including providing food, coats and school supplies to those who require them, as well as offering financial assistance and referral services. Volunteers are responsible for everything from administrative help, to building maintenance and delivery of products.


Civil Air Patrol


The Civil Air Patrol provides search and rescue functions during disasters and severe weather events. The Patrol is also responsible for aerospace educational programs.

Historical Society of Carroll County


The Historical Society of Carroll County offers a number of volunteer opportunities throughout the year. Those interested can work in the library or museum shop, or serve as gallery guides or tour leaders. For those with a limited amount of free time, they may serve as special events volunteers periodically throughout the year.

Literacy Council of Carroll County


The Literacy Council of Carroll County offers free one-on-one tutoring in the English language for adults in the county. The council is searching for tutors as well as volunteers to aid with their community events, outreach and routine office work. The council is specifically searching for individuals with experience with researching and writing grants.