August 13

Volunteering in South Lake Union

Lend a helping hand to neighborhood nonprofits this summer.

South Lake Union is home to several organizations that support worthy causes. Many of these organizations had to put in-person volunteering on pause during the COVID-19 pandemic, but as the vaccine rate has risen in Seattle, some nonprofits have opportunities for those who are interested in helping.

  • Immanuel Community Services’ mission is to alleviate the effects of poverty, hunger, homelessness, and addiction by providing community-based social services to those in need. The organization has an urgent need for volunteers at its weekly food bank, which is open from 10am to 1pm. Typical shifts are from 9am to 2pm. ICS has stringent COVID safety measures in place to help protect volunteers, guests, and staff. To volunteer at the food bank, email [email protected] for details. Additional volunteer opportunities are available, but evolving COVID guidelines may change offerings. Read more about volunteering at Immanuel Community Services.

Masked volunteers sorting food donations at a shelter.

  • FareStart uses food, life skills, and innovative job training to help break the cycle of poverty. The nonprofit’s recruitment of volunteers is ongoing but has been limited during the COVID-19 pandemic. Opportunities have included delivering meals to graduates, making masks, conducting virtual mock interviews, and writing notes to meal recipients. FareStart is currently recruiting for student meal delivery drivers and volunteers to help with harvesting and gleaning at local farms and farmers markets. Read more about volunteering at FareStart.
  • Mary’s Place provides safe, inclusive shelter and services that support women, children, and families on their journey out of homelessness. The nonprofit relies on individual and corporate volunteers to assist with its many programs. Limited in-person opportunities include kitchen, shelter, and kids support. Mary’s Place has put together plenty of virtual opportunities to give back, too. This includes kit building (think kid’s snack packs, cold care, welcome home baskets, and more), meal sponsorship, and skill sharing. Read more about volunteering at Mary’s Place.

Mary's Place volunteers holding welcome packages for families.

Looking for more causes to help in the neighborhood? Check out the SLU Chamber’s directory, which includes an extensive list of nonprofits in the area.

Story by Ethan Chung & photographs courtesy of Immanuel Community Services & Mary's Place.

At The Center

SLU is the geographical center of Seattle