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Giving Back: Where To Volunteer in North Texas


We love a good resolution around here, and while we’re all for exercising more, eating better or learning a new hobby, we think that this is also a great time of the year to begin the habit of giving back. Here are a handful of volunteer opportunities around Dallas from food banks and homeless shelters to animal care and more. See what your match is below.

The North Texas Food Bank has been serving North Texas for more than 35 in their mission to end hunger and provided access to 72 million meals across 13 coutnies last year alone. With that many meals going out, there is always a chance to volunteer at NTFB. Whether you want to work in their massive warehouse, help deliver meals or even become a social media ambassador, there are multiple ways to help fight hunger in North Texas.

The Bridge might be only blocks from downtown’s skyscrapers, but for the homeless Dallasites who use the shelter, it can feel a world away. Since it opened in 2008, The Bridge has been dedicated to a “one-stop” concept of helping the homeless all the way through to achieving housing. This means that volunteer opportunities include intake management, working in the library, hosting evening activities like movie night and more.

HRI of North Texas is dedicated to providing legal and support service to refugees and immigrants who are victims of humans rights abuse. Through the help of pro-bono lawyers, volunteer social workers and community helpers, HRI is able to provide this service for free. While this is a more specialized level of volunteering, the relevance of HRI’s mission has never been greater.

The new year brings over-crowded animal shelters as owners gave up pets to travel or come to realize that a puppy is more than just a cute Christmas present. At Operation Kindness, the oldest and largest no-kill shelter in North Texas, you’ll volunteer to walk dogs, change litter boxes, foster a pet and work on adoption counseling. Help these animals get into the homes they deserve.

Literacy is power. According to Readers 2 Leaders, a West Dallas literacy program, “students who don't read on grade level by third grade are four times less likely to graduate high school.” You can help R2L and its kindergarten and elementary students by donating even 30 minutes of your time for a one-on-one tutoring session to develop independent readers.

If you grew up in Dallas, then you likely remember taking field trips to the DMA with your class. Many of those tours are helmed by volunteers called docents, who go through a training process, but if the commitment is too much, the DMA also offers a host of teaching and public programs for those who are passionate about spreading their love of art to the public.