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September Volunteer Opportunities in Metro Detroit

Volunteering is a great way to get to know and support a community. Whether you help clean out rivers, assist at a food pantry, coordinate an event, or fold clothes, you are helping a community thrive. Every month on the Let’s Detroit blog, we will be sharing ten volunteer opportunities in Southeast Michigan you can get involved in. Some opportunities will have specific dates and others will be more flexible. Here are upcoming volunteer opportunities in Southeast Michigan for September 2021.

Food Distribution
Help deliver pre-packed frozen meals to homebound seniors in western Wayne County and Downriver communities every Tuesday and Thursday in September with Wayne County Senior Services (WCSS). The Home Delivered Meals program runs from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and volunteers can flex their schedules as needed. The main locations WCSS needs assistance with delivering meals to are Wayne, Westland, Inkster, and Dearborn Heights. Volunteers must be 18 years or older, pre-register online, and complete a background check at no cost to them. Click here to get started.

Volunteer Information: Every Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Shifts are flexible and are at various locations.

Volunteer as a Distribution Volunteer with Elms Family and Community Services (EFCS). Assist with delivering food, household items, senior kits, infant kits, and youth educational items to members of the community, and as needed, for clients or others in need of emergency support. Deliveries happen twice monthly, and volunteers will pick up items from the main EFCS office in Clinton Township, Michigan, to deliver at distribution centers in Wayne and Macomb County. Drop-offs can be done through contact-free porch drop-offs.

The time commitment for Distribution Volunteers is approximately five to ten hours monthly. Volunteers must complete a background check at no cost to them. Sign up to volunteer here.

Volunteer Information: Twice monthly between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Item pickups occur at Elms Family and Community Services (41800 Hayes Rd. Suite 547D, Clinton Township, MI).

Help feed communities in Detroit during Alternatives for Girls and Forgotten Harvest’s Grocery Giveaway on Sept. 16. As a volunteer, you will help load food boxes into cars. Volunteers should be at least 14 years of age and able to work outdoors. Volunteers can work the entire event, come late, or leave early as necessary. To register, contact Ashley Fairbanks at afairbanks@alternativesforgirls.org.

Volunteer Information: Thursday, Sept. 16, between 9-11 a.m. at 903 W. Grand Blvd. Detroit, MI

Beautification and Restoration

Help plant flowers and shrubs at Birdwatchers Garden with the Manistique Community Treehouse Center and Detroit Audubon. The two organizations created a Birdwatchers Garden on two lots in the Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood, and after cleaning the lots up last fall, they were able to purchase a lot of plants and shrubs. Now, they need help planting them! They request you bring a shovel, trowel, and work gloves if you have them, but they are not required to participate. Click here to register.

Volunteer Information: Saturday, Sept. 11, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 244 Philip St. Detroit, MI

Help clean up a local beach and wetland area with River Raisin Institute in honor of the International Annual Coastal Clean-Up on Saturday, Sept. 18. Volunteers will remove trash and debris from the shorelines at Sterling State Park at the Huron Pavilion along Lake Erie. Cleaning up these areas makes them aesthetically pleasing for recreational use, as well as safer and more habitable for wetland species.

Everyone is welcome to participate, but children must be accompanied by an adult. Gloves and bags will be available on-site, and volunteers are recommended to bring their own boots and reusable gloves. Sign up to volunteer here.

Volunteer Information: Saturday, Sept. 18 from 9 a.m. to noon at Sterling State Park (2800 State Park Rd., Monroe, MI)

Help the River Raisin Institute, The Nature Conservancy, and Wayne County Parks restore habitats for the blazing star borer moth (a Michigan Species of Conservation Concern) and other rare prairie species during their Marsh Volunteer Collaboration event on Sunday, Sept. 19. During the event, you will help plant hundreds of dense blazing stars and rough blazing stars, the host plants for the blazing star borer moth and a favorite nectar plant for many native pollinators. Volunteers are recommended to wear sturdy shoes and to bring water and work gloves. Sign up to volunteer here.

Volunteer Information: Sunday, Sept. 19, from 9 a.m. to noon at Crosswinds Marsh (27600 Haggerty Rd. Sumpter Township, MI)

Community Engagement

Help install scarecrows for the Annual Scarecrow Show in Downtown Wayne. The Scarecrow Install volunteer event will be on Saturday, Sept. 25. All ages are welcome, but only adults will be able to install the scarecrows on poles. Registration is required and can be done on Eventbrite. If you are interested in creating a scarecrow instead, click here.

Volunteer Information: Saturday, Sept. 24, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at First Congregational Church of Wayne (2 Town Square Wayne, MI)

Share your compassion with seniors and other patients on hospice in Washtenaw County, Livingston County, Monroe County, Lenawee County, or Jackson County. Arbor Hospice is looking for volunteers to help patients undergoing end-of-life care and their families. A few examples of volunteer activities include listening to patients during companionship visits, engaging with patients by playing music, visiting patients with your own pet, and providing in-home haircuts (licensed cosmetologists only).

Explore different ways you can volunteer with Arbor Hospice this month here. You can also contact Alana Knoppow, program manager at Arbor Hospice, at aknoppow@arborhospice.com or 248.303.6818.

Volunteer Information: Ongoing at various locations

Help your neighbors in need during the pandemic by helping Brilliant Detroit put together personal protection equipment kits. Brilliant Detroit’s goal is to ensure Detroit families have access to necessities such as food, clothing, and education resources during the pandemic, particularly families that are already economically vulnerable.

This volunteer opportunity is completed on your own time. Brilliant Detroit will provide you with the bags to hold your kit items and COVID-19 safety cards. Email volunteer@brilliantdetroit.org to schedule a day and time to pick up the items from the Brilliant Detroit headquarter. For instructions on what to include in the kit and dropping off completed kits, click here.

Volunteer Information: Ongoing on your own time

Volunteer at the Lansing Out of the Darkness Walk on Sept. 26. The walk is meant to bring awareness to the fight against suicide. There are three available shifts: 8-11 a.m., 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 3-7 p.m. The first shift will assist with setting up for the walk. The second shift will help with the registration and remembrance tent, pass out honor beads, participate in the dunk tank, and more. The last shift will assist with cleaning up. Sign up to volunteer here.

Volunteer Information: Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 300 N. Grand Ave. Lansing, MI 48933.

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