By Annierose Donnelly
The Woodlands’ visionary founder George Mitchell believed that a thriving community is built around its residents’ generosity of spirit. He dreamed of a place where helping others is the top priority.
A number of charities in The Woodlands share that same sense of compassion.
Want to get involved? There are a number of ways you can volunteer in The Woodlands. Let’s take a closer look at a number of them:
YES to Youth
A charity dedicated to empowering today’s youth, YES to Youth supports young people in need, including emotional and mental health development, counseling and educational programs.
Get involved by signing up to volunteer at fundraising events, offering office or administrative support or hosting activities.
Angel Reach is a faith-based organization with the mission of assisting young individuals with the transition from foster homes into adulthood. The charity and mentorship programs work to help 16 to 24-year-olds achieve their full potential in life.
Apply to be a mentor and make a meaningful impact on a young person’s life. Other volunteer opportunities include working in the Angel Reach Furniture and Clothing Store, helping in the food kitchen, presenting life skills classes and many other rewarding activities.
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) of Montgomery County is a program that provides a voice to children and families in the court and welfare system by appointing a volunteer advocate.
Complete the training and become an advocate for a child, so you can represent their interests in court and secure their safe future. Volunteer opportunities include administrative tasks, fundraising and community outreach too.
Community Assistance Center
For families facing financial struggles, the Community Assistance Center offers essential resources to help them get back on their feet. Food assistance, financial aid and resources for the future are all provided to those who have fallen upon hard times.
A variety of volunteer activities to choose from, include assisting at the CAC Unique Resale Shop or Food Pantry. You can also offer help at Saturday food markets or seasonally in the Summer Kids’ Cafe.
Meals on Wheels Montgomery County
Meals on Wheels distributes nutritious meals and companionship to more than 850 homebound seniors in the community. With the help of staff and volunteers, this program allows seniors to live at home and find a little more joy with regular visits from friendly faces.
By offering your time, you can brighten up a senior’s day by delivering meals in the community and spending some quality time with them. You can also help with the meal preparation and make sure seniors in neighborhoods you know receive a delicious and nutritious dinner.
Interfaith of The Woodlands
It’s no coincidence that Interfaith of The Woodlands is celebrating its 50th year the same year as The Woodlands itself — in 2024. The organization’s history is rooted in the story of The Woodlands, and George Mitchell’s vision for a caring “hometown” community.
Since the beginning, Interfaith has provided numerous programs and services to meet the needs of The Woodlands and the surrounding areas. Helping individuals and families, Interfaith’s programs include financial assistance, senior services and counseling. This unique organization also acts as a resource for the community to tap into whenever needs arise.
Throughout the year, plenty of volunteering opportunities are available. Interfaith CEO Missy Herndon notes that volunteers are pivotal to everything Interfaith does, making so much more possible.
“There are so many ways to get involved here at Interfaith,” Herndon says. “Volunteers are truly the backbone of what we do.”
Getting Involved With Interfaith
The Veggie Villages are community donation gardens growing produce for the Interfaith Food Pantry and providing fresh food to senior living complexes. The entire family can volunteer and learn about sustainable gardening practices at Veggie Villages.
The Hand Me Up Shop is a resale shop selling used clothing, boutique items and household goods in great condition at affordable prices. Donate some of your pre-loved items or spend some time volunteering in the shop.
Find out more about volunteering at Interfaith of The Woodlands here.
Montgomery County Food Bank
Montgomery County Food Bank’s mission is to unite the community in fighting hunger. Established in 1985, this crucial nonprofit provides nutritious food to hungry kids, senior citizens and families.
Montgomery County Food Bank president and CEO Kristine Marlow knows none of it works without dedicated volunteers.
“Whether you’re an individual, family or corporation, we have volunteer opportunities daily,” Marlow notes.
The Food Bank receives, processes, packages and purposefully distributes food throughout the county. “It takes over 700 volunteers a month to help us feed our many neighbors in need throughout Montgomery County,” Marlow says.
Getting Involved With the Montgomery County Food Bank
The warehouse and distribution network are areas where volunteers can make a real difference for the food bank.
The Produce Rescue Center (PRC) is a critical resource for the Montgomery County Food Bank and The Woodlands’ community. It creates a reliable source of nutritious food by saving and storing fresh produce headed to landfills and redirecting it to the tables of those in need. Volunteers can support the process by sorting shelves in the warehouse and dealing with fresh food, frozen meats and shelf-stable goods.
At the Senior Distributions Center, volunteers can deliver nutritious groceries directly to seniors’ doors at several locations in the area, most of which are low-income senior apartment complexes.
Mobile Markets are drive-thru food distribution centers that allow Montgomery County Food Bank to bring food assistance directly to areas of high need. Volunteers can assist with serving up to 300 to 400 families at each distribution event.
Holiday Giving Drives
During the holiday season, many charities in The Woodlands coordinate holiday giving drives to ensure everyone in the community can enjoy a little festive cheer. This year, some of these programs include Interfaith’s Holiday GIVING program, Montgomery County Food Bank’s Holiday Helpings Food Drive and YMCA’s Angel Tree Gift Drive.
Places of Worship
Many places of worship in The Woodlands offer rewarding opportunities for volunteers all year round, which contribute to the community in several areas. With over 40 places of worship and a variety of denominations there is no shortage of ways to get involved.
With more than 100 nonprofits in The Woodlands, many opportunities are available to get involved with this unique community with plenty of heart. Whatever you choose to spend time doing, volunteering in The Woodlands is sure to be a meaningful experience with a huge positive impact.
It is what a caring community is all about.
Many thanks to The Woodlands 50th Anniversary Sponsors:
FOUNDING – Howard Hughes
LEGACY – Woodforest National Bank
HERITAGE – Waste Connections Inc.
GOLD – Entergy Texas, Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital
SILVER – SVN/JBeard Real Estate, The John Cooper School
PRODUCER – The Woodlands Township