By Ana Martinez-Ortiz, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service   Published Jan 10, 2020 at 5:01 PM

The season of giving doesn’t have to end with the start of the new year. Learn how to give back to the community without straining your wallet. A new year doesn’t mean the season of giving has to end.

Volunteer opportunities

Capuchin Community Services

The Capuchin Community Services has multiple volunteer opportunities. At the House of Peace, 1702 W. Walnut St., volunteers can assist in the food pantry or clothes closet.

At the St. Ben’s Community Meal Site, 1004 N. 10th St., volunteers help serve the meals and beverages and clean the table and dishes. Eight to 10 volunteers are scheduled a night and volunteers must be at least 12 years old. Volunteers are encouraged to participate in a "ministry of presence," which means engaging and listening to the guests. Volunteer services also are needed to help monitor the showers, welcome guests and more.

To volunteer, email or call Nicole Fair at or (414) 933-1300, Ext. 1123, or fill out this form.

Healthcare centers: Ascension, Aurora Healthcare and Froedtert 

Healthcare centers will often hire volunteers to help for an extended period. For example, Froedtert requires volunteers to contribute at least 80 hours over the course of six months whereas Aurora requires a 64-hour commitment.

Depending on the location, volunteers may be tasked with various activities such as escorting patients, helping on special projects, baking cookies, being a NICU assistant and more.

AscensionAurora Healthcare and Froedtert all have volunteer opportunities at multiple locations. Volunteers must fill out an application form along with additional requirements. Requirements may vary per location.

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity has volunteer opportunities in construction and its donation centers. Volunteers must register. From there, volunteers will learn about opportunities and when to sign up. Returning volunteers can click here to sign up for additional shifts. For questions or concerns, individuals can contact Beth Van Gorp at (414) 316-5615.

Habitat for Humanity also accepts items such as appliances, home decor and furniture for its ReStore. Individuals can drop off items or schedule a pickup.

United Way

United Way offers a plethora of volunteer opportunities from offering companionship to someone in hospice to assembling care packages. Volunteers can choose from on-site projectsgroup and workplace opportunities and off-site projects. Through United Way’s Seasons of Caring, volunteers can help make a difference year-round.

Groups and organizations can click here for the application form. Contact Karissa Gretebeck at (414) 837-3140 for additional questions.

COA Youth & Family Centers

COA Youth & Family Centers have volunteer opportunities suited for the individual, group or family based on interests and commitment level. Volunteers fill out the application form and return it by mail to Attn: Volunteer Coordinator COA Youth & Family Centers 909 E. North Ave., Milwaukee, WI. 53212 or email Laura Lysaght at

COA will work with volunteers to determine volunteer opportunities. Volunteers will also need to complete a criminal background check and attend a volunteer orientation. For questions or concerns, call Laura Lysaght at (414) 263-8383, Ext. 1212.


Ladies of Charity

The Milwaukee Ladies of Charity, 1936 Vel R. Phillips Ave., collects clothes for underprivileged students in kindergarten through high school. The group accepts monetary donations and gently used or new clothing. Currently, Ladies of Charity needs new socks and underwear in children and adult sizes for teens, tops and pants in children sizes and hoodies in children sizes.

Call Claire Wycklend at (414) 331-2391 for donation hours.

Guest House of Milwaukee

The Guest House of Milwaukee, 1216 N. 13th St., offers multiple services to those in need such as shelter and care packages. Individuals can consider making a monetary donation or donating goods. Each guest receives a new pillow, jeans, backpacks, deodorant, soap and more. It currently needs garbage bags, toothpaste, underwear in small and medium sizes and T-shirts in small and medium sizes. Additional items can be found on its Amazon Wishlist.

The Guest House of Milwaukee also has volunteer opportunities such as working in the garden or helping out in the kitchen. Contact the Guest House at (414) 881-8216 or email

Milwaukee Rescue Mission

The Milwaukee Rescue Mission is always accepting donations. It has two lists: urgent needs and year-round needs. It accepts donations from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday at its Kilbourn location, 830 N. 19th St. Clothing donations can also be made at True Value Hardware, 8010 N. 76th St.

Individuals can also consider helping to make homeless care packages or going to Amazon Smile and selecting Milwaukee Rescue Mission. For additional questions or information, call (414) 344-2211.

The Bottomless Closet

The Bottomless Closet helps men and women who are entering or re-entering the workforce by providing them with work-appropriate attire. Clients receive clothing, interview training and more. Clean, gently used and new business clothing and accessories for men and women are needed. Currently, the Bottomless Closet has a need for men and women’s steel-toed shoes, plus sized male and female business-casual clothing, men’s and women’s socks, new or gently used bras (all sizes) and new pantyhose (all sizes).

To schedule a drop off, call or email Jeri Kavanaugh at (414) 270-2984 or

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army has several locations in Milwaukee. Click here and enter your ZIP code to find the drop-off location closest to you. The Salvation Army accepts donations of new and gently used items. Commonly donated items include clothing, appliances and household goods. For the full list of acceptable items, click here.


Goodwill has multiple locations throughout Milwaukee. To find the one closest, click here. It accepts gently used or new items such as clothing, housewares and furniture. Click here to see what items it does and does not accept.

St. Vincent de Paul

St. Vincent de Paul accepts gently used or new items. Its donation guidelines can be found here. Smaller items can be dropped off at the Greenfield Store, 4476 S. 108th St., or the Lincoln Store, 2320 W. Lincoln Ave. For larger items, call Cindy at (414) 462-7863 to schedule a Milwaukee County pick up.

Blood Center of Wisconsin

The Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin is always in need of blood donors. Eligible donorscan donate blood and bone marrow and sign up to be an organ and tissue donor.

To schedule a blood donation, donors can select a location closest to them. After selecting the location, view the calendar and choose what to donate: whole blood, double red cells, platelets or plasma. Before the appointment, donors can fill out the VersiPass and complete the questionnaire online.

Milwaukee Public Library

The Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library accepts books donations. The donated books are then sold to the public at the Bookseller Used Book Store and Café, located at the Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave., for prices as low as 25 cents. Books can be donated during store hours, which are noon to 4 p.m. Monday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For additional questions, contact the store at (414) 286-2142 or

Did we miss a volunteer opportunity or donation site? Feel free to mention it in the comments below or send us an email at