Reconnect through volunteering

by Hilary Canty

Orcas Island Community Foundation

One of the harder aspects of these pandemic days is the feeling of isolation. Being masked and distanced has taken a toll. A great way to combat that feeling is to find new ways to safely reconnect. Many of our local nonprofits and programs are seeking volunteers. Take a look at the following opportunities and see if one sparks interest. Or swing by the Orcas Island Community Foundation and pick up a nonprofit directory to learn more about the possibilities. Nothing helps you feel better than helping others. Working together, we will make it through and we might even find a way to enjoy it.

Current volunteer opportunities

• SJC Land Bank is looking for volunteers on an ongoing basis. Contact Tanja Williamson at

• The Funhouse’s mentor program is currently seeking caring adults in the community to support Orcas youth by becoming a mentor. Mentors in the program are paired with a young person in the community and agree to meet up for an hour a week for one year to have fun, talk about life, and do whatever the two of them choose! Please contact or fill out an online application at

• Orcas Senior Center is in need of volunteers for the following roles; Hearts and Hands volunteers (in-home companionship), Buddy Check-In volunteers (weekly check-in calls for companionship and wellbeing of seniors), Front Desk volunteers (Mon/Wed/Fri, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.), Orcas District Committee members — vaccination and masking required for in-person volunteering. E-mail Steven at

• Sail Orcas is looking for volunteers for the following positions: Someone to help with our lesson registration and database. (We are using the UltraCamp platform); Bookkeeper who can run Quick Books.

• Orcas Island film festival would welcome volunteers. Contact Donna Laslo at

• The animal shelter is in need of dog walkers, people to spend time with the animals and people to clean. Volunteers should be vaccinated and able to wear an appropriately fitted mask while inside the building.

• The Orcas Island Lions Club always has opportunities for volunteers. COVID Clinic, blood drive, dental van, Easter egg hunt, annual July 4 BBQ, senior center mobility equipment, tent rentals, sunrise volunteers and senior tax program. Contact orcasislandlionsclub@gmail. You don’t have to be a member of the club to volunteer!

• The Keepers of the Patos Light have two opportunities for volunteer work on Patos Island. Masks are required in the lighthouse, and on the State Parks Boats that take volunteers to Patos Island. Docents are volunteers who open the lighthouse to visitors and camp on the island from one night to several nights between May and September. Volunteers must become members of the organization and be covered by our liability insurance. Interested persons, please contact

• KWIAHT is planning a spring (probably late March) training program for old and new Indian Island volunteer docents. Interested islanders can send an email to and be placed on the contact list for the training.

• Orcas Island Parks and Recreation Dept. has an immediate need for volunteer coaches for soccer, running club and flag football. Email

• Orcas Island Children’s House could use volunteers! Positions include potential board members, volunteer teaching assistants, helping to transform the upper part of the Farmhouse to be livable space for possible teachers, volunteers for helping with the construction of the outdoor covered area. Interested people can contact

• The Summit Visitor Center at the top of Mount Constitution is the new home of the Friends of Moran gift shop, and we’re looking for volunteers to help staff it! Volunteers run the gift shop sales and answer visitor questions about the park and its history. Visit for more information, or email volunteer coordinator Melissa at