Volunteer, in the time of COVID-19
Meet people, have fun, do good.
Volunteering with the PNA brings people together to enrich lives and bring joy, laughter, and fun into the community. Many people find meaning through volunteering with us, and we hope you will too.
In this time of COVID-19, we are even more aware of the need of personal connection, building community and neighbors helping neighbors, all while taking precautions to keep us all safe and healthy.
Many PNA programs and events have either been canceled or shifted online, limiting our current volunteer opportunities. We will continue to post and update special opportunities on this page, as we determine how we can best serve our community while keeping everyone safe.
The best way to get started is to check out our offerings below and sign up for the opportunities that sound like a good match for your interests, skills and availability, or by filling out our volunteer application. Many opportunities are available remotely or with limited interactions, and some are available in-person.
If you are looking for service hours, please start by completing our volunteer application, and include both your required number of hours and due date. Thank you for understanding most staff are part-time, and we may not be able to process your service request in less than 10 business days.
Volunteer with the PNA, in the time of COVID-19 and physical distancing
(updated 4.14.21)Volunteer Application
Greatest Needs (as of 4.14.21)
- Garage Sale Day: Tool Sale & Recycling Event: May 22, Phinney Center;
- Informative Walk Guides: you pick the topic and time, and you get to share your knowledge while you walk, this summer;
- Weekly Waterer**: 1 hour/week, May-ish through September, at the GSC Vegetable Garden;
- Early Stage Memory Loss (ESML) Program Support*: 1 Tuesday/month, from 1 to 3 pm;
- Hot Meal Program Outreach*: 2-3 hours/week, strong computer and communications skills ideal;
- Help Seniors with Chores: you pick the chores you want to help with, when you’re available (when restrictions ease, we’re expecting about year’s worth of backlogged projects!);
Volunteer Opportunities by Interest
- Bake & Prepare Meals: Hot Meal Program Assistant
- Board & Committees: PNA Village*
- Donation Requests & Collection Drives: Postage Stamps*
- Events & Fundraising: Virtual Event Support* | Garage Sale Day, Tool Sale & Recycling Event (May 22, Phinney Center and PhinneyWood) | Rainbow Hop** (June 5) | Art Stroll (June 12, PhinneyWood) | Food Truck Fridays (Fridays, June 25 through August 27, Phinney Center)
- Garden & Landscape: Groundskeeping & Landscaping** | Weekly Waterer**
- Help Kids & Seniors: Early Stage Memory Loss (ESML) Program Support* | Front Yard Concert Performers | Help our Senior Neighbors | Informative Walk Guide | Make Handmade Cards* | One-on-One Tech Mentor* | Pen Pal Project* | Teach a Class, Virtually*
- Maintenance & Handiwork: Clean & Organize Our Spaces**| Eagle Eyes (Security Walker)** | Help Seniors with Chores | Tool Librarian | Tool Repair
- Marketing & Outreach: Free Dental Care* | Hot Meal Program Outreach* | Poster Distribution** | Rainbow Hop Chalk**Artists | Writers Wanted*
- Office & Admin: Administrative Support | Data Entry*
- Technology: One-on-One Tech Mentor*
*volunteer from your own home!
We need your office-y skills. Which ones? Pretty much all of them. Some of these tasks can be done at home, while others need to be done in our office. If you are an administrative support whiz, we’d love to talk to you about which projects might best fit your skills and interests! 2 to 20 hours per week. Volunteer application and background check and confidentiality form required. Here’s a sampling of what we need help with:
- Answer phones and greet guests;
- Assemble mailings;
- Accept donations, tools and monetary;
- Enter data;
- Edit documents;
- Research (grants or needs);
- Sanitize high-touch surfaces;
- Water and care for plants;
- Write thank you notes;
- …and more!
Want to learn more or prefer a different admin task? Email us to get started.
Clean & Organize Our Spaces
Help reorganize our newly renovated Greenwood Senior Center, or scrub our kitchen. Either one time or regularly.
Dentists & Assistants Needed for the Free Mobile Dental Van
The PNA is partnering with Medical Teams International to provide free dental care to seniors, veterans, people experiencing homelessness, unemployed and youth. Current WA-licensed dentists and chair-side assistants needed to staff the customized Mobile Dental van at our Hot Meal Program. Volunteers sign up for a 6-hour shift, once per year, quarter or month, and see 6 to 7 patients each time.
Do you know a Dentist?
Share this amazing volunteer opportunity with your dentist, hygienist and dental assistants. Download the Fact Sheet here and spread the word!
Do you enjoy long walks in the neighborhood? Or even medium-length ones? Maybe you’re out to walk your dog anyway? Consider walking through one of our campuses!
With so many staff working remotely, the PNA is looking for volunteers to regularly walk through the Phinney Center and/or Greenwood Senior Center after hours to help us keep an eye on things. No interaction (or confrontation needed/requested, and anything of interest would be reported to our Facilities Team. You’re welcome to walk with a friend (we can even match you up!)
Want to learn more or sign up? Send an email.
Early Stage Memory Loss (ESML) Programming Support
Join the PNA’s trail-blazing efforts to create a dementia-friendly community through our enrichment class, the Gathering Place – now virtually! Our volunteer Team Members help engage participants with Early Stage Memory Loss (ESML) to help them learn strategies for living with memory loss and combat the negative effects of social isolation in a safe and supportive environment. Classes are typically (online) on Tuesdays from 1 to 3PM (you work one per month), with occasional meetings with our staff.
Ideal candidates have some experience working with seniors or an interest in working with people with ESML, and are at least 21 years old. Volunteer application, background check and confidentiality form required, yearlong commitment requested. Must have device and internet connection.
Front Yard Concert Performer
Musicians & performers wanted! Please join us in building community, one mini-concert at a time, by joining our team of outdoor musicians and performers. Our vision is for each mini-concert to be 10 to 20-ish minutes long (you can decide the length of time) in the front yard, driveway or other appropriately-distanced outdoor location from one of our neighbor’s front door. Performers must provide their own equipment, including a chair, if needed, and transportation. Audience members should wear a mask throughout the experience, and performers should distance at least 10 feet.
We will match performers with concert hosts, and you will decide on a mutually agreeable date and time together. Locations are generally in North-Northwest Seattle.
Our performers last year loved being in front a live – albeit small – audience.
Sign up to join our performer list below. Interested in hosting concert? Email us.
Garage Sale Day: Recycling Event & Tool Sale
Help set up, direct traffic, carry items to the correct areas, at our Tool Sale and/or clean up. Strong customer service skills needed (experience with tools not). We’re looking for volunteers with strong backs & a willingness to help save the planet! (or at least help our event be a success!) 🙂
Garage Sale Day: Recycling Event & Tool Sale
Saturday, May 22, 2021
event from 9 am to 1 pm
shifts from 8 am to 2 pm
Phinney Center lower parking lot: 6532 Phinney Ave N, 98103 and
PNA Tool Library: 6615 Dayton Ave N, 98103
Garden & Groundskeeping at the Greenwood Senior Center
The Greenwood Senior Center’s vegetable and herb garden is planned, planted and maintained by a team of volunteers. Led by key volunteers with extensive gardening experience, our team produces vegetables and herbs used in the GSC’s daily lunch program. In 2020, we harvested 196 pounds of fresh produce!
Weekly volunteers are needed to water, harvest and maybe pull up a few weeds, 30 to 60 minutes each shift (starting as early as May through September). You pick the day that works best for you. A great activity for a child to do with an adult. The GSC raised beds are located at the GSC (525 N 85th St).
Would you prefer to be matched with another volunteer and alternate weeks? Send an email & we can match you up!
Hot Meal Program Assistant
In this time of COVID-19 and mandated physical distancing, the PNA is *still* working to provide hundreds of meals each week to seniors, people without stable or permanent housing and others in need. Our typical beloved meal program has been temporarily reconfigured to distribute only to-go meals, minimizing the time of close interactions between diners, volunteers and staff, and allowing diners to wash/sanitize their hands before eating. We look forward to once again being able to offer seating, and are figuring out how to best serve our clients while keeping everyone safe.
Volunteers are needed to help prepare, set up, serve and clean up to-go meals for people in need. Dinner on Monday and Tuesday evenings, lunch on Wednesdays. Greatest need on Mondays between 2 and 4 pm.
HMP Volunteers in the time of COVID-19 must:
- be healthy!
- be at least 14 years old and preferably younger than age 65 (Stay Home, Stay Safe!)
- complete our volunteer application. Please be sure to include a valid phone number so we can keep you informed of any last minute changes.
- in possession of a valid WA food worker card (available for $10 online here), and
- pass a background check (download our release & submit here (via our secure document upload).
***Please keep in mind many of our diners are seniors and/or otherwise medically vulnerable. If you have any reason to believe you might have a cold/flu/illness of any flavor, or may have been exposed to COVID-19, please choose a different volunteer opportunity.***
How are we keeping our volunteers, staff & diners safe?
The PNA Hot Meal Program adheres to current Washington State and King County Public Health guidelines. Meals are prepared in our closed-to-the-public commercial kitchen by vetted volunteers and staff. Physical distancing mandates are respected during food prep and meal services, and masks must be worn by staff, volunteers and diners (when not eating). Handwashing stations are provided for diners and surfaces are continuously sanitized. We provide aprons, reusable fabric masks and disposable gloves for all volunteers (though you’re welcome to bring in your own aprons and masks). All food-prep and dining surfaces are sanitized before and after use, and seating has been modified to allow for distance between diners. Volunteers, staff and diners must pass a temperature check upon entry, and wash/sanitize their hands.
Additionally, we have (homemade) masks for our volunteers to use while preparing, setting up and serving our meals. We ask each volunteer to take home their mask post-shift to launder and bring it back for use the following week.
Thank you for helping us to keep our neighbors fed!
Hot Meal Program Outreach
Serve the Hot Meal Program, from the comfort of your own home! Use your savvy to create a dynamic list of organizations serving similar clientele, and then connect with them to share resources. Helpful skills include strong written and verbal communication, the ability to create informational flyers, and excellent follow through. On-site visit(s) may be helpful to gain an understanding of our program and the people we serve. 2-3 hours per week.
Host a Drive for our Hot Meal Program
Let’s prove physical isolation is not the same as social isolation! Call on your friends, family, neighbors and others in your social networks to start up a collection and support our neighbors in need of a meal. Donation options here.
Or buy items on our Amazon wish list for our Hot Meal Program. Our HMP has been temporarily reconfigured to distribute to-go meals, and we are in need of to-go supplies – boxes, utensils, water and more. Select the “PNA-HMP” delivery address. If you want to purchase a gift card for food items that Amazon won’t let us put on the wish list (like hand sanitizer!), use the email address [email protected] Thank you!
Questions? Email us.
Informative Walk Guide
Are you passionate about something so-Seattle? Or have niche and/or obscure knowledge you’d like to share? We are looking for volunteers to lead informative walks this summer. Examples include: tree or plant identification walks, garden tours, local history walks, ghost walks, architecture tour, movie location sites walk, public art walk, hidden neighborhood gems walk, outdoor photography walk, pub/coffee/bakery crawls, outdoor sketching, an organized flash mob – anything you might have expertise on! Email us to learn more or run an idea you have by us!
Make Handmade Cards
Pour your love into a handmade, hand-drawn or handwritten card or letter for one of our senior neighbors. Drawings, especially by younger children, ok too. If a youth, please be sure to also include your age.
Mail or deliver them to the Greenwood Senior Center (525 N 85th St, 98103), and we’ll include your special note with our lunch delivery. Feel free to include your mailing address if you’d like a response, but understand you may not get one.
Please note each card has a different deadline. Reserve how many cards you want to make in the “# volunteers” field.
Thanks for helping us to spread the love!
One-on-One Tech Mentors
Use your mad skillz to teach seniors and others how to use their smart phones, tablets and laptops – on the phone or via video conferencing! Volunteers comfortable with iOS/Apple products especially needed.
The Greenwood Senior Center receives requests for help and passes on the opportunities to our tech mentor volunteers. The ideal volunteer has phone calling and video conferencing capabilities, and is able to communicate clearly with people less familiar with the technology. Background check required & 6-month commitment requested. Great for high school students looking for an ongoing position.
Pen Pal Project
Help us connect with each other in this isolating time! Seniors needed to help kids learn the art of letter writing, practice penmanship and communicate with an adult outside their household. And get snail mail in the process! We currently have pen pals in 34 states, and are aiming to get participation from all 50 states, plus DC and Puerto Rico. Learn more and sign up here.
Postage Stamp Drive
While cleaning our your junk drawer, did you find a random assortment of pre-Forever postage stamps? Or maybe you like the idea of snail mail, but struggle to find the time to write a letter? Or maybe you want to look forward to a different kind of occasion…like National Pen Pal Day on June 1? Support the PNA’s Pen Pal Project by donating unused US postage stamps!
We have connected more than 200 kids and seniors across 34 states (so far!), and many of the letters come through us. Help us defray the cost of this sweet project by donating colorful, festive or interesting stamps. Odd assortments and denominations welcome.
Questions? Email us.
Put up posters at local businesses and community buildings (like the libraries) in Greenwood-Phinney to help promote our upcoming events and classes. A great opportunity for students and young children with their parents. Flexible schedule. Want to learn more or sign up? Send an email.
Rainbow Hop Chalk Artists
Make rainbows and color the sidewalks along Phinney and Greenwood Aves to help celebrate our annual Rainbow Hop celebration (timing TBD, though likely the afternoon of June 4th or morning of June 5th; Rainbow Hop on June 5). Great opportunity for families.
Teach a Class or Workshop, Virtually
Share your passion or knowledge with a virtual audience. We’re looking for volunteers with something to share with our senior center participants over Zoom. Past offerings have included presentations on Fly-Tying for Beginners, Space Exploration and Model Rocket Building, Folk Dancing and the Ming Dynasty.
Want to learn more or sign up? Send an email.
Tech Support for Virtual Events
Are you having fun with Facebook Live? Or have some expertise with building interactive websites? As we continue to move more of our events online, we are in need of volunteers to help us strategize, design and build our platforms to provide an easy (and pretty) experience for our members and attendees.
Want to learn more or sign up? Send an email.
We’re thrilled to have reopened our popular Tool Lending Library, and are continually working to ensure it is a safe and sustainable community space. The Tool Library is open Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm and we plan to expand our hours as our volunteer staff and demand increase (next expansion on Fridays from 4 to 7 pm). Volunteer opportunities are available both on-site and remotely. Volunteer application, background check and confidentiality form required.
We need writers with journalism experience to help write and edit articles for our newsletters and The Review and writers with a more colloquial style for our blogs.
Want to learn more or sign up? Send an email with writing samples.
Adopt a Senior (or Two) with the PNA Village
Help our seniors “Stay Home & Stay Safe,” by delivering meals and/or groceries, picking up prescriptions, helping with yardwork, walking the dog, and checking in. Aside from getting to help Gramma, the beauty of this volunteer gig is the flexibility – you get to select which opportunities work for you.
Volunteers are thoroughly vetted so you can help our members on-on-one, and in usual-times in the member’s home. In light of physical distancing mandates, and reducing the risks to both our members and volunteers, volunteers must be healthy to serve, and are limited to the following:
- Grocery shop, pick up groceries ordered online, or pick up prescriptions.
- Deliver prepared meals.
- Order groceries online for a member.
- Yardwork or other outside projects.
- Laundry (must be taken to volunteer’s home).
- Household chores with minimal indoor time (ex: relighting a pilot light or changing a smoke detector battery).
- Social phone calls.
- Visiting outside in the fresh air (at least 6 feet apart).
- **Coming Soon (when restrictions ease): in-home tasks and chores**
Additionally, our intake process has been modified during this time of physical distancing. All in-person volunteer trainings are postponed until further notice.
To get started,
- Read (not skim!) our PNA Village Volunteer Manual. Please also read our volunteer guidelines for COVID screening and grocery shopping.
- Complete our volunteer application and be sure to select “PNA Village” under Volunteer Opportunities; background check release form; confidentiality agreement and references form.
- Schedule a phone call by emailing our Village staff to discuss how volunteering with us works & answer any questions. We will also ask you questions to make sure you have read and understand our Manual and Guidelines.
- Submit your release form & references via our secure document upload here.
- Once we’ve processed your paperwork, we will email you to get you started (we’re currently looking at a 1-2 week turnaround).
Thank you for your interest, and your patience with us as we figure out how to keep serving our neighbors while keeping our members, volunteers and staff safe and as we figure out how to work exclusively via remote (and many of us, with kids at home!). We are so fortunate to have received a significant number of inquiries, and feel great comfort in the love and support we’ve received from you. We look forward to working with you now, and when we can be within six feet of each other.
Thank you for helping us make sure physical distancing does not result in social distancing.Volunteer Application Background Check Release Form
Submit Forms Securely
To learn about our volunteer opportunities once physical distancing is no longer a safety requirement, check out our ongoing opportunities here. Most of these positions are not currently available. Thank you for your interest and understanding!