This time of year we think a lot about what we are thankful for, but how do we take it one step further and show our appreciation by giving back to our community? Volunteer opportunities are plentiful in the East Valley, with numerous organizations grateful for the assistance, offering a chance to show commitment and pride in our community. Volunteering also provides an avenue for connecting with others and a chance to develop our gifts and talents for helping others. How can you give back? Check out Just Serve a website that links you to service opportunities in your neighborhood so you can make a difference wherever you are and however you want. Visit https://www.justserve.org/ Plus, we found some other great service and volunteer options in the East Valley, grouped by cities below: Mesa
  • City of Mesa
The City of Mesa has a volunteer recruitment website packed with ideas to “help build a better Mesa.” You can join the Mesa Fire and Medical Department Volunteer Connector Program, which provides assistance before and after a 911 call, help out at the Mesa Family Advocacy Center, or lend a hand at the neighborhood outreach center. See the possibilities here: https://app.betterimpact.com/PublicEnterprise/1927de80-881a-4c5c-ab9c-79ce376d17f7 Additionally, these well-known Mesa service organizations are seeking volunteers:Child crisis is a great volunteer opportunity in the East Valley of Arizona
  • Sunshine Acres
Sunshine Acres provides a loving, wholesome, Christian home for children who are separated from their parents and help them establish long-term relationships with stable parental figures, preparing them for success in adult life. Help is needed with landscaping, painting, tutoring or helping out in the Donation Store. Visit: http://sunshineacres.org/volunteer-2/  
  • Feed My Starving Children
Kids and adults of all ages hand-pack nutritious meals specifically designed to reverse malnutrition. Volunteering occurs at the Mesa Fiesta Power Center, 1345 S. Alma School Rd. in Mesa. Visit: http://volunteer.fmsc.org/Register/Default.aspx#.V_fSPyTLAmR
  • Child Crisis Arizona
There are a variety of volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups ranging from direct care with the children in the shelters to supporting their prevention programs. Volunteers are essential to the day-to-day operations of Child Crisis Arizona. Their statistics show that more than 1,293 volunteers provide nearly 13,886 hours of service, equaling an estimated value of nearly $326,682. Visit: http://childcrisisaz.org/how-you-can-help/volunteer/ Encourage your children to partake in some of these East Valley volunteer opportunities. Gilbert
  • Gilbert Fire Department
Are you an expert at installing car seats? Child-proofing your home or apartment? Want to learn proper safety techniques? The Gilbert Fire Department needs you to help keep local children safe. They’re looking for people to be car seat technicians, home safety evaluators and training facilitators. Or, you can join the Community Emergency Response team or Fire Corp Volunteer Program. Visit: https://www.gilbertaz.gov/departments/fire-and-rescue/community/volunteer Many Firehouses offer volunteer opportunities like the Chandler Fire Department and other departments in the East Valley Queen Creek
  • Town of Queen Creek
Coach a youth sports team, serve meals, call out BINGO or help promote sustainability and conservation. It’s up to you. Visit: http://www.queencreek.org/departments/parks-recreation/volunteer-4387 Other volunteer opportunities in the Queen Creek community include:
  • Pan de Vida
Their mission is to meet the basic human needs of the communities of Queen Creek and San Tan Valley while promoting self-sufficiency. Their needs range from assistance with grant writing to roadside cleanup to writing and mailing holiday cards. Visit: http://www.pandevidaaz.org/ Encourage your children to participate in some of these volunteer opportunities in the East Valley!
  • Friends of Horseshoe Park
This group supports the Town of Queen Creek’s Horseshoe Park and Equestrian Centre (HPEC) and promotes the rural heritage of Queen Creek. Visit: http://www.friendsofhorseshoepark.org/ Chandler
  • The City of Chandler
The City of Chandler has a myriad of possibilities to give back, including volunteering at the Chandler Center for the Arts, assisting in a library, helping with neighborhood programs or becoming a member of the Crisis Response Team. Visit: http://www.chandleraz.gov/default.aspx?pageid=185   Interested in more tips for East Valley living or new homes in the growing Mesa, Arizona corridor? Sign up at http://cadenceaz.com/contact/