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Local Community Service Organizations

The following is a list of organizations in the State College and Centre County areas that provide service opportunities for students to get involved in the community in a meaningful way. If you are interested in working with one of these organizations, please reach out to them directly. If you are looking for other service opportunities, check out Penn State's volunteer website.

Is your agency looking for volunteers?

Fill out our Community Partner Form to be added to the list below.

The Arboretum at Penn State

The Arboretum at Penn State strives to be a place of beauty and renewal, a venue for the arts, and a pathway to discovery and enrichment. Service at the Arboretum includes gardening and weeding; trail maintenance; invasive species removal; event volunteers, especially during Pumpkin Festival and Winter Celebration; and volunteers to lead groups through the Children's Garden. The Arboretum has regular volunteer days each Saturday. Can take large groups and are looking for more regular, on-going volunteers. Volunteer Info Sessions first Monday of every month. Summer Internships are available.

Volunteer Coordinator: Kelly Oleynik


Phone: (814) 867-2591


Requirements for Volunteers: If working in the Children's Garden, need background check clearances

Bridge of Hope - Centre County

The mission of Bridge of Hope is to end and prevent homelessness for women and children with the help of trained mentoring groups within congregations. Volunteers are needed to help with fundraising events, child care at Bridge of Hope events, and office support. Offers internships. Loves student volunteers.

Executive Director: Dennis Fetzer


Phone: (814) 237-HOPE (4673)


Requirements for Volunteers: None

Centre County Historical Society

Centre County Historical Society is a community and volunteer based nonprofit educational organization that works collaboratively with local, regional, county, and state organizations in helping preserve and promote the area's historic, cultural, and natural resources. The historical society maintains multiple properties and needs help from volunteers to maintain the grounds and gardens. They also need volunteers for special events and special projects as needed. Ongoing volunteers (1 - 3 hour shift per month) are needed to be greeters and docents at the Centre Furnace Mansion.

Executive Director: Mary Sorenson


Phone: (814) 234-4779


Requirements for Volunteers: None

Centre County Youth Service Bureau

Youth Service Bureau is a national organization that works to ensure that children, youth, and families have opportunities to reach and fulfill their potential for growth and development by participating in a continuum of community-based, family-based, and residential programs. There are 14 different projects the Youth Service Bureau works with that need volunteers for a variety of projects including one-on-one volunteering or group projects. The Youth Service bureau organizes Big Brothers Big Sisters in Centre County as well, and they are always looking for students to becoming Big Brothers or Sisters and mentor local youth.

Contact for YSB:

Phone: (814) 237-5731


To be a part of Big Brothers Big Sisters Contact: Zach Barton

Requirements for Volunteers: Volunteer Application (on website), background check clearances, basic training for volunteers depending on the program you are volunteering with

Housing Transitions

Housing Transitions works to provide effective services that promote positive change for those willing to accept the challenges and opportunities necessary to achieve a more independent and self-sufficient lifestyle. Some of their services include an emergency shelter and food bank, case managers to work with families, transitional housing, and education and support surrounding these issues. Housing Transitions needs volunteers to help answer phones at their homeless shelter, to clean the transitional apartments, to help with large events such as their November 5k, and to hold drives to collect donated clothes, food, and funding for the organization.

Executive Director: Morgan Wasikonis


Phone: (814) 237-4863


Requirements for Volunteers: None

Meals on Wheels - State College Area

State College Area Meals on Wheels prepares and delivers over 43,000 meals each year to homebound persons in the Centre County Region. Nutritious meals are planned and prepared in the kitchen of the Grace Lutheran Church, and delivered to the homes of clients each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This service helps to maintain good nutrition for our clients so that they can remain in their homes for as long as possible. Volunteers are the lifeblood of the organization. Some opportunities for volunteers include: 1st and 3rd Monday of every month from 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. there is a large order that comes in and the trucks need to be unloaded. Wednesday morning from 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. there is also a large delivery that help is needed for. Each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday there are also volunteers needed for preparing the food, delivering the food, washing dishes, and cleaning throughout. For large groups, help is needed right before the holidays to sort gifts and after THON each year there is a need for food rescue of all the extra food from the event. Meals on Wheels can work with groups or individuals and are looking for more regular volunteers to commit to shifts weekly.

Volunteer Coordinator: Jan Baker


Phone: (814) 237-8135


Requirements for Volunteers: Must be over 18, trained on the spot, will need to wear closed-toed shoes, gloves, and a head covering when working in the kitchen

Mid-State Literacy Council

The Mid-State Literacy Council is a nonprofit providing adult education instruction to the Centre and Clearfield Counties. The council offers basic literacy, English as a second language, computer literacy, financial literacy, mock interviewing, health literacy, and other family literacy services to adults who are in need of the most basic communication skills needed to navigate through their day-to-day activities. Volunteers are needed as tutors on a weekly basis for either groups or one-on-one teaching. Some short-term volunteer needs would be for their yearly children's book drive, the Crossword Puzzle Contest and Adult Spelling Bee Contest fundraisers, and to deliver boxes of books to local food banks. Mid-State Literacy Council has a lot of need for committed volunteers and provide a lot of valuable experience for those who give back.

Executive Director: Amy Wilson


Phone: (814) 238 - 1809


Requirements for Volunteers: Must be 18 years of age. To become a tutor, need 2 - 3 hour individual trainings and a commitment to tutor for at least an entire semester.

Student Farm at Penn State

The Student Farm at Penn State is part of the larger Sustainable Food Systems program at Penn State and is focused on bringing together people from diverse backgrounds and interests to learn about where food comes from and to apply their unique skills and experiences to a farm setting. The Student Farm is a living laboratory and community gathering place that provides hands on engagement opportunities for students and volunteers to gain skills and knowledge about food production, harvesting, and marketing. Volunteers at the farm typically help with the day-to-day maintenance of the farm including planting, weeding, and harvesting as well as helping with campus and community events. The Student Farm can take large groups or individuals and needs volunteers year round.

Sustainable Food Systems Program Coordinator: Leslie Pillen



Requirements for Volunteers: None, wear work clothes and closed-toed shoes, don't forget your water bottle and sunscreen.

State College Borough Community Engagement Office

The Office of Community Engagement hopes to foster activity that promotes stable, vibrant, and safe neighborhoods and strengthens a sense of community for all residents. The office focuses on engaging students in community life to continue to better the neighborhoods of State College so that they are vibrant places for residents to enjoy and engage with. Volunteers are needed in a multitude of different ways including working events such as Lion Bash, participating in discussions with community members, liter sweeps during football weekends, as well as working on environmental and public works projects that the Borough does not have the capacity to complete. Can take large groups or individuals.

Contact: Autumn Busbee


Phone: (814) 234 - 7191


Requirements for Volunteers: over 18 years of age