Volunteer Opportunities


To find out more about volunteering, contact Jonathan Payne, Volunteer Coordinator, at jonathan@steppingstonesshelter.org or (301) 251-0567. Below is a list of each volunteer job along with a short position description. We welcome individuals and groups (maximum of 10) to volunteer with us.

Cook/Meal Provider

Purpose To provide a meal for Stepping Stones Shelter. Cooking is a resident chore so by having volunteers cook a meal for the shelter, the resident parents have more time to work towards their goals of housing and employment.

Description Provide a well-balanced meal for 15-20 people to drop off by 5:30 p.m. or sooner. Meals are needed Sunday through Thursday evenings (no Friday or Saturday nights). Please contact our Donations and Volunteer Coordinator to set a date to drop off a meal.

Time Commitment Very flexible. It can be a one-time meal donation or recurring.

* Volunteers can receive up to 3 community service hours for preparing a meal off site.

Donation Drive

Conduct a drive at your school, congregation, organization, neighborhood or social group to collect needed items for the shelter. Drive ideas include, but are not limited to: items from our ‘Urgent Needs list,” which can be found on our website. Donations are important because we use them to replenish household items. We also donations to help fill ‘Wish Lists,’ which residents fill out when they move to a new home. Additionally, past residents can always come back to the shelter and ask for items that they need.

You can organize a donation drive with a theme such as:

“Back to the Basics” Paper towels, gallon Ziploc bags, bath towels, hand towels and washcloths, Shower curtains and rings, shower liners, new bed pillows.

“Sudsy Sunday” HE laundry pods, disinfectant spray, dish soap, pump hand soap – individual or refills, body wash, body lotion, deodorant, shaving gel.

“Think Clean” Air freshener, trash bags (white kitchen and black outdoor), sponges, latex gloves, dish washing gloves, bathroom spray cleaner, brooms, mops, vacuum.

Additionally, assemble baskets, packs, kits, etc. such as:

  1. Welcome Baskets We give families a laundry basket full of toiletries when they move in. Welcome baskets include: full size adult shampoo and conditioner, children’s shampoo, adult and child body washes, toothbrushes, toothpaste and mouthwash, tissues, shaving cream and razors, Q-Tips, Body Lotion, etc.
  2. Snack Packs (*summer opportunity) We like to have these packs on hand throughout the summer for resident children. Snack bags can include non-perishable foods such as: bottle of water, juice, chips, trail mix, gummies, granola bars, crackers, etc.
  3. Bathroom Kit: When families move out of Stepping Stone and to their new homes, we like to say farewell by giving them things they may need for their home. An often overlooked donation is bathroom items. Prepare a Bathroom Kit that includes that following items: small trash can, toilet bowl brush, toilet bowl cleaner, bath mat, shower curtain (with liner and hooks), and matching towels/washcloths/hand towels.  

*Please contact the Donations and Volunteer Coordinator before beginning a collection to make sure we are not at full capacity for the items you are thinking of collecting.*

Donations Sorter

Purpose Sort and organize donations that are given to us by community members.

Key Responsibilities Sort through donations that we receive from donors and separate the items that the shelter will keep from those that will be re-donated elsewhere. Additionally, help haul the items that the shelter will keep to their appropriate storage spaces.

Qualifications You must be able to lift at least 30 pounds and climb stairs.

Time Commitment Monday through Friday. Flexible hours between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Training and Support Orientation with the Volunteer Coordinator and ongoing support as needed.

Organize Clothing Closet

Purpose We have a wide selection of women, men, and children’s clothing that we need volunteers to keep well-organized and well-stocked.

Key Responsibilities Fold and put away clothing received. If residents request clothing, put together bags of clothing for them. Update the foyer area with clothing for the residents to choose from.

Time Commitment Monday through Friday. Flexible hours between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Training and Support Orientation with the Volunteer Coordinator and ongoing support as needed

Clerical Worker/Receptionist

Purpose To assist with office/administrative work.

Key Responsibilities General office support- data entry, answering phones, greeting visitors, sending thank-you cards, etc.

Qualifications Previous experience in a professional office setting, articulate, organized, great Microsoft Word skills, respect for confidentiality and discretion.

Training and Support Orientation with the Volunteer Coordinator and ongoing support as needed.

Childcare Worker

Purpose To keep children safe and busy while parents work towards their goals of housing and employment. The parents can attend workshops, search for jobs or housing online, etc.

Key Responsibilities Stimulate children’s physical and social growth through activities such as arts and crafts, homework help, drama, reading, etc. Most importantly, keep children safe.

Qualifications You must be 16 years or older, have prior experience with children, and the ability to be mature, patient, and flexible. You must also be able to commit to 2 to 4 slots per month for a four-month period.

Time Commitment Monday through Thursday, 7:00 p.m.to 8:30 p.m.

Training and Support Attend a mandatory childcare orientation with ongoing support as needed.

Room Turn Over Worker

Purpose When a family moves out of the shelter, we have to prepare the room for a new family to move in.

Key Responsibilities Wash all linens and blankets, vacuum and dust the room, wipe down all surfaces and drawers, make sure the past family didn’t leave anything behind, make beds with fresh linens, put toiletries and towels out for the new family, and select kid-friendly items for each child.

Time Commitment This is more of an on-call position. On average, we need about two rooms turned over a month.

Training and Support Orientation with the Volunteer Coordinator and ongoing support as needed.

Lead a Children’s Activity

Purpose Provide a fun, interactive activity for our children residents. Examples include: Arts and crafts, charades, cupcake decorating, board games, outdoor activities in the summer, etc. Groups welcome (maximum 8 people). Groups: If you are leading an activity with a group with members under the age of 16, you must have one adult for every group member under 16 years old.

Key Responsibilities You are welcome to use what is at the shelter but you must provide any materials that the shelter does not have. Make sure the activity is appropriate and approved by the Donations and Volunteer Coordinator. Contact the Volunteer Coordinator to set a date to do an activity. You will be given the ages/genders of the children 2 weeks before you are scheduled, make sure to have enough volunteers available to effectively lead the activities. We have childcare volunteers that can assist with these activities if you need more helpers.

Time Commitment Can be a one-time activity or an on-going activity. Monday through Thursday, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Workshop Leaders

Purpose To provide helpful workshops to resident parents and/or children. These workshops can be anything from budget management, parenting classes, nutrition, couponing, yoga, etc.

Qualifications Must have extensive knowledge of the area you will be teaching.

Time Commitment Very flexible. Can be a one-time class or ongoing.

Preferred Times Monday through Thursday evenings, (7:00 to 8:00 p.m.)

Cleaning/Yard Work

Purpose Help us keep Stepping Stones Shelter a clean, beautiful place to live on the inside and out.

Key Responsibilities Vacuuming, dusting, organizing, sweeping, disinfecting, etc. is needed all throughout the shelter. Seasonal outdoor jobs include raking leaves, mowing the lawn, planting, gardening, watering plants, etc. We have small tasks that need to be done daily as well as deep cleaning that should be done on a fairly regular basis.

Qualifications Must be able to climb up/down stairs and know how to use basic cleaning and/or yard equipment.

Kitchen Manager

Purpose To keep the kitchen organized and stocked

Key Responsibilities Clean kitchen, empty out refrigerator and pantry of expired/spoiled items, restock shelves, occasionally use ingredients to prepare various dishes.

Qualifications Organized, cleanly, must be able to climb up/down stairs and carry food items, and cooking experience preferred.

Time Commitment One day a week (between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.) ranging from 2 to 4 hours per time.

Training and Support Orientation with the Volunteer Coordinator and ongoing support as needed.