Supporting the University of Wisconsin–Madison with Scholarships, Service, Education, and Friendship
Bascom Hall with a large W banner behind the pillars

Volunteer Opportunities

Coordinator – Priscilla Thain
Assistant Coordinator – Marsha Janota

Training for the following volunteer opportunities is usually “on the job” unless there is a special session offered. Please call the contact person listed for the opportunity you are interested in with any questions. You may also contact the Volunteer Opportunities Coordinator.

 Most volunteer opportunities are open.  Two hospitals (The American Family Children’s Hospital and the UW Hospitals and Clinics) are closed to volunteers until further notice, but the Wm. S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital is using volunteers and requiring proof of COVID vaccine and influenza vaccine.  Please contact person listed for the opportunity you are interested in.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES NEWS, August 2016 (pdf)

ALLEN CENTENNIAL GARDENS

Contact: Ryan Dostal (608-576-2501)
Website: www.allencentennialgarden.org

Image of the gardenHands-on gardening projects including planting, weeding, and other garden-based activities, depending on time of year. We provide the necessary tools. The Allen Centennial Garden is open dawn to dusk, year-around.

FRIENDS OF THE UW-MADISON LIBRARIES

Contact: Libby Thune, administrator
Website: www.library.wisc.edu/friends

Student studying in the library stacksVolunteers help with our semi-annual book sales, which occur at the same time as the Wisconsin Book Festival in the fall and the week after spring break in the spring. Tasks include setting up for the sale; and, during the sale, keeping the tables orderly and the books in their appropriate categories, as well as answering questions, and cashiering.

MADISON FRIENDS OF INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS, INC.

Contact: Nancy Kelly 608-263-4010
Website: www.mfismadison.org

Holiday party with international studentsVolunteer opportunities include: providing short-term housing (2-3 nights) for arriving students and scholars; a fall picnic; Thanksgiving hospitality; a mid-year Capitol reception; English classes; Global friends remains active using safe physical distancing and remote contact. The status of Thanksgiving and other proms is pending. Check the MFIS website for information.

UW ARBORETUM

Contact: Judy Kingsbury (608-262-5604)
Website: www.arboretum.wisc.edu/get-involved/volunteer/

Arboretum woodsVolunteers staff the reception desk, work in the gardens, walk the trails, and propagate plants. Training and tools are provided.

 

UW LAKESHORE NATURE PRESERVE

Contact: Bryn Scriver (608-220-5560)
Website: www.lakeshorepreserve.wisc.edu

Volunteers doing field work.Volunteers participate in habitat restoration projects. Activities include planting native plants, trail maintenance, and removal of invasive plants. Work is done in groups of volunteers.

WILLIAM S. MIDDLETON MEMORIAL
VETERANS HOSPITAL (VA HOSPITAL)

Contact: James Barnett or Joe Naylor (608-280-7030)
Website: www.madison.va.gov/giving

Volunteers assist in many areas such as volunteer escorts, office aides, drivers, Information Desk and waiting room attendants, and Emergency Room aides. Assignment schedules are flexible and vary. Requirements for becoming a VA volunteer include a background check, two tuberculosis screenings done at the VA, proof of influenza and Covid vaccines, and a new volunteer orientation.

WISCONSIN HISTORICAL MUSEUM

Contact: Michael Marshall (608-264-6555)
Website: Wisconsinhistoricalmuseum.org

Volunteers assist in our mission to collect, preserve and share stories. Positions available include Information Desk, Public Tour Docent and Educational Tour Guide. Schedules are flexible; training is provided. Benefits include discounts and passes to historic sites.

AMERICAN FAMILY CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL    

Closed

Contact: Kayla Breckheimer, Volunteer Coordinator (608-890-7740)
Website: uwhealthkids.org

Volunteers read to children or engage the in activities while they are waiting for treatments and appointments. Orientation is on the website and requires a six-month minimum commitment. Also listed on the website are volunteer.

UNIVERSITY LEAGUE
GREAT DANE READERS

Contact: Mary Warfield (608-273-9809)

Logo of great dane reading book

Once a month from September until May, volunteers read to preschool classes of students from low income families of Dane County. After reading, volunteers present each child with a copy of the book to keep and read to their families.

PBS WISCONSIN

Contact: Michael McKenzie (608-265-4436)
Website: www.pbswisconsin.org/volunteer

Students at a bank of computersVolunteers support public television by staffing fund-raising and community outreach events. Volunteer jobs include answering calls on the phone bank during the annual on-air membership drives in March, May, August, and November/December, helping place donation calls for the Online Auction between the Months of January and May, and serving in a variety of roles during the Great Wisconsin Quilt Show in September and Garden and Landscape Expo in February.

UW HOSPITAL AND CLINICS

Closed

Contact: Tina Nelson, UW Health Volunteer Services  (608-263-6046)
Website: www.uwhealth.org/volunteer

At UW Health, our volunteers play an important role in the overall success of our organization. They assist patients, their families, and visitors to our facilities and are valued members of the health care team.

Information on how to become a volunteer can be found on the Volunteer Services website.

UW ODYSSEY PROJECT

Using some volunteer activities

Contact: Emily Auerbach (608-262-3733)
Website: www.odyssey.wisc.edu

Odyssey Project participants 2004The UW Odyssey Project, a free college humanities course for adults near the poverty level, helps students overcome adversity and achieve dreams through higher education. Interested UL members are needed to help with meals, fund raising, tutoring, providing childcare, office support, research, publicity and arranging speaker arrangements. Odyssey Junior serves over 50 children ages 2–18 on Wednesday evenings in South Madison. Odyssey Beyond Bars extends transformative education into Wisconsin Prisons.

The website describes the current volunteer needs and has a Volunteer Interest Form.

WISCONSIN FILM FESTIVAL (DIVISION OF THE ARTS)

Contact: Terry Kerr
Website: wifilmfest.org/volunteer

Volunteers support the Wisconsin Film Festival with Festival preparations and set up (March/April) and with ticket taking, line management, filmmaker hospitality and events during the Festival (April). In appreciation for donated hours, volunteers receive Festival film tickets and a volunteer tee-shirt.