Sitting around the house feeling totally bored is no way to spend a summer. Why not gain a new perspective on life? Learn more about yourself by connecting with others through volunteer work. Here are five ways you can benefit by giving.

Second Harvest Heartland Service Center
6325 Sandburg Road, Suite 1700
Golden Valley, MN 55427

Second Harvest prides itself on carefully stewarding its food, volunteer time and donations through efficient, clean and orderly operations. This makes volunteering purposeful, easy and fun. The organization orients volunteers of the need for the food distribution, how volunteering helps fulfill this need and provides feedback at the end of the volunteer event with statistics showing the impact of their time. More than 300 volunteers sort and repack food at warehouses in Maplewood and Golden Valley every day. Individuals, families and groups of all ages are encouraged to connect with Second Harvest.

Saint Paul Public Libraries
George Latimer Central Library
90 W. 4th St.
Saint Paul, MN 55102

There is a local library in everyone’s neighborhood and it provides a safe environment for all members of the family. St Paul Public Libraries strive to engage the community surrounding each facility. Volunteers and mentors of all ages will find a welcoming staff at their local library, as volunteers help strengthen the library’s service to the neighborhood. The tasks are diverse. Anyone can find a role that suits his or her skills and age. For example, you can adopt a shelf to keep it looking well-ordered, repair covers and torn pages, teach or assist in computer classes, plant and maintain flower and bushes, tutor, mentor, greet customers or read to others. Volunteers must be 12 years of age or older.

Animal Humane Society
Golden Valley Adoption Center
845 Meadow Lane N.
Golden Valley, MN 55422

Animal shelters throughout Minnesota welcome volunteers to help make our state a more humane place for animals. While volunteers must be at least 16 years of age to work in a shelter, there are other ways for those younger than 16 to assist in the welfare of animals. Families can provide foster care in their home or to adopt a pet. Workers are assigned regularly scheduled shifts of two to four hours every other week. Humane Society asks volunteers to be able to commit to a full year. Apply to work at centers in Buffalo, Coon Rapids, Golden Valley, Saint Paul and Woodbury.

Related: Best Volunteer Opportunities For Families In Minnesota

Dayton’s Bluff Seniors Block Nurse Program
463 Maria Ave.
Saint Paul, MN 55106

Make a positive impact on the lives of seniors in your community. Dayton’s Bluff Seniors is seeking persons to build a relationship, provide help and give reassurance to seniors either by assisting them or by calling them. The organization would also like groups of seven or more to play games and have fun with seniors. You can play bingo, board games or cards at a time and place that fits into your schedule. The program only asks for two to three hours per commitment. Persons under 18 are invited to participate when accompanied by at least one adult.

Mary’s Place
Sharing & Caring Hands
525 N. 7th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55405

Homeless shelters offer a variety of programs through which one can get involved. Serving meals may come to mind, but there are many other tasks in need of your help. Sharing and Caring Hands needs volunteers for most of its operations. Running the indoor playground works best best for a group of six to 10 volunteers over age 14. At least one adult is needed to supervise. Teens 14 years or older can be paired with a homeless child to help with their homework, and teens 16 years or older can enter the Reading Program to help improve reading skills. Volunteers must commit to participate once per week.

Related: Best Volunteer Opportunities For Animal Lovers In Minnesota

Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from Richfield High School and then the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at