5 Ideas for Volunteering as a Couple

By Mali Anderson in Helping Hands

Volunteering as a couple doubles your charitable impact and can strengthen your connection to your partner. Scheduling time together is an important part of any relationship, and volunteering is a wonderful way to deepen your bond by sharing your experiences and supporting a cause you're both passionate about.

There are plenty of ways to get started, such as working on community art projects and serving nutritious meals to communities in need. Here are five ideas to consider.

1. Help Community Gardens

If you and your partner have a vegetable or flower garden at home, why not share the tricks you've learned at a local community garden? When you volunteer as a couple in a garden, you connect with nature and each other—and get some well-deserved fresh air, too. Reach out to a local garden to ask if they need help with planting seeds, planning its educational incentives, or performing its administrative work. If you aren't sure where to look, connect with the American Community Gardening Association to locate community gardens near you.

Couple holds bowl of tomatoes

2. Support Local Food Pantries

Local food pantries rely on volunteers to help them distribute food throughout their communities. There are many tasks available to you, depending on how much time you and your partner can commit. You could volunteer for a repack time slot, when volunteers sort and label food for distribution. You could sign up to help with a seasonal food drive. Or, if you're looking to commit to regular volunteering shifts, you and your partner could apply to distribute food to sister programs within your town or city. A two-person delivery team could be just the right fit for you and your significant other. Let your local food pantry know that you're interested in volunteering to get started.

3. Share Your Love of Reading

When you volunteer together at a library, you can solidify your love of reading and get new ideas on books and stories to read and discuss over dinner or on walks through your neighborhood. Book lovers can volunteer at the library by organizing shelves or by helping with public events such as book signings for adults or story times for tots. Some libraries offer homework and tutoring programs, so the two of you could share your knowledge while supporting students in your area. The next time you drop off or pick up a book at the library, stop at the desk to ask about how you can help.

4. Foster Cats and Dogs

If you and your partner are fans of furry friends, volunteering at an animal shelter and helping with feeding, grooming, and administrative tasks can be rewarding. You could also foster an animal in need of a forever home, such as a kitten or puppy in need of special nurturing,or an adult dog or cat that needs a reprieve from the animal shelter. Fostering an animal together can be a rewarding bonding experience. Yes, sometimes couples get attached to foster animals, but it's your decision whether you'd like to adopt or if you're able to accept and enjoy the fact you helped an animal on its journey to becoming a beloved pet for another family. If you have any questions about fostering, the animal shelter in your community can answer them.

Couple fostering a dog

5. Celebrate National Parks

Volunteer work in national parks varies, as each location has its own needs. You and your partner could help out with a one-time project, or you could volunteer for longer-term positions, like campground hosts or tour guides for historical homes. You could even help park staff map archeological sites or count local birds and critters to help evaluate the health of their populations. Whatever your shared talents and interests, you and your partner can likely put them to work in a national park near you.

Volunteering is a great way to experience new things and expand your social network. These benefits are multiplied when you volunteer with someone you love, and couples volunteering is a way for you and your partner to experience gratitude for the life you have together while improving the lives of others. By focusing on what matters to you and the world around you, you can bring more joy and peace to your day-to-day lives.

What volunteer activities do you enjoy as a couple? Show us by tagging @toms_of_maine in your Instagram photos!

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Why It's Good

You can double your charitable impact and strengthen your relationship by volunteering as a couple. When you and your partner donate your time and talents together, you celebrate your shared values and deepen your bond.