Due to COVID-19, Playtime is temporarily halting the onboarding of new volunteers. We will begin accepting new volunteers when our programs reopen. You can support our work with your ongoing support to help provide play kits sent directly to children in our four partner shelter sites.
"Only a few days into volunteering we hosted a Halloween party at D.C. General where I was assigned to paint faces. It took approximately five minutes before the kids decided they’d rather paint my face, which they proceeded to do, liberally. I think I had paint in my beard for about three days afterwards, but it was worth it, and the experience quickly taught me that Playtime would require stepping outside my comfort zone on a weekly basis." —Perry, Playtime Project volunteer
We heavily rely on volunteers to keep our playrooms running and bring special events and activities to the children. In addition to our weekly Play Ranger volunteers, we have many one-time and regular opportunities to support children experiencing homelessness.
Please note: At this time, we do not offer opportunities for groups to volunteer during our regular programs. In our efforts to create a trauma-informed space, we strive to provide consistency and routine in our programs. The exceptions are party hosts or groups interested in bringing special activities to our programs. You can learn more about those opportunities below.
Host a Party
Everyone loves a good party, and the children in our programs are no exception! At least once a quarter, we look for creative, enthusiastic groups to host themed parties. Group volunteers plan and lead age-appropriate activities, in addition to supplying food, decorations, and party supplies. Parties take place during regular program hours (6:30-8:30 PM) on dates set by Playtime staff, and party hosts are asked to arrive early for set-up and stay after to help with clean-up. Party hosts typically spend between $250-$350 to provide the food, decorations, and party favors for the event.
Before your party, everyone in your group will be asked to review materials about Playtime and sign an electronic waiver. All volunteers in your group must be over the age of 18.
Please note: Due to the volume of requests, not all groups are guaranteed an opportunity to host a party. When there is high demand from volunteer groups, we may ask you to submit a sample party plan. If you're interested in learning more, please fill out the below form and a Playtime staff member will be in touch.
Adopt a Playroom
Our playrooms see a lot of action, and about once a month, they need a good deep clean! Groups can volunteer to "Adopt a Playroom" for a morning or afternoon and assist us by cleaning, organizing, and sanitizing toys. This is a great opportunity for groups of 5-12 volunteers looking for a daytime service project, plus it is our only volunteer opportunity for youth ages 13-18. To get on our calendar, fill out the form below.
Please note: Due to high volume of requests, we are not able to accommodate all interested groups, and we are only able to offer limited weekend projects. Our Adopt a Playroom opportunities tend to book up several months in advance, so be sure to reach out early!
Bring a special talent or activity
Do you teach trap yoga? Are you an astronaut planning our next mission to Mars? Come share your talents with the children in our programs! We love welcoming groups or individuals with unique talents, interests, or skills to visit our program and share their passion with the children. We ask that special guest groups bring something new and fresh to our playrooms that the children in our programs might not already have access to.
Special guest groups will be asked to provide a detailed explanation of the activity they want to bring to program, as well as share any previous experience they have working with youth.
Please note: Scheduling these visits depends on the current interests and needs of our sites.
Interested? Complete the form below. Responses are checked on a weekly basis by our Volunteer Program Manager.