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Learn English in the Real World

Page history last edited by Heidi Dryden 5 years, 7 months ago

Learn English in the Real World- English language learners can volunteer and practice English with your choice of the following organizations:



Birch Community Services:

17780 NE San Rafael Street Portland, Oregon 97230


Opportunities: Food Sorting, Preparing for classes.  Birch can use individual volunteers on M/W/F from 9 am to 5 pm without prior scheduling.  Please plan to volunteer for at least two hours at a time so that we can make the most out of your travel and time commitments. Scheduling is required at all other times by contacting the office at 503.251.5431.

Level: All

Contact: Andrew Rowlett 971.506.5673 Andrew@BirchCommunityServices.org


Blanchet House

The types of volunteer opportunities that are available here at the Blanchet House are all based around food service.

We serve 3 meals per day Monday thru Saturday (Closed Sunday). Breakfast is from 6:30 am to 7:30 am(arrive by 6:00 am) Lunch is from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm (arrive by 11:00 am) and Dinner service is from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm (arrive by 4:30 pm).

The job assignments we have available to our volunteers are as follows:

  • Cook’s Helper (plating the food)
  • Food Server (bringing the food out to the guests)
  • Busser (clearing the tables of dirty plates and cups)
  • Beverages (keeping the coffee, water and/or juice filled).

We have over 5000 volunteers so the schedule fills up very quickly.  Once you have picked your specific dates and which meal service you would like to volunteer for (breakfast, lunch or dinner) please call Dennis Arnold at 503-226-3911 or email him at darnold@blanchethouse.org.

 We can accept up to 12 volunteers maximum per meal service. for more info:http://www.blanchethouse.org/volunteer-opportunities/


Unite Oregon  Center for Intercultural Organizing :

Beaverton Office:  503-913-6969

12625 SW Broadway, Suite 200   Beaverton, OR 97005  


Portland Office:  503-287-4117 ext 107

 700 N. Killingsworth Street  Portland, Oregon 97217

  Opportunities:  Because UN exists specifically to improve the lives of immigrants and refugees, the volunteer options are limitless. They are a successful organization with a great reputation. 

Level: All 


Compassion Connect

Event locations rotate each month

Opportunities: Translators/Interpreters for all languages are needed and encouraged to volunteer, hospitality and parking help is also needed at each one-day event.


Contact person varies upon location and date. Sign up here https://compassionconnect.webconnex.com/general or search the website dates for more information.


Consonare Chorale 



P.O. Box 10739  Portland, Oregon 97296 

Mission Statement

"Consonare Chorale is a vibrant community of accomplished musicians dedicated to diverse engaging performances. We entertain, educate and connect with audiences in a refreshingly approachable and intimate experience."

Consonare is always in search of volunteers to help with a variety of tasks such as occasional help with organizing and alphabetizing music library or help with a concert.

Levels: All levels


Educate Ya! 



"Edúcate Ya, Inc. is a Latino community-based organization committed to empowering Latinos educationally, professionally, socially, culturally, and in wellness."

Levels: Contact for appropriate placement



Free Geek 

1731 SE 10th Ave Portland, OR 97214



Free Geek is a Portland-based nonprofit offering free computers, technology and education powered by reuse & recycling.

Free Geek offers a wide range of classes free to our volunteers and the general public, unless otherwise specified. Classes range from basic introductions to computers, to starting your first website and learning how to program. They are constantly adding new classes and looking for volunteer instructors. There is volunteerism available in Spanish and English.

Levels: to volunteer in English you must have an intermediate level of English or bring an interpreter.  However, Free Geek is eager to involve everyone in the process. All volunteers must complete volunteer orientation. Contact Free Geek for more information.



Hands On Greater Portland:
619 SW 11th Avenue, Suite 300  Portland, OR 97205

Phone: 503.200.3355
E-mail: info@handsonportland.org

Hands On connects volunteers with organizations in search of volunteers.  


"Everyone can do something for the community. At Hands On Greater Portland, we develop this potential in volunteers. We connect them with opportunities to feed the hungry, teach our children, house the homeless, restore our environment and meet other important community needs."

Many of the volunteering projects can be done in a day or over a longer period of time.

Level: Open to all levels, visit the website or call for more information.   


KBOO FM Community Radio


20 SE 8th Avenue  Portland, OR 97214

"At KBOO we have a dynamic community of 500 volunteers doing everything from front desk work, janitorial work, community reporting, hosting information booths, clerical support, news writing, documentary making, engineering live music, operating sound boards, engineering and computer help, website upkeep, and many, many other things."

Volunteers must attend orientation. Contact Ani at 503-231-8030 ext. 213

Levels: All -contact for appropriate placement.


Kitchen Commons

Kitchen Commons matches kitchen resources with community need, making it affordable and practical to cook healthy food, putting the dream of a food business in reach of low-income entrepreneurs, and advocating for food justice. 

Volunteer tasks could include: Event support, set-up, clean up.  Taking pictures and writing articles about the events, assisting with cooking class organization.


Know Your City



"Know Your City engages the public in art and social justice through creative placemaking projects. Our programs and publications aim to educate people to better know their communities, and to empower them to take action." 

Levels: All.  Contact for more information.


Latino Connection | Easter Seals

"Easter Seals has been helping individuals with disabilities and special needs, and their families, live better lives for nearly 100 years. From child development centers to physical rehabilitation and job training for people with disabilities, Easter Seals offers a variety of services to help people with disabilities address life's challenges and achieve personal goals."

3715 SE 39th Ave.
Portland, OR

120 E Lincoln St.
Woodburn, OR

1313 Mill Street SE
Salem, OR

2951 NW Division
Suite 142
Gresham, OR

Levels: All


Lutheran Community Services

605 S.E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.  Portland, OR 97214


"Lutheran Community Services Northwest is a non-profit human services agency serving communities throughout Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Our caring staff provides a wide variety of services to adults, adolescents, children, families, schools, businesses, congregations, neighborhoods and communities. We are privileged to touch the lives of people of all ages, cultures and faiths."

Levels: Contact to find an appropriate volunteering position


Portland ESL Network


Contact: Heidi Dryden  heidi.dryden@gmail.com 360 241 7931

Opportunities: Portland ESL Network is a web-based resource for language learners and their advocates. We need help with phone calls, updating information, and web design or development is definitely welcome!

Level: If you want to practice your phone and email skills, this is the place! Intermediate fluency is required for all tasks.


Rosewood Initiative

16126 SE Stark St  Portland, OR 97233


Monday-Friday 10:00am-6:00pm

"Rosewood is a neighborhood space where you can help the community as you improve yourself.  Neighbors come here to interact with one another, work on projects and feel safe. Rosewood builds capacity in the neighborhood by helping people learn useful skills and by connecting friends, partners and resources."

Opportunities: Volunteers can participate in a variety of ways -event set-up, management, clean-up, projects and more.  They always have a need for volunteers in Spanish, English, and other languages.

Levels: All -Contact for appropriate placement


SMART (Start Making a Reader Today)

Volunteer locations: Elementary schools and Head Start programs in

                                       Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties

SMART engages community volunteers to help PreK-3rd grade children become confident readers through one-on-one literacy support. We need volunteers for our programs in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties.  Volunteer to read for one hour per week from mid-October through mid-May.  Applications are accepted year-round.

To make a difference at these schools and in your community, call Tim or Staci at 971-634-1628 or visit www.GetSMARTOregon.org and help start making a reader today! 

Contact: You can contact Tim and Staci at (971) 634-1628 or atmetro@getsmartoregon.org if you have any questions or would like more information.

Level: Basic reading level required, if volunteers are still learning to read, they will be placed with younger children to make it a level they can easily manage.


VOZ Worker's Rights Education Project/ MLK Worker Center

1131 SE Oak St.  Portland, OR 97214

503 726-6398

Contact: Volunteer Coordinator  volunteercoordinator@portlandvoz.org 

Opportunities: VOZ is a worker-led organization that empowers immigrants and day laborers to gain control over their working conditions through leadership development, organizing, and community education.   Lots of volunteer opportunities in this small advocacy organization - office work and organizing work. 

Level: All If you speak Spanish, you might have trouble practicing your English, but it will be easy to get work done. If you don't speak Spanish, you should have some fluency in English.


Write Around Portland:

133 SW 2nd Ave, Suite 304  Portland, OR 97204-3526

Phone: 503.796.9224

Email: info@writearound.org

"Write Around Portland provides high quality, skillfully facilitated writing workshops in safe, accessible and respectful environments for people to write and share in community, holds community readings to promote the exchange of stories and publishes anthologies to connect writers and readers."

Levels: All






 A few Interesting articles for ESL teachers about service learning









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