COTS relies on the support of hundreds of volunteers over the course of a year.  You can make a difference by contributing your time and talent to COTS either one-time or on an on-going basis.  Please note that to volunteer in our shelters, you must be at least 18 years old.  If you are under 18, there are still many ways that you can help.  Some of our most creative and compassionate supporters are students under the age of 18.

Over 18?green-arrow

Apply for a volunteer position at one of our sites today!

Under 18?green-arrow

Find out more about how to be a Youth Hero at COTS!

On-going Volunteer Opportunities at COTS:

Daystation Lunch Volunteers 

Groups or individuals are needed to prepare and bring in, (and serve, if desired,) a lunchtime meal at the Daystation, the COTS drop-in center for adults, which is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Kitchen space is limited to 3-5 people, so it’s best if meal prep is at least partially completed off premises. Plan on feeding up to 50 people. We request that meals be healthy and well-balanced. Soups, casseroles, etc. are typical fare, but some people really go all out and serve roasts, potatoes and gravy, vegetables, etc. Fruit or a low-sugar dessert is welcome as well. We try to stay away from sweets and pastries because many guests are diabetic.

Sign up to volunteer for one of our available days using our online form, Here!

Playroom Volunteers – Positions are currently limited

Playroom volunteers are needed to spend time with children in shelter. This can be time spent playing games, coloring, painting or any other activity that you and the children are interested in doing together. Strong interpersonal skills are important. We ask that volunteers commit to a minimum of 2 hours per week for a minimum of three months. An orientation will be provided.

Application, interview, confidentiality agreement, plus references and background check are required.  

Book Buddy Volunteers – Positions are currently limited

Do you love to read? Our “Book Buddies” program is an incentivized reading program in which children read with volunteers and earn stickers towards gift card to local book stores.  This program happens between 7 and 7:45 p.m. on weeknights at our Family Shelters.  We ask that volunteers commit to a minimum of one night per week for a minimum of three months.

Application, interview, confidentiality agreement, plus references and background check are required.  

Front Desk Volunteers – Positions are available

The front-desk volunteer is a key member of the COTS community. The front-desk volunteer manages the front office of COTS administrative building which includes Administration, Development, Family Case Management and the Housing Resource Center. This individual welcomes each guest into the building and sets the tone of the organization. This position ensures the entire organization runs smoothly and effectively. Front desk volunteers provide this support from 3-5 p.m. weekdays.  We ask that volunteers are able to commit to one weekday per week for a minimum of three months.

Application, interview, confidentiality agreement, plus references and background check are required.

Other Volunteer Opportunities:

Group Projects

Group projects are always welcomed at COTS!  We work with schools, businesses and faith communities on a regular basis.  These groups often provide support with painting, cleaning, yard work, etc.  Contact our Community Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator (SianL@cotsonline.org) to discuss a service opportunity for your group.


We are happy to accommodate service-learning classes as well.  In the past we have worked with a range of college courses, including topics such as journalism, economics, anthropology, social work, and education.  Contact our Community Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator (SianL@cotsonline.org) in advance of the semester if you would like to provide your students with an opportunity at COTS.

Special Events

COTS hosts a range of special events throughout the year.  Examples of this include the Phonathon (last week in November through the first week in December), the Coolest Lunch (December), and the COTS Walk (May).  We begin recruiting volunteers about six weeks in advance of these events.  There are also many supporting roles that volunteers can play in preparation for these events.

Court-Mandated / Community Restitution

We are able to provide a limited number of opportunities to volunteers who are court-mandated.  These volunteers may not volunteer in a direct-service capacity with our clients.  COTS is often able to provide opportunities such as clerical work, cleaning, organizing, etc.  Most court-mandated hours will need to be fulfilled during regular business hours, due to staffing.  It is the volunteer’s responsibility to ensure that all hours are fulfilled. Contact our Community Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator (SianL@cotsonline.org) to see if an opportunity is available.

Questions about Volunteering?

Contact our Community Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator to learn more: SianL@cotsonline.org or 802-864-7402 x 207 .