FareStart is fortunate to be the recipient of the hard work of our talented and dedicated volunteers. Volunteers provide invaluable assistance to FareStart with special events, benefits, shelter delivery runs, serving on strategic committees, and other special projects throughout the organization. A few hours a week can make a tremendous difference!

To begin volunteering:
  1. Attend an optional 30 minute volunteer info session at 7th & Virginia, offered every Monday at 4 p.m. Please email volunteer@farestart.org to RSVP.
  2. Identify how you would like to volunteer with us.
  3. Create an account with our volunteer scheduling and management website. This is required in order to sign up to volunteer.
  4. Sign up for a Shelter Meal Delivery volunteer shift on the Shiftboard volunteer calendar.
  5. Begin volunteering.
  6. Attend a volunteer orientation. We host a volunteer orientation at the 7th & Virginia location every 1st Tuesday morning of the month from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and every 1st Wednesday night from 6 to 8 p.m. (immediately following community dinner). Whether you've volunteered with us for a decade or are new to our community, we'd love to see you and talk a little more about what it means to be a FareStart volunteer. Please RSVP via the Shiftboard volunteer calendar or email volunteer@farestart.org.
Important Notes - Please Read:
  • All volunteers must sign up in advance of volunteering. Please do not show up without signing up; if you do you may be turned away.
  • We do not accept volunteers under the age of 18 on site.
  • We are not accepting court-ordered community service volunteers at this time.

Please consider our Group Volunteer Opportunities.


We are currently recruiting for the following volunteer opportunities:
  • Special Events:
    • FareStart’s Guest Chef Spectacular: A special event on June 25, 2015 that features tastes from more than 30 of the area’s top restaurants, wineries and breweries. We have individual and group volunteer positions the day of the event for load in and set up. We also have opportunities for volunteering the night of event beginning anytime between 3:00 and 6:30 p.m. and ending anytime between 5:30 and 10:00 p.m. depending on your role.

    • FareStart’s Great Food, Better Lives Gala Auction: A special event on October 4, 2015 to raise vital funds to support FareStart's job training programs for homeless and disadvantaged individuals. We have individual or group volunteer positions on the days leading up to the event. Event evening shifts begin between 2:30 and 5:30 p.m. and end between 6:30 and 10:30 p.m. depending on your role.
  • Computer Lab Volunteer: Our Student Services department is seeking volunteer assistance to help students build resumes, write cover letters, perform job searches and learn basic functions of MS Word. With one-on-one attention from a long-term volunteer in the lab, men and women have a greater opportunity to find meaningful work in our community. An individual who speaks Spanish would be a great benefit. The schedule for this position is Monday afternoons, 3 to 4 p.m. at the FareStart building on 7th and Virginia. This is an ongoing, weekly volunteer opportunity with a minimum 6 month commitment. All candidates must be willing to pass a background check.

  • Research Assistant: We are looking for a computer savvy individual with extensive research experience and excellent writing ability to support our funding efforts for both our local and national (Catalyst Kitchens) programs. The position will support our Grants Manager by helping identify new foundation funding, as well as researching the national scope of Opportunity Youth and the non-profits that serve them. The position requires a commitment of 2-4 hours a week, ongoing for 2-3 months.

  • Shelter Meal Delivery: This is our greatest volunteer need! On a shelter run, you help pack up meals for transportation and deliver them to local homeless shelters, then have an opportunity to serve dinner at the Downtown Emergency Service Center alongside FareStart chefs and students. No driving necessary. Volunteers must be able to lift 50 lbs. Shelter runs happen daily from 3 to 6:30 p.m. One-time or ongoing i.e. volunteer as often as you like.

  • Kitchen PrepFareStart prepares and delivers meals 365 days a year to several area homeless shelters. We can take individuals or groups of up to 10 people to help prepare food alongside FareStart's chefs and students. Kitchen prep volunteer opportunities take place Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (sometimes ending earlier) on days when we have fewer students. One-time or ongoing i.e. volunteer as often as you like.
  • Graphic Design Special Project: We are seeking a graphic design professional to support our Catalyst Kitchens (CK) team to redesign their workshop delivery tool, the “Discovery Workshop Roadmap.” Ideally, the approx. 2-page tool serves as a guide for workshop facilitators, however the current version is dense and difficult to navigate. The volunteer will work with the CK Program Development Manager to develop a new version of the tool that is both cleaner, easy-to-use, and visually congruent with the CK brand. The position requires a commitment of 1-2 months, or until the project is completed to the CK Program Development Manger’s satisfaction. Work can be performed remotely, following a phone consult. 

  • CRM Expert: We are looking for a highly skilled CRM volunteer to aid us in working on our custom databases. Duties include improving, troubleshooting and training employees on their respective database. This position requires being an experienced user of CRM programs and the ability to write code. This position would be an on-call position with mutually agreed upon times for each project. This position takes place both remotely and at two different FareStart locations: 7th & Virginia and Pacific Tower (1200 12th Ave S). Ongoing, as needed.

  • Raiser's Edge Database Data Entry Special Project: Do you have experience with Raiser's Edge and data entry? We need your assistance! We are looking for a volunteer to enter backlogged information from our restaurant into our Raiser's Edge database. Duties include making copies of data source and the entering that data into Raiser's Edge. Times would be set on a mutually agreeable weekly or bi-weekly basis during normal business hours. Special project, approx. 3 months.
  • Nutrition Education Program: Work with FareStart staff to create an engaging nutritional education opportunity for the children who attend child care centers where FareStart provides meals. This ideal volunteer has experience in curriculum development, nutritional knowledge, and experience working with children. Duties including documenting past educational efforts, developing curriculum and implementing the educational program. Requires availability during regular business hours on a bi-weekly basis for on-site meetings, but work can be performed remotely. Special project, approx. 3 to 4 months with the option of continuing to facilitate the program once in operation.

  • Guest Chef Night Volunteering: A weekly highlight for the FareStart community is Thursday Guest Chef Night, held at the FareStart Restaurant at 7th & Virginia. Since 1994, Guest Chef Night has raised more than $5 million, revenue which has gone directly back into our program to support our student job training and placement services. Every Thursday night, a different Guest Chef works with the students to prepare a three-course meal for over 200 guests served at the FareStart Restaurant. Hard-working community volunteers serve the diners and 100% of the proceeds and gratuities from the evening goes back to fund student services and training.
    • Individuals: We are actively recruiting for Guest Chef Night Individual Volunteers! Help the FareStart team execute the evening. Roles include: food running, barista, captain (work with community group), hostess … etc. Must be willing to do most roles. Must be able to lift 50 lbs. and stand for 5 hours. Thursdays 4:45 to 9:45 p.m. Ongoing, once or twice per month.
    • Groups(9 people): Booked through 2015, and currently taking names for 2016. Serve the evening’s meal and help fill the restaurant to raise funds for FareStart’s programs! Your hard work is rewarded by a tasty meal. No heavy lifting or previous experience required. Thursdays: 4 to 10 p.m. 

  • Guest Chef Night Photography Volunteer: This volunteer would use their creativity and artistic eye to take pictures of the weekly guest chefs with students and food plates. They will be working closely with our students, amazing chefs from restaurants all over Seattle, and their food creations. This photography role would artistically exemplify all of the work that FareStart does while helping us make certain that our students are comfortable and protected. Guest Chef Night happens every Thursday evening at FareStart (located at 7th and Virginia). Volunteers are asked to commit to volunteering from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. 1 - 2 times per month. Ongoing, once or twice per month.

To begin volunteering at FareStart, please visit our volunteer scheduling and management website and create an account. If you have additional questions on volunteering, please email volunteer@farestart.org or calling 206-267-7614.