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What Can You Do?

You Can Do This

It started with one person asking: What can I do? It continued with years and years of people answering that question: “I can do this.” Because they care about children, and they believe in families as the mark of a strong community.

We couldn’t be there for children and families who need us without the selfless, unwavering support of volunteers. Know that when you give your time to DABSJ, you are part of a uniquely historic effort to help children and families, spanning from the 1800s to today!

Questions? Contact us at

Signed Up To Volunteer?

Make sure you fill out your volunteer documents before coming in!

Join Us

Together, we can create a future of hope for thousands of children. Whether you’ve got a group looking to give back, or you’re flying solo and have the heart, we would love to link you with a volunteer opportunity that fits you.

This community is special because it’s filled with people who care. Thanks to all who start where they are and do what they can… we couldn’t do it without you.

Individual Volunteer Opportunities

D.A. Blodgett - St. John’s Guild

Formed in the 1960s, the D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s Guild coordinates, solicits for, and plans a beloved Grand Rapids event: the annual Guild Ball. What sets the Ball apart from other galas is its historic legacy, carrying DABSJ through times of need and always being there for children in our programs. The Guild meets four times a year and actively assists in fundraising to make the Guild Ball a success, creating incredible impact for children and families.

Marilyn J. Olson Guild

Just like its namesake – Marilyn Olson, a dedicated volunteer who gave back for over three decades – the Marilyn J. Olson Guild is a hands-on group at DABSJ. These devoted volunteers manage our stock of clothing and supplies for families, including care bags for children in foster care. Guild members volunteer as their schedules allow, often spending time sorting, organizing, and compiling items so they’re ready when needed.

Emerging Leaders Council

ELC members are between the ages of 25-39 and are emerging as leaders in their organization, profession, and/or the community. They are supportive of DABSJ’s mission and desire to employ their energy, creativity, and unique talents to impact the lives of our community’s most vulnerable children and families. ELC members have the potential to develop into major donors and/or future board members. They want to meet new people and expand their personal and professional networks and are willing to reach out to their existing networks to promote and seek support for DABSJ.

Backpack Drive and Holiday Gift Drive

Our Backpack Drive and Holiday Gift Drive are both special times when our community turns out for our children and families to get them ready for school and to have a magical holiday season – and it takes volunteers to make it all happen! Volunteers can assist with anything from filling and organizing backpacks to wrapping gifts at our annual wrap party. Fill out the interest form and a DABSJ team member will reach out to you with more details. 

Additional Opportunities

Got the time and heart? We’d love to connect you with a project or task that fits you! Additional opportunities may include:

Individual or Group Opportunities

Supporting Foster Parents

Foster care is love – and a lot of hard work. Help wrap our DABSJ foster parents and caregivers in support by bringing them a meal, welcoming a new placement, gifting a family activity, mowing their lawn, or going grocery shopping for them.

Hosting Foster Care Info Sessions

If you are part of a community group, club, or organization, you can make a difference by helping to spread awareness. A DABSJ team member can join your group for coffee hour, meetings, and get-togethers to educate about foster care and adoption.

Group Volunteer Opportunities

Campus Projects

Our campus includes our main building as well as several youth homes. Keeping all of our 36 acres looking beautiful helps create a hopeful, healing environment for children and families at DABSJ. As seasons change, there are always needs! Your group may help with:

Lead A Care Bag Drive

Sometimes, children enter foster care with nothing more than a plastic bag holding a few items – or even nothing at all. We keep care bags on hand filled with things to call their own and to help make them a little more comfortable when entering a new foster home – pajamas, a stuffed animal, toiletries, and more. Your group can host a donation drive for care bag supplies. Download the Care Bag Wish List to get started!

“Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Do what you can.”

-Arthur Ashe

Volunteer Interest Form

Step 1 of 2

DABSJ is inclusive and welcoming – from our team members, to the children we serve, to the families we license as foster parents. You could play a part in providing homes and hope for children who need a place to be themselves.