Miles Schroeder, Sophie Froese, Elizabeth Odette and Erica Schroeder assist in painting

From left, Miles Schroeder, Sophie Froese, Elizabeth Odette and Erica Schroeder, help with a painting project last year at the City of Refuge in Columbia. Students can volunteer with the organization to aid refugees in Columbia.

Incoming MU students have many options to volunteer in Columbia, as well as around mid-Missouri. From community clean-ups to service projects, the range of possibilities allows students to choose how to get involved.

Litter Team clean-ups

Litter clean-ups help keep Columbia cleaner. The clean-ups typically last two hours, and sanitary equipment like gloves is provided.

Upcoming cleanups are planned for these dates:

  • Aug. 14: 9-11 a.m. @ Senior Marketing Specialist, 803 Gray Oak Dr.
  • Sept. 11: 9-11 a.m. @ Grace Bible Church, 601 Blue Ridge Rd.
  • Oct. 23: 10 a.m. to noon @ Flat Branch Park playground off of Elm St.
  • Nov. 13: 10 a.m. to noon @ Faith Baptist Church, 3909 Brown Station Rd
  • Dec. 4: 10 a.m. to noon @ MBS Textbooks, 2711 W. Ash St.

In addition to volunteering as part of the crew, students can volunteer to lead clean-ups. The leaders participate in the organization and direction of the site clean-up and also provide sanitary equipment.

To become a leader, contact volunteer programs at 573-874-7499 or email

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Missouri

The Big Brothers Big Sisters program enhances the lives of youth in Columbia through service. The program accepts monetary donations or gifts in the form of supplies. 

The program serves children of single-parent families, children with an incarcerated parent, children of active and fallen military, children in long-term foster care and children referred by schools or other professionals.

City of Refuge

The City of Refuge provides aid to refugees, as well as directing them to resources that help them become established in the community. Students can volunteer at community events that directly fund City of Refuge efforts.

First Chance for Children

First Chance for Children provides resources and care for at-risk children in mid-Missouri. Additionally, the organization supplies diapers and cribs that are deemed especially safe.

The main goal of the organization is to give quality support during early childhood to prepare children for their future education and well-adjusted lives.

Students can get involved through internships, group teamwork and monthly as-needed opportunities. The internships can range from marketing and business to human development and social work.

Group teamwork offers students the chance to work together with the organization and plan a volunteer event that acts as both team-building and service to the organization.

Monthly as-needed opportunities require students to do tasks like sanitizing the organization's library, wrapping diapers, or labeling and organizing books.

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