Volunteering in Shanghai Guide

Shanghai Living

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Looking to make a difference in Shanghai? You’ve got plenty of options around town.

Looking for a way to get more involved with the local community? These Shanghai-based charities are always looking for volunteers and have flexible programs, from a few hours a week helping elderly folks to breaking a sweat planting trees. Get involved with these communities in Shanghai and make a difference.

Lifeline Shanghai

Lifeline Shanghai operates an English-speaking helpline service for the international community. The volunteer-led helpline provides free, confidential and anonymous emotional support and information to those struggling with their mental health and wellbeing while living in Shanghai. In order to attend the short training course and become a volunteer, you need to be 21 years or older and have lived in Shanghai for at least six months.


Hands on Shanghai

If you want to volunteer but aren’t sure where your skills are needed, Hands On Shanghai can help match you to a local charity, school or healthcare center and find a program that suits your schedule. These range from mentoring and tutoring students to playing mahjong and chatting with the elderly. Volunteers usually commit a few hours per week.


Shanghai Sunrise

This educational charity gives scholarships to disadvantaged students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to continue with school due to financial and health burdens within their family. Volunteers are needed across all areas including marketing, IT, fundraising and sponsorships.


Home Sweet Home

This Shanghai homeless shelter has expanded into a network of reintegration programs that equip those in need with life skills including vocational training, finance`al literacy and basic English. Volunteers are invited to help out at weekly spoken English lessons on Thursdays or Care Days on Saturdays.


Shanghai Young Bakers

Shanghai Young Bakers provides free French bakery training to Chinese youths who are unable to continue their education due to family circumstances. SYB puts them through a one-year training course designed to prepare them for employment. Volunteer opportunities are available in IT, translation, web writing, fundraising and event planning.


Heart to Heart Shanghai

Heart to Heart provides support and financial assistance to children with congenital heart defects through sales of their trademark Heart Bear toys. Every Heart Bear is outfitted in special cardigans knitted by volunteers. As well as knitting, volunteers can help out by participating in play sessions with kids in hospitals around Shanghai


Stepping Stones China

Stepping Stones’ mission is to improve the education and welfare of students in migrant schools around Shanghai. As well as helping teach English to migrant kids, volunteers can help run charitable projects such as summer programs and vision care programs. Volunteers are encouraged to commit between three to six hours per week.


Baobei Foundation

The name “baobei” is a Chinese term of endearment that literally means “a precious bundle”. This charity collaborates with medical professionals and orphanages to give care and rehabilitation support to babies with neurological or gastrointestinal defects. Volunteers can assist with short or long-term childcare and helping at fundraising bazaars and events.


Roots & Shoots

Founded by the Jane Goodall Institute, Roots & Shoots was among the first international NGOs registered in China. Their Shanghai branch runs many long-term projects that individual volunteers can help out with, including community recycling, teaching nutrition and health in migrant schools, and the Million Tree Project, a reforestation project in Inner Mongolia.


Green Initiatives Shanghai

Green Initiatives’ mission is to minimize environmental damage in China through creating awareness and sustainable change. Current projects include helping local communities recycle electronics and unwanted clothing. They are looking for dedicated, passionate volunteers who are willing to devote more than just a few hours per week, in areas including campaign planning, translation, copywriting and project management.


Jaiya’s Animal Rescue

Since Jaiya’s Animal Rescue was founded in 2009, they’ve rescued more than 1,200 animals and held regular monthly adoption days. Volunteers are always needed for help with transportation to adoption days and vet visits, fundraising, donating goods and fostering animals while they wait for their forever home.


Second Chance Animal Aid

This Shanghai animal shelter relies on the power of volunteers to care for rescued cats, dogs and other pets. Other than adopting or fostering an animal, volunteers can help out on adoption days or with cleaning facilities, grooming, handing out brochures, fundraising or giving much-needed TLC to the animals.


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