Community Volunteering in the USA

Philadelphia, USA

Community Development Philadelphia


Working closely with a local partner on a range of important initiatives in Philadelphia, Love Volunteers Community Development program focuses on the immediate needs of marginalized communities.  While the USA is often seen as the land of plenty, the reality for many residents is income inequality, housing insecurity and a lack of basic resources. This program aims to address these issues by working with local organizations focused on helping low-income families and un-housed populations.  

This program is perfect for hard-working volunteers who want to support vulnerable communities in whatever way they can and are passionate about this program’s ultimate goal: to promote and support endeavors that result in thriving, vibrant and safe communities with equal opportunities and resources for all residents. 

Goals of this project:

  • Improving the quality of life for low-income and un-housed communities.  
  • Supporting organizations in providing easy access to food and basic necessities
  • Creating safe, positive spaces for residents who feel empowered in their own communities 
  • Enabling positive exchange between volunteers and communities that cross cultural, religious and socio-economic barriers 

How You Can Help

More than ever volunteers are needed to assist local organizations in their work with vulnerable communities. In this ever changing world the challenges are multiple and often unpredictable. Volunteers on this essential program will gain an insight into the issues faced by these communities and will play a part in combating these challenges and empowering individuals to be active in their community.  

Volunteers will be matched with local initiatives based on skill-sets, preferences and the needs existing at the time of placement. The program partners with various organizations running a diverse range of projects and the work undertaken by each volunteer is meaningful and beneficial to the communities served. Placements may be with food banks, homeless shelters, donation warehouses, schools and community centres.  

Volunteer work will vary depending on the projects being undertaken and may include:

  • Assisting in food distribution, for example serving meals and packing grocery boxes
  • Sorting donations of food, clothing or household good 
  • Assisting local homeless shelters
  • Working with local groups to clean and beautify communal spaces


Love Volunteers welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to help create a brighter future for people living in marginalized communities of the USA. While this project is best suited to those interested in the fields of anthropology, social work, social entrepreneurship and/or economics, volunteers who simply wish to be involved in a more ‘varied’ project are also welcomed as there are many ways you can assist and individual projects can often be tailored to suit the particular skills and interests or each participant. Importantly, all applicants must first and foremost have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!

Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:

  • Emergency contact
  • Police check
  • Resume

Find out how to obtain a police check here

Project Location

USA, Philadelphia

Philadelphia, known fondly as 'Philly', is the largest city in the state of Pennsylvania and one of the oldest settlements in the US, dating back to 1682.  A Unesco World Heritage City, Philly maintains the charms of its small town roots whilst embracing the glamour and culture of the modern metropolis it has become.
Volunteers work to promote the importance of water quality and ecosystems in the Delaware River, alleviate the underlying causes and results of poverty in missions and food shelters and mentor the city's youth.

Start Dates & Duration

Minimum 1 week

This project is available year-round and programs start every SUNDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 1 week to 12 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions.

Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.

For current available start dates please check the calendar on the right.

Arrival & Orientation

Airport Pickup Included

Volunteers are met on arrival into Philadelphia by our local representative and taken to the hostel to settle in. A welcome dinner for new and current volunteers is a great opportunity to get to know each other!  

Monday is Orientation Day, designed to help volunteers feel supported and comfortable in their new environment. The orientation will cover negotiating the public transport system and will include a visit to the project site and brief introduction by the community partner. 

    • Arrival Day: SUNDAY 8AM - 8PM
    • Departure Day: SATURDAY 
    • Arrival Airport: Philadelphia International Airport (code PHL)

    Accommodation & Meals

    Public Hostel / Meals Included

    Volunteers on this project are accommodated in a popular hostel in downtown Philly.  Within easy walking distance of Market Street, Delaware River and various sights, amenities, restaurants and cafes the hostel is a great base from which to explore the city. 

    Volunteers stay in dormitory rooms split by gender. Rooms are shared by 2 - 3 volunteers and each room has its own bathroom. Towels and linen are provided so volunteers need only bring their personal toiletries.

    The hostel is well equipped with everything you need for a great stay including lockers (with power outlets), free WiFi & computers, a large modern kitchen and comfortable communal areas for relaxing after a busy day. Laundry facilities are also available at the hostel for a small fee.

    Philadelphia hostel bedroom  Philadelphia hostel kitchen  Philadelphia hostel bathroom

    Volunteers are provided with a traditional Philly breakfast every day (included in the program fee). Lunch and dinner can be prepared in the hostel kitchen - or provide a chance to experience the amazing culture and cuisine on offer nearby. Simply get a few of your fellow hostel mates together and head out to one of the many local restaurants, bars or cafes and enjoy all the local and international delicacies on offer! Easy!


    From USD 759
    Program fee:
    Different currency?
    USD 759

    That’s just USD 108 per day* for:

    • Airport pick-up on arrival
    • Orientation & full safety briefing
    • Accommodation (as specified above)
    • Food & Meals (as specified above)
    • Project placement & onsite supervision

    *In addition to the program fees listed above a Registration Fee is payable to secure your place. The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering with Love Volunteers for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime LV Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner.

    Some things are not included in the program fees listed above, such as flights, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, additional foods and snacks, spending money, local transport, in-country trips and excursions, return airport transfer (unless mentioned above).

    Please note that prices are subject to change without notice. Please ensure you have read the Love Volunteers Terms and Conditions & Refund Policy.