Volunteer Opportunities

Bodhisattva Actions


Do you do volunteer work in the community that could use more hands?  Do you know of volunteer opportunities that strengthen lovingkindness and compassion?  Send a description and your contact information to Nalanda and we will solicit volunteers who want to engage in a new bodhisattva practice.  Below are some suggetions offered by members.

Upgrade Nalanda's Website

We'd like to modernize and upgrade our website.  None of the Board members has expertise in how to do a project like this.  Can you advise us?

Assistant Property Manager

We'd like to find an assistant property manager for the Dharma Center.  This would be back-up for our current system.  It would involve communications (tenants, contractors, fire inspectors, etc.) but could involve additional work if one of the rentals turns over and we have to advertise, show, and re-rent the residences.  It wouldn't involve doing repairs or the like unless you know and love that kind of thing.

Bookcase Needed

Nalanda is a sponsor of the Library of Tibetan Classics from Wisdom Publications, so we receive complimentary copies of these thick volumes.  So far 18 of 32 planned volumes have been released, and Nalanda's copies are stored in increasingly heavy boxes in my house.  Eventually, I hope we have an office for our teacher so these books can be a readily available reference.  For now I'm looking for a short bookcase with at least 6 feet of 10" tall shelves.  Doesn't have to be beautiful, just STRONG.  If you have a bookcase like that you'd be willing to donate, please let me know.  Thanks, Jan Vleck [vleckjan at gmail.com].

Washington Corrections Center
Shelton Prison Dharma Outreach

The Buddhist Meditation group at Washington Corrections Center in Shelton ​is asking for community meditators to attend their meditation and dharma study group.  The ​men of the ​group lead​​ the​ practice which includes meditation and discussion of dharma books and videos​. ​ To learn​ more about visiting ​the​ group please email​ Kathy at: chaimyung2@gmail.com.

Kathy also sends PDFs of Buddhist teachings to WCC Chaplain Carnahan.  He is able to print them and share with the prisoners, who do not themselves have internet access.  The men have been without volunteer-led meditation groups since Bob and Zach were there in early 2020, and for much the past year without family visits.  Many have been infected with C-19.

Do you have any Dharma texts that you would consider donating to this outreach? Or can you suggest resources or links for printed material that might be helpful? Get in touch with Kathy (email is above) to make arrangements.

Hospice Without Borders

Hospice Without Borders is located at 1713 State Ave NE, 98506.
Contact David Slack, 360-556-4974, regarding the following volunteer opportunities:


PRESENT TO DYING: A community based contemplative care program for beginners.
This 4 week annual program is held in the tradition of council practice and aims to improve our capacity to and be present to and care for people in our lives facing death, including ourselves.


An international hospice experience
We offer those committed to deepening their practice an international volunteer opportunity to bear witness to suffering and work directly with patients in the African country of Rwanda.


We do accept volunteers for preparing our Sunday shelter meals for homeless at Unity Commons


For members of the community.  We want to inform you that we do have a limited amount of medical supplies available for people living with incurable illness.  Please inquire with Dr. David Slack at 360-556-4974.

Dog Park Stewards Needed

Olympia Parks seeks volunteer stewards willing to commit to 4 hours a month for at least 6 months at three new dog parks (Ward Lake, Evergreen, and McLane).  Flex your Bodhisattva muscles and contact Amy Stull of the Park Stewardship Program at 360-753-8258.

Volunteers in Parks

Olympia Parks is reopening volunteer work parties!  Registration is required, to facilitate appropriate pandemic precautions.  It's a great way to spend time outdoors, doing something to benefit the environment and park users for generations to come.  There may be an opportunity near your home.  Check the schedule here.

Keep Nalanda's Grounds Looking Good

We are looking for a volunteer to mow the lawns at the Meditation Hall on 4th Ave.  Right now it’s every other week; by May, it will be every week -- but multiple volunteers could share a rotation.  We have a corded electric mower.  It takes roughly an hour for the front, middle and back lawns.  Email or call (360 402-6815) Bob Saunders if you can help us.  Note: providing service to the Center is good Dharma practice, and is greatly appreciated by Loppon Jamyang and board members.

Crisis Clinic

Volunteer training for "Crisis Advocates" is now an in-home experience.  To volunteer, complete an application and they will contact you to figure out how best to use your time.  Their recent mailing says, "You can't pour from an empty cup".  Volunteering is one way to fill your own cup while filling the cups of others in need.

Sponsor Zoom Storage

Can you help by making an extra financial donation to sponsor the necessary upgrades to our digital infrastructure?  Your sponsorship will benefit many others, during and after the pandemic, by making Loppon Jamyang's teachings more durably accessible, even to those who live far away.  $40 sponsors one month of expanded (100 GB) on-line storage.  We also need up to $500 for new equipment (router, modem, etc.).  Contact our Treasurer, Gerry, for information on direct transfers, or click the DANA link here or at the top of any page of this website.


Create and distribut posters around town for our Center.  Drop a note to Nalanda if you can help!

Recording & Posting Teachings

Sound recording and adding recordings to our website.  Currently we have a backlog of recordings of teachings and such, and could use help from a technically skilled volunteer to take this on long-term.

Drop a note to Nalanda if you can help!

Are You a Graphic Artist?

If you are skilled with computer graphics, and would like to donate some assistance to Nalanda, please drop a line to Jan at Nalanda.

Dispute Resolution Center Mediation Trainings

The Dispute Resolution Center of Thurston County offers a series of beginning and advanced trainings in mediation for people interested in learning the philosophy, process, and practice of community mediation. Scholarships are available for this year's 40-hour professional mediation trainings. See Dispute Resolution.

No One Dies Alone Volunteer Companion Program

Three Nalanda members currently volunteer for this program through Providence, providing vigils or reassuring bedside companionship to those who might otherwise die alone.  To learn more, talk to Claire or call Providence Spiritual Care at 360-493-7240.  A training is required.

Hospice Volunteer Training

Providence Hospice Volunteers must attend training sessions. The training covers hospice philosophy and end of life education. Volunteers interact with patients and families in many creative ways to enhance their lives. You can work close to where you live.

To learn more, contact Hospice Volunteer Services at 360-493-4689
or email: Hospice Volunteer.

Interfaith Works

Interfaith Works -- of which Nalanda is a member -- has several activities that could use volunteer help, such as the annual homeless census.  Check their "Selections! IW Community Calendar.  One additional click is necessary to download the calendar.

Community Care Center

SideWalk aims to end homelessness, and partners with Interfaith Works and other organizations at the Providence Community Care Center.  Volunteers are needed in many capacities, and training is provided.  Contact Sidewalk

Thurston County Food Bank

From packing groceries to picking produce, and more!  Volunteer daytime shifts are available nearly every day of the week, with two evenings per month and limited seasonal opportunities on weekends.

The best way for individuals to start is to attend a Volunteer Orientation and Tour, which are held the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of every month from 3 - 4 PM (so Dec. 19, Jan. 2 and 16, etc.).

Volunteer coordinator is Jen Butti. Call (360) 352-8597 ext. 107
or email: Food Bank Volunteers
220 Thurston Av NE (downtown Oly)

Olympia Parks

The Volunteer in Parks program is a great way to learn about Olympia's parks and help them stay healthy and beautiful.  A good entry point is to join a work party--all abilities welcome.  For exapmple in December, work parties occured at Ellis Cove in Priest Point Park, Yashiro Japanese Garden, the Springwood Parcel (formerly Zabel's rhododendron garden), and West Bay Park.  Tools, gloves and some refreshments are provided.  For work parties, dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes or boots that can get wet and muddy.  This could be a good family activity because all ages are welcome, but there are special requirements for those under age 18.

Check the Parks webpage. That website also has a link to Upcoming Work Parties.  Email Jan Vleck about his experience.

Volunteer at Nalanda!

Ongoing volunteers are needed for routine maintenance, moderate-skill improvement projects, publicity for events, setting up/taking down for events, annual retreat committee, other event committees.

Email Bob Saunders or Jan Vleck at Nalanda.