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Volunteer with health and human services

Contribute a few hours each month to help your community or donate to people in need. Our focus is on helping clients and staff achieve better results. Find a volunteer or donation opportunity that works for you.

Find an opportunity that works for you

  • Find something that matches your interests
  • Choose a short or long-term opportunity
  • Choose a location that's convenient – close to home or to work
  • Pick the day and time that suit you – a few hours a week to a few hours a month
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Backpack Challenge

The Backpack Challenge is the county’s award winning school supplies drive. Hennepin County staff and community partners have donated more than 100,000 backpacks to students in need since the program was launched. School-age children who have a Hennepin County case manager are eligible.

Fill a backpack and help prepare a student for school. Donations can be dropped off by appointment or arrangements can be made for pick-up by county staff. Financial contributions will be used to purchase supplies. Supplies and donations are needed year-round. For more information about how to donate, contact Shira Rabinowicz, Volunteer Coordinator at 612-348-2875 or by email at

Mail donations to:

Volunteer & Community Partnerships Program
Hennepin County Backpack Challenge
Attn: Kim La Rosa, MC 658
300 S. 6th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55487

Giving Partners Holiday Program

Spread holiday cheer by donating to low-income families, children, youth, seniors, disabled adults, and veterans to make a positive difference in their lives. Donate as a family, group of neighbors, friends, and employees to increase your impact.

Mail gift cards, cash or checks to:

Volunteer & Community Partnerships Program
Giving Partners Holiday Program
Attn: Kim La Rosa, MC 658
300 S. 6th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55487

Or, sign up to sponsor specific clients in the program by emailing We will send you a person or family's brief bio and wish list.


In-kind donations to Hennepin County, Health and Human Services provide vulnerable community members with basic need items. Donations directly benefit youth and adults experiencing homelessness, people with mental health and addiction challenges, and Native American youth in the child services system.

Donations provide basic needs to individuals who would otherwise not have access to items such as hygiene products, toiletries, socks, shoes, clothing, blankets, and other fundamental items. Providing some of these basic need items helps individuals focus on their goals and move forward in life to take care of other important needs. Extra and special items are also much appreciated especially for the Hennepin County children clients. Things like Birthday Boxes or Care Bags are often a special added bonus.

For more information on how to donate, contact

Special Gift Fund

The mission is to provide a limited amount of money to current Hennepin County clients who are facing an emergency or special need and for whom there is no other funding source available to meet that need. Currently it is a service being coordinated by Hennepin County's Volunteer and Community Partnerships Program team, Health and Human Services Department. Donations can be in any amount and can come from any source. All donations are 100% tax deductible (donation receipts available upon request). All donations go to benefit clients – there are no management fees or overhead costs. No tax dollars are used for the Special Gift Fund — it is 100% supported by tax deductible donations.

Please make your check payable to: Hennepin County Special Gift Fund. Cash is also accepted. The fund does not currently have an online giving option.

Mail donations to:

Hennepin County Special Gift Fund
Attn: Noemi Alcocer, MC 140
300 S. 6th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55487

For questions regarding the Special Gift Fund, please email or

Kind of work volunteers do

Volunteers will help with emergency response and public health work such as:

  • Assist vaccinating Hennepin County residents
  • Support epidemiological case contact investigation
  • Lead emergency response team
  • Maintain crowd control at large public health emergency responses
  • Provide psychological first aid to residents

Shifts available are response based.

Apply and follow process

Volunteers must be 18 years in age and older.

  1. Complete online registration and application at Minnesota Responds Medical Reserve Corps.
  2. Complete online orientation
  3. Attend an initial training course

Your health background information is not required.


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