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Are you visiting Kauai and looking for a way to connect deeper with the island besides conventional tourism?

You’re in luck because Kauai offers a range of volunteer opportunities that allow you to give back while on vacation.

Read on to discover how your holiday can leave lasting benefits both for you and the beautiful island of Kauai.

Key Takeaways of Volunteer Opportunities on Kauai

  • Kauai offers a range of volunteer opportunities that allow visitors to give back while on vacation, from hanging with a dog for the day to feeding those in need.
  • Other volunteering options include helping Malama Kauai in their efforts to keep the island green and healthy or joining the National Tropical Botanical Garden as a volunteer.
  • Visitors can also contribute by volunteering at organizations like the Kauai Food Bank, Waipa Foundation, Friends of Kamalani and Lydgate Park, Surfrider Foundation, or the Kauai Humane Society.

RELATED PODCAST: Kauai Travel Guide

Kauai Volunteer Opportunities

There are several volunteer opportunities in Kauai that you can participate in during your vacation, including Malama Kauai, National Tropical Botanical Garden, Kauai Food Bank, Waipa Foundation, Friends of Kamalani and Lydgate Park, Surfrider Foundation, and the Kauai Humane Society.

1. Malama Kauai

Kauai Volunteer Opportunities - Malama Kauai

Photo credit Malama Kauai

Malama Kauai is a group that loves the land and people of Kauai. They work to keep the island green and healthy. This group offers many ways for you to help out. You can join them in growing food in school gardens.

Or, if you’re visiting for an extended amount of time, you can take part in an intern program about farming.

If you like, lend a hand at the food pantry or help get rid of invasive plants that harm Kauai’s natural beauty. Malama Kauai has lots of jobs for volunteers all year long!

They welcome people who love nature and want to give back during their visit to Hawaii.

2. National Tropical Botanical Garden

Kauai Volunteer Opportunities - National Tropical Botanical Garden 2

Photo credit National Tropical Botanical Garden

You can join the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) as a volunteer. People of all ages are welcome here. At NTBG, you get to know Kauai’s plants, ecosystems, and cultures.

You can visit two big gardens – the McBryde Garden and the Limahuli Garden and Preserve.

As a volunteer, you also get special perks like invites to events and behind-the-scenes access!

3. Kauai Food Bank

Kauai Volunteer Opportunities - Kauai Food Bank

Photo credit Kauai Food Bank

If you want to help the community while on vacation in Kauai, consider volunteering at the Kauai Food Bank. Established in 1992, this organization serves about 10% of Kauai’s population monthly.

Their mission is to collect food from the community and distribute it to over 100 charities. You can join their volunteer program and lend a hand either for one-time events or ongoing positions.

The Kauai Food Bank relies on community support and volunteers like you to carry out their important work. By volunteering here, you’ll be making a positive impact on the island and helping those in need.


4. Waipa Foundation

Kauai Volunteer Opportunities - Waipa Foundation

Photo credit Waipa Foundation

The Waipa Foundation is a Native Hawaiian learning center and community center located in Hanalei on the island of Kauai. They offer volunteer opportunities for visitors like you to get involved and give back during your vacation.

One way you can help is through their weekly Poi Day service learning events, where volunteers learn traditional Hawaiian practices such as canoe paddling and growing and pounding kalo (taro) to make poi.

Unfortunately, the Poi Day events are currently not accepting new volunteers, but don’t worry! But, keep checking!

There’s still a monthly workday available for you to join and contribute your time and energy to support the foundation’s mission of promoting native Hawaiian culture and sustainability.


5. Friends of Kamalani and Lydgate Park

Kauai Volunteer Opportunities Friends of Kamalani and Lydgate Park

Photo credit Friends of Kamalani and Lydgate Park

Friends of Kamalani and Lydgate Park is a group that organizes beach cleanups at Morgan’s Ponds in Lydgate Beach Park. This park is named after John Lydgate, who had a vision to bring the community together and keep the shores clean.

By volunteering with Friends of Kamalani and Lydgate Park, you can honor John Lydgate’s vision while helping to preserve and maintain the park’s amenities and natural resources.

It’s a great opportunity to make a positive impact on the environment during your visit to Kauai.

RELATED PODCAST: Kauai’s Hidden Gems

6. Surfrider Foundation

Kauai Volunteer Opportunities - surfrider foundation

Photo credit Surfrider Foundation

Surfrider Kauai is a group that cares about protecting and enjoying Kauai’s oceans, waves, and beaches. They are part of a national network called the Surfrider Foundation. As a visitor to Hawaii, you can join Surfrider Kauai in its efforts to keep the beach clean and reduce plastic pollution.

Every Wednesday, they host a cleanup where volunteers can come together to pick up trash on the beach. It’s a great way to protect the ocean, promote clean water, and ensure everyone can access beautiful beaches.

So grab your family or friends and participate in these vital cleanup activities during your vacation! 


7. Kauai Humane Society

Kauai Volunteer Opportunities - Kauai Humane Society

Photo credit Kauai Humane Society

If you’re a Hawaii visitor who loves animals, the Kauai Humane Society offers volunteer opportunities to take part in while on vacation. One way to help out is by “checking out” a dog for the day and giving them exercise and exposure to potential adopters.

They also have various volunteer positions available, so you can find something that suits your interests.

The Kauai Humane Society is passionate about preserving historic sites, museums, and natural scenery, as well as sustainability and conservation efforts on the island.

By volunteering with them, you’ll be making a positive impact on both animals and the community of Kauai.

Benefits of Voluntourism in Kauai

Volunteering in Kauai brings many benefits to both the volunteers and the community. When you volunteer, you have the opportunity to explore different roles and interests while giving back to a place that welcomes visitors like yourself.

By joining organizations like Malama Kauai or the National Tropical Botanical Garden, you can be part of sustainability and conservation efforts on the island.

The Kauai Food Bank also invites volunteers to help with their food distribution program, ensuring that everyone has enough to eat.

Not only will you gain valuable experience and knowledge about Kauai’s culture and environment, but you’ll also make a meaningful impact on the lives of those living in this beautiful island community.

So why not consider volunteering during your vacation? It’s a chance for personal growth while contributing to the well-being of others.

For more Kauai content, check out our best Kauai beaches, Kauai luaus, and the best things to do on Kauai guides!

FAQs for Kauai Volunteer Opportunites

1. What volunteer opportunities are there on Kauai?

There are many ways to help on Kauai, from joining local programs like Malama Kauai and the National Tropical Botanical Garden to assisting in food banks or taking part in native Hawaiian land protection activities.

2. Can I learn while volunteering in Kauai?

Yes, you can learn a lot! From how to grow your own food at community gardens like the one in Lihue and Kapaa, to understanding more about Hawaii’s unique ecosystem and conservation efforts at places like Makana Charters or the Sierra Club.

3. How can I get involved with helping families on Kauai?

You could join organizations like Kokua No Ka ‘Ohana that give meals to those who need them most. Another option is Lasagna Love where volunteers cook for needy families.

4. Is it possible to participate in ocean-related volunteering work when vacationing on Kauai?

Certainly! An organization like the Surfrider Foundation always looks for helpers ready to clean beach areas and protect our oceans.

5. Can tourists make a difference by practicing sustainable tourism?

Of course! Visitors can promote sustainability through their actions -whether they’re consuming locally produced food, participating in eco-tourism activities or opting for green lodging options.

Kauai Volunteer Opportunities Wrap-Up

Ready to make a difference on your vacation? Whether you’re passionate about sustainability, conservation, or helping those in need, Kauai has something for everyone. So why not take a break from traditional sightseeing and immerse yourself in the community? Your impact will be felt long after you leave the island.

Bryan Murphy

Bryan Murphy

Bryan Murphy, owner of Hawaii’s Best Travel, is a certified Hawaii destination expert from the Hawaii Visitors Bureau. He actively participates in the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau as a member and has a strong educational background focused on local culture and sustainability. As the host of “Hawaii’s Best Travel,” a top-30 US travel podcast, Bryan combines his years of experience with valuable insights. He connects with a broad online community, reaching nearly half a million people, and offers a richer, more responsible way to experience Hawaii.