Being active in your community and doing volunteer work is not just well seen in the US or UK, as well in France. It helps you to integrate in the French society and is a plus for your CV.
Here a list with the Top Ten addresses of organisations in France where you volunteer
Le Secours Populaire needs help for christmas gift-wrapping stations in different shops and they always collect toys for children in need. Throughout the rest of the year the 70 year old organisation need always helping hands.
Les Petits Frères des Pauvres helps especially older people to assure that they are not alone in moments like Christmas or New Year. They alwyas need volunteers for the 24th and 25th December to accompany the elderly to and from a community Christmas dinner and also to help prepare and serve the holiday meals and deliver Christmas packages. There are two contact links on this page, one for North Paris and one for South Paris.
The Armée du Salut in France, a Christian organizations, needs volunteers to help with the holiday dinner celebrations on the 24th and 31st, as well as gift wrapping, gift delivery and other holiday preparations. The always at the side of the homeless and poor in the society, delivering food and clothes.
The Restos du Coeur are a real French invention. They always can need truck drivers and logictic experts for the food distribution centers. They need long-term volunteers and donations.
La Banque Alimentaire is a food bank that needs like Restos du Coeru long-term volunteers and donations. It is all about food and logistics.
The Apprentis d’Auteuil is a catholic organisation protection kids’ rights and eager to help at-risk youth. They are always in need of volunteers for long-term projects. You can also visit their excellent Marché de Noël, Les Féeries D’Auteuil fair and flea market December 5th-13th, or their charity thrift store Auteuil Bonnes Affaires open daily.
7. Society for the Protection of Animals
Established in 1845, the Société de Protection des Animaux (SPA) just celebrated its 170th anniversary on December 2nd. They always needs donations, but they also need volunteers to help out at their shelters throughout France (the one in Paris is at 39 boulevard Berthier, 17th, where they are looking for full-time volunteers to manage the adoption office). Even if you just have time to come and walk, pet and give attention to the dogs and cats, it’s much appreciated. And of course, if you’re looking to adopt a pet, think of those which are abandoned or rescued from illegal puppy mills (which usually end up being sold at pet shops). Another site for pet adoption in France is Second Chance.
Oxfam is an international reknown organisation that needs volunteers for their shops.
The Croix Rouge not only regularly recruits volunteers and staff in France and abroad (“Je M’Engage”), they also offer regular training weekends in First Aid/CPR (Formation aux premiers secours) throughout France.
Founded by “Abbé Pierre” the Emmaüs Paris always needs volunteers for help at their charity shops around Paris and the suburbs.
For other volunteer opportunities searchable by theme, location, or skill, check out these excellent websites:
http://www.benenova.fr (check the Calendar for seasonal needs)
www.espacebenevolat.org (scroll down this page to see the holiday volunteer opportunities in Paris)
www.francebenevolat.org (click here for holiday volunteer opportunities in Paris)