Volunteer On Campus
Volunteers are a vital part of Leader Dogs for the Blind. Without the more than 350 volunteers who regularly serve on our campus, fulfilling our mission would not be possible.
Our volunteers work in over 70 different positions all over our campus: in the canine center with our dogs, the lobby, the vet clinic, the puppy development or breeding areas. They also work with our clients on and off campus and support our philanthropy, client services, residential services, volunteer engagement, marketing and training staff.
Because volunteers are integral to our success, most positions require a minimum commitment of six months. Positions may require some level of training.
Our on-campus volunteers are adults 18 or older with a high school diploma or equivalent. You must be willing to commit to a weekly shift of six months to a year. You must also have an email address and regular access to the internet. All our volunteers must successfully pass a criminal background check. We do not accept court ordered community service volunteers.
Volunteers work in almost every area of our campus in a wide variety of positions. Volunteers may coordinate or conduct tours, assist clients with tasks such as transportation and shopping, perform clerical work, provide enrichment time for our dogs in training, assist staff in the puppy area, help with events, produce media in Braille and audio, and many other things.
Volunteer opportunities are available weekdays, evenings and weekends, depending on the position. Our canine development center runs 365 days a year from 6 a.m.–8 p.m. Business offices are open 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
You can apply online by viewing our current volunteer openings. Because our volunteer positions are usually occupied long term, we do not keep applications on file and only accept applications for open positions. When there are open positions, there will be a link at the end of each position description through which to apply. If there are no current available openings that interest you, check back for future openings.
Volunteers typically start one to two months after a successful application. There are several steps before receiving a volunteer assignment, including pre-screening, interviews and background checks. We will notify you once these steps are successfully completed.
After all your paperwork is done, your virtual volunteer orientation will be included in your welcome packet. Training begins once your background check is complete.
Family opportunities to serve Leader Dog include puppy raising and hosting a breeding dog in your home. All on-campus volunteers must be 18 or older with a high school diploma or GED.
Meet the Team
Nicole Buday, Volunteer Engagement Coordinator
Nicole joined Leader Dog in 2015. Her position supports over 350 on-campus volunteers. She feels blessed to be part of an organization that recognizes the passion, dedication and energy that each volunteer brings to help fulfill Leader Dog's mission.
In addition to ensuring volunteer needs are met, she is responsible for answering volunteer inquires, processing applications and background checks, on- and offboarding volunteers, assisting with recognition events and publishing the volunteer newsletter, Paw Prints. Her duties expanded to processing puppy raiser and breeding stock host applications in 2019.
She received her Bachelor of Arts from Grand Valley State University in English and her heart has always been in nonprofit work. She has organized company volunteer events, worked in the philanthropy department of a university and a homeless agency and wrote grants for her children's school. She has also volunteered for many different events and organizations over the years.
In her free time, Nicole enjoys running, cycling, hiking, reading and spending time with her family, friends and her dogs, Molly and Clancy.
Hannah Timm, Manager of Team Engagement
Hannah joined the Leader Dog Team in 2019 as the human resources coordinator, later transitioning to manager of team engagement. In this role, Hannah oversees the recruitment, onboarding and ongoing development of all employees and volunteer team members.
The culture and environment is something Hannah enjoys most about Leader Dog, along with the mission-focused team that she has the privilege to work with daily.
Growing up in a family where visual impairment was a portion of everyday life, Hannah finds herself passionate about advocating for independent and safe travel for the visually impaired community and loves that Leader Dog provides the opportunity for her to do so.
When not at work, you can find Hannah at home with her husband and two career-changed dogs, Griffin and Bubba.
Bob Klein, Volunteer
Bob doesn’t even feel like he is working because the amount of joy he receives is greater than he could ever give. "It is so rewarding and fun to be give my love to these adorable dogs every week" ... Read More