** We are no longer accepting online volunteer applications for the time being. If you are interested in volunteering, please come to one of our Open Volunteer Work Days! We will continue accepting volunteer applications from anyone who comes to these Work Days.
Become a Volunteer!
Volunteer support is essential to our organization and our animals. Barn Sanctuary is always looking for amazing volunteers to help us. Volunteering at The Barn Sanctuary is truly a rewarding experience, one that you will soon not forget!
Questions? Please fill out the form to your left and we’ll get back with you as soon as possible.
Typical volunteer activities include mucking barns and coops, raking, and pasture cleaning. Many of the animals will visit you while you complete your tasks but please remember that some tasks might not include much animal interaction. Volunteering is physically intensive, so expect to get a good workout! Please note: at this time we are not seeking remote volunteers or assistance with administrative or marketing duties.
For safety and liability purposes, all volunteers must be at least 14 years of age, no exceptions. Volunteers between the ages of 14 and 17 will need parent/guardian supervision for the duration of the day.
We ask that you be able to dedicate at least two days a month to volunteering in order to join our volunteer program. Preferably, volunteer shifts will last a minimum of two hours. If you can only commit to one day per month, there are still opportunities to visit and volunteer! Check our Facebook page for information about our next open work day: an open volunteer day for anyone who wants to visit and volunteer for a day.
Please note that we are located in Chelsea, Michigan, 15 minutes west of Ann Arbor off I-94. While we will not reject volunteer applications based on location within reason, please do keep distance in mind when applying. We recommend ensuring you have reliable transportation and live within a radius that reasonably allows you to adhere to our minimum availability requirements (twice a month). Please also bear in mind that we do not have available space for volunteers to stay on property.
Bring clothes and boots that are weatherproof and that you don’t mind getting muddy, and work gloves if you have them. Check the weather forecast for zip code 48118 and dress appropriately. Rugged boots (not sneakers) are a must. Don’t forget your sunglasses and sunscreen in the summer. We encourage you to pack a vegan brown bag lunch — no meat, eggs, or dairy please, out of respect for the animals.
Please note that diseases occur naturally among farm animals. Although the chances of such diseases occurring in a factory farm are greater than they are at a sanctuary with standards as high as ours, it can still happen. And some such diseases can be transmitted from animals to humans. Pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems are at higher risk. Pregnant women should not handle calves, kids (baby goats) or lambs younger than four months old, or mother animals who have given birth in the previous four weeks. Volunteers working directly with animals or in areas where animals live and produce waste should wear gloves and face masks. All visitors and volunteers should practice excellent hygiene after performing such work, by thoroughly washing their hands and scrubbing the bottoms of their shoes with antibacterial agents – especially prior to touching their faces or eating. And ideally, it’s a good idea to change clothes before spending time back in your home after a visit to the sanctuary.
Though we always appreciate it when people from out of town attend monthly open work days to volunteer with us, we are currently unable to offer room and board for volunteers and we are not affiliated with WWOOF.