For people who are new to the Bozeman area, you've no doubt noticed the not always pleasant welcome from old school residents. You have to understand the wild growth and associated problems that have accompanied said growth. Bozeman locals can be a little salty, especially when behind the safety of a keyboard.

Never mind the haters - I'm here to let you in on the secret that will almost instantly turn you into the best kind of Bozeman newbie. Even though this area likes to blame new comers for just about everything that's wrong around here, we also like to sing the praises of local heroes.

So is it possibly to become an instantly well-liked Bozeman local? Yes. And the best part about it is you can decide how you'd like to start and it's insanely easy to begin the process. On the very first day you'll already be in good graces. Trust me.

The answer? Volunteer! Seriously, the Bozeman area is home to an incredible amount of well-run, very deserving non-profit organizations and there is surely one or two that will speak to a passion of yours. Environmental groups, kids, animals, veterans, food name it and Gallatin County has a non-profit that addresses it.

Photo by The Tampa Bay Estuary Program
Photo by The Tampa Bay Estuary Program

The immediate benefit is for YOU. I guarantee you'll meet some fantastic people right off the bat. Those folks who are heavily involved in non-profit work here are some of the finest citizens we have...and you'll meet them right away. Instant new friends! Some of the most wonderful people that I know to this day are people I met 25 years ago when I started volunteering. Their passion is contagious, and their pride in this community is humbling.

Where to start looking for volunteer opportunities? I'd start with One Valley Community Foundation and Give Big Gallatin Valley. There you'll find a list of about 250 non-profit organizations that serve Gallatin County. Just click on 'View Organizations' on the homepage and you'll see the full list.

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Photo by Aaron Doucett on Unsplash
Photo by Aaron Doucett on Unsplash

THRIVE - "Thrive provides local Gallatin Valley families with the resources, tools, and support they need to raise healthy, successful children. We provide mentoring, education, and support to children and families through signature programs designed right here in our community."

GALLATIN COUNTY 4-H FOUNDATION - "Gallatin County 4-H is part of the nation's largest youth development organization; offering youth learning experiences that develop a sense of Belonging, Independence, Generosity, and Mastery. 4-H fosters the growth of young adults and future leaders."

HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL - "HRDC is an independent nonprofit community action organization. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit our programs are designed to help improve quality of life while we work together to return folks to a path of independence and financial stability. Building a better community means ensuring no one falls too far behind."

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