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If you love that time of year when a chill runs up your spine—and not just from the crisp autumn air—volunteer opportunities on the spooky side may be right for you. Here are some ways to “creep it real” while you’re giving back—and some can be done all year ‘round.

1.  Be the grave-est

Around the world, people are searching for graves of loved ones, historical figures, and others. You can help be part of the cemetery crowdsourcing effort. Visit websites like or to find out how you can help the effort to document each grave. You may find requests that are nearby. Snap a photo of the grave and give the location to help others find those they seek.

2. Give jack-o-lanterns new life

Carving pumpkins is fun, but don’t send those seasonal squash to the landfill. Instead, compost those works of art, as well as gourds and other produce, by tossing them in your own compost heap. If you don’t compost, ask around to see if there is a community composting site nearby.

3.  Help kids have fun

Few things are more anticipated for many children than an evening of trick-or-treating.. Help kids have fun safely by volunteering to help out at a local school’s or nonprofit’s “trunk or treat” or another Halloween event. Local domestic violence shelters or nonprofits for people who are unhoused may also have opportunities—year-round—to help give children opportunities for a little fun.

4.  Give troops a sweet treat

Collected too much candy on your trick-or-treat adventure? Consider donating it to Soldier’s Angels Treats for Troops. The website has details about how to register, collect, and ship excess candy and delight women and men in uniform.

5.  If you’ve got it, haunt it

Local parks and nonprofits may have Halloween-themed events, so why not join in, and get your scare on? Find a park near you and reach out to find out about programs and how you can volunteer. Or look at other big events like the iconic New York City Halloween parade, which also needs volunteers.

6.  Create a great event

Whether it’s a Halloween costume parade or a fundraiser for your favorite charity, you have an opportunity to create a fun, festive event for a good cause. Play seasonal music favorites like “Thriller” and “Monster Mash,” while inviting participants to show off their best costumes. Use the event as a drive or fundraiser to benefit a local nonprofit.

Halloween can be a time to find offbeat, fun, and even spooky ways to give back. But it can also give you ideas and inspiration to give back year ‘round. Looking for more inspiration? Visit for ideas, opportunities, and guides to create your own ways to volunteer.