Thank you for your interest!  We are grateful for your generosity.

As a Grotto volunteer you are part of a legacy to the Portland community and to our visitors from the global community. We hope that volunteer service here will bring you personal fulfillment.

Volunteer opportunities include:

Guest Ambassadors

Guest Ambassadors greet and assist visitors which include distributing maps, giving directions, providing assistance with the Upper Grounds entrance and elevator and serving as a reporting mechanism for emergencies, hazards and maintenance issues. Training will be provided to become familiar with the history of The Grotto and the gardens.

Commitment: Varies based on hours of operation from Monday through Sunday.

Beautification Ambassadors

Beautification Ambassadors walk the Lower Grounds and Upper Grounds at The Grotto to pick litter and generally keep the grounds looking clean for guests.

Commitment: Varies based on hours of operation from Monday through Sunday.

Horticulture & Grounds Ambassadors

Horticulture & Grounds Ambassadors duties include weeding, pruning, clean up, watering, mulching, invasive species control, planting and special projects all under the direction of The Grotto Grounds Management Staff.

Commitment: Varies based on need and hours of operation.

Event Ambassadors

Event Ambassadors assist The Grotto staff to help stage special events and other activities such as Crabfest, Blessing of The Animals, The Grotto Concert Series, Friends of The Grotto Appreciation Events and more.

Commitment: Varies based on need and seasonal scheduling, typically evenings and weekends.

Tour Ambassadors

Tour Ambassadors lead 90-minute walking tours of the lower level and upper level grounds for children and/or adults originating from The Grotto Visitor Center. Tour Ambassadors receive in-depth training on The Grotto history, current events and various points of interest. In addition, walking tours are scheduled each week on Saturday and Sunday at 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Commitment: Varies based on hours of operation from Monday through Sunday.

 Administrative Ambassadors

Administrative Ambassadors assist staff with general office such as answering phones, filing, data entry, mailing, copying, special projects, etc. Special projects include assisting staff with the volunteer schedule for the annual Festival of Lights.

Commitment: Varies. Shifts are scheduled from Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Choir & Musical Guest Ambassadors

Choir and Music Guest Ambassadors assist staff with scheduling, follow-up and communication with all choirs, musical guests and ensembles throughout the year, under the direction of the Volunteer Manager.  This includes the management of choirs during Christmas Festival of Lights, which entails detailed scheduling and follow-up of between 150 and 165 choirs during the run of Festival (Day after Thanksgiving through December 30th – except Christmas Day).

Commitment: Varies based on need and seasonal scheduling.

Volunteer Benefits

Volunteering is rewarding in itself, but you do get some special bonuses. Active, year-round volunteers get a variety of benefits, including:

  • Admission to the Upper Gardens (Duo or Family Garden Pass upon completion of 45 hours of service)
  • Discounts at The Grotto Gift Shop
  • Ongoing training and support for an exciting and rewarding experience
  • Access to other nonprofit institutions during the annual Volunteer Passport Exchange.

How to Apply

For more information about volunteering at The Grotto, please fill out the appropriate volunteer form below, or contact our Volunteer Manager Agnes Zueger at or by calling 503-261-2433.

We are always accepting applications for new volunteers! Please note that all The Grotto volunteers must pass a criminal background check prior to beginning their service.

General Volunteering: Click here to fill out our general volunteer form.

Christmas Festival of Lights Volunteering: Festival of Lights volunteer form. 

Group Volunteering at Festival of Lights: Festival of Lights GROUP volunteer form.

Festival of Lights Volunteers

The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights would not be possible without the help and support of hundreds of volunteers. Volunteers greet visitors, help in the gift shop, the food booth, the petting zoo, or assist in the hospitality kitchen. Most positions are outdoors where volunteers can enjoy the decorations, hear the music and interact with the guests, but some indoor positions are available.  Festival volunteer opportunities are wonderful for individuals, families, church communities, school groups, club members, and business groups.  Come volunteer with a friend or bring the whole family.  Most shifts are from 4:30-7:30 p.m., or from 7:15-10 p.m.  Many volunteers enjoy this event so much they sign up for multiple nights.  For more information on the Festival of Lights, click here.