December 2016 - Silicon Valley Family Volunteering

December 2016 Silicon Valley Family Volunteer Opportunities


December 2016 - Silicon Valley 

Adopt A Family 2016 Holiday Giving Program
Bill Wilson Center
Date/Time: Adopt-A-Family Donor Pledge forms are due by December 1
Location: 3490 The Alameda, Santa Clara

The Bill Wilson Center provides services to more than 5,100 children, youth, young adults and families in Santa Clara County through our various programs. Join us in providing holiday cheer to local foster youth and their families through the 2016 Adopt-A-Family Holiday Giving Program. More than 1,500 foster youth and their families will be served through our Adopt-A-Family program. Churches, school groups, local businesses, corporations, individuals, and families are encouraged to participate. Bill Wilson Center's annual Adopt-A-Family Program works directly with the Santa Clara County Department of Family and Children's Services linking caring donors to local foster youth who would otherwise receive few, if any, gifts for the holidays.

Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: 408.850.6143 or The Donor Pledge form is available online.
ESL Conversation Club
Mountain View Public Library
Date/Time: Wednesdays, 5 - 6pm
Location: 585 Franklin St., Mountain View

The library's ESL Conversation Club welcomes English speakers interested in helping those who are learning. The Club meets every Wednesday, and welcomes all ages and levels. Native English speakers participate in the week's exercises, which may include conversation groups, short one-on-one conversations, and other activities such as potlucks and photo scavenger hunts. Native speakers provide the encouragement that helps learners gain confidence and understanding.
Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: One hour
Contact: Maynard Martinez,, 650.526.7043. No commitment is required, simply drop-in and participate.
No Sew Blankets for Children in Need
Project Linus
Date/Time: Flexible
Location: Schedule a time to bring completed blanket(s) to one of the following Project Linus volunteers:
  • Sharon Lee (Cupertino) -
  • Barbara Ross (Rose Garden) -
  • Mary Kelly (Willow Glen) -
  • Deb Bragen (South San Jose) -
Project Linus provides homemade blankets to children in need. Our blankets are lovingly made by adults and children from all walks of life and many different sources. Volunteer blanket makers help provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans. You and your family can make easy, warm, cozy, no sew blankets to donate to children in need. Click here for blanket making instructions. Though most 'blanketeers' choose to work on their own, some organizations have hosted their own "Make A Blanket Day"' for their group.  It can be a fun team-building event and Project Linus can help you with planning and preparation.
Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: Sharon Lee,, 408.252.1858
Family Volunteering Opportunities with SCS
Sunnyvale Community Services
Date/Time: Flexible
Location: 725 Kifer Rd., Sunnyvale

Sunnyvale Community Services works to prevent homelessness and hunger by providing emergency services to our neighbors in need. Exposing children to the concept of giving back is very important to many families and to SCS.  We encourage and appreciate the following family activities, which are very helpful to SCS and can stimulate great conversation and discovery for you and your children. See our wish list page for specific donation needs. Feel free to bring your children with you when you donate items to SCS.
  • Monthly family shopping trips to purchase items specifically for donation to SCS.
  • Establish a relationship with a local retailer to pickup damaged food, cleaning products, toilet paper, or other staple household items on a regular basis.
  • Collect hotel/motel toiletries while traveling or on vacation. We distribute hygiene kits of toothpaste, shampoo, soaps, lotions, and disposable razors to low-income and homeless clients.
  • Buy new books for low-income children. Feel free to wrap them and include a personal note (first names only please).
  • Buy new socks and or gloves for the homeless. Feel free to wrap them and include a personal note (first names only please).
Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: SCS Volunteer Manager, 408.738.4321 ext. 211,


Learn more about
how to help fight poverty

Collect Diapers for Families in Need
Help A Mother Out
Date/Time: Flexible
Location: Deliver to Earth Baby Warehouse, 3250 Victor St., Santa Clara

Help a Mother Out works to improve baby and family well being by increasing access to diapers for families in need. A family's access to a reliable supply of clean diapers reduces the risk of infectious disease outbreaks, improves baby's health and comfort, and enables baby's participation in early care and education programs. Our vision is a day when every baby has a healthy supply of diapers. To host a diaper drive, feel free to use the online diaper drive toolkit!
Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: Anu Menon,, 415.938.6667
Embrace-A-Family 2016
Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley
Date/Time: Now through December 23
Location: Varies. Dreidel gifts can be delivered to 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos

Jewish Family Services invites you to be a part of our 9th annual Embrace-A-Family program, which brings hope and smiles to those in need. Your gifts will help ease holiday pressures and stress for needy families, senior citizens, and adults. Frail, isolated seniors are often overlooked at this time of year. Providing gifts for them is a special mitzvah that will make a huge positive difference in their lives.

What You Can Do to Help:
  • Look for JFS SV dreidel boards in the community from November 17th through December 23rd. The boards will be at these locations. Select a gift dreidel, purchase the gift listed, and bring your unwrapped gift to the JFS SV office at the Levy Family Campus, 14855 Oka Rd, Suite 202, Los Gatos. Your gift will bring a smile - and be a blessing - to someone in need.
  • You can buy online through the Embrace-A-Family Target Gift Registry.
  • Purchase gift cards (gas station, supermarket and discount department store) for struggling families and isolated seniors to help them throughout the year.
Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: Lori Cinnamon, Manager of Community and Volunteer Engagement, 408.357.7467 or  
Family Activities for the 2016 Holiday Season
Second Harvest Food Bank
Date/Time: Flexible
Location: Deliver completed projects to one of their three office locations between 8am - 4pm
  • 750 Curtner Ave., San Jose
  • 4001 North First St., San Jose
  • 1051 Bing St., San Carlos
This holiday season, your family can help the Food Bank make the holidays brighter for your neighbors in need. Prepare an at-home family project or youth group project and bring to any of the three Food Bank locations. Once you choose an activity, fill out this form and bring it with you when you come to drop off your donation.

Activities and Projects:
  • Create colorful grocery bags for seniors with glitter, color crayons, holiday themes, etc.
  • Make holiday cards for seniors and families
  • Prepare comfort kits that contain toothpaste, toothbrush, hair comb, brush, travel-sized shampoo, soap, etc. to be given to the homeless or other individuals in need. Place items in clear plastic bags and decorate!
  • Do mini food drives that focus on collecting specific items like meals in a can, peanut butter or tuna
  • Create family food baskets for a family of 4 to 6. Fill it with lots of goodies that you and your family would enjoy. Food items need to be non-perishable and consist of a meal for each breakfast, lunch and dinner. Suggested nutritious menu items:
    • Breakfast: cereal, canned fruit, breakfast bars, pancake mix, maple syrup, canned or dehydrated milk
    • Lunch: canned chili, soup, tuna, crackers, healthy snack bar, 100% juice 
    • Dinner: Pasta, marinara sauce (canned or in jars), canned vegetables, muffin mix, canned fruit 
  • Create lunch bags - including nutritious menu items such as: cheese & cracker packets, 100% juice boxes, granola bars, nuts, dried fruit, pop-top cans of ready-to-eat foods such as tuna, meals in a can, fruit cocktail
Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: Volunteer Services,, 408.266.8866.

Learn more about
helping the hungry

Assist Older Adults With Activities
Webster House Health Center - Episcopal Senior Communities
Date/Time: Varies
Location: 437 Webster St. Palo Alto

Webster House welcomes volunteers of all ages to come spend time with residents doing various therapeutic recreation activities such as singing, reading, arts and crafts, jewelry making, bowling, gardening, and much more. We also have volunteer opportunities for one-on-one visits to residents in their rooms, dining room assistance, assisting residents with their meals, and musical performances.

Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Varies. Webster House would like to have volunteers weekly or more if possible.

Contact: Enrichment and Volunteer Director, Natalie Bedell, at 650.617.7355 or  

Giving Plates
Doing Good Together
Date/Time: Flexible
Location:  Your own home or community location

Making some baked goods to bring along to a holiday gathering? You and your family can bake up some extra treats to share as a holiday gift with new or isolated neighbors, sick or stressed friends, or even service providers you meet on a regular basis, like the mail carrier or school bus driver. Then your family can design giving plates to place your home baked goodies on as part of your gift! Visit the Doing Good Together Design a Giving Plate for directions to make your plates and for additional ideas and reflection questions
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Thank You for Your Giving
During this season of thanks, we want to thank each one of you for your commitment to making a positive difference in your communities. We are especially thankful for all the families who are living our mission of kindness and volunteering by using these monthly lists to find local volunteering opportunities. These free offerings would not be available if it weren't for the generosity of our donors. If you believe these lists are a value to you and your family, please include Doing Good Together in your #GivingTuesday donations tomorrow or in your year-end giving.


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This list was compiled by Doing Good Together™ (
 When calling to volunteer for any of the opportunities listed above, please let the coordinator know you found it through this listing. You are encouraged to ask any questions you may have of the sponsoring organization before committing to a project.
Disclaimer: This list is provided as a service to families. Inclusion of organizations in this listing does not imply affiliation, endorsement or quality assurance on the part of Doing Good Together.™ Doing Good Together™ bears no responsibility whatsoever for the activities and actions of the listed organizations. 

                                                                                                     © 2016 Doing Good Together™


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