March 2016 - Silicon Valley Family Volunteer Opportunities

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March 2016 - Silicon Valley 

Sunday Friends' Programs for Very Low-Income Families
Sunday Friends
Date/Time: Sundays: Shifts available between 10:30am and 5:30pm. There are also some after-school shifts on weekdays at the Sunday Friends special "store."
  • Santee Elementary, 1313 Audubon Dr., San Jose, on the 1st Sunday of every month
  • Anne Darling Elementary, 333 North 33rd St., San Jose, on the third Sunday of every month
  • Lowell Elementary, 625 South 7th St., San Jose, on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of every month
  • Sunday Friends special store, 730 Story Rd. Ste. 3, San Jose, open weekdays from 4 to 7pm
Sunday Friends empowers families to break the generational cycle of poverty by fostering positive development in children while educating and guiding parents to support their children's life success. Since 1997, Sunday Friends has been offering day-long programs on Sundays that bring together whole families to work together, learn together, earn together, make spending decisions together and share in the healthy, warm, productive, mutually-supportive community together. Families volunteer together to facilitate service and learning projects, including: craft gift making, healthy food preparation, letter and essay writing, hands-on science projects, math and other learning games, computer education, English as a Second Language classes, reading and book report writing, exercise class, parents' classes and more. Because children and parents earn tickets for their participation, redeemable for basic necessities in our special stores, volunteers might also assist with the banking, store setup or shopping.
Ages: Teens, adults, families and groups are all welcome. An adult must accompany children under age 14.
Time Commitment: No predetermined number of hours, but if you sign up to come to a program, you are expected to come.
Contact: Lilly, or Vanessa,, with questions or call 408.217.9587. Volunteers should begin with New Volunteer Registration. Please register to volunteer a couple of weeks in advance of the date
Meal-Serving Program
Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen
Date/Time: Monday - Friday; see location information for times
  • Goodwill Building, 3:30 - 6pm, 1080 N. 7th St., San Jose
  • Eastside Neighborhood Center, 3:45 - 6pm, 2150 Alum Rock Ave., San Jose
Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen provides nutritious prepared meals that are delivered and served to disadvantaged individuals with a special concern for families, seniors and the homeless. Volunteers help with meal preparation, dining hall set-up, serving food and drinks, and clean up. Wear comfortable "work" clothes and closed-toed shoes (i.e., jeans, walking shorts, tennis shoes, etc.) Please do not wear sandals, halter or tank tops, short shorts, etc. For those with longer hair, please wear your hair up and off your face.

Ages: Everyone is welcome to volunteer. An adult must accompany children 14 and younger.
Time Commitment: Two and one-half hours
Contact: Hyru Gau, 408.998.1500 or Registration is available online.
GRPC River Clean up
Guadalupe River Park Conservancy
Date/Time: Every third Saturday each month; weather permitting
Location: Meet at 438 Coleman Ave. San Jose

Alongside the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy, take a visit to the Guadalupe River Park, a gem in the heart of downtown San Jose. The Guadalupe River acts as a flood control channel; meaning trash from the streets is often destined to run off into the sewer straight to the river. With Chinook Salmon, Steelhead Trout, and California Golden Beaver, we cannot afford to allow litter to deplete such critical habitat. Volunteers help collect any loose debris along the riverbank and keep the litter from making it to The Bay.
Ages: Volunteers 7 and older are welcome to participate. Volunteers 15 and under must volunteer with responsible and active parents or guardian. Minors are required to bring a completed and signed waiver.
Time Commitment: Three hours
Contact: Volunteer Coordinator, Jessica Gonzalez, Registration is required and available online
Heritage Rose Garden Volunteer Days
Guadalupe River Park Conservancy
Date/Time: Every Wednesday and Saturday from 8:30 - 11:30am
Location: 412 Seymour Street San Jose, CA

Come support the largest diverse rose garden on the western hemisphere! Despite having over 3,000 varieties of roses, the Heritage Rose Garden is maintained entirely by volunteers. Volunteers may spread wood chips around the drip lines of the roses in order to prevent weeds and improve water retention, deadhead or prune and work on irrigation fixes. In the meantime, don't be afraid to smell the roses! 

Ages: 13+ (minors are required to bring waiver and anyone 15 and under must volunteer with responsible and active parents or guardian)
Time Commitment: Three hours
Contact: Jessica Gonzalez, Volunteer Coordinator, No registration required for groups of three or fewer. For larger groups please call 408.298.7657 to register.

Relay For Life
American Cancer Society
Date/Time: Visit the Relay For Life website to find the closest event near you! First events in Silicon Valley begin in April and go through September 2016.
Location: Various locations in Silicon Valley

Each year, more than 4 million people in over 20 countries raise much-needed funds and awareness to save lives from cancer through the Relay For Life movement. You can volunteer at a Relay For Life or sign up to start/join a team to participate in the relay. Volunteer opportunities include, but are not limited to, registration, setup/cleanup, decorating, activities/games, etc.

Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies depending on event
Contact: Check website for contact info based on event location
Host a 'Shoe Cutting Party' or Hold a Collection Drive
Sole Hope
Date/Time: Flexible
Location: Shoes and donations can be mailed to 605 East Innes St. #3263,
Salisbury, NC 28145

Sole Hope is an organization working to create a positive difference in the lives of individuals in impoverished communities of Uganda to combat diseases that enter through the feet. Jiggers are small sand fleas that live in the dust, and are found on the dirt floors in schools and the homes of many families in Uganda and other similar climates. Female jiggers can burrow into the skin and these wounds are painful, and cause difficulties for victims in daily activities such as walking, playing, and attending school. In addition to shoe making events and collections, Sole Hope holds medical clinics, and provides education and jobs for the beautiful souls of Uganda. Volunteers can help by holding a Shoe Cutting Party or by Coordinating a Collection Drive. If you're holding a shoe cutting party, start by deciding approximately how many people you're going to invite. You can then purchase the corresponding shoe cutting kit from their website. Kits come with an instructional DVD, pictures, shoe sponsorship cards, bookmarks, stickers, a pattern, and much more! You can hold a collection for simple items to help with jigger removals and to assist the Outreach House in Africa. Sole Hope will ensure they go with the next bunch of shoe uppers and medical supplies to Uganda.
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Veggielution's Youth Garden
Veggielution Community Farm
Date/Time: Every Saturday 10am - 12:30pm
Location: 647 S. King Road, San Jose; located in the back of Emma Prusch Park

Come join Veggielution farms for weekly Youth Garden Activities. Every Saturday the whole family can enjoy gardening, crafting, and learning together in the Youth Garden. Participating in our Youth Garden activities is a great way to spend time with your children while exploring the garden, learning about healthy lifestyle choices, and discovering the exciting processes of the natural world - not to mention making new friends. This is a unique opportunity to get your hands dirty and become better stewards of the environment as a family. Veggielution volunteer activities encourage exploration and play-based learning for the whole family.

Ages: Families with children ages three and up are welcome to volunteer.
Time Commitment: Two and one-half hours
Contact: Jennifer Aguilar, or Dana Shinners,
Full Circle Farm Education Garden - Sustainable Community Gardens
Full Circle Farm
Date/Time: Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10am to 7pm or dark, whichever comes first.
Location: Our West Gate at 955 Dunford Way, Sunnyvale

Full Circle Farm's Education Garden is a one-acre patch of green at the west end of the farm. The Education Garden meets several community needs while the production fields are focused on food production. Volunteer garden tasks are different everyday - you might be harvesting, planting, weeding, composting, digging and more. No experience is necessary. All volunteers are encouraged to take home some veggies with them. Enjoy the fruits of your labor!

What To Bring/Wear:
  • water bottle
  • closed toed shoes
  • sunblock
  • hat
  • snacks and/or a lunch
  • garden gloves (if you have them)
Ages: All ages, families are welcome to volunteer
Time Commitment: Come when you can and leave whenever you need to
Contact: Dan Hafeman,
Sheltering the Unhoused
Winter Faith Collaborative
Date/Time: Now through the end of March
Location: Multiple churches throughout San Jose
The Winter Faith Collaborative is an interfaith movement that was formed to share ideas and advocate for the houseless community. The Collaborative has engaged over 40 faith communities across San Jose with the collective aim to serve and shelter those in the houseless community who are living outdoors this El Nino winter. Your willingness to volunteer at the shelters is critical in this community effort to house the unhoused and save lives this winter. Volunteers are needed to staff the temporary shelters, perform services such as laundry, and provide meals. Each shelter has its own rules for volunteer eligibility, but there are multiple options for serving with children. Volunteer opportunities at each shelter can be found on the sign up page.
Ages: Varies by shelter, check the Volunteer Spot sign up page for details by location
Time Commitment: Varies, depending on opportunity
Contact: or 408.345.5351. Registration is available online
Birthday Giving Project  
Date/Time: Flexible
Location: Contact to ask for the name of a shelter or pantry where you can deliver the birthday boxes or call your local food pantry to ask if they accept birthday in a box donations
It's hard for many of us - adults or children - to imagine celebrating a child's birthday without a party or presents. Family-to Family's Birthday Giving Project is designed to help families by providing a small "party in a box" for a child in need, and at the same time gives children with "more" the opportunity to learn empathy in a concrete way by helping another child. You and your children can decorate and fill shoeboxes with everything needed for a small birthday party. Each box goes to a different child. If you are making a lot of boxes, please make them for different ages!

  • Pick an age (or ages), and choose either boy(s) or girl(s) to send your box to.
  • Find a large sneaker-sized shoebox or party bag and buy the things needed for a party.
  • Box of cake mix and a can of frosting
  • Birthday candles (no matches please!)
  • Wall decoration (like streamers, or a happy birthday banner)
  • New or gently used children's book
  • Small $5-$10 gift appropriate to the age and gender of child.
  • Optional: goody bag filled with small surprises
  • Wrap the book and the gift in birthday paper.
  • Wrap the top and bottom of the shoebox separately (so that even wrapped, the box can be opened), and fill the wrapped box with the birthday items.
  • If you want to give your recipient a chance to write you back, include a stamped postcard with your name, c/o Family to Family, P.O. Box 255, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, 10706. Then email, put "birthday postcards" in the subject line, say you may get a return postcard, and provide your name and address.
  • You can also make a birthday card to put inside the box. Then tie the box closed with ribbon, and label it with the age and "boy" or "girl". (For example, you might write "6-7 year old boy" or "10-11 year old girl".)
  • Ship or deliver the box(es) you've assembled
Visit the Doing Good Together Birthday Giving Project page for more ideas and reflection questions.
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies

Contact: or 

We've got a great way for you to help your organization help others!
Doing Good Together Family Service Fairs allow groups of all ages to serve others in a two-hour fair-style event. Attendees come together to do simple and fun hands-on projects that benefit non-profit organizations. Want to host a fun fair of your own? Our DGT Family Service Fair Manual with Online Toolkit has all you need to get started.



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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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