May 2016 - Silicon Valley Family Volunteer Opportunities

May 2016 Silicon Valley Family Volunteer Opportunities


May 2016 - Silicon Valley 

Watch the Wild
Nature Abounds
Date/Time: Ongoing
Location: Your own neighborhood and local area

Watch the Wild needs your help! As a Watch the Wild volunteer, you observe and report the "wild" in your community, from trees and plants to lakes and streams to weather and wildlife activity. In as little as ten minutes, your observations help us to understand how our eco-systems are changing and help us to adapt for the future. Becoming a Watch the Wild volunteer is very easy. All you need to do is sign-up to be a volunteer with Nature Abounds, choose a location to observe, whether it be your backyard, a local park, your favorite beach spot, or an area that you visit or hike in regularly, record your observations and report your observations to us online, via mail, or email. Your observations will then be entered into a database and shared with interested scientists.

Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Flexible
Contact: Melinda,, 814.765.1453
St. Francis' Hot Meals and Ecumenical Hunger Program
Ecumenical Hunger Program at St. Francis of Assisi Church
Date/Time: Wednesdays, 5 - 6pm for the Hot Meal Program, other volunteer opportunity days and times vary
Location: St. Francis of Assisi Church, 1425 Bay Road, East Palo Alto

Ecumenical Hunger Program, along with the St. Vincent De Paul Society, prepares and serves hot meals to needy individuals and families every Wednesday night at St. Francis of Assisi Church in East Palo Alto. At St. Francis, you'll be serving pre-made food to the less fortunate. When volunteers arrive, they sign in, grab aprons and gloves to either prepare the plates or to go out and serve the plates to the guests. Some of those served are homeless, while others are families with children who take advantage of this program to conserve the limited funds they have. There are also opportunities for families to volunteer in the Food Closet (sorting, packing and distributing boxes) and in the warehouse (sorting clothing, shoes and other items).
Ages: All ages welcome. Please make sure that you are not sick.
Time Commitment: One to two hours
Contact: Lakesha Roberts,, 650.323.7781

Activity Time Helpers
White Blossom Care Center - Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation
Date/Time: Ongoing
Location: 1990 Fruitdale Avenue, San Jose

Volunteers are needed to help staff during activity time. You can assist individual seniors or the whole group. You can also share any talents or skills you may have to educate, entertain or empower the seniors. White Blossom Care Center is a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility that strives to serve the greatest generation. The White Blossom Care Center healthcare professionals strive to help patients reach their maximum potential in a caring and supportive environment.
Ages: All ages welcome, good cheer and any talents to share are helpful!
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: Pele,, 408.998.8447. A Volunteer Application and brief orientation is required before starting.
PLAY: Family Connections
Family Connections
Date/Time: Thursday, May 19, 6 - 8pm
Location: Redwood City and East Palo Alto Locations. Details and directions will be sent after signing up.
Spend time with a lively group of preschoolers! Family Connections, a parent-participation preschool, serves low-income families. Once a month, volunteers help with crafts and snacks for the kids while parents participate in a parent education class. Some Spanish is preferred but not necessary. There are a limited number of spots so be sure to sign up early for this month or for the following month!
Ages: Ages eight and older with an adult present
Time Commitment: Two hours
Contact: Betsy Carter,, 650.556.9503 x112. Registration is available online through HandsOn Bay Area.
Human Race Walkathon & Fun Run
Santa Cruz County Human Race
Date/Time: Saturday, May 7. Shift times vary depending on volunteer position.
Location: Santa Cruz
The Santa Cruz County Human Race Walkathon & Fun Run is a nationwide community fundraising event for nonprofit organizations and schools. In Santa Cruz County, the Human Race is the largest collaborative community fundraiser and has helped address the needs of local nonprofit agencies, schools, religious, social and arts groups over the past 30 years. Volunteers can help many of our local agencies that depend on the Human Race to raise their operating funds for the year. Volunteers are needed for: set-up, check-in, signage, leading games for kids, volunteer registration, greeters, water stations, serving breakfast/lunch, cheering stations and greeters.
Ages: All ages are welcome to participate. A parent must accompany children under 14.
Time Commitment: Two hours or more. Time commitment varies by shift.
Contact: Anna Bontrager, Registration is available online.
National River Clean Up Day
Creek Connections Action Group
Date/Time: Saturday May, 21, 9am - noon
Location: Multiple Locations throughout the South Bay in San Jose, Milpitas, Cupertino, Los Altos, Palo Alto, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Campbell, Santa Clara, and Sunnyvale.

Volunteers are encouraged to wear long pants, sturdy shoes, gloves, sunscreen and to bring their own pick-up sticks. Trash bags, extra gloves and first aid supplies will be available on site. The goal of our cleanup events is to remove as much trash, debris, and recyclables as possible out of our waterways. For most events we hold a "Most Unusual Item" contest and includes prizes donated by local businesses!
Ages: All youth under the age of 18 must have a parent/guardian signature on their Waiver of Liability (English) (Spanish), and also need adult supervision for the entire event.
Time Commitment: Three hours
Contact: (individual locations have specific contact information - see website)
Morgan Hill Sprint Triathalon
Lazarex Cancer Foundation
Date/Time: Sunday May 15, 6 - 11am
Location: UVAS Reservoir Morgan Hill

Team for Life partners with a number of local race companies and helps to recruit volunteers for local races. In exchange, Team for Life spreads the word about the Lazarex Cancer Foundation and receives a charitable donation to the Foundation from the races to help cancer patients. Volunteers are needed to help out with water stations, registration, and cheering on the participants. This is a great way to get outside, have fun, and get some service hours!

Ages:  Families with children six and up are welcome to volunteer. Younger children with parents will be guided mostly toward cheering and water stations and families with older kids can help with organized race activities.
Time Commitment: Two to five hours
Contact: Susan,, 925.820.4517
Relay For Life Events May 2016
American Cancer Society
Volunteer opportunities at local Relay for Life events can include, but are not limited to: Luminaria set up, trash pick up, track signs and general signage, set up/tear down, registration, and staffing the Fight Back Tent. The following Relay for Life events are happening in May:

Relay For Life of Almaden
 Saturday May 7. Event runs from 9am to 9pm.
Location: Bret Harte Middle School, 7050 Bret Harte Drive, San Jose
Steve Yodz,, 408.688.0104.
Relay For Life of Willow Glen
Date/Time: Saturday, May 14 & Sunday, May 15. Event runs from 10am Saturday to 10am Sunday.
Location: Willow Glen High School, 2001 Cottle Ave, San Jose
Contact: Mary Beth Muscarella,, 408.688.0120
Relay For Life of Morgan Hill
Saturday, May 14 & Sunday, May 15. Event runs from 10am Saturday to 10am Sunday.
Morgan Hill Community Park, 171 W Edmundson Ave, Morgan Hill
Tima Maharaj,, 408.688.0126
Relay For Life of Blossom Valley
Saturday, May 21 & Sunday, May 22. Event runs from 10am Saturday to 10am Sunday.
Stratford School, 6670 San Anselmo Way, San Jose
Kristi Cole,, 408.688.0089
Ages: There are volunteer opportunities for all ages
Time Commitment: Varies depending on event, but Relay For Life is flexible for you!
Silicon Valley Kidney Walk
National Kidney Foundation
Date/Time: Saturday June 4, 6:30am - 1pm (shift times vary)
Location: Cityview Plaza, 125 South Market St., San Jose
Volunteers are needed to set up, register walkers, cheer along the route, and help with cleanup. We hope to see you there!
Ages: Youth middle school age and up can volunteer. Families with children can participate in the walk.
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: Darneesha Polee,, 415.543.3303 ext. 510

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.
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,
Host Families for High School International Exchange Students
International Student Exchange
Date/Time: Students arrive in August and January, and stay five months, ten months or one year and attend local public high schools.
Location: Your home and community

ISE is seeking families to host incoming international exchange students. This is a fantastic opportunity for families who wish to enrich their families' culture, to build memories and friendships, and to showcase their culture and values. Host families are expected to provide basic room and board. Students coming to the United States through ISE will arrive with spending money and health insurance. Students may share a room with siblings of the same sex. International students are between the ages of 15 and 18 ½. Host families are assigned a supervising area representative to help you through the entire process from beginning to end. The supervising representative will be with you every step of the way providing extensive guidance and support during the student's exchange program.

Ages: Families of all shapes and sizes are welcome. An adult over the age of 25 must be part of the household.
Time Commitment: Five months, ten months or one year.
Contact: Lisa, 800.766.4656x103 for additional information or referral to a local representative. Click here for the link to becoming a host family.
Download DGT's Feelings Flashcards and Play Empathy-Building Games
Doing Good Together
Date/Time: Anytime
Location: Your home or community
Download and print our Feelings Flashcards and use them to play a variety of games that help kids of all ages recognize and converse about different emotions.
Ages: Preschool on up
Time Commitment: Games will take 15 to 60 minutes.

For your next reunion, company party, or school gathering, 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 nonprofit organizations. Want to host a fun fair of your own? Our Family Service Fair Manual with Online Toolkit has everything 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. 

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