December 2017 - Silicon Valley Family Volunteer Opportunities

December 2017 Silicon Valley Family Volunteer Opportunities

December 2017  - Silicon Valley 
Hanukkah Holiday Bag Assembly and Delivery
Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley
  • Assembly: Tuesday, December 5, 5 - 6:30pm
  • Delivery: Wednesday, December 6 - Friday, December 15, 9am - 5pm
Location: Eleanor Haas Koshland Center, 2001 Winward Way, Suite 200, San Mateo

Help brighten the holidays of JFCS clients and community members who otherwise would not be able to observe Hanukkah and other holidays due to frailty, disability, economic hardship, and other challenges in their lives. Volunteer with your children to assemble and deliver holiday bags filled with festive food and goodies for hundreds of JFCS clients. This is a wonderful volunteer opportunity in which the entire family can participate.
Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: RSVP to Pauline Shulman by Thursday, November 30, 650.931.1858 or
Hanukkah Holiday Bag Assembly and Delivery
Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley
  • Assembly: Friday, December 8, 4:30 - 6:30pm
  • Delivery: Friday, December 8 - 15, 9am - 5pm
Location: Koret Family Resource Center, 200 Channing Avenue, Palo Alto

Help brighten the holidays of JFCS clients and community members who otherwise would not be able to observe Hanukkah and other holidays due to frailty, disability, economic hardship, and other challenges in their lives. Volunteer with your children to assemble and deliver holiday bags filled with festive food and goodies for hundreds of JFCS clients. This is a wonderful volunteer opportunity in which the entire family can participate. The Friday assembly opportunity is geared towards families with school aged children, this event includes a special Shabbat program and after-school snacks.
Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: RSVP to Bobbi Bornstein by December 3, 650.688.3090 or

Embrace-A-Family 2017
Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley
Date/Time: Now through December 19
Location: Find JFS SV Dreidl boards at the following locations. Dreidel gifts can be delivered to JFS SV office at the Levy Family Campus at 14855 Oka Rd, Los Gatos

Help Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley (JFS SV) make Hanukkah brighter for those in need. JFS SV invites you to be a part of our 10th 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. Your gift will bring a smile - and be a blessing - to someone in need.

How You Can Help:

Look for JFS SV dreidel boards in the community from now through December 19. Select a gift dreidel from the board, purchase the gift listed, and bring your unwrapped gift to the JFS SV office at the Levy Family Campus. Gifts can also be purchased online.
You can also choose from these special dreidels:
  • Emergency Food Bags for families, seniors, and individuals
  • Shabbat Meals from Pars
  • Emergency Fund for Refugees donations
  • Gift cards to supermarkets and discount stores
Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate. There are volunteer opportunities in late November and December for children 10 and up with their parents.
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: Lori Cinnamon, Manager of Community and Volunteer Engagement, 408.357.7467 or Volunteers are also needed to help create and stock dreidel boards, greet donors, wrap gifts and more.
Family Activities for the 2017 Holiday Season
Second Harvest Food Bank
Date/Time: Flexible
  • 750 Curtner Ave. San Jose
  • 4001 North First St. San Jose
  • 1051 Bing St. San Carlos
This holiday season, kids can help the Food Bank make the holidays brighter for their 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 our seniors with glitter, color crayons, holiday themes, etc.
  • Make holiday cards for seniors and families 
  • 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 or fruit cocktail.
Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: Volunteer Services,, 408.266.8866. For the form and information on family projects visit:
Collect Diapers for Families in Need
Help A Mother Out
Date/Time: Varies
Location: Deliver to Earth Baby Warehouse, 3250 Victor St., Santa Clara

Help a Mother Out (HAMO) 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 at your home, school or organization, just grab a box and go! All the materials you need can be found in our online diaper drive toolkit!

Other ways to support HAMO:
  • Order diapers or host a virtual drive with HAMO's Amazon wishlist 
  • You can also drop off open or new packs of diapers to one of HAMO's donation bin locations around the Bay Area
  • Create new baby kits at home - HAMO can send you a list of materials to purchase (like diapers, board books, and a newborn care kit), assemble them at home and we can distribute to our community partners.
Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: Anu Menon,, 415.938.6667
Saturday Habitat Restoration at McClellan Ranch Preserve
Grassroots Ecology
Date/Time: Saturday, December 16, 9-11:30am
Location:  McClellan Ranch Preserve, 22221 McClellan Road, Cupertino

Help us continue our ongoing efforts to increase wildlife habitat at McClellan Ranch by planting native plants, removing invasive plants, sheet mulching and this is a great opportunity to do a bit of wildlife watching and learn about our local native habitat.

Please bring:
  • A reusable water bottle
  • Dress for outdoor work (sturdy shoes and long pants recommended)
  • Minors under 18 must bring a waiver form signed by a parent
  • We provide gloves and tools
Ages: Volunteers of all ages are welcome; minors under 18 require a parent to approve the online waiver when registering for this event, and children under 12 require an accompanying adult unless prior approval is obtained from the workday supervisor.
Time Commitment: Two and one-half hours
Contact: Jeremy Merckling,, 650.419.9880. Registration is available online. If after you have registered, you find you cannot attend, please notify

Adopt-A-Grandparent - Donate, Wrap and/or Deliver!
Ali McCarthy, MaryKay Consultant
  • Gift wrapping: Thursday December 14, 6:30 - 8pm
  • Gift delivery: Saturday December 23, 2 - 4pm
  • Gift wrapping: Sports Basement, 1875 S Bascom Ave #240, Campbell
  • Gift delivery: Willow Glen Convalescent Hospital, 1267 Meridian Ave, San Jose
Help make the holidays special for local elderly residents through a program called Adopt-a-Grandparent. Each year Ali McCarthy puts together festive gifts for elderly residents in nursing homes. (She does not make any profit on these donations). This year her goal is to provide gifts to 140 "Grandparents." Many of the residents have few if any visitors and receive little, if anything, during the holidays. That's where we all come in! By delivering the packages, we can make their holidays feel special! Each festive gift is $20, which includes Mint Bliss Energizing Lotion for Feet and Legs, Satin Lips Shea Butter Balm, fuzzy socks and a holiday card. Two days before Christmas we make the rounds and personally deliver the gifts. Thank you for your help in making the holidays brighter for some very special people.

You can also donate to Adopt-A-Grandparent. You can adopt one senior for $20 or you may adopt multiple grandparents. You can also have your children make the holiday card(s) to go along with the gifts as well!
Send donations to:
Ms. Alexandra McCarthy
1993 Cherry Ave
San Jose, CA 95125

Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: Please RSVP to Ali McCarthy for any of these options by December 6th as there is limited space! Ali McCarthy,, 408.623.7012 
Christmas Toy Festival
Cityteam San Jose
  • Thursday, December 21: Noon - 4pm
  • Thursday, December 21: 3:30pm - 7:30pm
  • Friday, December 22: 10am - 2pm
Location: Cityteam Community Services Event Center, 1297 North 13th Street, San Jose. Parking is limited so please carpool or use drop off services.

Cityteam San Jose will provide new toys, food and clothing to families in need in a festival setting including some games and prizes. Please join us to help with the festival and hand out these holiday gifts! Wear comfortable clothes and closed toed shoes. Volunteers may help with any of the following tasks:
  • Handing out toys, food and coats
  • Assisting with festival games
  • Assisting with prize room
Ages: Children must be 9 years or older to volunteer (under 13 years old must be accompanied by a parent)
Time Commitment: Approximately four hours
Contact: Erin Campos, Volunteer Program Supervisor,, 408.232.5620
Registration is available on the Volunteer Event Calendar. Each child and adult must be signed up individually. No group registrations larger than 5.

Holiday Donation Drives Around Silicon Valley

During the holidays, many local organizations are collecting supplies, food and gifts for families and individuals in need. Consider shopping as a family for some of these needed items, collecting gently-used items from around your home, hosting a fundraiser or donation drive or creating greeting cards to go along with the gifts you provide! We recommend reaching out to the organizations in advance to confirm the dates items are needed by.
Sacred Heart Community Services
SHCS distributes 7,400 holiday food boxes to families and toys to 6,200 children. Bring joy this holiday season by dropping off turkeys or new toys! Click here for more information.
Donation Station: 1381 S. First St., San Jose
Donation Station Hours: Monday through Thursday, 8am - 5pm; Friday 8am - 4pm; Saturday 9am - Noon. Closed on National Holiday weekends.
The Salvation Army of Silicon Valley
Help make the holidays merry for those in need by donating new items!
  • For children ages 0-12: Baby dolls, soft plush toys, building toys, Barbie, board games, ride-on toys, sports equipment, educational/musical toys, gift cards or warm clothing.  
  • For seniors: body/personal care bags and blankets.
  • For the homeless: thick warm socks, knit hats, underwear, gloves, cold weather jackets, ponchos and sleeping bags.
Donation Station: 359 North Fourth St., San Jose, between 9am and 4pm, 408.282.1165
City of Saratoga
The city is collecting nonperishable food items as well as new, unwrapped toys to be distributed to needy families this holiday season as part of its annual Food and Toy Drive. Drop off new unwrapped toys through December 16 and donations of non-perishable food through December 21. Toys can be dropped off at City Hall, the Joan Pisani Community Center, Senior Center, and Historical Museum. Food donations can be delivered to the Joan Pisani Community Center, Senior Center, Saratoga Prospect Center, and Saratoga Library.
Teen Challenge Holiday Gift Drive
Teen Challenge's mission is to provide successful recovery for men, women, teens, children, and families with destructive, abusive, and addictive lifestyles through mentoring, education, training, and spiritual direction. They are seeking new clothing, new toys, hygiene products, cleaning products and food for the men, women, teens and children in their program.
Donation Station: Teen Challenge Office, 390 Matthew St. Santa Clara, 408.703.2001
Unity Care's Santa's Helpers Donation Drive 
Unity Care uplifts 800 lonely and anxious foster children in our area. They are seeking families or organizations to host holiday parties/drives to collect new unwrapped gifts for children ages 0-24 or $25 gift cards to Target or Walmart. You can also consider adopting or decorating one of 12 teen homes in the Bay Area.  
To host a party or adopt a home contact Unity Care at 408.971.9822,
Community Services Agency of Mountain View and Los Altos  
CSA is seeking gifts and/or gift cards for teens, food donations and volunteers to help provide holiday spirit to hundreds of families in the local community.
Donation Station: 204 Stierlin Rd. Mountain View, 650.968.0836  

Sunnyvale Community Services  
SCS is seeking nonperishable food items, new toys, gifts and gift cards for those ages 7-17 for holiday gift distribution to low-income families in Sunnyvale. Food items most needed are healthy cereal, canned tuna, and chicken, peanut butter and jelly, canned soup and canned tomato products. Gift cards to Target and Safeway are also greatly appreciated.
Donation Station: Sunnyvale Community Services, 725 Kifer Rd. Sunnyvale, 408.738.4298
Donations are accepted 7am - 8pm from December 1-11. Donations are also being accepted at all Sunnyvale Fire Stations.
Hopes Corner  
Hope's Corner is sponsoring our 6th Annual Hope's Corner Children's Christmas Party on December 16. We invite area families in need to come celebrate with us and give parents an opportunity to put something special under the tree for their children. To ensure that we can make a difference for dozens of children in our community, please donate to our annual Christmas Toy Drive through December 15. New, unwrapped gifts for children ages 1-18 and $20-25 gift cards for teenagers will be accepted December 13-15 from 3-5 p.m.
Donation Station: Los Altos United Methodist Church parking lot, 655 Magdalena Ave., and at Trinity United Methodist Church on December 15, 9 - 11 am.
Area community groups and organizations are encouraged to organize their own toy drives to benefit the Hope's Corner Christmas Toy Drive.
If you have any questions please contact us at 650.254.1450

Toys for Tots, Santa Clara County
Join us in our efforts to ensure that every child in need in our community receives a new and unwrapped toy this holiday season! The Marines of San Jose, CA are proud to serve all of Santa Clara County by collecting toy donations and in return, giving thousands of new unwrapped toys to Santa Clara County families in need.
Visit the San Jose area page for one of the many Toy Drop-Off Locations in your area. 

Jewish Family and Children's Services  
Help make the holidays bright for children affected by the North Bay fires and for low-income families. This is a great way to involve your children in the meaning of tzedakah and in helping others during the holiday season.
  • New toys for children of all ages (unwrapped please) 
  • Gift cards-often great for all ages, (ToysRUs, Target, Amazon, etc.)  
  • Wrapping paper, ribbon, and gift tags  
Donation Stations:
Palo Alto: 200 Channing Avenue Palo Alto, Monday through Friday, 9am - 5pm
San Mateo: 2001 Winward Way, Suite 200, San Mateo, Monday through Friday, 9am - 5pm

Display a Kindness Quilt
Create a Kindness Quilt
Doing Good Together
Date/Time: Anytime
Location: Your home
During this busy holiday season sharing kind acts can be a wonderful way for your family to reconnect. Your family can take time to celebrate small acts of kindness with a paper quilt. Designed to accompany The Kindness Quilt by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, this project will have your family doing a kind act, drawing a picture of it, and sharing it with one another in the form of a beautiful, continuously growing paper quilt. Find project templates and more information on the Doing Good Together Display a Kindness Quilt project page.
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Just in time for Holiday Shopping... DGT™ debuts a SHOP KIND Store!

You've relied on DGT for tips, activities, book recommendations, and more. Now we have another resource to offer: our SHOP KIND Store. This online store features a page of kindness-themed Amazon store items (because, yes, DGT is an Amazon Affiliate Advertiser). And we have just launched another SHOP KIND page featuring like-minded organizations offering outstanding, mission-driven products. You can try these unique items for your next service project or when you're shopping for big-hearted gifts for yourself or others. We'll be  continually adding more items, so revisit often to find something new. We think you'll like what we've found, and we look forward to your feedback and suggestions for more SHOP KIND products!


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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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