March 2018 - Silicon Valley Family Volunteer Opportunities

March 2018 Silicon Valley Family Volunteer Opportunities

March 2018  - Silicon Valley 
Heal the Earth - Habitat Restoration and Water Monitoring 
Grassroots Ecology
Location(s): Varies - Click on above links for location information

Grassroots Ecology leverages the power of volunteers to create healthy lands across Silicon Valley. We restore native plants to open spaces and neighborhoods, steward creeks and watersheds, and provide hands-on nature education. Please bring a reusable water bottle and dress for outdoor work (sturdy shoes and long pants recommended). We will provide gloves and any needed tools.
Ages: All ages are welcome to participate. Children under 12 require an accompanying adult unless prior approval is obtained from the workday supervisor. All volunteers under age 18 must have a waiver signed by a parent or guardian.
Time Commitment: Two to four hours, depending on event
Contact: Jeremy Merckling,, 650.384.5314
Kelley Park Winter 2018 Bio Blitz
Keep Coyote Creek Beautiful
Date/Time: Saturday March 3, 9 - 11am
Location: Kelley Park Disc Golf Parking Lot, 743 Phelan Ave., San José

A BioBlitz is an event that focuses on finding and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time. At a BioBlitz, scientists, families, students, teachers, and other community members work together to get an overall count of the plants, animals, fungi, and other organisms that live in a place. Join the Kelley Park Winter BioBlitz where citizens and experts come together to explore the park, and document observations of all living things in a short period of time. Docents will guide you and teach you to use the iNaturalist app on your smartphone or tablet to record all the living things you encounter. Flowers, trees, butterflies, dragonflies, beetles, birds, and squirrels. We love them all - now let's go find them! And, if you don't want to bend over to see that spider, you can pick up a litter stick and bucket and collect the litter near the creek and in the park to keep it clean. Every little piece counts!

Ages: All ages are welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Two hours
Contact: Deb Kramer,, 408.372.7053. Registration is available online.
Alum Rock Park: Trail Crew
San Jose Parks: Volunteer Management Team
Date/Time: Saturday March 10, 9am - 1pm
Location: Alum Rock Park, 15350 Penitencia Creek Road, San José. Please plan on arriving at the Penitencia Creek entrance by 8:45am, then follow the "Volunteer Event" signs to the parking lot. The park is very large and has very limited cell phone reception.

Like to hike? Then volunteer to improve the trails! Foot traffic wears down the tread; bushes and wildflowers grow over the trail; and rain, fire and wind have their own effects. You and your family can help to maintain a safe trail. Trail Crew Days are a great way to learn about the park, try something new, and meet new friends. After your inspiring volunteer experience, you will end up feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to hike even more!
  • No experience necessary. Come meet others who enjoy hiking and the great outdoors!
  • Training and tools are provided, but you are welcome to bring your favorite tool.
  • Long pants, a long-sleeve shirt, sturdy shoes, sunscreen and a hat are recommended.
  • Please bring a filled water bottle and your own snack.
Ages: School age children are welcome to participate. Elementary and Middle school students must attend with an adult.
Time Commitment: Three to four hours
Contact: Registration is available online.
Coyote Valley by Bicycle - 21 Mile Loop
Keep Coyote Creek Beautiful and the Committee for Green Foothills
Date/Time: Sunday March 11, 9am - 12:30pm
Location: Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve, 550 Palm Ave, Morgan Hill

We'll visit the Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve, bike south and then back north across the valley floor, hop on the Coyote Creek Trail at Coyote Creek Golf Drive to the Anderson Lake Visitor Center, bike up to Northern Coyote Valley along the Coyote Creek Trail, and we'll make a stop at Spina Farms. Together we'll learn more about the history, wildlife, water, and agricultural story of this area. Bring your bike, a helmet, sun protection, 1-2 liters of water, and a bag lunch. You may want to bring cash or card to buy something at the Spina Farm Stand. Speakers will include Deb Kramer with Keep Coyote Creek Beautiful and our Executive Director Megan Medeiros.

Ages: All ages are welcome to participate if they can complete the 21-mile loop safely.
Time Commitment: Three and one-half hours
Contact: Deb Kramer,, 408.372.7053. Register your family for this educational bike ride here.
4th Annual Diapees and Wipees Drive Benefiting Community Solutions
Hosted by The Stebbins Family, The Stebbins Mortgage Team and Guild Mortgage
Date/Time: Wednesday March 14, 4 -7 pm. If you are not able to attend the March 14 event, donations will be accepted now through March 14.
Location: Guild Mortgage Morgan Hill Branch, 350 Woodview Ave. Suite 300, Morgan Hill
Join us for food and fun at this Open House donation drop-off event! Community Solutions is a comprehensive non-profit human services agency serving Santa Clara County and San Benito County. Since 1972, we have responded to the growing and changing needs of our community, serving several thousand people from young children to older adults each year. Help support their efforts by donating diapers and wipes for their littlest clients through this event!

Ages: All ages are welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: Lisa Stebbins at, 408.607.3200 or Sarah Smith at, 408.825.0248

Family Volunteering Day
Cityteam San Jose
Date/Time: All Saturdays during March (spaces are limited), 10am - noon
Location: 1297 North 13th St, San José

Cityteam provides services to people living in extreme poverty. Cityteam programs offer help such as hot meals, shelter, life transformation programs, clothing, hygiene items, learning and career help.This volunteer opportunity encourages parents and children to work together to make a positive impact in the community for those in need. Families may assist with packing hygiene kits, food boxes or sorting of donations.
  • Volunteers must wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Please dress modestly and comfortably.
  • Please do not bring valuables. We do not have a secure place for volunteers to leave belongings.
  • We encourage volunteers to take this opportunity to clean out your closet, garage, or pantry and bring along items to donate.
Ages: Families with children ages 11 and older are welcome to volunteer.
Time Commitment: Two hours
Contact: Erin Campos,, 408.232.5620. Registration is available online.
Bring and Serve Dinner for Shelter Guests at Grace Baptist Church
Winter Faith Collaborative
Date/Time: Check calendar for available dates, now through April 7. Shift runs from 6:30 - 8pm
Location: Grace Baptist Church, 484 E San Fernando St, San José

The Winter Faith Collaborative is an interfaith movement that was formed to share ideas and advocate for the houseless community. We have engaged over 100 faith communities across Santa Clara County with the collective aim to serve and shelter those in the houseless community who are living outdoors this winter. Your willingness to volunteer at the shelters is critical in our effort to house the unhoused and save lives this winter. The Grace Baptist Church provides shelter to 50 houseless guests during the winter. Volunteers are needed to bring and serve dinner nightly. Volunteers are needed to provide a hot meal for 60 guests along with any necessary paper/plastic goods for serving the meal.

Ages: Families welcome with children. Children under 16 need to be supervised by an adult at all times.
Time Commitment: One and one-half to two hours
Contact: Registration is available online.
Help Create 'Move in Kits' for Shelter Guests
Home First Services of San Jose
Date/Time: Deliver donations during office hours, Monday through Friday, 9am - 5pm
Location: 507 Valley Way, Milpitas

HomeFirst™ is a leading provider of services, shelter, and housing opportunities to the homeless and those at risk of homelessness in Santa Clara County. We serve more than 4,000 adults, veterans, families, and youth each year at seven locations including our Boccardo Reception Center, which is the county's largest homeless services center. Are you planning to do some cleaning and reorganizing around your home? Donated household supplies are greatly appreciated at HomeFirst. When a shelter guest secures permanent housing, we congratulate them with a "Move-In Kit". Click here for a list of items to donate for the kits. We love to get the kids involved too! Families might consider making some homemade cards to put in each kit congratulating the shelter guests on their new home. Non-perishable, store bought treats are also welcome.

Ages: All ages are encouraged to participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: Tracie Wallace, Volunteer Coordinator,, 408.539.2143
Sunday Friends' Programs for Very Low-Income Families
Sunday Friends
Date/Time: Sundays - Shifts available between 10:30am and 5:30pm. There are some afterschool shifts on weekdays at our special store.
  • Santee Elementary, 1313 Audubon Dr., San José, 2nd Sunday of every month
  • Meadows Elementary, 1250 Taper Ln., San José, 3rd Sunday of every month Lowell Elementary, 625 South 7th St., San José, 4th Sunday of every month
  • Sunday Friends Special Store, 730 Story Rd. Ste. 3, San José, open weekdays from 4 - 7pm
Volunteers are needed to work directly with children, and occasionally their parents, to facilitate service and learning projects. Projects include craft gift making, healthy food preparation, letter and essay writing, hands-on science projects, math and learning games, computer education, English as a Second Language classes, reading, book report writing, exercise class, parents' classes and more. Children and parents earn tickets for their participation which are 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: Volunteers should begin by completing the New Volunteer Registration process. Please register to volunteer a couple of weeks in advance of the date. Contact Lilly,, or, with questions or call 408.217.9587
Chicken Soupers Meal Preparation and Delivery
Oshman Family JCC (OFJCC)
Date/Time: Sunday March 18, 1:30 - 5:30pm
Location: Taube Koret Campus Community Kitchen, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto

Work with the OFJCC to make and deliver individual meals for those who are unable to prepare meals for themselves. Jewish Family and Children's Services (JFCS) has partnered with us to make it possible for us to help provide these meals. The project will be done in two stages. First, we will prepare individual meals in our community kitchen and pack them. Next, we will divide and deliver the prepared meals to the designated people. This is a great opportunity for families to do a project together as well as deliver it personally to someone in need! Please remember to wear closed toed shoes and have your hair up or covered.
Ages: Families with children ages eight and older are welcome to volunteer.
Time Commitment: Four hours
Contact: Robin Vasilakos,, 650.223.8791. To register visit the Oshman Family JCC  event calendar!

Become a Senior Angel
Doing Good Together
Date/Time: Once a week
Location: A  senior in your community

You can help create a more age-integrated society and instill positive attitudes toward aging by providing your child with positive contacts with seniors. By becoming a Senior Angel your family will let a senior know they are remembered and loved through an ongoing weekly correspondence. Seniors who may be home-bound, confined to nursing homes, or in convalescent hospitals will look forward to your weekly greetings! You can reach out to a relative, neighbor or senior you know in your community.

What you'll need:
  • Stationery, greeting cards, pens, drawing or art supplies
  • Occasional small, inexpensive, gifts ($2-$5), such as a box of tea or bar of scented soap
  • Postage
Once-a-week send your older friend chatty letters, friendly cards, uplifting notes, children's drawings and perhaps an occasional small gift. Learn more by visiting the Doing Good Together Become a Senior Angel page.
Ages: Your whole family can participate!
Time Commitment: Varies, but please plan on making an ongoing, long-term commitment to your senior.

Reading together is a research-proven, amazingly simple way to practice empathy and support your child's learning on every level. But that isn't why we love it. Story time is the most intimate, thoughtful, tender way to connect with a child. Check out Doing Good Together's awesome collection of favorite picture and chapter books focused on a variety of critical topics, including Kindness, Creativity, Gratitude, Mindfulness, Bullying, Death & Grief, and more


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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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