2018 resolutions may have come and gone but a fresh new season (that would be spring) makes it the perfect time to reconsider, especially when it comes to giving back to the community.
There are many organizations that tirelessly provide and serve hot meals to homeless and low-income families and individuals on a daily basis, find safe and loving homes for animals, tutor and encourage young female students in STEM, and work the land to protect our natural habitats, native wildlife and environment. Now is a great time to help!
The need for volunteers is great and simply helping out to make a PB&J sandwich, donate diapers and baby gear, clean out your closet, plant seedlings, trees and edible gardens — all of this is vastly appreciated more than you could ever know. These charities make it easy to volunteer – visit their websites to fill out applications, or just sign up for a project. Check out a list of volunteer ideas below!
Spring 2018 Volunteer Ideas
1. Dress for Success is a gratifying way to volunteer locally. Women who are just getting back on their feet and entering the workplace are in need of work attire and suits. This one is an easy way to help. Do you have work clothes and shoes that don’t fit or you don’t wear anymore? Dress for Success could really use the donations for its boutique. This amazing org helps unemployed women pull together all of the pertinent elements needed to secure a job. Volunteers who have skills as a personal stylist, who can prepare clients for job interviews and coach on overall careers, makeup artists to train clients on makeup application, are welcome. -> More info
2. Girls, Inc. is such a feel good volunteering gig. Supporting at-risk students from South LA, Compton and Watts, Girls, Inc. volunteers have the opportunity to work with these girls via educational enrichment programs focusing on STEM education, literacy and math. The program participants come from diverse backgrounds ranging from family poverty, gang surroundings and homelessness. Sign up to become a mentor, an instructor, a guest presenter, a homework helper, and a positive role model. -> More info
3. Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy is in need of volunteers to help improve and protect 1,600 acres of preserved land areas, 60 different plant species and 23,000 seedlings in Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling HIlls, Rolling Hills Estates and San Pedro. PVPLC works to improve the natural habitat to support wildlife and native species, maintain trails and signage, and educate students and the public. Sign up to volunteer on Saturdays at 9 a.m. and help to transport seedlings and prepare native plants to be planted in the designated areas. -> More info
4. The Big Sunday End of the Month Club is an on-going volunteer and help to fill food pantries, put food on the table and feed the homeless and undernourished folks of LA. Big Sunday has a lot of opportunities to volunteer throughout the year, but this particular project collects more than 700 food items each month. -> More info
5. To eat and be satisfied – this is the English translation of the Hebrew word “sova.” This is also the mission of SOVA food pantry, which takes care of over 9,000 individuals each month. These are people who cannot afford groceries, as well as homeless families, people with disabilities and senior citizens. Volunteers can participate in a few ways from stocking shelves or packing custom grocery orders, sort and box canned and packaged food donations. -> More info
6. Each year Baby2Baby provides basic necessities to more than 180,000 children (0-12 years) in LA. Whether it’s a supply of diapers, formula, onsies and pjs, clothes to grow into, bath time care, car seats and furniture, these items are super appreciated by a variety of homeless, low-income, foster care and hospitalized children. Volunteers are invited to help sort items and put together gift bags for the children. -> More info
7. Each week Food Forward rescues 300,000 pounds of leftover produce from LA Wholesale Produce Market, farmers markets and local farms to donate to hunger relief programs throughout Southern California. But after the devastating Thomas Fire in Ventura County, Food Forward found themselves in need of support. Many of the farms in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties that Food Forward relies on have been impacted. Today FF needs extra help to fulfill its goal. Join in its efforts by making donations, reaching out to vendors with excess produce and collect fresh produce. -> More info
8. While an average of 475 pets euthanized each day in our city of Angels, Ace of Hearts Dog Rescue works its tails off to help find these animals a second chance home. So, how can you help? Help out by driving Ace of Hearts Dog Rescue dogs to and fro weekly adoption events, to the vet and to doggie daycare. This charity also needs help transporting food and medicine to foster dog parents who many not have cars. And, how awesome is it that volunteers can also sign up to take pups on walks and hikes. -> More info
9. Under the Bridges and On the Streets is a program that literally provides and delivers food to homeless individuals and families who live under bridges, on the streets, in alleys and on the sides of local freeways. Under the Bridges accepts in-kind donations: mustard packets, tubs of butter, latex-free gloves,wrapping foil, packs of turkey meat, cheese blocks, and bottles of water. Additionally Under the Bridges’ monthly shopping list includes toothbrushes and toothpaste, soap, feminine hygiene products, new cotton tube socks, sweat pants and clean blankets, athletic shoes and reading glasses. Every last Saturday of the month at 9 a.m. -> More info
10. Hollywoof to the Rescue fights the pet overpopulation fight in LA. And, they need help to do this. Supported by volunteers (Hollywood artists, actors, musicians and celebrities), Hollywoof is known for its outreach and education via responsible pet ownership, spay and neuter, adoption, fostering and rescue. If you love animals, there are many ways to contribute. Email Hollywoof to volunteer: [email protected].
11. St. Francis Center is a hub for providing and serving food to homeless and extremely low-income individuals and families. In need of help all week long, St. Francis Center encourages both students and adults to serve hot breakfast meals and make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before school or getting to the office. Relying on its strong network of volunteers, St. Francis Center welcomes anyone interested. Volunteers need to complete an application and speak with a volunteer coordinator before participating. Early birds are invited to serve breakfast Monday – Friday at 7:15 a.m. -> More info
12. LA Works is a unique way you can offer your time in a variety of ways. From preparing meals and emergency food for the city’s homeless and low-income community to working with disadvantaged kids through education activities to cleaning and restoring LA’s most precious natural environments, there are projects for every kind of volunteer. Check the website – there are more than 50 projects alone in the month of March to sign up for: beautify White Point Nature Preserve in San Pedro or Portuguese Bend Reserve in Rancho Palos Verdes and create edible gardens in schools throughout Los Angeles with Enrich LA. -> More info
13. As the earth’s atmosphere and climate continue to dramatically change, the mission behind TreePeople is more important than ever to the future of LA’s natural habitat. TreePeople engages Angelenos to take care of their environment by volunteering. Help by creating strong and resilient landscapes, by planting and caring for trees in urban areas and tending to overgrowth and watering native plants in the mountains. Volunteer events are open to all ages – just sign up online to participate in Urban or Mountain Forestry on the weekends from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. -> More info
14. The 29th annual Great LA River CleanUp will take places over three weekends (at three different river areas) during the month of April. Last year the CleanUp attracted some 10,000 volunteers who removed over 100 tons of trash from the LA River at more than a dozen sites. Individuals of all ages and backgrounds, along with any community service-based organizations, are invited to participate. -> More info
Additionally: We want to let you know that the folks at Greenbar Distillery (a We Like L.A. sponsor) are teaming up with the Burrito Project to donate 10,000 burritos to the hungry this spring in L.A. If you’d like to get involved, learn more here. And if you’d like to volunteer with The Burrito Project, find out dates and times for upcoming meet-ups here.