San Francisco though a relatively small city is a cultural, commercial, and financial center in Northern California.
San Francisco is filled with all varying kinds of organizations committed to giving back. Whether your concept of volunteering involves packaging food for folks affected by sheltering in place, creative-writing tutoring, or dog-walking, here are 14 ways you can volunteer in San Francisco right now.
Volunteering as a community advocate
Volunteers at Rebuilding Together are taught to perform unpaid home repairs and safety renovations for the elderly, disabled, and low-income residents in San Francisco. During the peak of the global COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers were accepted in droves for their “Saving Face” program, which made over 1,000 masks a week for medical professionals and workers. You can also donate to their course and participate in their monthly trivia nights, which support program funding, or sponsor a special benefit like the Builders & Brewers Event this spring.
The Free Farm Stand
The Free Farm Stand is a small-sized, volunteer-run organization that is into the distribution of locally grown food for free in the Mission neighborhood for the last 12 years. Volunteering at the organization is limited due to shelter-in-place restrictions, howbeit, if you can’t get immersed by handing out pre-packaged food, the organization is also required organic produce, so if you grow some, please donate it to the cause. Disposable gloves, masks, and recycled plastic & paper bag donations are also needed to continue safe distribution.
Project Open Hand
Project Open Hand seeks volunteers that’d pack and deliver meals and groceries weekly to San Francisco’s critically ill and physically vulnerable residents. You can check out their Volunteer Hot Spots page for constantly updated opportunities. You could also donate toiletries for people in need, or individually wrapped lunches for the volunteers.
Volunteering as a people’s person
The Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly
If you’re searching for a way to connect with others, The Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly organization provides an opportunity to build camaraderie with the city’s 25,000 senior citizens who live alone. While their regular volunteering opportunities include making holiday and birthday visits or escorting seniors for their hospital visits, volunteers are specifically needed to just check in over the phone to offer a friendly ear. You can also donate essential items like toiletries for their senior care kits.
Openhouse as an organization connect volunteers with LGBTQIA seniors and adults with disabilities seeking transportation, housing, and medical services. They are currently looking for volunteers to run vital errands and make phone calls. If you are unavailable to make calls, Openhouse is also accepting donations for their senior care kits of cleaning supplies, toiletries, and pharmacy gift cards.
If you’re available for dog walking, grocery shopping, or medication pickup, their Shanti Project needs volunteers to assist residents living with terminal or disabling illnesses and conditions.
Volunteering for the musically inclined
Musicians On Call
For anyone seeking a musical outlet, your talents are desired. Musicians On Call, which launched a San Francisco chapter in 2016, is looking for musical volunteers to participate in its Bedside Performance Program, which offers 30- to 60-minute live sessions to bedridden adults, seniors, and children. If you’re not musically inclined, but still want to help, you can donate to help fund the chapter.
For the youth advocate
Remember that book in English class you were excited about reading and writing about? Well, 826 Valencia is a superb opportunity to pass along that excitement for learning. They specialize in helping low-income students find their voice and hone their creative writing skills through online tutoring. Monetary donations are accepted also to enable them to keep the programs free for underprivileged students in the city.
Sprouts Cooking Club
If you’re interested in food competition shows or have surprised yourself with your newly discovered culinary skills, you should check out Sprouts Cooking Club, which teaches underprivileged youth about healthy cooking and eating habits through its diverse programs. Volunteers can currently participate in the Virtual Chef-Led Dinner Series by tutoring a class or assisting with questions during sessions. Kitchenware, produce, and office-supply donations are desired to support various programs and students.
For helping the disenfranchised
Pomeroy Recreation & Rehabilitation Center
The Pomeroy Recreation & Rehabilitation Center provides educational and recreational spaces where disabled and traumatized people can safely participate. While social distancing remains in effect, Pomeroy has to take their programs virtual and requires volunteers to lead activities remotely (as well as social media and tech-savvy volunteers to help promote and facilitate them). Classes taught include yoga & meditation sessions, cooking classes, and storytime segments, as well as art therapy, dance, and science classes for adults aged 20-90 and children/teens aged 5-19.
San Francisco Women Against Rape (SFWAR)
If you feel strongly about women’s rights, San Francisco Women Against Rape (SFWAR) is a female-led organization fighting for survivors of sexual violence through legal assistance and support. Volunteers are extremely needed for their 24-hour hotline to help women and children stuck in environments that is abusive. SFWAR is open to all volunteers, especially formerly incarcerated women, and gives state-certified sexual assault counselor training for volunteers interested in working directly with survivors.
San Francisco Community Health Center (SFCHC)
For people in the medical field with extra time to give back, the San Francisco Community Health Center (SFCHC) is seriously searching for volunteer RNs for their Thrive resource center to provide healthcare services for trans people and the homeless community. Nonmedical volunteers are also expected to help with virtual community support groups.
Legal Assistance to the Elderly
If you’ve got a law background and would like to offer pro bono representation and/or counseling, Legal Assistance to the Elderly desperately needs your help working with San Francisco’s elderly and disabled. They’re looking for lawyers, paralegals, and law students to help with specific issues such as evictions and medical bills, elder abuse, healthcare, and debt defense. Also, volunteers with digital marketing and IT experiences are also needed to help in building the organization’s digital presence.