Community Service and Volunteer Opportunities

    Samaritan House Coat Drive
    If you have old coats in the closet, consider giving them to neighbors who need one. Samaritan House provides free services and supplies to the friends and neighbors in need throughout our county. Donated coats (all sizes including adult) will be delivered to Samaritan House throughout the winter. Please contact Neela Gentile to arrange a local drop off.
    Volunteers Needed: Los Robles Magnet Academy Library
    The Ravenswood schools are starved for volunteers, and the Los Robles Magnet Academy Library relies on volunteer staff.  The job involves helping children find books, checking books in and out, shelving returns, and occasionally reading aloud. Shifts are Mondays: 9:20-11:10 and 1:00 – 2:40; Tuesdays 10:00-11:10; Thursdays 8:45-11:00 and 1:00-2:40; Fridays: 9:20-11:10 and 1:00-2:40. For more information, please contact Nancy Ryde or Barbara Neumann
    Adopt A Teacher Who Needs Your Support
    Make a real difference for a teacher and his/her students by "adopting" a K-8 teacher in East Palo Alto or east Menlo Park for a school year.  Provide the teacher with encouraging notes and/or small gifts of appreciation, school supplies and support for two class parties. Financial commitment $500-600, time commitment very flexible. It's easy and fun to adopt a teacher with friends. Learn more or sign up on the Adopt a Teacher webpage  or by contacting Jennifer Wythes Vettel

    Boy Scout Troop 206 Bicycle Donations
    As one of their Eagle Scout projects, Atherton’s Boy Scout Troop 206 is collecting and repairing donated bikes, and redistributing them to local community members who are unable to buy them. To donate bikes, unused helmets, bike locks, and money for repair parts, email Joe or call (650)327-6337.
    Host a foreign exchange student:
    AFS (American Field Service) is looking for host families for high school foreign exchange students for this school year.  AFS has students awaiting news of their host family in our area, and needs to quickly identify hosts and secure school spots.  If you have ever considered the rewarding experience of hosting an exchange student, please step up now to welcome on of these students. To learn more and review a list of students and their profiles, click here ( and enter your zip code to see the students who will be coming to the Bay Area. All AFS exchange students are honors students who have been selected for the program based on their academic success, responsibility, adaptability and optimism.  Host families provide a bedroom (they can share a room with a child of the same gender), meals, and transportation to/from school and activities.  The student's family pays for their travel and other expenses. 

    All Students Matter
    Volunteer Opportunity in the Classroom One hour per week for the school year East Menlo Park/East Palo Alto Schools. We are looking for a limited number of parents willing to volunteer in a K-4 classroom in East Menlo Park and East Palo Alto this year.  Tutor students in a structured reading program or assist teachers in the classroom with tutoring and individualized instruction much like you may have done in your own child’s classroom -- these classes have no parents helping and there's no PTA.  The schools are a short drive away and it’s for one hour a week starting the week of September 22nd. Our organization, All Students Matter, coordinates everything including an orientation on September 5th. To sign up or learn more, please contact Carolyn Blatman at or visit

    Classroom Volunteers Needed in East Palo Alto
    An Hour a Week Could Change a Student's Life We are looking for parents willing to volunteer in a K-4 classroom this school year.  Assist teachers with tutoring and individualized instruction much like you may have done in your own child’s classroom, but these classes have no parents helping.  The school most in need right now is Brentwood Academy.  It’s one hour per week starting in early November. Our organization provides orientation and coordinates everything. To learn more about us, visit  Have questions or want to sign up?  Contact Carolyn Blatman at

    Bake a Cake for a Kid In Need
    Cake4Kids is seeking volunteer bakers to bake one or two cakes a year to give at-risk youth a birthday cake who otherwise wouldn’t have one. This is a great opportunity for a service project you can do mostly from home with kids of all ages. To sign up or learn more, click here.   

    My New Red Shoes
    This organization provides new shoes and clothing to homeless and low-income children around the Bay Area to help them look and feel confident before starting a new school year. They offer Volunteer Opportunities  for kids of all ages or they will help create a custom volunteer opportunity for your class or other group. Engaging kids in a service project is a great idea for an end of the year class event. Want more info? Contact Becca Moos at


    There are many ways to volunteer to help our organization end homelessness on the Peninsula.  Click here to learn how your family (or a group of families) can help us make and distribute meals, collect needed donations, improve facilities, and more.


    Save The Bay
    You can have fun outdoors, learn about the Bay and help us protect it by joining one of our on-the-Bay programs. Click here to see a list of volunteer opportunities at several sites around San Francisco Bay.

    Furry Friends Visiting Program Donating just a few hours of your time with your wonderful pet can make a world of difference in the daily life of our residents. You can either visit in the rooms or take your pet to the lobby and outdoors during the warm weather.  If you have questions or inquiries please visit or contact Bethany Dinh at

    There With Care 
    There With Care is a non-profit based in Menlo Park that supports families of critically-ill children. We are currently serving families referred through Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford and we would love your help! We have many opportunities to volunteer directly with our families to deliver meals and groceries or provide childcare for patients or siblings. We also need administrative help sorting donations, helping in the office, or supporting special events. Kids of all ages can volunteer! For more info, visit our website to view our upcoming Volunteer Training Session dates and sign up for a one-time 90-minute session.

    Bake a Dessert for the kids at the Ronald McDonald House
    An easy way for your family or a group of families to help create a home-away-from home for families of children with life-threatening illnesses. Click here for more details on this and other "off-site" opportunities to support the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford, or contact Monica Makela at 
    Support Fight Against Hunger 
    Decorate Brown Grocery Bags & Make Colorful Cards to Support the Fight against Hunger - Read this PDF brochure to learn more about these and other simple ways that kids under 14 can help support the work of Second Harvest Food Bank

    Haven House/InnVision Shelter Network 
    A nonprofit dedicated to ending homelessness on the Peninsula. We depend on the generous time and talent of our  community to help homeless families and individuals return to permanent housing and self-sufficiency. Click here to find a variety of ways you can engage with IVSN to support our mission. For more info, contact Lynnelle Bilsey at

    Riley's Place 
    Our Youth Volunteer Program offers kids aged 8 through 15, wonderful and meaningful opportunities to volunteer. Children gain hands-on experience and learn how to feed, exercise, groom, pet, socialize and care for all our animals, most of which were rescued. At Riley's Place, youth are very involved, have a whole lot of fun, and take pride in being the touchstone of our organization. For more information, contact Renette Rambeau at
    Lytton Gardens 
    Whether you want to volunteer on your own or with a group, we can help you use your time and talents to enrich the lives of our seniors. Volunteers bring friendship, intellectual stimulation, and entertainment to the residents of Lytton Gardens. For more info, contact Dora Sanchez, Activities Coordinator at or call Lytton Gardens, Assisted Living at (650) 617-7341, 649 University Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94301.

    Ecumenical Hunger Program 
    Our 35 year old, private, non-profit, community-based organization located in East Palo Alto provides emergency food, clothing, case management, and household essentials to families in need in East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Palo Alto. We have a range of jobs including packing food boxes, interviewing clients, sorting food and clothing, and data entry.  For more info, contact Melanie Jones-Carter at

    Library Volunteers 
    Library volunteers are needed at K-8 public schools in the Ravenswood District to support and encourage students as they learn to read.  Activities include reading to children, helping students find books they love, checking-out books, and organizing.   Reading skills dramatically impact children's educational prospects, so this is a fun way to make a big difference! For more information, please visit or email
    Classroom Volunteers 
    Classroom Volunteers Needed in East Palo Alto Looking for parents willing to volunteer in a K-4 classroom this school year. Assist teachers with tutoring and individualized instruction much like you may have done in your own child’s classroom, but these classes have no parents PTA. The schools are located in East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park.  It’s one hour per week with training starting September 6th. Our organization coordinates everything. To learn more about us, visit Have questions or want to sign up?  Contact Carolyn Blatman at

    Ravenswood Education Foundation - Adopt-A-Teacher
    Every child deserves a quality education.  You can help make this happen by getting involved with our neighboring school district, Ravenswood.  The Adopt-a-Teacher program is a wonderful volunteer opportunity for families, friends, small groups and neighbors to work together to provide much needed encouragement and school supplies to a K-8 teacher in East Menlo Park/Palo Alto schools. Over the course of the nine-month school year, volunteer teams typically spend approximately one hour a month and $500-$600 in school supplies for their adopted teacher's class. Contact the Adopt-a-Teacher coordinators: Jennifer Vettel ( or Jeanne Simonian (