The holiday season is right around the corner, and what better way to kick it off than volunteering your time to organizations serving your community. To help you get involved, we've curated a list of opportunities ranging from one-time, volunteer days and in-kind donations to longer-term commitments. Below, you'll also find links to special platforms where you can discover more volunteer opportunities in Los Angeles and beyond.
There are several ways to volunteer for this year's Union Station Thanksgiving Dinner in the Park, including helping with kitchen prep (Nov. 16-23), cooking turkeys (Nov. 19-20), and monitoring the drive-up line (Nov. 18). You can also purchase items for donation to the Thanksgiving Dinner through Union Station's Amazon wishlist.
Miry's List supports newly-arrived refugee families by providing supplies and helping them get settled in their new homes. Miry's List has multiple in-person and virtual volunteer opportunities through the end of the year.
CORE provides free drive-thru COVID-19 testing throughout the city. Volunteers help set up and prepare test sites, check-in patients, guide people through self-administered tests, and clean up.
Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers are assigned to work one-on-one with a child in the foster care system and to advocate for the child's interest. This opportunity is available year-round, but the holidays are a great time to get involved. Start by signing up for an information session.
St. Vincent Meals on Wheels assembles and delivers bags of groceries to homebound seniors throughout Los Angeles. As a volunteer, you can choose from multiple opportunities including preparing meals in the kitchen, assembling groceries to be delivered, and delivering meals door-to-door.
Donating blood is a quick and easy way to potentially save a life. The American Red Cross has blood drives throughout Los Angeles multiple times per week; search by zip code to find the one closest to you.
The Midnight Mission serves three meals per day to people experiencing homelessness in Downtown Los Angeles. Donate prepared meals including lunch bags with a sandwich, chips, beverage, fruit, or dessert. Donations can be made 24/7.
Reading Partners is looking for volunteers to become online tutors. Using Reading Partners' evidence-based curriculum, tutors will help students learn the skills necessary to become proficient readers.
The Los Angeles Food Bank is looking for volunteers to help box and sort food to be distributed throughout Los Angeles.
826LA is a non-profit dedicated to supporting elementary through high school students with their creative and expository writing skills. Volunteer to tutor students after school, teach creative writing, work with aspiring journalists, and more.
Las Fotos Project is a nonprofit that inspires teenage girls through photography, mentorship, and self-expression. Some of the organization's specific volunteer needs include guest speaking, leading a workshop, and supporting event production.
Volunteer Matching Platforms and Portals:
LA2050 is proud to have funded and supported VolunteerLA, a program of the Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles that connects Angelenos to meaningful service opportunities. The VolunteerLA Portal is an easy way to find local volunteer opportunities and allows you to browse by location, type of activity, and cause. For those that can not volunteer in person, you can also find wishlists for various organizations in LA.
Our partners at Californians for All involve our state's residents in volunteering and civic engagement opportunities. This includes responding to COVID-19 and other statewide emergencies as well as administering the AmeriCorps program in California, providing services to more than 160,000 Californians annually. Sign up to receive volunteer opportunities through California Volunteers and the Office of the Governor.
Catchafire is an online platform that strengthens the social good sector by matching professionals who want to donate their time with nonprofits who need their specific skills. You can browse projects in COVID-19 Essentials, Finance & Operations, Fundraising, Human Resources, Marketing & Communications, Professional Development, Program Management, Technology, and more.