2021 Holiday Volunteer Opportunities

Posted November 19, 2021 by Team LA2050

One great way to help your community this holiday season is by volunteering your time.

To make that easy for you, we've compiled a list of holiday volunteer opportunities with some of the many organizations doing incredible work across Los Angeles County.

Additionally, if you are looking for a longer-term volunteer opportunity, we've got you covered as well. Keep scrolling down the page to find links for those opportunities, from some of the grantees in our 2021 My LA2050 Grants Challenge cohort.

Holiday volunteers Needed:

Union Station Homeless Services Dinner in the Park | November 17th - November 25th

Join Union Station Homeless Services this Thanksgiving by creating meal boxes, preparing Thanksgiving dinner, and helping with its Thanksgiving day community event.

Create Literacy Kits for Children with Jumpstart | November 20th

Jumpstart is looking for volunteers to help collate activity worksheets into folders, bag craft materials, cut out paper supplies, etc. These materials will go into a Jumpstart literacy kit distributed to children across underserved and under-resourced communities.

Nothin' But Sand Beach Cleanup with Heal The Bay | November 20th

Heal The Bay's last Nothin' But Sand beach cleanup of the year is on Saturday, November 20 from 10 am to noon at Venice City Beach. Remove trash before it's lost at sea, then mosey on up to its Aquarium at the Santa Monica Pier to learn about the wildlife you've protected.

Drop-off Turkey Sandwich Lunch Bags with Hang Out and Do Good | November 21st

Working with Hang Out and Do Good, you can help make 10 or more lunches with a drink, snack, fruit, and a turkey sandwich (but any sandwich works), and drop them off at a location near you by 11 AM Sunday morning the 21st.

Volunteer to Hand Out Meals to Families in DTLA | November 23rd

On Tuesday, Nov 23, from 2:30 pm to 5:00 pm, Pico Union Project needs volunteers to hand out meals, hygiene items, and other household necessities to families in the community.

Big Sunday's 10th Annual Thanksgiving Stuffing Event! | November 24th

Big Sunday has set a goal to assemble 3000 bags full of delicious food for hungry and grateful people all over town.

Thanksgiving Day with Project Angel Food | November 25th

Project Angel Food plans on delivering 2,000 traditional turkey dinners to its critically ill clients and their caregivers on Thanksgiving and needs volunteer drivers to share in the magic of the season by delivering meals.

Drop Off Sack Lunches for Skid Row with Midnight Mission | November 26th

In compliance with social distancing protocols, volunteers will make 10+ sack lunches at home and then drop them off at the mission between 6 am and 6 pm (11/26). You won't be in direct contact with residents as in pre-pandemic years, but you can still have a powerful impact.

CicLAvia South LA Volunteer Sign-Up | December 5th

There are multiple volunteer positions for CicLAvia's South LA community festival! CicLAvia provides the opportunity for attendees of all ages and abilities to explore the car-free streets of South Los Angeles.

Volunteer at “Santa's Workshop" with LA Family Housing | December 9th

Join LA Family Housing as they organize and prepare gift items and toys for each and every young participant they serve. Volunteers will categorize each item and toy by age range to best fit the gift to the child before they go out for delivery.

Provide Support to Transitional Families with Alexandria House | December 19th

L.A. Works volunteers support the staff at Alexandria House in maintaining a safe and positive atmosphere for the women and children living there. Volunteers help with gardening, organizing the garage, cleaning the kitchen, sorting food and clothing, and preparing activities for

Sort Food with L.A. Regional Food Bank | Multiple Dates Available

The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is the second-largest food bank operating in the United States and is always looking for volunteers to help sort, assemble, and distribute food packages.

Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities:

Angel City Sports volunteering form

East Side Riders Bike Club volunteering form

Become a mentor with Las Fotos Project

Contact Covenant House to inquire about volunteer opportunities

Volunteer with New Earth

Join MiMentor's network

Sign up to volunteer with Shower of Hope

Check here for future volunteer opportunities with City Plants

Healing California is always looking for Dental, Vision, and Medical professionals to volunteer

If you are a law student, you can volunteer with the Western Center on Law & Poverty

Volunteer with Westside Pacific Villages

Make a New Year's Resolution That Makes A Difference

Posted January 10, 2020 by Team LA2050

This article first appeared in the LA2050 newsletter. Sign up here.

What will you commit to doing to make a difference in 2020?

Maybe you want to get more involved in social justice, social change, or making LA a better place.

Maybe you want to volunteer more.

Maybe this is the year you get a job that combines your love of working hard and doing good.

Maybe you'll make a commitment to being more civically engaged by getting involved in the Census.

Maybe you'll resolve to increase LA's voting outcomes by encouraging your friends and neighbors to understand the issues and voting in all local and national elections!

Whatever you want to accomplish this year, we are here for you.

Just let us know what YOU are going to do in 2020 and we will make sure to deliver information that helps you reach your goals. (We'll also help you stay on track with a friendly reminder here and there).

To get started, just pick a goal today:

Get involved with a local cause - Take the pledge to get more involved in 2020 and we'll send you volunteer opportunities, information about impactful organizations, and other ways to use your time and resources to support change in your community.

Be more civically engaged - We'll send you information about local elections, tips on how to get out the vote, and ways to become more civically active in LA―from making sure your community counts in the 2020 Census to participating in your neighborhood council.

Make a difference with your job - We'll send you the latest job opportunities, tips on applying, and ways to successfully integrate impact into any job.

Here's to an amazing 2020!

11 Hunger and Homelessness Organizations in Los Angeles

Posted November 18, 2019 by Amanda Liaw

It's National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, an event started at Villanova University 44 years ago and today sponsored by the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness. This event is held the week before Thanksgiving and used to draw public attention to the issue of poverty and encourage people to donate their time, attention, and resources to others.

In this spirit, here are 11 organizations working to combat hunger and homelessness in Los Angeles, and how you can get involved:

  1. LIFT-Los Angeles works to empower families to break the cycle of poverty through one-on-one career and financial coaching. You can get involved by being a volunteer, donating or attending an event.
  2. Venice Community Housing is a solutions-based community organization that provides low-income and permanent supportive housing, youth programming, as well as resident and homeless services to those in need in Venice, which has long been a highly diverse community. They're currently looking for donations and volunteers for their annual Thanksgiving feast.
  3. Proyecto Jardin promotes awareness of the indigenous roots of sustainable agriculture and aims to build a grassroots movement for community food sovereignty that will create an equitable and sustainable regional food system. You can compost with them every Wednesday evening, or sign up to volunteer with their parent organization, Hunger Action Los Angeles.
  4. United Way's Everyone In is a community movement that aims to keep Los Angeles on track to ending its homelessness and housing crisis through building public and political will across the county for affordable and supportive housing. They regularly conduct training and storytelling sessions in various neighborhoods to open discussions on humanizing homelessness.
  5. Downtown Women's Center is the only organization in Los Angeles that focuses exclusively on serving and empowering women who are either formerly homeless or currently experiencing homelessness through offering permanent supportive housing, workforce development, and health programs. They're looking for both individual and group volunteers to assist with their center.
  6. Covenant House California is a youth homeless shelter that provides support for homeless and trafficked youth aged 18-24. You can sign up to volunteer with them, attend their upcoming Thanksgiving dinners, download their flyer on how to help homeless youth in your area, or apply to join their Associate Board for Young Professionals.
  7. World Harvest is a food bank that partners with food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and youth after-school programs to distribute high-quality food to underserved communities, thereby reducing food waste and eliminating hunger. They're looking for both individual and group volunteers.
  8. Union Rescue Mission is a faith-based organization that provides comprehensive care for men, women, and children experiencing homelessness through continuous emergency shelter services, transitional and permanent supportive housing, free health and legal-aid services, an educational center, and more. Beyond volunteering, you can donate to or shop at their thrift store, participate in an Urban Experience, distribute Outreach Kits, and more.
  9. Rise, Inc. is a student-led organization working to end student hunger and homelessness in Los Angeles by empowering student advocates to test, iterate, and scale various strategies. They're currently accepting applications for their LA2050 Student Organizing Fellowship.
  10. The Midnight Mission offers men, women, and children experiencing homelessness paths to self-sufficiency through recovery services, counseling, education, training, workforce development, and continued care services. They're looking for volunteers to help with meal service in their kitchen, making food boxes and hygiene kits, and more. Large groups can assist with distributing food bags and donated clothing at their Thanksgiving meal.
  11. Chrysalis is a social enterprise that provides homeless and low-income individuals with the resources and support needed to find and retain employment. You can sign up to participate in their Thanksgiving 5k, join their Kaleidoscope Giving Circle, or volunteer to assist their clients with overcoming barriers to employment.

These Organizations Need You! 13 Local Volunteer Opportunities

Posted October 1, 2019 by Team LA2050

Volunteering can change your life, and these organizations have seen it firsthand. Though volunteering is one of the most rewarding ways to spend your time, only 24.1 percent of Los Angeles residents currently volunteer on an annual basis (Corporation For National and Community Service). As we continue to work toward a better Los Angeles together, we've compiled a list of volunteer opportunities with some of our LA2050 grantees so that you can find out how to get involved.

From taking action on climate change and educating the next generation to championing economic justice and preserving our history, there is bound to be a cause you're passionate about. Check out the opportunities below:

🌟 CASA of Los Angeles connects children in the dependency system with trained volunteer advocates, who are often some of the most consistent anchors for foster children. These Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers collaborate with others in the child's life to give them an opportunity to succeed.

🌟 Defy Ventures provides formerly incarcerated people a second chance through entrepreneurship training programs and business incubators. Volunteers assist with business coaching events, pitch competitions, and other community building workshops both inside and outside of prison.

🌟 LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes is a museum that celebrates the history, culture, values, and traditions of Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and all Latinos in Southern California. Volunteers have the opportunity to provide in-gallery support and facilitate hands-on workshops.

🌟 826LA supports students aged 6-18 in developing their creative and expository writing skills through tutoring and workshops. Their volunteer force participates in a variety of programs, such as after-school tutoring, teaching workshops in their writing lab, and assisting with their yearly Young Authors' Book Project.

🌟 The Natural History Museum of LA County houses the largest natural and cultural history collection in the western United States. Volunteers can apply to engage with visitors in their galleries, support their museum team behind-the-scenes, or help with their events and programs.

🌟 Harlem Lacrosse works with at-risk students to provide a full-day, year-round holistic support system in addition to lacrosse training. Volunteer opportunities range from event support to long-term tutoring, mentoring, and coaching of their students.

🌟 Venice Community Housing maintains affordable housing units throughout Venice, Mar Vista, and Del Rey and provides comprehensive programs including job training and family services. Volunteer opportunities range from teaching and gardening to supporting community service events and advocacy.

🌟 United Way LA's mission is to break the cycle of poverty for low-income families, students, veterans, and people experiencing homelessness. Volunteers can choose to help out with a variety of programs including events, long-term youth mentoring, and cooking and wellness.

🌟 Heal the Bay is dedicated to making the coastal waters and watersheds of Greater Los Angeles safe, healthy, and clean. Volunteers assist with monthly beach cleanups, creative projects at the office, outreach and community science at their aquarium, and more.

🌟 Miry's List connects new arrival refugee families with people who are interested in helping them get what they need in starting their new lives. They have many volunteer opportunities ranging from serving as a family advocate to translating and fundraising.

🌟 Homeboy Industries' mission is to provide hope, training, and support to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women allowing them to redirect their lives and become contributing members of our community. Volunteers can support efforts including tattoo removal, legal assistance, mental health services, and educational assistance.

🌟 TreePeople engages people in envisioning and creating a greener Los Angeles. Volunteers can assist in enhancing our urban environment through planting and caring for trees, removing invasive species, and more.

🌟 The Youth Movement Against Alzheimer's is committed to changing the perception of Alzheimer's Disease through youth activism and awareness. Volunteers can support the organization through assisting with advocacy efforts or caregiving services.

If you'd like to explore opportunities with other organizations, visit our database of project ideas from past LA2050 grants challenges at and search by issue area, geographic location, and more.

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