Volunteer Opportunities for Families

If your teen is feeling bored or unhappy, volunteering can give them an entirely new perspective. – Sandra

20 Volunteer Opportunities for Families

1. HOMELESS SHELTERS
If you live in a city of any size, then there is at least one homeless shelter that helps homeless people with meals, beds and other services. Most homeless shelters welcome volunteers and have a variety of programs through which you can get involved. You might help prepare or distribute meals, work behind the scenes in the business office, help organize a food drive to stock the pantry, etc. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “homeless shelters” and the name of your city.

2. FOOD BANKS
Food banks often work with homeless shelters, but they also serve poor people living in the community (especially around the holidays). Food banks collect food, manage their inventory and distribute food to those in need. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “food banks” and the name of your city.

3. GUIDEPOST SWEATER PROJECT
If you would like something to do in your spare time at home, one innovative way to volunteer is to get involved in The Guideposts Sweater Project, sponsored by Guideposts magazine. People around the country knit sweaters that are then sent to needy children around the world. This article gives you a description of the project and a pattern for the sweaters. Don’t know how to knit? Not a problem, because the article also links to sites that teach you how!

4. RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE
There are Ronald McDonald Houses around the country – almost every major city has one. The idea behind all Ronald McDonald Houses is very important. When a child is seriously ill, the child is frequently treated for long periods of time at a hospital or university medical center. Many families have to travel long distances to get to the hospital, and “where to stay” becomes a problem. Staying at a hotel becomes extremely expensive, and a hotel can be a lonely and sterile place. Ronald McDonald Houses provide a low-cost “home-away-from-home” for parents and children to stay during treatment. Volunteers help prepare meals, talk to families, take care of the house and so on. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “Ronald McDonald House” and the name of your city.

5. SPECIAL OLYMPICS
As described on the web site for Special Olympics International, “Special Olympics is an international program of year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with mental retardation.” The site also describes a wide variety of volunteer activities, including sports training, fund raising, administrative help, competition planning and staffing, etc. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “Special Olympics” and the name of your city.

6. HABITAT FOR HUMANITY
Habitat for Humanities builds and gives houses to poor people in local communities. Volunteers not only help others, but can learn a great deal about building houses by getting involved. See the Habitat for Humanities web site for more information. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “Habitat for Humanities” and the name of your city.

7. STATE PARKS
Many state parks offer volunteer programs, and in these programs you can try anything from educational programs to trail construction and maintenance. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “State Parks” and the name of your city.

8. CITY PROGRAMS
Most large cities offer a wide range of volunteer opportunities. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “City Programs” and the name of your city. Do not be discouraged if your first few calls seem to hit a brick wall. Many city governments are large and fairly disorganized.

9. HELPING OTHERS LEARN TO READ
When you think about it, reading is one of the most important skills an adult can have. Many adults, however, have never learned how to read. Literacy volunteers act as tutors who help illiterate children and adults learn this important skill. There is probably a literacy program in your area. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “Reading Is Fundamental (RIF)” and the name of your city.

10. HOSPITALS
Many hospitals have volunteer programs to help patients both inside and outside the hospital. The volunteers programs allow participants to explore medical careers and gain work experience. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “hospital volunteer” and the name of your city.

11. LIBRARIES
Many libraries need help re-shelving books, running children’s programs, making books available to the community, and so on. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “library” and the name of your city.

12. SENIOR CITIZEN CENTERS
Many senior citizen centers offer volunteer programs to provide friendship and community activities to senior citizens. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “Senior Citizens Center” and the name of your city.

13. ANIMAL SHELTERS
Many animal shelters are non-profit or government organizations, and therefore they welcome volunteers to help take care of animals, keep facilities clean and work with the public. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “Animal Shelters” and the name of your city.

14. UNITED WAY
The United Way is a nationwide umbrella organization for thousands of charitable organizations. The United Way raises billions of dollars and distributes it to these charities. There are local United way affiliates across the country and they need volunteers. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “United Way” and the name of your city.

15. RED CROSS
The American Red Cross helps people in emergencies – whether it’s half a million disaster victims or one sick child who needs blood. Volunteer opportunities exist across the country. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “Red Cross” and the name of your city.

16. SALVATION ARMY
The Salvation Army provides social services, rehabilitation centers, disaster services, worship opportunities, character building activities for all ages and character building groups and activities for all ages. Volunteer opportunities exist across the country. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “Salvation Army” and the name of your city.

17. ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
The Sierra Club (and numerous other environmental groups) encourages volunteer support to help with environmental activities. You can help in many ways: by helping lobby on conservation issues, by leading hikes and other activities, or by lending a hand at the Chapter Office. Contact the local office of an environmental organization near you. See also the Earth Day site.

18. POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS
If it’s an election year, there are thousands of opportunities to volunteer in political campaigns around the country. You can learn more than you imagine by helping a candidate win election. This article talks about some of the options. Pick a candidate whose ideas you believe in (either on the local, state or national level) and volunteer to be a part of his or her campaign.

19. 800 NUMBER VOLUNTEER
Many 800 help-lines rely on volunteers to staff the phones and handle other tasks. If there is an 800 phone bank in your area, you may be able to volunteer to help out.

20. WEB SITE CREATION
Many small charities and organizations do not yet have web sites. You can help by learning how to create a web site and volunteering your services. You could also raise money to pay for the web site, or seek help from a local company in the form of a donation. When creating a web site for a charity, you will want to take care to listen very carefully to the people who work for the charity to understand exactly what they want their web site to look and feel like. This will be extremely important to them, and you should be willing to change and improve the site to match their mental image. See this page for information on creating web sites.

Click here to see Santa Monica Volunteer Opportunities

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If your teen or young adult child is struggling socially or emotionally, I can help you to discover the cause and remedy it.

Menu of Services Offered:

Call Now to Schedule a Free Consultation!

Click to Call:

(310) 951-5678
.

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Volunteer Opportunities for Santa Monica Teens

A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

There is great value in encouraging teenagers to help other people through volunteering. – Sandra

Here are some local Santa Monica opportunities for teens to be of service:

Access Center (Ocean Park Community Center)
1616 7th Street
www.OPCC.net
Volunteer Coordinator: (310) 450-4050
Drop-in center providing emergency services (sack lunches, showers, clothing, groceries) long term case management, and outreach services to homeless and low income people, needs:
Food and grocery preparation, lunch servers, clean-up crew, clothing room monitors. Youth volunteers are welcome, with parental consent.

Amazing Kids!
1158 26th Street
www.amazing-kids.org
(310) 514-9203
Program which seeks to improve the lives of children through uncovering the potential within each child, providing them with the tools to nurture their unique talents — including access to a mentor — and inspiring them to pursue excellence in their endeavors and to become lifelong achievers needs:
Volunteer mentors to use their time and expertise to help guide a child’s learning; website and clerical help.

American Red Cross
Santa Monica Chapter
1450 11th Street
http://redcrossla.org/santamonica
Volunteer Coordinator: (310) 394-3773
Santa Monica chapter of international relief organization needs:
First Aid and CPR instructors, public speakers, disaster team-members, first aid station team members, fundraising, and community information booths. Youth volunteers are welcome.

Binky Patrol of Santa Monica
1786 Sunset Avenue
(310) 396-2296
Organization that makes and gives handmade blankets to babies born HIV positive or drug-addicted, children who are abused, in shelters, or foster care needs:
Volunteers to knit or sew blankets (no sewing experience necessary) and to deliver them. Youth volunteers welcome.

Boys & Girls Club of Santa Monica
1238 Lincoln Boulevard
Volunteer Coordinator: (310) 393-9629
Educational and Recreational Youth Center needs:
Tutors, mentors and coaches to work with young people ages 7-18. Youth volunteers are welcome.

California Heritage Museum
2612 Main Street
Volunteer Coordinator: (310) 392-8537
Museum with rotating exhibits on decorative arts and the history of Santa Monica and California needs:
Docents/tour guides, museum shop volunteers, data entry for photo archive. Youth volunteers 16-and-over are welcome.

Center For Healthy Aging
Ken Edwards Center
1527 4th Street
Director of Volunteer Services:
(310) 576-2499
Organization providing health and other services for older adults needs:
Assistance with health screenings, primary medical care, health education, peer counseling, mental health services, friendly visiting, money management; fundraising and clerical support.

Child Development Services
2802 4th Street
www.smmusd.com
Volunteer Coordinator:
(310) 399-5865, ext. 539
Preschools for children three months to five years, after school care for school aged children needs:
Volunteers to work in the classrooms. Youth volunteers are welcome.

The Children’s Nature Institute
1440 Harvard Avenue
Volunteer Coordinator: (310) 998-1151
Organization that provides field trips, workshops, and events for children to teach respect for wildlife, parklands and each other through fun educational activities, needs:
Nature walk and field trip assistance, clerical assistance, project organizing.

City of Santa Monica
1685 Main Street
Volunteer Program: (310) 458-8300
Municipality needs:
Volunteers in a variety of areas, including: animal shelter, police department, Farmers’ Markets, special events, Westside Special Olympics, youth and senior activities. Youth volunteers are welcome.

CLAIRE
1871 9th Street
Volunteer Coordinator: (310) 314-6220
Alcohol and drug addiction recovery program needs:
Twelve-step program meeting leaders, Bargain Center retail supervisors, clerical assistance, gardening and building project assistance.

Common Ground
The Westside HIV Community Center
2012 Lincoln Boulevard
Volunteer Coordinator: (310) 314-5480
Organization providing services to westside residents living with HIV/AIDS, and community education and outreach needs:
Administrative support, HIV testing services, receptionists, community booth and special event volunteers. Youth volunteers are welcome.

Daybreak Day Center and Shelter (Ocean Park Community Center)
1610 7th Street
www.opcc.net
Volunteer Coordinator: (310) 450-0650
Day Center providing food, showers, clothing, advocacy, and shelter providing transitional housing, case management, and independent living skills for homeless mentally ill women needs:
Volunteers to prepare meals, socialize with women, provide clerical assistance, teach classes (such as yoga, art, resume writing).

18th Street Arts Complex
1639 18th Street
Volunteer Coordinator: (310) 453-3711
Non-profit arts center supporting artists and art organizations dedicated to issues of community and diversity and contemporary society needs:
Clerical assistance, database work, publicity.

The Elizabeth Glazer
Pediatric AIDS Foundation
2950 31st Street #125
www.pedaids.org
Volunteer Coordinator: (310) 314-1459
Organization that identifies, funds, and conducts critical pediatric AIDS research needs:
Clerical and administrative assistance, fundraising. Youth volunteers are welcome.

The Foundation for Consumer
& Taxpayer Rights

2701 Ocean Park Boulevard, #150
www.consumerwatchdog.org
Volunteer Coordinator: (310) 392-0522
Consumer protection organization that promotes the Oaks project, challenges unfair insurance and educates the community on healthcare issues needs:
Grassroots activists with the Oaks program (a program which devotes itself to public participation and democracy), clerical assistance. Youth Volunteers are welcome.

Heal the Bay
3220 Nebraska Avenue
www.healthebay.org
Volunteer Coordinator: (310) 453-0395
Organization promoting the health and safety of Los Angeles County coastal waters through education, community action, policy programs and research needs:
Beach cleaners, beach captains for “coastal cleanup day” in September, Malibu Creek stream monitors, fundraising, speakers bureau representatives, clerical help. Youth volunteers are welcome.

Helping Other People Eat (HOPE)
P.O. Box 3622
Santa Monica, CA 90408
Program Director: (310) 399-7020
Co-Directors: Paul Grymkowski, Moira LaMountain
Community-based nonprofit striving by means of direct action to eradicate hunger on the Westside needs:
Volunteers to collect and/or serve food, people with vehicles are especially needed.

International Wildlife Education
& Conservation (IWEC)

237 Hill Street
Volunteer and Intern Coordinator:
(310) 392-6257
Grassroots wildlife conservation organization promoting the healing benefits of the human-animal bond and animal well-being in captivity and in the wild
Needs:
Animal handlers, computer and newsletter help, and those with animal behavior or biology background. Also needs volunteers for Create-a-Smile Animal Assisted Therapy Team and Ride 2 Heal Therapeutic Riding Center.

Jewish Family Service
of Santa Monica

1424 4th Street, 3rd Floor
Volunteer Coordinator:
(310) 393-0732
Non-profit, non-sectarian family service agency providing counseling for all ages, including an in-home senior program, needs:
Administrative assistance, friendly visitors and case aides for seniors, volunteers for holiday events. Youth volunteers are welcome.

Meals on Wheels
Santa Monica-Malibu-Pacific Palisades
P.O. Box 7001
Volunteer Coordinator:
(310) 394-5133,
or (310) 394-7558
Group committed to enhancing wellness by providing quality nutritious meals, nutrition education, coordinating community resources and referrals for homebound people, enabling them to maintain their independence and quality of life, needs:
Drivers, assistants to the drivers, clerical help, grant writing. Youth volunteers are welcome.

Retired Senior and Volunteer Program (R.S.V.P.)
A Program of WISE Senior Services

1328 22nd Street
Director of Volunteer Services:
(310) 315-6151
Program which assists individuals 55 and over to put their skills and life experiences to work for their communities by guiding them in finding volunteer placements in non-profit agencies in Santa Monica and environs needs: people over 55 who are interested in volunteering. R.S.V.P. places volunteers in a wide variety of agencies, from hospitals to museums.

St. John’s Health Center
1328 22nd Street
Director of Volunteer Services:
(310) 829-8438
Hospital and health center needs: clerical assistance, patient escorts, aides for Heart Institute and John Wayne Cancer Institute, gift shop volunteers. Youth volunteers 16-and-over are welcome.

Salvation Army
1533 4th Street
Coordinator of Volunteer Services: (310) 451-1358
Agency providing social services to low income and homeless people, including case management, emergency food, referrals for shelters and other services, ESL classes, bible studies and educational and activity programs for youth needs:
Receptionists to meet and greet clients, clerical help, grocery bagging for food pantry. Youth volunteers are welcome.

Santa Monica College
1900 Pico Boulevard
Volunteer Coordinator: (310) 434-4419
Community college needs:
Assistance in various departments, including admissions, records, and the library.

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District
1638 17th Street
www.smmusd.org
Coordinator of School and Community Partnerships: (310) 450-8338
School District serving elementary – high school-aged children in Santa Monica and Malibu needs:
Tutors in kindergarten – 12 grades, mentors for secondary school students, career mentors.

Santa Monica Museum of Art
Bergamot Station
2525 Michigan Avenue, Bldg. G-1
www.bergamotstation.com
Museum Administrator: (310) 586-6488
Museum that exhibits work of art by local artists needs:
Assistance with special events, gallery sitting, clerical help. Youth volunteers are welcome.

Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center
1250 16th Street
Manager of Volunteer Services:
(310) 319-4614
Hospital and Medical Center needs:
Volunteers to interact with patients and their families, clerical help.

Santa Monica YMCA
1332 6th Street
www.ymcasm.org 
Volunteer Director: (310) 393-2721
Physical fitness and family activity center needs:
Babysitters, assistance in the fitness center, aquatics, weight room and at the front desk. Youth Volunteers are welcome.

Sojourn Services for Battered Women and Their Children (Ocean Park Community Center)
P.O. Box 7081
www.opcc.net
Hotline Coordinator: (310) 264-6646
Comprehensive domestic violence service agency that offers services including a 24-hour hotline, shelter, support groups, emergency response, children’s program and legal advocacy needs:
Hotline volunteers, support group facilitators, peer counselors, children’s program volunteers, emergency response team members, legal accompaniment. Attendance at a forty-hour training is required (Next training begins in Spring 2003). Youth volunteers 16-and-over are welcome.

Step-up on Second
1328 2nd Street
Job Coach: (310) 394-6889
Organization providing day services for adults with severe and persistent mental illness needs:
Facilitators for educational and support groups, assistance with outings and holiday events.

Turning Point Transitional Housing (Ocean Park Community Center)
1447 16th Street
www.opcc.net
Volunteer Coordinator: (310) 828-6717
Transitional housing program for homeless men and women that provides services including job counseling, life skills classes, money management, with the goal of transitioning residents into permanent independent housing and into the workforce needs:
Volunteers to prepare and serve breakfast and dinner meals, phone monitors, clerical help, special instructors (art, yoga, resume writing, etc.) Youth volunteers 15-and-over are welcome.

UCLA Ocean Discovery Center
1600 Ocean Front Walk
www.healthebay.org/santa-monica-pier-aquarium
Volunteer Coordinator: (310) 393-6149
Educational aquarium with programs for school children and the general public needs:
Educational and wet lab docents, microscope docents, activity box monitors, admissions and information assistance, bookstore and gift shop volunteers. Training is provided. Youth volunteers 16-and-over are welcome.

Upward Bound House
1104 Washington Ave.
Volunteer Coordinator: (310) 458-7779
Housing with supportive services for senior citizens and homeless families needs:
Childcare, clerical assistance, computer class teachers and senior citizen companionship. Youth volunteers are welcome.

The Wellness Community -WLA
2716 Ocean Park Boulevard
Volunteer Coordinator: (310) 314-2555
Program providing psychological, social and emotional support to cancer patients and their families needs:
Receptionists, clerical help, outreach, fundraising, volunteers for special events. Youth volunteers are welcome.

Westside Food Bank
P.O. Box 1565
Program Director: (310) 828-6016
Food distribution service to 30-40 local social service agencies needs:
Office work, primarily computer-based, and delivery assistance for “second helpings” program. Volunteers are used on an as-needed, will-call basis. Youth volunteers are welcome.

WISE Senior Services
1527 4th Street
Director, R.S.V.P. Program: (310) 394-9871
Organization providing adult day care, elder abuse prevention, long-term care ombudsman, paratransit transportation needs:
Assistance in adult day care program, friendly visitors, long-term care, ombudsman, transportation. Youth volunteers are welcome.

YWCA of Santa Monica
2019 14th Street
Office Manager: (310) 452-3881
Organization providing women’s and children’s fitness, self-defense workshops, after school child care, crafts, sports, GED diploma program, career counseling, transitional housing program for young women emancipated from foster care, teen media literacy projects, girls’ basketball, breast cancer support and education, career mentoring, workshops on financial planning, speech writing, CPR, parenting and outreach programs needs:
Volunteers to participate in and assist with all of the above services listed. Also, assistance with special events, computer needs, Board of Directors’ activities. Youth volunteers are welcome.

If your teen or young adult child is struggling socially or emotionally, I can help you to discover the cause and remedy it.

Menu of Services Offered:

Call Now to Schedule a Free Consultation!

Click to Call:

(310) 951-5678
.

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Teen Talk: Are You Having Mood Swings?

A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Here is some important information that describes the neurological changes that occur in teenager’s brains. Sandra

  • Have you ever felt blue for no obvious reason?
  • Do you ever do things on impulse that you later regret?
  • Have you ever overreacted to a situation and later wondered why?

Adolescence is now starting at younger ages than in previous generations. The average age that girls go into adolescence is between 10 and 11, when they reach 17% body fat. Boys go into adolescence between 12 and 13.

Teenagers are going through a transitional time when the brain rewires itself for emotional attachment, reproduction, and ultimately the creation of a stable family structure, thus ensuring future generations.

There can be a noticeable gap between intelligence and behavior during the teen years. We used to attribute this to the assault of a hormonal hurricane. There is actually a lot more going on in the different structures of the teenage brain that end up having long-term consequences.

The myelin sheathing, which insulates nerves, increases by 100% in teenagers. Myelin sheathing is responsible for the conduction of nerve impulses to the brain. As the nerves become twice as efficient, this feeds the intensity and speed of a person’s reaction.

The teen years are also time of the lowest levels of Serotonin in the human brain during human life. Serotonin is the primary transmitter in the limbic system, having to do with morale and moods. Low serotonin levels create a state in which a teen can become susceptible to stress and overwhelm.

The brain does not grow in an orderly fashion. It first over-produces a bunch of connections that go to new parts of the brain. Then, in the later teen years-around age 16 through the mid-20’s-it starts eliminating connections based on how frequently they are used. The connections that remain determine who a person feels they are for the rest of their life.

Did you know that the teenage brain does not complete development until close to age 25? Yes, something called the pre-frontal cortex, which is responsible for impulse control and operates much like the CEO of a company, does not come online fully until your mid-twenties.

If your teen or young adult child is struggling socially or emotionally, I can help you to discover the cause and remedy it.

Menu of Services Offered:

Call Now to Schedule a Free Consultation!

Click to Call:

(310) 951-5678
.

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.