Volunteering with Non-Profit Organizations in Los Angeles County

Los Angeles County offers a wide range of volunteer opportunities for those looking to donate their time and skills to local organizations. From social services and food banks to cultural institutions and animal shelters, there is something for everyone. The largest and oldest volunteer action center in Los Angeles is LA Works, which makes it easy for volunteers to find and connect with non-profit organizations that need their help. LA Works believes that service unites diverse communities and inspires a culture of responsibility and compassion.

They provide a turnkey business solution for companies involved in community service projects, manage a database of long-term programs and specialized volunteer opportunities, and lead exclusive monthly projects. One of the most well-known non-profit organizations in Los Angeles is Homeboy Industries. Founded by Father Gregory Boyle, Homeboy Industries is recognized as the largest and most successful gang intervention and reentry program in the world. Every year, more than 10,000 gang members from all over Los Angeles come to Homeboy Industries in an effort to achieve positive change. They are welcomed into a community of mutual kinship, love, and a wide variety of services ranging from tattoo removal to anger management and parenting classes.

Volunteers are needed for the services provided by Homeboy Industries, including legal services, GED preparation, Homeboy Heals (mental health program), and tattoo removal. The Midnight Mission is another great organization that has been helping people in Los Angeles since 1914. They offer emergency services and 12-step programs for recovery, family life, job training, education, and job development that offer a compassionate bridge to achieving and maintaining a healthy and productive life. Volunteers can help with food service, preparing for special events, sorting clothes and helping with distribution; manufacturing food boxes and hygiene kits; general cleaning and painting; mentoring; professional services (tax, legal, motivational workshops); internships; and student projects. APLA Health serves more than 15,000 patients and clients a year, focusing on serving the low-income LGBT community and people living with HIV. Volunteers are needed to help with telephone banking, packing food, helping with fundraising, mentoring, professional services (tax, legal), internships, student projects, and more. Whether as a team or as individuals, people with different skills and backgrounds can volunteer for tasks that fit their interests and abilities. Union Station Homeless Services is the largest social services agency in the San Gabriel Valley that helps homeless and very low-income adults and families.

Since 1973 they have helped rebuild the lives of thousands of people who were once homeless and hopeless. Volunteer opportunities are varied: Union Station Homeless Services does everything it can to find volunteers with a position that fits their interests and abilities. Opportunities include volunteering in their kitchens to prepare meals for customers; in their facilities to host a workshop, storytime or craft event; or in their offices to help with administrative work. The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank has distributed more than 1 billion pounds of food since 1973. With the help of 30,000 volunteers a year they serve more than 300,000 people monthly. Food Bank volunteers are needed to help sort, inspect and repackage food donated by local food donation campaigns.

Volunteers also perform a wide range of tasks in food drive campaigns and special events. Project Angel Food welcomes volunteers of all ages; opportunities include preparing meals, fundraising events, office assistance, mentoring professional services (tax legal), and internship student projects. One Voice provides goods and services opportunities to the most disadvantaged, from crisis intervention to long-term programming that takes families out of poverty while providing opportunities for the rest of the community to participate in helping families in need. Meals on Wheels of West Los Angeles has been providing nutritious meals friendship to people who cannot plan to buy or prepare meals for themselves due to illness, disability or old age since 1976. From Monday through Friday, volunteers deliver a hot lunch at noon cold dinner to older disabled people living in the neighborhoods of Westwood Bel-Air Brentwood West L. A.Food on Foot is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping poor homeless people in Los Angeles through programs that offer nutritious meals clothing work opportunities ultimately transition to full-time employment life off the streets. Volunteers help distribute food and clothing to approximately 150 homeless low-income people in Hollywood also, learn about the broader Work for Food program homeless people earn a living getting off the streets, full-time jobs, housing life skills, the confidence needed achievements lasting. No Res Gourmet is a non-profit organization that aims to alleviate difficulties living street providing gourmet healthy meals homeless, elderly disabled veterans low-income families throughout Los Angeles County.

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Kristine Domhoff
Kristine Domhoff

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