Volunteering Opportunities for Non-Profit Organizations in Los Angeles County, CA

From social services and food banks to cultural institutions and animal shelters, Los Angeles offers a wide range of volunteer opportunities for anyone interested in donating their time and skills to local organizations. The largest and oldest volunteer action center in Los Angeles is WORKS LA, which makes it easy for volunteers to find and connect with non-profit organizations that are looking for their time, skills and energy. Works believes that service unites diverse communities and inspires a culture of responsibility and compassion. They maintain a calendar of exclusive monthly projects led by LA-trained leaders, manage a database of long-term programs and specialized volunteer opportunities, and provide a turnkey business solution for companies involved in community service 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, and has become a national model. Every year, more than 10,000 gang members from all over Los Angeles walk through the doors of Homeboy Industries in an effort to achieve positive change. They are welcome to a community of mutual kinship, love and a wide variety of services ranging from tattoo removal to anger management and parenting classes. Volunteer professionals 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 non-profit organization that offers 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.

Volunteer opportunities include 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. APLA Health remains the leading provider of HIV prevention and health education services in Los Angeles. The county targets populations most at risk of contracting HIV, including gay men of color, gay youth, and members of the transgender community. APLA Health volunteers are between 12 and 86 years old and come from all walks of life.

Whether as a team or as individuals, people with different skills and backgrounds volunteer for tasks that range from telephone banking to packing food and helping with fundraising. 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, Union Station has 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. The Food Bank collects food from hundreds of resources.

With the help of 30,000 volunteers a year and an agency network of more than 650 partner agencies, the Food Bank serves more than 300,000 people monthly. Food Bank volunteers are needed to help sort, inspect and repackage food donated by local food donation campaigns. The center is available Monday through Saturday for individuals, groups or organizations of 100 volunteers or less to meet this need. Project Angel Food welcomes volunteers of all ages; opportunities include preparing meals, fundraising events, office assistance as well as volunteering in food drive campaigns or special events. One Voice provides goods, services and 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 is a voluntary non-profit community service organization that has been providing nutritious meals since 1976. From Monday through Friday volunteers deliver a hot lunch at noon and a cold dinner to older and disabled people living in the neighborhoods of Westwood, Bel-Air Brentwood and West L.

A.Food on Foot is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping poor and homeless people in Los Angeles through programs that offer nutritious meals clothing work opportunities ultimately transitioning them into full-time employment off the streets. Volunteers help distribute food clothing to approximately 150 homeless low-income people in Hollywood. No Res Gourmet is another non-profit organization dedicated to providing meals clothing shelter job training educational assistance as well as other resources for those experiencing homelessness poverty.

Kristine Domhoff
Kristine Domhoff

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