San Diego Volunteer's Guide
It's a fact that doing the right thing and helping those in need is as rewarding, if not more so to those dishing out the assistance as it is to those receiving it. In San Diego, those wishing to volunteer their time for a couple of hours a week to lend a hand to others don't need to look very far. Opportunities abound all over the place, and most organizations have a never-ending need for folks to pitch in. For the civic-minded, here are 10 volunteer opportunities, though keep in mind this doesn't even begin to scratch the surface.
READ/San Diego: The public library always has and always will be a gem in any society, and the San Diego Public Library continues to press on, despite slashed hours and budget cuts. The Library is always looking for volunteer tutors to teach adults to read and the waiting list to enter the program is around 150. Volunteers must be 18 or older, have good reading and writing skills and make a minimum six-month commitment to the assigned adult learner. The READ/San Diego program is headquartered at the Valencia Park/Malcolm X Branch library, 5148 Market St., San Diego. 619-527-7475. firstname.lastname@example.org
C2SDK: It stands for Computers 2 San Diego Kids, which aims to make low-income kids computer savvy. Computer refurbishers, trainers, administrative support and other roles are needed. 858-635-5774, email@example.com
Museum Ambassador at Reuben H. Fleet Science Center: A three-hour per week and six-month commitment is required to help keep the museum running. Volunteers welcome guests, check tickets and perform other duties. Free passes are a nice perk for those who donate their time. 619-238-1223. firstname.lastname@example.org
Mentor a Military Child: Help a service member's child keep pace with the educational curve while a parent is deployed by becoming a Big Brother or Sister. Volunteers spend one hour a day, once a week in a solo session with the child. Activities include playing board games, sports or arts and crafts, at the kid's school or community center. 619-665-8319. email@example.com
SPORTS For Exceptional Athletes: This program shows people with development disabilities can play sports, compete and have fun. Volunteers help run practices, keep score during games and act as timers. Sports vary by season. 858-565-7432. firstname.lastname@example.org
Independent Transportation Network: Drivers wanted, as the commercial used to go. Enable seniors to stay connected to the world by driving them to shopping trips, doctor appointments, visits with friends, even the mall or gym. Mileage reimbursements are given for part of the trip. Volunteers must have a clean driving record for three years and have never had a DUI. A clean, comfortable vehicle is also a must. 619-282-0073. email@example.com
San Diego Food Bank: The SDFB always is looking for people to help sort and package food, as well as distribute it to the needy. This is warehouse work, so keep in mind that it will be strenuous. Look at it as a workout without a gym, while assisting one of the best causes out there. 858-300-3280.
I Love a Clean San Diego's Beautify Chula Vista Day: This annual one-shot deal takes place on October 22, bringing folks together to clean up garbage, graffiti and assorted other junk left by the less civilized among us. Last year, more 600 volunteers turned out to clear more than 2,000 pounds of debris and paint out 1,200 square feet of graffiti. 619-704-2778. firstname.lastname@example.org
Out and About Transportation Program: North County coastal folks can help seniors in the Encinitas area by driving them to the grocery store, doctor's appointments and the like. The city reimburses volunteer drivers with a monthly check. 760-943-2256. email@example.com
After School All-Stars: Push inner-city kids to avoid gangs, drugs and violence by steering them toward positive activities. Sports, education, cultural and other enrichment programs are some of the avenues which build self-esteem and keep youths out of trouble. 858-300-3280.