National Volunteer Week was established in 1974 and has grown exponentially each year, with thousands of volunteer projects and special events scheduled throughout the week. This signature week is an opportunity to celebrate the impact of volunteer service and the power of volunteers to come together to tackle tough challenges, and build stronger, more resilient communities. Each year, we shine a light on the people and causes that inspire us to serve, recognizing and thanking volunteers who lend their time, talent and voice to make a difference in their communities.

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Get involved during National Volunteer Week (April 7-13, 2019)

SORT: Warehouse Warriors

You can directly support members of the military and their families by volunteering in the STEP warehouse. The STEP warehouse is a storefront of new and gently used items donated by the Southern California community. The warehouse is open to all eligible clients to browse and take what they need: clothes, bedding, home goods, and critical baby items - diapers, wipes, car seats (new), etc. The warehouse is designed to support their mission of building financial self-sufficiency and reducing financial hardship by increasing financial literacy, and alleviate some monthly expenses. Volunteers will be taking inventory of items in the warehouse, sorting new donations, and may be asked to help with cleaning. You'll be helping military families easily find the items they need most. Project Requirements & Important Notes Attire: Comfortable clothing you don't mind getting dirty, dress in layers. Bring: Reusable water bottle. Physical Ability: Volunteers should be comfortable with bending, standing, and able to lift up to 20 lbs. About Support the Enlisted Project (STEP) STEP assists junior active duty enlisted members and recently discharged enlisted Veterans and their families in Southern California facing financial crisis achieve long-term financial self-sufficiency through counseling, education and grants to alleviate critical near term obligations.​

San Diego, CA

7/9/19 2:00 PM +more

ECO: Garden Community Roots Farm

Activities will depend on what is happening at the farm seasonally and include prepping garden beds, harvesting produce, weeding, trimming shrubs, planting seeds, mulching, sorting seeds, watering plants, and installing irrigation. There are often build projects as well such as building garden beds, seedling tables, shaded awnings, creating community spaces, and much more. This is a great opportunity to be at the forefront of a locally grown, organic food movement that provides for food-insecure members of our community. Project Requirements & Important Notes Attire: Be prepared to work outside. You must wear closed toe shoes. Dress in layers in weather appropriate attire that can get dirty. Bring: Water bottle with plenty of water - there is no drinking fountain on site. They will supply gloves, tools, sunscreen, and materials, but feel free to bring your own favorite tools or gloves as long as you understand you are responsible for keeping track of them. Physical Ability: They have a variety of activities for all skills and abilities. Please notify Bianca (volunteer@plantspeoplecommunity.org) if you may have specific needs and would like to make sure there are projects you can engage in. Waiver: Every volunteer is required to sign a waiver. Anyone under 18 must have waiver signed by a parent/legal guardian. Please also sign waivers for very young children attending with parents. Sign waiver here. ​Weather: Light rain will not cancel event. In the case of inclement weather, volunteers will be alerted via e-mail. About Botanical Community Development Initiatives Botanical Community Development Initiatives (BCDI) is working to improve lives by connect plants, people, and community. Community Roots Farm is a project of BCDI and is 1-acre urban farm located in an Oceanside neighborhood and grows food with community, for community. The sustainably-grown produce is served in meals to children in local state-funded preschools that are located in low socioeconomic neighborhoods where access to fresh food is lacking.

Oceanside, CA

6/26/19 10:00 AM +more

FOOD: Fresh Market Distribution

As a volunteer, you'll support older adults in making healthy eating decisions and have the opportunity to interact with older adults and hear their stories. College Avenue is proud to offer bi-monthly farmer's market to its older adult members to give them easier access to fresh produce. Volunteers are needed to help receive the delivery of produce from the Hand Up Youth Food Pantry at JFS, set up the display using burlap and wooden boxes, distribute the fresh produce and re-fill bins as needed. The College Avenue Social Wellness Center is one of two thriving JFS older adult centers. Hundreds of participants enjoy daily meals, exercise classes, art classes, games, cultural programs, and live entertainment. This is a home away from home for many older adults. Physical Requirements & Important Notes Physical Ability: Ability to stand for the duration of the project and can lift bins that are 25-35 pounds. Attire: Closed-toe shoes are required. If weather permits, this project will take place outside. Bring: Sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses is recommended. About Jewish Family Service of San Diego Jewish Family Service is a client-centered, impact-driven organization working to build a stronger, healthier, more resilient San Diego. Since 1918, Jewish Family Service of San Diego has been a trusted community resource for individuals and families in times of need.

San Diego, CA

7/10/19 11:45 AM +more

HELP OUT: Canine Companions: Campus Cleanup

Canine Companions for Independence needs help cleaning their vans and around their campus to ensure a positive and clean environment for their graduate teams and dogs. Volunteers will be cleaning the vans used to transport their dogs for training. This will include sanitizing and vacuuming the crates in the vans. Other activities may include cleaning the dog crates, light gardening and clean up around the campus. Project Requirements & Important Notes Attire: Closed toe shoes and comfortable attire Bring: A reusable water bottle, sunscreen, and a hat. Note: There will be no direct contact with the service animals. About Canine Companions for Independence Canine Companions for Independence is a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs at no charge to the recipient.

Oceanside, CA

6/28/19 9:00 AM +more

ECO: Food Cycle Team

Help run the Solana Center's Food Cycle Program, turning food waste into a high-quality soil supplement, and closing the loop of organic waste! Volunteers help process and tabulate incoming organic material, maintain compost piles, and prep buckets to be returned to program members for more collection. This project is great for those that are not sensitive to the "ick" factor and want to get VERY hands on with waste reduction! The Food Cycle Program is a co-op where San Diego County residents and small businesses preserve their organic waste using the Bokashi method and then deliver it to Solana Center to be turned into a nutritious soil amendment that is distributed back into the community. This process reduces tons of waste sent to the landfill, reduces methane pollution, and creates a healthy soil supplement for San Diego gardens! Project Requirements & Important Notes Attire: Wear closed-toe shoes and clothing that can get VERY dirty. Physical Ability: This activity can be quite physically intensive and pretty messy! Must be able to wield a pitchfork, push a wheel borrow, and lift buckets of up to 30 lbs. Some accommodations can be made, please ask. About the Solana Center for Environmental Innovation ​Solana Center for Environmental Innovation is a San Diego-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that focuses on Zero Waste, composting, and water conservation. They mobilize the local community through innovative outreach and provide consulting services to businesses and jurisdictions in order to address the region’s most pressing environmental issues and enact impactful change.

Encinitas, CA

7/9/19 9:00 AM