Available Volunteer Leader Opportunities

Email jessie@handsonsandiego.org if you are interested in leading a project(s) listed or would like more information on becoming a Volunteer Leader.

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ECO: Farm at Wild Willow

Often the best way to learn is by doing. Get a taste of the myriad of things a farmer does while preparing and growing San Diego seasonal plantings of vegetables, greens, medicinal and culinary herbs and cover crops at Wild Willow Farm. Volunteer tasks depend on your level of experience, abilities, and the needs of the farm that week. Tasks might include: mucking animal pens, weeding, bed building, planting, developing areas for their classes and field trips, mulching, putting up structures, composting, and more! The farm is a great place for people of all ages and abilities. You'll get to work with Wild Willow Farm farmers, team leaders, and interns. WWF is an educational farm, so there's no experience required, and they'll teach you everything you need to know to be involved. Don't hesitate to ask them any questions. Opportunity Requirements & Important Notes Attire: Closed-toe shoes (no sandals), long pants and sleeves, sun hat, and a mask. Bring: Sunscreen, refillable water bottle, snacks. Please come prepared for sunshine, cold, heat and working in the dirt. They have bugs, all kinds of wild plants, animals, and more, so please bring any medications you need for allergies. All necessary tools and gloves will be provided. Safety: People safety is as important to Wild Willow Farm as food safety, so please do not come if you have been sick, please wear a mask, and observe appropriate social distancing. They are doing their best to keep their farmers and community safe, so please respect necessary precautions. ​Physical Abilities: Wild Willow Farm welcomes people of all ages and abilities. Weather: Even though it only rains 10" a year on average in San Diego, when it does rain, it can get uncomfortably muddy on the farm. If it's been raining heavily at the farm over several days or there is prediction of significant amounts of rain for an upcoming project, more than likely the volunteering day will be canceled. Volunteers will be notified via email if a project is canceled. About Wild Willow Farm Wild Willow Farm is a space for biocultural diversity that provides educational experiences to nurture self-empowerment and inspire people to connect to food, land and each other. Under the Resource Conservation District, they also work to protect, conserve, and restore natural resources through education, information, and technical assistance programs.

San Diego, CA

3/8/21 9:30 AM + more

FOOD: Child Nutrition Program

Heaven's Windows is a sponsor of the Summer Food Service Program and the Child Adult Care Food Program. They provide meals and snacks to give a nutritional boost to children, under the age 18 years, in areas where 50% or more of children eligible for free or reduced school lunch. Heaven's Windows plans the menus and volunteers help by repackaging components, assembling meal kits, and preparing them for pickup and delivery. Opportunity Requirements & Important Notes Attire: Closed-toe shoes are required. Wear clothes that you don't mind get dirty. Gloves are available. Masks are mandatory. Physical Requirements: Bending, lifting at least 10 lbs., standing Weather: This project is not cancelled for rain. Canopies are available for volunteers.​ About Heaven's Windows Heaven's Windows' mission is to elevate the current living conditions of poverty-stricken residents of San Diego County. To assist in establishing a stable and productive status of living, while providing support for building strong families as an investment in the future of California and our nation.

Spring Valley, CA

3/10/21 9:00 AM + more

FOOD: Chula Vista Food Distribution

Support MAAC's monthly assembly line style food distribution. As a volunteer you will be responsible for one food item to place in the vehicle of their clients. You will need to bend and pick up canned food, bagged food like rice and beans, and frozen food, like chicken or turkeys. Some volunteers may be asked to direct traffic as well as to help with set up and breakdown of the event. This monthly food distribution helps more than 1,400 individuals in the community each month! Opportunity Requirements & Important Notes Attire: Closed-toe shoes are required. Wear comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing. Physical Requirements: Bending, lifting up to 15lbs (rare need) standing for several hours Weather: Project is not canceled for rain. All food stations are covered by pop-up tents. Photos: Photos of clients are not allowed. Volunteers are allowed to take photos of themselves and other volunteers. About MAAC Project MAAC's mission is to maximize self-sufficiency with families and individuals through high-quality programs and advocacy in our communities.

Chula Vista, CA

3/11/21 7:00 AM + more

FOOD: City Heights Super Pantry

Help distribute food to families in need. Super Pantries are food distribution hubs located across San Diego County that offer both contactless “drive-thru” and “walk-up” food distribution services. All Super Pantries are open for food distribution a minimum of 3 days per week. Individuals and families in need of food assistance can visit their nearest Super Pantry during opening hours to receive emergency groceries and resources. The Somali Bantu Association of America is looking for volunteers to help them run their Super Pantry in City Heights. As a volunteer, your service will directly benefit local refugee families and families struggling with food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Volunteer duties may include: organizing and sorting food packages, setting up check in tables and drive through markers, checking families into an online system, packaging and delivering food to drive up vehicles, directing lines and helping to maintain social distancing protocols, cleaning up and putting away items for next distribution date. Opportunity Requirements & Important Notes Attire: Closed-toe shoes are required. Wear clothes that you don't mind getting dirty. Masks and gloves are required at all times. Physical Requirements: Bending, able to lift up to 20lbs ​Weather: This project is canceled in the event of rain. Volunteers will be notified by the project coordinator. About the Somali Bantu Association of America The mission of the SBAOA is to provide the guidance and services needed to empower and aid Somali Bantu and other refugees as they integrate into America.

San Diego, CA

3/12/21 12:00 PM + more

FOOD: Community Food Distribution

Volunteers will assist in the process of preparing food donations to be distributed to our community in need of assistance. Volunteers will help set up, distribute food to families, individuals, and children in a contactless pick-up style, and help clean up after the distribution. Opportunity Requirements & Important Notes Attire: Closed-toe shoes are required. Wear clothes that you don't mind get dirty. Gloves are available. Masks are mandatory. Physical Requirements: Bending, lifting at least 10 lbs., standing Weather: This project is not cancelled for rain. Canopies are available for volunteers. About Heaven's Windows Heaven's Windows' mission is to elevate the current living conditions of poverty-stricken residents of San Diego County. To assist in establishing a stable and productive status of living, while providing support for building strong families as an investment in the future of California and our nation.

Spring Valley, CA

3/23/21 7:30 AM + more

FOOD: Food Distribution Program

Heaven's Windows' Food Distribution Program is located in their warehouse facility. They receive donated food supplies there for processing, packaging, and distribution to their food pantry and partner agencies. Volunteers help by processing donated fresh, frozen, canned, and prepared food. Volunteers also help with loading and unloading food products. Opportunity Requirements & Important Notes Attire: Closed-toe shoes are required. Wear clothes that you don't mind get dirty. Gloves are available. Masks are mandatory. Physical Requirements: Bending, lifting at least 20-40 lbs., standing Weather: This project is not cancelled for rain. About Heaven's Windows Heaven's Windows' mission is to elevate the current living conditions of poverty-stricken residents of San Diego County. To assist in establishing a stable and productive status of living, while providing support for building strong families as an investment in the future of California and our nation.

Spring Valley, CA

3/17/21 7:00 AM + more

FOOD: Food Sorting

More Than Apples helps rescue food destined for the landfill to fight food insecurity in North County families. At their weekly food distribution, volunteers sort and divide large amounts of food into individual boxes available to families for a small donation. Volunteer tasks will include helping load 2 large trucks, sorting through all produce to identify any spoiled product, unloading all cold product indoors, and dividing all the food up into the amount of boxes they distribute (about 170 each week). Before COVID-19 hit, MTA served about 75 families weekly, now the size of their operation has doubled. They need more hands to get food into the homes that need it. Project Requirements & Important Notes Attire: Closed-toe shoes and face masks are required. Wear clothes that can get dirty and sun protection (sunscreen/hat). Bring: Resusable water bottle Physical Requirements: Must be able to bend and lift up to 50 pounds. The most help with heavy lifting is needed during the 12pm-2pm shift. Can NOT be sick or have been around anyone sick in the last 7 days. Note: Volunteers are not allowed to take photos at this project. Please let the Volunteer Leader know if you have experience using a pallet jack. About More Than Apples More Than Apples serves to reduce hunger/food insecurity and waste by redistributing consumable goods, providing education aimed at reduction of waste and creating a community in which consciousness, courtesy, and communal good are the core tenets.

Escondido, CA

3/10/21 3:00 PM + more

FOOD: Lucky Duck Meals for the Unsheltered Homeless Program in Chula Vista

There are 4,000+ unsheltered homeless individuals on the streets with scarce access to food and water. This initiative provides food and water to outreach workers who distribute it to unsheltered individuals to provide nourishment and water and to ultimately help end their homelessness. Help sort and load boxes into a “pick-up ready” configuration and then load meals into service providers' vehicles. You can be helpful by taking the direction of a team member and stacking and moving boxes carefully and efficiently. Expect some physical labor. Volunteers typically spend their time moving boxes that weigh about 20 lbs at distances of 5-20 feet (between the pallets and the vehicles). Also don’t forget to have some fun and remember why we’re out here: to help those who are down on their luck. Project Requirements & Important Notes Attire: This project is outside so wearing sun protection is recommended. Always check the weather forecast, but know that it does get hot at the distribution site, especially given the physical nature of the work. Closed-toe boots/sneakers that you feel comfortable moving boxes for an hour in are a must. Physical Requirements: Able to stand for the duration of the shift and lift boxes that weigh 20-25 pounds. Avoiding Injury: Poor lifting form will lead to injury and pain. You should only bend with your knees and hips, keep your back straight, and keep your shoulders back. Slowly lift by straightening your hips and knees (not your back). Hold the box as close to your body as possible. Set the box down by bending your knees and hips only (it is very easy to get in the habit of setting boxes down in cars by bending your back). About The Lucky Duck Foundation The Lucky Duck Foundation is committed to raising awareness and funds to help alleviate the homelessness epidemic in San Diego County; and providing support and relief from harsh conditions to the thousands of homeless individuals and families living on our streets.

Chula Vista, CA

3/8/21 7:30 AM + more

FOOD: Lucky Duck Meals for the Unsheltered Homeless Program in Miramar

There are 4,000+ unsheltered homeless individuals on the streets with scarce access to food and water. This initiative provides food and water to outreach workers who distribute it to unsheltered individuals to provide nourishment and water and to ultimately help end their homelessness. Help sort and load boxes into a “pick-up ready” configuration and then load meals into service providers' vehicles. You can be helpful by taking the direction of a team member and stacking and moving boxes carefully and efficiently. Expect some physical labor. Volunteers typically spend their time moving boxes that weigh about 20 lbs at distances of 5-20 feet (between the pallets and the vehicles). Also don’t forget to have some fun and remember why we’re out here: to help those who are down on their luck. Project Requirements & Important Notes Attire: This project is outside so wearing sun protection is recommended. Always check the weather forecast, but know that it does get hot at the distribution site, especially given the physical nature of the work. Closed-toe boots/sneakers that you feel comfortable moving boxes for an hour in are a must. Physical Requirements: Able to stand for the duration of the shift and lift boxes that weigh 20-25 pounds. Avoiding Injury: Poor lifting form will lead to injury and pain. You should only bend with your knees and hips, keep your back straight, and keep your shoulders back. Slowly lift by straightening your hips and knees (not your back). Hold the box as close to your body as possible. Set the box down by bending your knees and hips only (it is very easy to get in the habit of setting boxes down in cars by bending your back). About The Lucky Duck Foundation The Lucky Duck Foundation is committed to raising awareness and funds to help alleviate the homelessness epidemic in San Diego County; and providing support and relief from harsh conditions to the thousands of homeless individuals and families living on our streets.

San Diego, CA

3/8/21 7:30 AM + more

FOOD: Pantry Prep

Volunteers in Porchlight Community Services' pantry will help set up for their drive-thru food distribution, pack grab n' go boxes, and help distribute food into their clients' cars. Porchlight Community Services rescues food from going to waste and offers healthy options for low-income families with strict food restrictions and allergies that are not usually available at food pantries. Project Requirements & Important Notes Attire: Closed-toe shoes and clothes that you don't mind getting dirty. Physical Requirements: Bending, lifting, carry up to 20lbs. Restroom access is only available via stairs. Please do not attend this project if you have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 within the last 2 weeks. Porchlight's clients are immunocompromised and they're doing everything they can to keep them safe. ​Note: Signing up as a team has been disabled for this project. Last minute team cancellations for a shift this small can be extremely detrimental to Porchlight being able to distribute food to families in need. Please sign up individually or email info@handsonsandiego.org to sign up with your child. ​Volunteer Manual: Reviewing Porchlight's Training Manual will help orient you to the tasks you'll be working on in their pantry. About Porchlight Community Services The mission of the Porchlight Cooperative is to relieve hunger, eliminate waste and increase the self-sufficiency of individuals.

San Diego, CA

3/11/21 10:00 AM + more

SORT: Organize Thrift Store Donations

Auntie Helen's serves individuals with low incomes or with underlying health conditions such as HIV/AIDS. They are self-supportive through their thrift store and private donations which fund programs such as delivering groceries to families and helping individuals through addiction recovery. Currently they are hosting sales on their sidewalk space and not allowing customers inside for their safety and the safety of staff/volunteers. Volunteers are needed at their thrift store to sort, fold and hang donations, disbursing them between various designated areas. Your help will allow them to run the thrift store's in-person and online shopping more efficiently. Once a week Auntie Helen's distributes groceries to 300+ families, volunteers may be asked to help with bagging and distributing food as well. During the months of November and December, Auntie Helen's offers a 25% discount on their sidewalk sale items to volunteers before or after their shift as a thank you. Project Requirements & Important Notes Attire: Wear comfortable attire and closed-toe shoes Physical Requirements: Auntie Helen's is able to work within any physical requirements. Volunteers may be asked to help with lifting heavy items, please let the Volunteer Leader know if you are not comfortable with those tasks. ​Safety: Face masks are required at all times. Social distancing guidelines are observed per CDC guidelines. About Auntie Helen's Community Thrift Auntie Helen's Community Thrift envisions a community where people living with HIV/AIDS can have an empowered, loving life without barriers.

San Diego, CA

3/8/21 9:00 AM + more