Volunteering is a great way to enrich the lives of others as well as your own. There are many volunteering opportunities available in the North State for individuals of all ages and for families together. A variety of local organizations to volunteer with are listed below. Also search for volunteer ideas at http://www.volunteermatch.org.
Multiple Upper CA counties
American Cancer Society; Shasta & Butte counties. Help drive cancer patients to appointments, assist patients in the ACS office, help with events & in the ACS thrift store, & more. www.cancer.org. (1-800) 227-2345.
Animal Shelters & Rescues. Help give animals a better life experience. Rehabilitate wildlife, assist with socializing potential pets, help in the office, educate the visiting public, help with marketing, create a fundraiser… or muck out stalls & take care of tack. Some rescues hold volunteer work days, some offer programs for youth. You can also foster young & special needs animals. See our Animals section for shelter & rescue information.
Art Councils. There are many ways to volunteer at your local Arts Council. Help at events, in the office, teach a class, help with fundraising, hang art, set up or tear down at events, post flyers, etc. See section The Arts: Councils & Commissions for contact information.
Guide Dogs for the Blind Community Volunteer Program. Offers individuals ages 16+ the opportunity to represent the Guide Dogs organization in their local communities. Play an active role in supporting the program by raising a puppy, speaking to an audience about the program, or volunteering on our campus. Tour the Guide Dogs’ San Rafael, CA campus to develop an in-person relationship with the organization. http://www.guidedogs.com. (1-800) 295-4050.
Libraries. Library volunteers serve in a variety of capacities, including a plethora of organizational tasks that those who love details can sink their teeth into. Love children? Love teaching? Help organize a storytime series, or special storytime event. Assist in an adult literacy program; bilingual volunteers can help those for whom English is a second language. Libraries offer teen volunteer programs too. See the Literacy section for library contact information.
Mentoring. For those dedicated to making a difference in the life of a youth, one-on-one mentoring may change both your lives. Help a child or teen succeed. If your community lacks a mentoring program, there are plenty of other opportunities to assist youth. Visit the Search Institute website, http://www.search-institute.org, to learn about the 40 Developmental Assets & how we all can make a significant difference in the lives of children around us.
Museums. Volunteering at a museum gives you the opportunity to learn new things & to share that information with the public. From history to science, be a part of a fun & educational experience. There are a variety of volunteer services needed at museums, from the smallest community museum to the nationally acclaimed.
County-Specific Volunteer Opportunities
Look for similar programs in your county if not listed here. If you know of a great volunteer program to include, email your suggestion to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Boys & Girls Club of the North Valley; Butte Co. Help to inspire & enable youth to reach their potential. Programs include sports & fitness, education, career & the arts. http://www.bgnv.org. Chico: (530) 899-0335; Paradise: (530) 872-3662; Oroville: (530) 533-3067.
Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA); Butte County. CASA volunteers are community members appointed to advocate for abused & neglected children in the court system. Volunteer meets with their appointed children weekly, monitors their cases, meets with people in the children’s lives, & then writes a court report & recommendation on behalf of the child or children. CASA trainings happen several times each year. http://www.casaforchildren.org.
CASA of Butte County. http://www.nvcss.org/programs/buCasa.aspx 10 Independence Cir., Chico. (530) 345-1600, ext. 2130 or 2116.
Golden Umbrella’s Foster Grandparent Program; Shasta County. An opportunity for seniors ages 55+ to volunteer their time with children in local schools. (530) 226-3098.
Mercy Medical Center; Redding. Guild, associate & student volunteers contribute in the gift shop, labor & delivery, pre & post surgical, information desk, transportation shuttle, health center (clerical) & more. reddingmercy.org/whoweare. 100 Mercy Oaks Dr. (530) 225-6464.
One SAFE Place; Redding. Seeks volunteers to help victims of domestic & sexual abuse through Crisis Hotline or in-person advocacy. http://www.OSPshasta.org (530) 244-0117.
plusONE Mentoring Program; Redding. Matches volunteer adult mentors other youth ages 8-17 in order to address adverse factors in the mentees’ lives. Mentors commit to a minimum of one hour per week for one year. yvpc.org. 1700 Pine St., Ste. 250. (530) 244-7194.
Prevent Blindness Northern California. Volunteers help with early childhood vision screenings & more. http://www.eyeinfo.org.
Turtle Bay Exploration Park Teen Volunteer Program; Redding. Along with the regular adult volunteer program, Turtle Bay offers teens opportunities to develop skills & knowledge through interactions with visitors and hands-on experiences. Teens learn about natural science, art, history, forestry, botany & sustainability. Develops self-confidence & job skills. For grades 7-12 (and adults). http://www.turtlebay.org. (530) 242-3112.
Youth/Peer Court; Redding. The program has over 100 student volunteers and 60+ adult volunteers annually. Youth ages 12-18 from Shasta county schools may volunteer as peer jurors and attorneys in Youth/Peer Court. There are over 1300 youth courts nation-wide. Provides a means for first time juvenile offenders to be diverted from the traditional juvenile justice system into a restorative justice program. Offenders have their cases heard before a jury of their peers, and upon successful sentence completion (without reoffending while in the program), the offence record is cleared. Contact the Youth Violence Prevention Council,
http://www.yvpc.org. (530) 244-7194.
CASA of Siskiyou County. See the Butte County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) listing above for program description. http://www.siskiyoucasa.org. (530) 841-0844.
Cross-Country Skiing Youth Program Volunteer; Mt. Shasta. Help youth participating in the Mt. Shasta Nordic Ski Organization’s Junior Skate program
develop a life-long love for the sport. http://www.mtshastanordic.org. (530) 925-2359.
Shasta Disabled Sports USA; Mt. Shasta. Offers individuals of all ages & with a wide range of disabilities assistance needed to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. In summer, help participants with rafting, rock-climbing, lake days & camping. In winter, become a Ski Buddy & help participants experience the thrill & beauty of snow sports. Ski Buddies may work with visually impaired or wheelchair-bound participants, or with those who just need a pal while on the slopes. Volunteering with the enthusiastic crew at SDS is a rewarding & fun experience.
http://www.shastadsusa.org. (530) 925-1531.
Tehama County Mentoring Program;
Red Bluff. The TCMP program provides youth with positive adult role models through a variety of mentoring programs, including one-on-one, group, school-based, Mentoring Moms & Latina Leadership. http://www.tehamamentoring.org. (530) 528-7358.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program; Tehama County. Volunteers learn to prepare basic tax returns (Jan training) then assist eligible participants with
tax forms preparation Jan-April. http://www.tehamacountycaa.org. (530) 527-6159.
Updated 3/3/2014 MS