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Help me find a short-term volunteer opportunity
July 19, 2009 6:58 PM   Subscribe

Can you steer me towards a short-term (40 hours) volunteer opportunity with kids in San Francisco during the next month?

I know there are plenty of resources out there to find longer-term, ongoing volunteer opportunities but I'm looking for something very specific. I'd like to volunteer in San Francisco with kids - any age - for a week or so sometime during the next month. I can start on August 3 and need to wrap up by August 24.

Any Bay Area mefites that know of a camp or summer school situation that might welcome some additional help for a week or so? I'm interested in doing just about anything with an educational focus. Thanks.
posted by hapax_legomenon to Education (4 answers total)
 
I've worked with an agency that works with kids and loves to get volunteers.

Let me give you 2 pieces of advice:

1. Get a live-scan. No worthwhile organization is going to let you work with kids without a recent livescan. It might take a while depending on where you live and which police department (or other service) does the scan.

2. Look into some type of events, athletic, summer camps, etc. 40 hours is pretty easy to do standing (in 2 weeks). I wouldn't recommend volunteering at a place where kids go regularly. Its really hard on the kids to get to know someone, let down their guard after a while...then have the volunteer leave. At the organization I worked at, the volunteer coordinator said that differentiating between the "just here for X long" vs. "I want to be a part of these kids lives" was the major part of her job.

Hope that helps. Good luck.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:14 PM on July 19, 2009


Oh forgot:

I'm interested in doing just about anything with an educational focus.

If you're willing to do a lot of supporting the front lines, administrative, clerical, labor-intensive, or janitorial staff...it'll be pretty easy to find a willing organization.

Actually working with kids in an educational setting...I'm not sure how successful your hunt will be.

But good luck.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:17 PM on July 19, 2009


You may want to check out an organization called "One Brick." They're a sort of "temp agency" for volunteers - the problem a lot of people have volunteering is that they have very finite availability, and a lot of organizations sometimes ask for longer term commitments.

But many organizations sometimes have parties or benefits or one-night-only things like that where they need a lot of extra hands on deck. One Brick maintains a calendar of these kinds of events, and recruits volunteers for these events. You sign up with One Brick, and then you can look over their calendar of "upcoming events" and what the volunteer commitment is - and then reserve your spot through One Brick. Then you show up at the event and they put you to work.

They tend towards the one-day thing -- the event I worked on was a "take your tiny dog on a boat ride to benefit an animal shelter" kind of thing -- but I wouldn't be surprised if there weren't a couple "Help escort kids to the science museum" kinds of things in there somewhere.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:54 AM on July 20, 2009


The obvious one that comes to mind is 826valencia. I'm a volunteer at the Chicago chapter of this organization, and my experience was that it took some time after my application to volunteer to be called in, and of course since I'm working with kids, they did a background check first. Positions helping out with their summer workshops are likely to be taken, but it still might not hurt to contact them and see if they need any additional help.
posted by carrienation at 7:05 AM on July 20, 2009


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