Where can I find volunteer opportunities in SF?
July 22, 2009 8:19 PM   Subscribe

Looking for interesting volunteer opportunities in San Francisco

I really want to start volunteering, but am having trouble finding opportunities that 1) fit into my schedule and 2) fit into my interests.

I work a full time, 9-5 job Monday through Friday. With the exception of Saturday afternoons, my weekend is pretty open. That is ideally when I would like to volunteer.

I also find that a lot of organizations have some sort of training program you have to go through before you can start "working."
I would rather find something I could just jump into right away.

I am looking for something related to one of the following:

1) Music or fine arts

2) Animals (especially dogs!)

3) Adult ESL learners ( I tutored adult ESL students in college, and really enjoyed it.)

OK, Internets. Do your magic.
posted by firemonkey to Work & Money (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The SF/SPCA needs volunteers. They require only three hours a week. They have dogs galore.
posted by beetsuits at 9:47 PM on July 22, 2009

Idealist.org turned up 421 search results in the volunteer opportunities section for San Francisco. It might be worth wading through.
posted by aniola at 11:02 PM on July 22, 2009

See also: craigslist, though you've probably already checked there. (:
posted by aniola at 11:03 PM on July 22, 2009

Look into ushering at smaller theaters. You usually get to see the show for free, as well. Bonus!
posted by mollymayhem at 6:29 AM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Rocket Dog Rescue needs people to help out with mobile adoptions (I think they're often at 24th and Castro). Pali, the founder, is a dynamo, and the dogs she helps are the goofiest, oldest, tattiest mutts around sometimes, so you'll really feel good afterward.

Seconding the SPCA dog behavior volunteering, but you'll have to do a couple of hours' worth of induction training first so they can establish you aren't a stabby lunatic.

Animal Care and Control, round the corner from the SPCA, also needs dog volunteers.
posted by vickyverky at 10:49 AM on July 23, 2009

Refugee Transitions is always looking for more language tutors. They do require 2 training sessions before starting, but I find those types of things are in place to gauge commitment (and to get a minimum level of standards in place). The pain of the training sessions will be be completely worth it when you see how much difference you can make in someone's life. You also have the flexibility of setting tutoring hours with your student.
posted by cranberryskies at 2:30 PM on July 23, 2009

Volunteermatch is a good place to find opportunities.
posted by judith at 4:24 PM on July 24, 2009

Best answer: This is absolutely positively what you are looking for. The slogan is no commitment volunteering and you can volunteer whenever you have time and there's no requirement other than showing up at the time you promised to show up.
posted by bananafish at 5:11 PM on July 24, 2009

Response by poster: These are all great suggestions, thanks everyone! I think the One Brick Project is ideal for me right now because of my schedule. Thanks so much for the suggestions!
posted by firemonkey at 3:04 PM on September 12, 2009

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