No more slacktivism!
June 13, 2016 4:12 PM   Subscribe

Looking for volunteer opportunities in Oakland, SF, and/or Berkeley

I'm going to be a full-time PhD student soon, and want to take advantage of having the flexibility a 40 hour work week + commute doesn't provide. That said, I'm aware that grad school is very time consuming, and many of my prior endeavors were at badly-run places that had no idea what to do with their volunteers. So! Does anyone know of awesome Bay Area organizations that could efficiently use a couple hours of my time per week?

I'd be particularly interested (and may have a few shreds of experience) in organizations with a focus on LGBTQIA+ issues, the Bay Area housing clusterfuck, HIV/AIDS, human rights issues here and abroad, and adult education. Would be open to other suggestions!

A car is probably going to be at my disposal, so there might be some supplies-delivery possibilities. I'm good with animals, but kids under 12 are a challenge. Mindless tasks and grunt work like addressing envelopes and lifting things would be totally cool. Generating written content is most always a pleasure. I don't have a law degree, a second language that's useful in California, amazing tech wizardry, or anything similarly practical.

While I'll certainly explore this issue through university channels, I'd like to find places that don't get as much attention from undergrads with a lot more energy than I have. Oakland would be best, but Berkeley and San Francisco are also good.

posted by knuspermanatee to Grab Bag (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have found Hands On to be a great resource everywhere for finding things you can go to today/tomorrow/next week when you have some free time. They're a lot faster than going directly through some organizations who don't have the staff to respond to email or phone in a timely fashion.
posted by MonsieurBon at 4:21 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Ella Baker Center For Human Rights in downtown Oakland does good work and is deeply rooted in the community.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 4:56 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'll give a plug to Reilly Center/W.O.M.A.N., Inc., if you are interested in domestic violence issues. The two organizations run an excellent, extensive domestic violence advocacy training program (40 hours of training is required to work with survivors of domestic violence in CA), which I recommend.
posted by reren at 5:19 PM on June 13, 2016

East Bay College Fund provides scholarships and matches low income college bound students from Oakland with mentors. They are always looking for mentors (4 year commitment, but only a few hours per month, plus 2 retreats per year). Disclosure: I'm a mentor for a Dreamer and first generation college student at Cal.
posted by ch3ch2oh at 9:36 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Thanks so much, everyone! I'll most definitely be looking into all of these!
posted by knuspermanatee at 12:03 PM on June 15, 2016

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