The health and safety of our staff, volunteers, and clients are our top priority. As an agency that works with vulnerable populations, we have modified our volunteer opportunities to meet public health recommendations and social distancing practices. There are still many ways for you to stay involved with JFS and give back to our community during these challenging times – we look forward to seeing you!
HIGH NEED: SDRRN Family Migrant Shelter Update & Current Volunteer Roles
The SDRRN Migrant Shelter operated by Jewish Family Service has continued to provide shelter services during the pandemic, converting from a congregate refuge to a socially-distant model. Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, asylum seekers released by the government now stay in individual hotel rooms for their short stay. In partnership with the San Diego Rapid Response Network, JFS continues to operate the shelter and provide case management, travel assistance, nutrition services, medical screenings, and financial support for migrant families. Volunteers are the heart of our work – and we need your help to continue welcoming the stranger with dignity and compassion.
Shelter Couriers are needed to help pack and deliver meals to families. Volunteers are responsible for putting together bags of hygiene items, food, and other supplies at our shelter and delivering them to hotels. Packages are left outside individual hotel doors ensuring a safe and no-contact delivery which enables families to receive the resources they need while in our care.
Airport/Greyhound Guides help families navigate the ins and outs of transportation by serving as a transportation guide! Guides are responsible for picking up families from their respective hotels, helping them print their boarding tickets, and escorting families through the airport or greyhound station until they arrive at their boarding gate. Positions available 7 days a week!
Ready to get started? Contact [email protected] with your availability and area of interest.
HIGH NEED: Vita Tax Preparation Volunteer
Are you looking to learn a new skill and give back in the new year? Well, look no further! We are currently recruiting volunteers to provide free tax preparation assistance to members of our community. No experience necessary and training will be provided!
As a VITA Virtual Tax Preparation Volunteer, you will work one-on-one with clients over Zoom (from our campus in San Diego) to help them navigate the ins and outs of tax preparation. We will provide you with training that results in your certification as a volunteer income tax preparer. This detailed training involves a self-directed online curriculum. This is an excellent opportunity to gain skills in tax preparation while providing invaluable help to families and individuals in need of your expertise. For more information regarding the role, including the time commitment, please click here.
HIGH NEED: Warehouse to Support COVID-19 Operations
The Hand Up Food Pantry believes in helping clients reach self-sufficiency by providing a hand up, not just a hand-out, to San Diegans experiencing food insecurity. The JFS Warehouse is located at our main Balboa Avenue campus and houses all food donations. Warehouse volunteers play a vital role in serving hundreds of people every week by preparing food distribution bags and sorting through donations. Click here to support the AM shift, or click here to support the PM shift.
Desert Vista Volunteer Opportunities
Did you know that JFS provides services in the Palm Springs area? Desert Vista is a permanent supportive housing program that houses individuals, youth, and families who are chronically homeless and have a disability. Through our housing program, we provide our clients the resources they need for basic living such as furniture, blankets, kitchen utensils, and more. Along with our permanent supportive housing program, we also provide outreach services for homeless individuals and families in our community.
Project 19 Home Delivered Meals – Open To Youth 13+ with Parent/Guardian
Project 19 Home Delivered Meals is a food delivery program established for those critically impacted by COVID-19. As part of this program, JFS volunteers and paid employees provide home-delivered meals to those who are 65+ and have limited or no access to food. Project 19 Home Delivered Meals Volunteer Drivers will provide a no-contact delivery of either a box of freshly frozen meals or pre-packaged groceries. Using their own personal vehicles, Project 19 Home Delivered Meals Volunteer Drivers will report to the main JFS Campus (8804 Balboa Ave, San Diego, CA 92123) for their AM or PM shift to pick up the boxed meals or groceries, receive their route, and deliver the emergency food to the JFS clients’ homes. If you are interested, please click the following links:
Provide Dinner to Safe Parking Program Guests
JFS operates four Safe Parking Program lots in our community for individuals and families living out of their vehicles, many of whom are experiencing homelessness for the first time. We are looking for volunteers who will provide nightly dinners of individually packaged meals for 60+ people. Drop off is at our Joan & Irwin Jacobs Campus (8804 Balboa Ave). Schedule the night of your choice by clicking here.
Become a Safe Parking Program Runner
Apart from providing meals, you can also volunteer with the Safe Parking Program as a runner to distribute meals to guests and help maintain daily operations. We need 1-2 volunteer runners for three of our San Diego Safe Parking lots each night (Monday through Sunday, 5:30-7:30pm). If interested, please click here.
Assemble Food Bags for Safe Parking Program – Open To Youth 13+ with Parent/Guardian
While nightly Safe Parking dinners continue to be provided by generous community donors, JFS has also secured bulk breakfast and lunch items to meet the daily needs of our Safe Parking participants. This position entails packing the pre-purchased breakfast and lunch items into bags at our main campus, and then delivering them in the afternoon to our three San Diego City Safe Parking Program Lots. Click here to sign up.
COVID-19 Drive-Thru Food Distributions – Open To Youth 13+ with Parent/Guardian
The JFS Drive-Thru Food Distribution is open to all San Diegans in critical need of groceries during the COVID-19 pandemic. This no-contact food distribution happens M-F at our Joan & Irwin Jacobs Campus. Distribution bags are stocked with a variety of fresh produce, dried/canned goods, and other pantry staples (based on supplies). On average, the distribution serves 100-200 cars daily. We need volunteers to help assemble grocery bags and place bags into clients’ trunks as they drive through. Click here to sign up!
Murphy Canyon Food Distribution – Open To Youth 13+ with Parent/Guardian
Once a month, the Murphy Canyon Distribution provides military families experiencing food insecurity with fresh produce and essential groceries. Volunteers are needed to help Hand Up Food Pantry staff with the client check-in process and distribution of food. Find out how you can help.
Warehouse Preparation to Support Murphy Canyon Distribution – Open To Youth 13+ with Parent/Guardian
Volunteers are needed to help Hand Up Food Pantry staff prepare for monthly food distributions at Murphy Canyon. The JFS Warehouse is located at our main Balboa Avenue campus and volunteers will help sort, pack, and restock grocery items as needed for the distribution. Click here to learn how you can help!
Hillcrest Food Distribution – Open To Youth 13+ with Parent/Guardian
Once a month, we provide a food distribution in Hillcrest that serves clients from all backgrounds and life circumstances. Volunteers will help unload the delivery truck, assist with client check-in process, and distribute groceries to clients. Find out how you can help.
COVID-19 Diaper Distribution Volunteer – Open To Youth 13+ with Parent/Guardian
Thanks to a partnership with the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank and other community donors, Jewish Family Service has its own diaper distribution. Through our diaper distribution program, families can access 75 free diapers a month for each child in their family that needs them. Volunteers will package diaper distribution bags and assist clients coming to campus. Click here to sign up!
COVID-19 Diaper Distribution Lead Volunteer
We are looking for driven volunteers who will help oversee and organize our diaper bank community pick-up times during COVID-19. Leads will keep track of incoming requests, maintain records, communicate with clients and other volunteers, and help package diaper bags for pick-up. Click here to sign up!
High Need: Patient Advocacy Card Writing – Family Friendly
Residents in Skilled Nursing Facilities have been particularly affected by COVID-19. With all facilities currently prohibiting visitation from loved ones, many residents have found themselves isolated and lonely. You can provide a warm hello with a hand-written or hand-decorated card to remind them that they are not forgotten! Click here to learn how to get involved.
Virtual Friendly Match For Older Adults
For many older adults, physical distancing during COVID-19 has led to social isolation and loneliness. We are looking for caring volunteers to be matched with an older adult to contact weekly through a friendly phone call, a written card, or video chat. Help us keep seniors connected to their community! Please click here for more information.
Make A Mask – Family Friendly
To ensure our staff, volunteers, and clients have access to protective personal equipment on campus, we need your help in crafting homemade masks! The masks do not need to be hospital-grade but should cover the nose and mouth. Homemade masks, bandannas, scarves and neck gaiters are acceptable since these items can be washed and reused. Additionally, we are seeking a hearing-impaired mask prototype so that our hearing-impaired clients, volunteers, and staff can see a smile and read lips – connection is important during these challenging times. For more details on how to make a mask, where to drop them off, and more, click here.
Create Safe Parking Program Car Activity Kits – Family Friendly
Support families in our Safe Parking Program with car activity kits for young kids! As many public spaces remain closed, San Diegans living in their vehicles have limited options for mental and physical stimulation. Help us assemble fun and educational activity kits that will help kids stay engaged and give parents a moment of rest as they work toward finding stable housing. If you are interested in creating a kit, please click here.
Refugee Resettlement Virtual Mentorship Program
R&R Youth Mentors have the opportunity to mentor local Congolese Youth. They do so by providing companionship and guidance as they adapt to life in the U.S. During COVID-19, the Youth Mentorship Program will continue its services to youth remotely. All mentors must be virtually active and be in communication with their youth on a weekly basis. Click here to learn more.
Donate Non-Perishable Food & Hygiene Items – Family Friendly
Support San Diegans in critical need who are accessing our no-touch, drive-thru food distribution service! Donation drop-off hours are before 9:00am and after 3:00pm Monday-Friday at our Joan & Irwin Jacobs Campus (8804 Balboa Ave), or check out our JFS COVID Amazon Wishlist. Click here for more information!
Donate phone and tablet chargers
We have partnered with a local non-profit, Compassion It, to collect and distribute cell phone and tablet chargers to local hospitals. Why? Hospital personnel try to limit the number of times they enter the room of a potential COVID patient, and instead communicate with the patient using smartphones or tablets. Additionally, most health care facilities have implemented a ‘no visitor’ policy, so patients can only communicate with their loved ones through their personal devices. The issue remains a lack of chargers! You can donate chargers and plugs through JFS’s Amazon Wish List and via C.H.A.R.G.E.’s Amazon registry.
Social Wellness Technical Support Volunteer
As a human service agency that works with vulnerable populations, including older adults who are most at-risk for COVID-19, we have mobilized our two Social Wellness Centers to provide virtual content for older adults such as online social gatherings and entertainment. We are seeking volunteers with a technical background to help support our virtual events and assist clients with any technical barriers they may face. This role will be integral in helping our clients feel connected during a time of increased isolation. Check it out!