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If any year needs a boost in kind acts and generosity, it’s 2020.
With the coronavirus wreaking havoc on Los Angeles, those who are most vulnerable even in the most typical of years — unhoused neighbors, food-insecure families, recent refugees — are in dire need of extra support.
If you’re looking for opportunities to volunteer while observing COVID-19 health precautions, these 12 organizations offer remote and safe in-person avenues for caring for your community. If donating proves easier, all of these organizations also accept funds.
Miry’s List provides support to refugee families who have recently arrived in the U.S. to start their new lives. Their volunteer opportunities are diverse — ranging from helping a family make a list of essential needs to teaching English, providing transportation and compiling housewarming gifts. They also accept gently-used items if you are located in Southern California and can facilitate a drop-off.
Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project
As a public interest organization centered on immigration rights, Esperanza focuses on providing advocacy and education for those facing deportation from the U.S. If you’re interested in volunteering remotely, you can attend one of their monthly information sessions to learn more. Volunteers may translate documents and assist in event planning as well as handle a variety of clerical tasks.
Center for the Pacific Asian Family
Are you bilingual in an Asian and Pacific Islander language? If so, join the Center for the Pacific Asian Family as a Language Access Volunteer and help provide support for API immigrant survivors of domestic and sexual violence through interpretation and translation. If interested, you can email [email protected] with the subject line “Language Access Volunteering.”
The Tiyya Foundation also specializes in providing support to refugee and immigrant families, specifically those located in Southern California. You can make a one-time or recurring donation to support family mentoring and educational programs. You can also volunteer to host a virtual workshop to help refugees with professional development or host recreational youth activities.
The Mutual Aid Network is made up of multiple grassroots organizers and volunteers focused on providing groceries and community support services. To help, you can join one of their seven volunteer teams, each specializing in a particular area of need. They also accept donations.
Based in Glendale, Ascencia provides housing, food and other services to people experiencing homelessness. You can volunteer as a guest chef and prepare hot meals, or you can tutor or assist in administrative work. You can also make a monetary donation.
Ktown for All
Ktown for All is a volunteer-led organization that provides and advocates for unhoused neighbors in Koreatown via direct outreach and resource distribution, political advocacy and coalition-building. As a volunteer, you can distribute resources on Saturdays, assemble kits, contribute to social media educational posts, or meet for a social conversation hour.
The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project provides a national 24/7 confidential hotline for LGBTQ youth at risk of suicide. If you’re at least 18 years old, you can volunteer as either a text message crisis counselor or a telephone crisis counselor. While their call centers are based out of West Hollywood, all volunteering opportunities are currently remote.
LifeKit, also based in Koreatown, distributes hygiene items, survival kits and school supplies to those who need them. Prospective volunteers can check out the operations, marketing or development teams to assist with a wide variety of tasks, including video editing, grant writing and food pantry management.
Leg Up L.A.
As a grassroots organization that provides food, sanitary supplies, blankets and other items to unhoused people in L.A., Leg Up accepts monetary donations via Venmo, as well as material donations. Calls for in-person volunteers to help distribute goods are publicized via Instagram.
West Valley People’s Alliance
The West Valley People’s Alliance, based in the San Fernando Valley, is a grassroots organizing volunteer coalition that assists with mutual aid efforts centered on racial justice, homelessness and the environment. You can volunteer to respond to eviction and homelessness sweeps, or you can attend their weekly Zoom events.