Last Minute Volunteer Opportunities

Are you stuck in SF over Christmas and looking for some last minute ways to ease your conscience after all those hangovers in 2009? Maybe you just need an excuse to get out of the house and away from the family for a few hours without sounding like a jerk? Well, unfortunately it’s surprisingly hard to just go out and volunteer in this town. All the big names like SF Food Bank and Glide Memorial fill up their volunteer slots way in advance, but with a little research one can find some lesser-known organizations that still need help:

Food Running: The Chronicle has a good writeup on Food Runners an organization that takes unwanted food that would otherwise go to waste and delivers it to those in need. Their story of a little girl receiving an entire wedding cake from a groom left at the altar will definitely warm that cold heart of yours. Check out FoodRunners.org or click here to fill out the form and offer to help.

SF Bay Gaurdian (via Funcheap SF) also lists a few opportunities still available in town for the 25th:

Volunteer Little Brothers: Allow yourself to brighten an elderly neighbor’s day when you deliver a Christmas meal and personalized gifts to someone who doesn’t have a network of family and friends for support. Visits range from half an hour to an hour, but you’ll need to pick up gift packages between 10 a.m. and noon at:

Temple Emanu-El
2 Lake St., SF
More info: (415) 771-7957 ext. 106

Volunteer at Raphael House – similar concept, but in one place. Raphael House needs volunteers to help set up and host a holiday dinner for guests who don’t have many opportunities to leave their apartments. If you’ve got a knack for talking to and listening to the elderly, this will be right up your alley. Starts at 9am.

Raphael House
1065 Sutter st., SF
more info: (415) 474-4621

City Impact Christmas Day Block Party – City Impact needs help with cooking and preparing meals, sorting and delivering meals and groceries, and serving hot meals to the homeless in their dining room.

More info on the City Impact site

And finally, because I know you’re always feeling charitable and not just during the holidays The Extraordinaires (beextra.org) offers a chance to help nonprofits with “micro-tasks” to help them keep costs down. Some examples of the simple tasks are going through a photo library to organize and tag photos or mapping playground locations for Kaboom.org. If you can tag those facebook photos from last week’s holiday party, you can do some good without even leaving your precious laptop.

Now get out there and do some good.

(Help Wanted Image via: Quarryville Public Library)

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About the author

Andrew Dalton - Aggressive Panhandler

Andrew is an East Coast transplant from Virginia hamming it up in San Francisco without any intention of leaving. Having worked every typical job from Bike Shop Employee to Bartender to Ad Agency Hotshot, to Dotcom Layoff he now busts his ass covering the "weird things to do" beat for gracious local audiences at SFAppeal.com and rallies the Western Addy/Lower Haight/Panhandle neighborhoods into action at AggressivePanhandler.com. His work was published in a real, paper magazine one time. One day he might even figure out how to make money from it.

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