Guide to giving back

A list of volunteer opportunities and nonprofits around the region
Artwork painted with love is strung up to dry during last November's Most Epic Lemonade Stand Ever fundraiser in Thousand Oaks, which raised $62,000 for those affected by the Borderline shooting and wildfires.

Artwork painted with love is strung up to dry during last November’s Most Epic Lemonade Stand Ever fundraiser in Thousand Oaks, which raised $62,000 for those affected by the Borderline shooting and wildfires.


Blanchard Community Library
Volunteers needed in the Adult Learning Center to tutor and help adults complete their high school equivalency requirements.
Santa Paula
(805) 525-3615, ext. 105

Calabasas Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
CERT teaches people to prepare for disasters that may impact their area and trains them in basic emergency response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations.

Create On Your Campus
This nonprofit helps schools reuse items found on campus for art and curriculum. Volunteers can help prepare program components at Create Studio.
Create Studio, Westlake Village
(818) 575-9566

Women’s Interfaith Network (WIN)
Members of this Conejo Valley Interfaith Association network meet monthly to discuss local needs and service projects, including the Refugee Welcome Team that gathers items for welcome baskets given to families coming to the United States.
Thousand Oaks, Camarillo
(805) 418-0699

City of Malibu Community Services Department
Volunteers are needed to help with tiny tot, senior citizen and environmental programs, as well as special events and sports.
(310) 456-2489, ext. 279

Fillmore Citizen Patrol Disaster Service
Trained volunteers assist in meeting law enforcement objectives for normal daily operations as well as during times of disasters and emergencies.
(805) 524-2233

Platt Branch Library
The library needs adult literacy tutors and teachers, teen and bookstore volunteers.
Woodland Hills
(818) 340-9386


Ventura County Military Collaborative
Operation Snowflake brings Santa Claus out for an afternoon with veterans, military personnel and their loved ones who are struggling during the holidays. Help out by donating new, unwrapped toys and gifts or by volunteering at the December event.
(805) 229-1404

Operation Gratitude
Collect and donate leftover Halloween candy for deployed soldiers or help write letters of appreciation to be included in care packages for troops.
(262) 674-7281

For The Troops
Help this nonprofit operation send care packages to troops abroad by donating items, becoming a sponsor, writing letters to service members or helping pack boxes.
Simi Valley
(805) 306-0830

Military Animal Project
Help provide military veterans who have PTSD, brain injury, anxiety and depression with the means to heal through therapy, emotional support or service dogs and an Equine Buddies program.
(805) 551-1168

Gold Coast Veterans Foundation
Help veterans transition back to civilian life at this resource center through education and career resources, healthcare and housing assistance. Volunteers needed for a host of administrative oppor tunities.
(805) 482-6550


James Storehouse
Benefiting children in the foster care system, volunteers can help with fundraising, marketing, organizing and delivering donations, and helping youths “shop.”
Newbury Park
(805) 499-7161

Ride On Therapeutic Horsemanship
Volunteers needed to groom and tack horses, walk beside riders with disabilities, help with barn and ranch maintenance and staff the outlet store.
Newbury Park, Chatsworth
(805) 375-9078

Casa Pacifica
The volunteer-run Children’s Holiday Boutique gives kids the opportunity to choose from donated holiday gifts for loved ones. Volunteers are also needed for various holiday events.
(805) 366-4040

School on Wheels
Spend an hour every week tutoring children from kindergarten through 12th grade who are homeless or living in shelters and group foster homes.
(805) 641-1678

Toys for Tots Foundation
Donations of new and unwrapped toys are needed to be given to children in the community.
Ventura County
(504) 352-2202

Many Mansions
Volunteers can help at Homework Club weekday afternoons as well as with various administrative work.
Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley
(805) 601-5407

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County
Provide gifts for children in need through the annual Holiday Angels program. Adults can also volunteer year-round as a Big Brother or Sister.
(805) 484-2282

Children’s Services Auxiliary of Ventura County
Through donations made to the Holiday Toy Store, disadvantaged parents and guardians can shop for holiday presents for their children at no charge.
Ventura County
(805) 654-3220

My Stuff Bags
This foundation delivers duffels filled with new donated toys, toiletries, clothes and blankets to kids who had to leave everything behind when brought to foster care.
Westlake Village
(818) 865-3860

Golden Heart Ranch
Volunteers help developmentally disabled teens and young adults with crafts, games and ranch responsibilities in a rural setting.
Agoura Hills


Shop Ahoy
Volunteers shop and deliver weekly groceries to seniors living alone in Ventura County.
(805) 236-1267

Volunteers paired with homebound elders to provide companionship and basic assistance several hours a week. Also need adult team leaders to help youths, volunteers to help at events, transportation drivers and volunteers for the student and Hospital to Homecoming programs.
(805) 658-8530

Camarillo Health Care District
Help make meals for seniors; conduct crafts and activities in the Adult Day Center; volunteer on the Senior Support Line to help via phone seniors who are lonely or searching for community resources; or volunteer at Produce Day on the second Thursday of the month.
(805) 388-1952, ext. 112

Senior Concerns
Volunteer at the Bargain Boutique and Thrift Store and the annual Love Run and Ultimate Dining Experience. Drivers also needed for Meals on Wheels program.
Thousand Oaks
(805) 497-0189


Westminster Presbyterian Church Shelter Program
Serve hot meals and offer compassion and encouragement to the disadvantaged every Wednesday evening. From December through March, a place to sleep and shower is also provided; volunteers are needed to staff the overnight program and donate supplies.
Westlake Village
(818) 889-1491

Conejo Valley Meal & Winter Shelter Program
Volunteers prepare, cook and serve hot meals nightly in this Harbor House program. From Dec. 1 through March 31, volunteers are needed to staff winter overnight shelters.
Thousand Oaks
(805) 410-3752
(805) 464-3533

Many Meals of Camarillo
Pitch in and help this nonprofit volunteer organization serve hot dinners on Mondays and Thursdays to those in need. Volunteers needed throughout the day to pick up and sort food, bag groceries for households, set up dinners, plate food, serve and help guests and clean up.
(805) 388-8742

Ventura County Rescue Mission and Lighthouse for Women & Children
Help with food preparation, meal service and cleanup, plus sorting and stocking food donations. Tutors, counselors and facility maintenance volunteers are also needed. Children 10 and older can volunteer if accompanied by adult.
(805) 436-4599

Organize a food drive, sort and stock the pantry at this food bank aimed at ending hunger in the Conejo Valley.
Thousand Oaks
(805) 497-4959

Salvation Army
Various volunteer and donation opportunities to help feed, clothe, comfort and care for those in need.
Newbury Park, Simi Valley

Gabriel’s House
Adult and youth volunteers are needed to assist with child care, provide specialty services and help with grounds maintenance at this faith-based shelter which serves homeless women and children.
(805) 487-3400

Ojai Valley Family Shelter
Many volunteer opportunities, including site coordinator, food volunteers, intake/screeners, overnight hosts, shower monitors, trailer transportation and laundry services operating out of various Ojai locations Dec. 1 through March 31.
(805) 804-7094

Homeless Count
Volunteer for the annual count and survey of homeless people in Ventura County in late January. The collected data is used by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help determine how much money to allocate for local homeless services.
Ventura County
(805) 658-4342

The Samaritan Center Simi Valley
Volunteers are needed to help staff the nonprofit center’s winter sleep shelters, open nightly Nov. 1 through March 31. Volunteers can also cook, serve or drive.
Simi Valley
(805) 579-9166

Moorpark Pantry Plus
Long-term volunteers are needed to work in the warehouse making food baskets as well as receiving donations and sorting and organizing food.
(805) 529-0720

Ventura Community Services Center
Volunteers can donate dried and canned goods or deliver, stock, transport and distribute food to homebound elderly. The center is run by Catholic Charities Ventura County.
Ventura, Camarillo
(805) 643-4694

Homeless 2 Home
This Lutheran Social Services program needs volunteers to help at the food pantry and the front desk.
Thousand Oaks
(805) 497-6207


Cats Cradle Rescue
Foster cats and kittens, help with adoption events or volunteer in the thrift store.
(805) 485-8811

Shelter Hope Pet Shop
Volunteers are needed to work in the store, foster dogs at night and make toys, blankets and pet beds.
Thousand Oaks
(805) 379-3538

Paw Works
Ages 15 and up can volunteer in Paw Works’ pet adoption stores. Kids 6 to 14 are needed to spread the word about animal rescue at schools and community events.
Thousand Oaks, Ventura
(805) 852-1744

Animal Rescue Volunteers
Foster a dog or volunteer at the annual fundraising event, the Wag ’n Walk, in September.
(805) 579-8047

Humane Society of Ventura County
Volunteer at this private, nonprofit shelter that rescues homeless, neglected or abandoned animals.
(805) 646-6505

Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center
Ages 18 and up can help feed, groom, walk and socialize the center’s animals. Photographers, videographers, grounds maintenance and office assistants are also needed.
Santa Paula
(805) 525-8609

Ventura County Animal Services
Help dogs, cats and bunnies at the shelter.
Camarillo, Simi Valley
(805) 388-4341

National Disaster Search Dog Foundation
This foundation rescues dogs and trains them to join first responders in disaster search-and-rescue efforts. Assist in the office, do outdoor maintenance or help prepare dog food.
Santa Paula
(888) 459-4376

Healthcare for Homeless Animals
Help fund medical care for animals at the Agoura Animal Care Center. Volunteers who complete training with the L.A. County Animal Care and Control program may choose to work with dogs, cats, bunnies and, if qualified, horses. Kitten fosters are especially needed.
Agoura Hills
(818) 483-4228

Valley Cats Inc.
This adoption shelter needs volunteers to foster kittens and cats plus socialize cats, help with cleanup, fundraise and return phone calls.
Westlake Village
(818) 883-5252

Dogs on Deployment
This nonprofit finds volunteers to board pets of military members while they are deployed.
(619) 800-3631

LIFE Animal Rescue
Volunteers needed for Saturday adoption events in Westlake Village, as well as mama cat and litter fostering and, for ages 18+, dog walking on weekdays.
(818) 707-2007 for dogs
(818) 707-6186 for cats


Ojai Valley Land Conservancy
Join this community-based nonprofit in efforts to preserve open space in the Ojai Valley.
(805) 649-6852

Ventura Audubon Society
Interested volunteers can join bird walks, habitat restoration work days, join a committee or even help with chapter infrastructure. All lovers of birds welcome.

California State Parks Foundation
The Park Champions Program holds volunteer work days in state parks across California. Recent projects have included trail repair, invasive plant removal, habitat restoration, fence construction, bridge construction and repainting park structures.
Santa Monica Mountains
(800) 963-7275

California Wildlife Center
Volunteers needed to help injured wildlife and help promote protection of wildlife through care and education. Volunteers are needed seven days a week, 365 days a year to help with dishes and laundry. They are taught how to feed and clean patients at various stages of care.
(310) 458-9453

Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency
Help the government agency preserve and maintain Conejo Valley open space and trails through the Conejo Open Space Foundation. Volunteer opportunities include trail work, trail watch and providing information and assistance to open space visitors.
Thousand Oaks
(805) 449-2329

Community Roots Garden
A ministry of the North Oxnard United Methodist Church, this nonprofit community garden needs volunteers to dig, weed, irrigate, teach and cook as well as help at events.
(805) 616-2326

Friends of the Island Fox
The nonprofit’s conservation and education efforts help save the rare island fox on the Channel Islands. Volunteers needed to help with outreach to local schools.
(805) 228-4123

Surfrider Foundation Ventura County
Nonprofit protects the ocean and beaches with monthly volunteer beach cleanups.

Havasi Wilderness Foundation
This foundation, which provides grants for schools and other groups to visit state parks, needs help promoting the importance of protecting, restoring and preserving our region’s natural ecosystems.
Agoura Hills
(818) 532-7341

MERITO Foundation
Teachers and volunteers are needed to help MERITO (Multicultural Education for Resource Issues Threatening Oceans) teach and engage students on ways to protect the ocean.
Ventura County
(805) 729-0442

National Park Service
Volunteer opportunities abound in the parks system, including garden maintenance, helping in the visitor and culture center, trail education, restoration, horse operations and special events operations.
Newbury Park, Calabasas
(805) 370-2300, ext. 3325

Santa Monica Mountains Fund
Join the organization in helping promote and fund habitat restoration, hiking trail improvements, educational programs and wildlife conservation in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Thousand Oaks
(805) 370-2341

Ojai Raptor Center
This nonprofit rehabilitates and releases birds of prey in Ventura County. Volunteers are needed to clean cages, do laundry, water plants and assist with upkeep.
Oak View

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