We’re a fortunate bunch here in Lamorinda. We live in a bubble of caring, loving community. And we know it. Fortunately, we love to give back. Whether you’re looking for an ongoing opportunity or a one-time event, there are plenty of ways to support local charities and have fun volunteering with family and friends in and around the area.
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Making It Easy
Looking for a simple way to be of service in the community? The Orinda Association is ready to help you find what you’re looking for, be it something in the arts, nature, historical preservation or sports. Founded in 1946 as a way to maintain and improve the quality of life in Orinda and mobilize volunteer efforts, The Orinda Association is dialed into what’s going on around town. Check out their website for a list of organizations that are looking for volunteers, then complete their online form to let them know how you’d like to help. They’ll be in touch.
It's A Family Affair
Created by local sisters Jan Broad and Jolyn Aaker, who wanted to teach their children a sense of social responsibility, OPEN organizes monthly events for children and their families to volunteer in order to encourage kindness, compassion and connection. Opportunities include serving dinner at a local family shelter, hosting a pet parade at a senior apartment complex and putting together packs of basic hygiene products for distribution across the homeless community in San Francisco. Visit their website at Open Families or email them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mothers and Daughters Serving The Community Together
National Charity League is a nationwide organization established in 1925 on the principle that serving the community together could help to foster the mother-daughter relationship. NCL as it is known, continues to thrive and grow, with two chapters in the Lamorinda area. Both the Acalanes Area Chapter and the Lamorinda Chapter adhere to the core values of community service, leadership development and cultural experiences. Girls apply to NCL at the end of their sixth grade year and if accepted, continue throughout their high school career. Applicants must have a sponsor and co-sponsor who are current members and are selected through a blind drawing with eight mother-daughter pairs being chosen from each of the three cities. Interested families may get in touch with chapter leadership for help finding a sponsor. Charities served include: Bay Area Rescue Mission, Contra Costa Interfaith Housing, Oakland Zoo, Shelter Inc, Xenaphon Therapeutic Riding Center, Lafayette Partners in Education and many more.
Boys Will Be Boys Helping Out
With chapters in four Western States, Boys Team Charity was founded to provide opportunities for boys to serve the communities in which they live. Like NCL, Boys Team Charity is a non-profit, secular organization open to kids beginning in 7th grade, and continuing through high school. Moms and dads are encouraged to volunteer with their boys at one of the many organizations supported by BTC, including Loaves and Fishes, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Foster a Dream and Family First. Visit their website to find out how to apply.
There's Nothing Junior About It
Each of the three cities of Lamorinda has a Junior Women’s Club dedicated to improving the lives of women, children and the elderly through fundraising efforts and volunteer service. Though the events differ, Lafayette has a local Kitchen Tour and Rummage Sale, Moraga a Hometown Hoedown and Easter Egg Hunt, Orinda the Festival of Trees and Holiday Gift Fundraiser, the goal is the same. Supporting hospitals, senior organizations, and foster families, among others, the Juniors meet once a month to plan and execute service projects for the community. Check their respective websites to find applications and more information on how to join.
Scouting it Out
For over a hundred years, the Girl Scouts have been a part of young people’s lives all over the world. With an emphasis on leadership, the outdoors, civic engagement, philanthropy and faith, the Girl Scouts are open to girls from Kindergarten to Senior year of high school. Lamorinda boasts multiple chapters in each of our three cities, providing kids in the community plenty of opportunities to make new friends and earn awards for service projects of their choosing. As a bonus, participants learn about entrepreneurship through sales of the beloved Girl Scout cookies.
Originally founded as an organization for boys, the Boy Scouts of America now welcomes girls. There are thirteen troops in the Lamorinda area all of which promote Scouting values, including citizenship, character development and self-reliance. Members can earn badges in a number areas including service to special needs, low income, Asian American and Hispanic youth. For many Boy Scouts, the experience culminates in a comprehensive project they create and execute for a local school, church or community organization, just one piece of the many steps required to attain the honor of becoming an Eagle Scout.
With The Assist, It's Diablo Valley
Diablo Valley Assistance League is an all volunteer, non-profit organization committed to helping those in need or at risk in Contra Costa County. The organization runs a program called Assisteens in which teenagers from 7th to 12th grade select their own philanthropic programs and raise the funds to bring them to fruition. Adults are also welcome. Past initiatives have brought books to local school children, backpacks to kids in need, cards and events to local senior citizens and money for foster youth scholarships. Diablo Valley Assistance League runs the Way Side Inn Thrift Store located in Lafayette, which is their primary source of funding.
Whether you want to spend your time helping senior citizens, homeless families, children, the arts, or the environment, Lamorinda offers a whole host of opportunities to get involved and serve your community. Volunteering with family and friends to builds not only bonds between us, but also a better place to live for all of us.