Help Finding Advertised Opportunities by Non-Profits

    • November 2022: 

      Wildfire is a major threat to the health and safety of our communities in Northern California

      In partnership with California Climate Action Corps, CVNL has launched a climate impact wildfire prevention project in all of our four counties (Marin, Napa, Solano and Sonoma).  If students would like to help make a difference in their community by volunteering with a CVNL climate project, they can express an interest by clicking here!
      For more project information click here

    • Conservation Works: a nonprofit that is looking for volunteers to plant milkweed for Monarch butterflies.  Here is their volunteer page on their website.
    • August 2022: California Coastal Clean-Up Day!  Sept. 17th from 9 to 11.  Here is the flyer and registration information.
    • August 2022: Friends of the Petaluma River sent out their flyer requesting volunteers for their annual river clean up and BBQ at Steamer Landing (near D Street Bridge).  Please read their flyer here.
    • May 2022:  Female students in grades 7-12 can volunteer to help girls from low income families in India learn English through the non-profit OneProsper International based in San Francisco.  The time commitment is 30 minutes/week for 10 weeks (this is 5hrs).  This is their "English Learning Buddy Program". 
    • April 2022:  be a volunteer at Discovery Day at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds on May 15!  5,000 kids are expected to pass through the event and each booth needs a volunteer attendant to assist the guests with the activity.  Here is the flyer for volunteers - they also need helpers for set up and/or clean up.  Sign up by May 5.
    • Fall 2021: a sophomore volunteered at  SNAP Cats  on Petaluma Hill Road and here is what she said:

      I heard about snapcats through nothing actually, I wanted to do volunteering at any place that had animals and I just happened to look up cat volunteering places or whatnot on the internet and saw that. My mom called and they said that if you are 16 or older you can volunteer without an adult. I thought it was cool that there were so many cats and it was nice to play with them and give them attention. Snapcats is a disabled cat place and they have all sorts of cats there. There is one that wobbles a lot and his name is Jeff. He is black and white and is still a kitten. They have rooms which are titled kitten room and balcony, old cats or just cats that are not kittens, and their balcony and the leukemia room for the cats that have it. It's not cancer, it's more of an infection that lasts forever and if the cats make it past the kittens, then they will only live for about 3 years. It doesn't affect people, it just affects other animals. The place is run by a guy but I forgot his name and he lives there and takes care of all the cats. There is an in-place vet care system in the building so he doesn't have to leave the cats. The place is located in Santa Rosa. I would totally do it again this semester because I do miss the cats and I want to see them again. You can cuddle the cats or clean around the place, I chose to cuddle because who wants to clean. But I do help occasionally with cleaning when they need it.

    • Fall 2021: a senior volunteered at American Made Miniatures Farm Sanctuary in Petaluma - and she took miniature horses into classrooms to visit children!  Here is what she said:

      I volunteered with American Made Miniatures Farm Sanctuary at Penngrove Elementary and Clearwater at Sonoma Hills (assisted living for seniors). My parents own the farm sanctuary but I choose which events I want to volunteer for. I enjoy when we take the animals to these places because I can see how happy it makes the people we visit. The best part of my experience volunteering was when seeing how excited the kids, teachers, seniors and staff were to see the animals. I would do it again and 100% recommend it to others. If we get the opportunity to visit places like these again I would be thrilled to volunteer there. Find service work that has to do with something you enjoy, it makes it so much more fun!

    • 12/10/21 Square Peg is looking for students to volunteer their time to care for rescued racehorses at their ranch in Sonoma.  We already have one student there who is having a great time and he wanted to tell all of us about it and be sure you all know that it is a great opportunity.  Square Peg is willing to do a group orientation for a group of Valley Oaks students next month.  Are you interested?  It is a 30minute drive from Valley Oaks (14 miles) but well worth it if you love horses or nature.  Please email Mrs. Parker ( so she can make arrangements with Square Peg.
    • 12/1/21 Voices is an NGO (non-governmental organization) that supports Foster Children as they launch into adulthood; one of our students is spending the day with Voices Sonoma (the branch for Sonoma County) painting a recreation room to freshen it up.  You can contact them and ask them if there is anything you could do to help out!
    • Saturday 11/13/21 at Penry Park at 9:30 am: All PCS students and families are invited to participate in a community watershed clean-up on Saturday 11/13 at Penry Park at 9:30 am. We invite everyone to join us in learning how to help our watershed and participating in a day of action. Hear from a guest speaker to learn about how trash affects our water life, along with instructions for our digital clean-up app and plans for the day.  We will then all explore our community and work together to pick up garbage and recycling to reduce trash on the ground before the rainy season.
      Download Litterati and then use this code: 102654 to join me in this challenge: PCS Community Clean-up. Download the app here:    Please contact Gina Roberts at with any questions.
    • The Miracle League Here in Petaluma at Lucchesi Park, a baseball field was recently built for The Miracle League.  This is a baseball league for handicapped kids.  They need a buddy for each handicapped youngster to help them throughout each baseball game - to be their encourager and private coach and maybe run the bases with them or help them reach up to catch a ball, etc.  The Miracle League is a non-profit that helps interested adults build fields and start leagues.  They are always looking for volunteers, especially teenagers, to help out.  From their website, : "Getting involved is easy, The Miracle League and your local Chapter are always looking for volunteers, buddies to assist on field, coaches, donors and sponsors. Contact Stephanie Davis at the Miracle League corporate office to learn how you might help."
    • Friends of the Petaluma River 9am-12pm or 10am - 1pm on Feb.13, 2021:  Friends is stepping efforts to keep our local waterways clean with ongoing creek cleanups throughout the year. With support from Sonoma Water and in partnership with the City of Petaluma, Friends is hosting small creek cleanups that can help target the neediest areas in our Watershed.  Sign up below to join an upcoming cleanup.  We are keeping these groups small in order to comply with CDC and County COVID-19 regulations and keep our volunteers safe. Please wear a face covering and maintain social distancing when volunteering at a creek cleanup.   click here
    • Go to the Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership “CVNL”.  This organization is the new name for the Volunteer Center of Sonoma County which as of 2019 merged with neighboring county volunteer centers.        Go to “Volunteer Services” and choose “Sonoma County” or  choose “Teen Volunteers”
    • January/February:  MAKE/WRITE A VALENTINE FOR LOCAL SENIORS Petaluma People Services Center Phone (707) 765-8488 The Petaluma People Services Center plans to deliver a cheerful Valentine’s Day card to every senior they can find in Southern Sonoma County. To do so, the nonprofit is asking crafty community members to make as many cards as they can (from one on up), sign it with a nice message, and get it to PPSC by Monday, Feb. 8, so it can be delivered in time for Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14.  This the 11th year for the popular project. In 2020, PPSC received over 5,000 valentines.  Receiving a handmade or hand-signed Valentine from a community member often goes a long way to bringing joy to seniors who may be feeling lonely and isolated. We would love to add YOUR handmade greeting card to the delivery of meals (Meals on Wheels program) to our Petaluma seniors. Even if you don’t live in Petaluma you can help by lovingly making and penning a sweet message inside a Valentines and we will deliver it.
    • 11/5/2020:  click here to see a flyer from Alphabet Soup, a Petaluma thrift store looking for volunteers
    • 10/28/2020: 
      • a great resource for community service:  I (Susan Cook, our school secretary) do work with Lynne Gordon Moquete, who teaches at Casa and runs a non-profit called Una Vida. She does amazing work in our community coordinating food distribution to the food insecure. There are a lot of easy ways to get involved (sorting bags, organizing groceries, etc.) and one of our students could easily knock out 5 hours in a day or over the course of a couple of days. Please feel free to have students contact me (Susan Cook - or 778-4794) if they want to help out and I can help direct them. Much of her help is from her Casa students, so she welcomes student volunteers.
    • VolunteerCrowd - for those of you with an iPhone this is a free app
    • Watch this 8min. video to be inspired to write letters to people in assisted care centers/homes or elsewhere, possibly with artwork and/or your poetry
    • ask a teacher if there is anyone that you can tutor using Zoom
    • become a Big Sister/Big Brother and meet virtually/in Zooms
    • Make artistic/attractive greeting cards that others can use and put a ribbon on them and bring them to the Mary Isaac Center for them to give to people who cannot afford to buy professional greeting cards
    • train your dog to become a therapy dog and get permission to visit people in hospitals
    • Make your own homemade yard signs that say "thank you, front line/health care/ workers or heroes" and give them to people to put in their front yards
    • bake cookies for the local fire station, police station, first responders and deliver them
    • join Cake4Kids and bake goodies for foster care youth
    • Citizen Science opportunities - for example with the local Madrone Audubon Society 
    • Miscellaneous Citizen Science and Environmental opportunities here 
    • contact any non-profit organization and offer to clean windows or rake leaves or wash their vehicles or paint the exterior of one of their buildings
    • paint ceramic tiles and contact non-profits to see who would want you to install them as an artistic wall - a school? - note: some local elementary schools are using this site for instructing their students about how to do community service.  This is not the approach we are using.  If you click on the website link you will see that these kinds of activities are more about being a nice person, a good neighbor, and a responsible citizen in small ways - smiling at a stranger, taking out a neighbors trash can, recycling your water bottle, feeding the birds, etc.

    Consider doing one or many projects for Valley Oaks School such as:

    • Ask any staff member if they have projects they need to be done that you could do or help with.  Here are some you could ask Mrs. Parker about:
      • Taking down all the graduation/Bell Ringing Ceremony photos and put them into our scrapbooks.
      • Make an 8th Grade Promotion Banner to help decorate the room for the ceremony
      • Hang the new t-shirt drawings from the New Student Packets and take down some old ones
      • Make cards with our VOS logo on them
      • Make candy leis for the 8th grade promotion 
      • Make cupcakes for the 8th grade promotion
      • Make a Welcome! Banner for school functions
      • Fix up the school sign:  re-paint it, fix the letters/numbers, just get the cobwebs off.
      • Be a student speaker at a School Board meeting (May).  Make a video of our school of this year’s events and activities and students
      • Bake cookies for Back to School Night or for the state testing days.  
      • Prepare a Holiday Delivery to our neighbors (PEP Housing & the National Guard Armory) from VOS.  
      • Try to sell/promote VOS logo items.   Do a fundraiser to purchase/offset costs of logo items for the school and students, build school pride!
      • Write an Argus Courier article promoting VOS.
      • Work on our grounds (pull weeds, prune roses, and bushes). ← plant bulbs?  
      • Make an entertaining new video for the Informational Meetings (&/or our website) that interviews students and tours the campus or that has some other theme like “The VOS Neighbors” or “A Typical Day”.
      • Take photos for our school website and share them with Mrs. Parker

    Any ideas are welcome - please just ask us.  In the past a group of students did a wrapping paper fundraiser for the Student Room red chairs, campaigning for a Rebuilding Together VOS student team, an Earth Day group from VOS to attend the Beach Clean Up event, and more.

    Other Ideas:

    • 16yrs or older & >110lbs:  donate blood (may take 1 to 3 hours to draw depending on how you want your blood to be taken, plus time for travel to the center) at Vitalant in Santa Rosa
    • Drop-in at the Petaluma Animal Shelter - North Bay Animal Services - 840 Hopper St., and play with the cats in the Cat Cafe.  No need to call ahead, but if you are under 18, they require you to have an adult to supervise.
    • Contact a director of a non-profit senior living center and ask them if a senior is in need of a visit.  Read, play a game, talk with them.
    • Outdoor opportunities with Sonoma County Regional Parks, Point Reyes National Seashore, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and Marin County Parks & Preserves
    • Petaluma Wheelmen - a bicycle club go here and see their COMMUNITY SERVICE AND OUTREACH
    • go here to see volunteer opportunities with The Friends of the Petaluma River
    • Lynch Creek Trail Clean-Up: Friends of Lynch Creek are provide gloves, bags, pickers, dumpsters.  Pick up trash from N. McDowell to Lakeville.  
    • Try this website with ideas just for teens! (Thanks to VOS student, Althea Patchett!) 
    • Go to the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership and click on “Find an Opportunity” 
    • Try going to the Sonoma County Gazette’s long list of volunteering ideas
    • Try going to a list of all the watershed and beach clean-up days (use the contact information to get current dates)
    • Try going to and search Petaluma and click on teens or kids (one opportunity there can be done completely online:  “use social media to inform others about multiple sclerosis”)
    • Jewish Community Free Clinic in Santa Rosa -   They are asking for volunteers - phones, and support work for their medical office.  So if you are interested in the medical field this is a good one for you!
    • Coastal Clean-Up Day with Heal the Bay
    • The North Bay Science Discovery Day at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds is looking for student volunteers - Sat. Oct. 28.  Contact Mike Roa (I ask that the students do 3-hour “shifts,” which leaves plenty of time to explore the exhibits before or after their shift. Interested students (or a teacher-coordinator) should contact me at )
    • Do a food drive for COTS at Thanksgiving
    • To get “that last required hour done right away” why not try this website:
    • Do chores for a disabled neighbor or someone in a nursing home
    • Sponsor a child from a poorer country by doing Lemonade sales or selling See’s candy and spend time writing letters to the child
    • Sponsor an endangered animal through the World Wildlife Fund’s adoption center online by doing a Sally Foster fundraiser.  Make a poster about the animal and flyers to help educate the VOS community about endangered animals
    • Do The Human Race for the Sonoma Humane Society in May (The Human Race is in Santa Rosa and there is one in Marin called the Bay Area Human Race)
    • Organize gift bags for the Mary Isaak Center residents at the holidays