Project Ideas


  • 2020:

    • TeensVolunteer.org
    • 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?

    356Give.ca - 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.
      • Taking down all the graduation/Bell Ringing Ceremony photos and restaple them on the walls of the computer lab in building #1.
      • 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 

    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 - on Hopper, and play with the animals.  No need to call ahead.
    • 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!)    
      https://www.teenlife.com/blogs/50-community-service-ideas-teen-volunteers
    • 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 VolunteerMatch.org 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 - www.jewishfreecinic.org   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 mroa@sonic.net )
    • 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