San Francisco is home to thousands of dedicated nonprofits doing important work for the community. The following organizations welcome help from short-term volunteers, and are recommended for alternative spring, summer, or winter break activities.
In January and February, groups of up to eight or more people receive a free night’s stay (up to five nights) at a HI USA hostel for each day of volunteering in the local community as part of our Great Hostel Give Back initiative!
Take a look at some of the awesome non-profit organizations below and make a booking for your gang at HI San Francisco City Center Hostel, where you’ll connect with other travelers and get to know the city.
Hamilton Family Center
1631 Hayes St.
Provides food and shelter, as well as services that allow clients to return to self-sufficiency.
Contact: Audrey Muntz, 1 (415) 292-9930 ext. 305 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Gregory's Episcopal Church
500 De Haro St.
On Friday afternoons they serve nearly three tons of food to about 300 local families and individuals. There is also a Food Pantry one Sunday each month.
Contact: Sara Miles, 1 (415) 255-8100 or email@example.com.
Martin de Porres Hospitality House
225 Potrero Ave.
Volunteers needed to serve breakfast (Mondays, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 6:00 - 8:15 a.m.) and lunch (Tuesday - Saturday, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.).
Contact: Charlie or Jim, 1 (415) 552-0240 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Faithful Fools
234 Hyde St.
Aims to be present with and address the existence of poverty in the midst of material wealth, by meeting people where they are through arts, education, advocacy, and accompaniment.
Contact: Reverend Kay Jorgensen, 1 (415) 474-0508 or email@example.com.
Project Homeless Connect
Connects homeless individuals with services ranging from food and medical care to housing and skills development.
Contact: 1 (415) 255-3908 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Children of Shelters
Provides children living in homeless shelters with educational and cultural experiences to help them realize their potential.
Contact: 1 (415) 563-6082 or email@example.com.
San Francisco Aids Foundation
995 Market St.
From staffing the California AIDS Hotline to supporting fundraising efforts, volunteers are a critical component of day-to-day work.
Contact: Sergio Cano, 1 (415) 487-8014 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center
730 Polk St.
Aims to educate, support, empower, and advocate for Asian and Pacific Islander communities, particularly those living with, or at risk for, HIV/AIDS.
Contact: Ruben Garcia, 1 (415) 292-3420 ext. 324 or email@example.com.
AIDS Housing Alliance
427 South Van Ness Ave.
Provides resources for new housing and promotes public policy to increase opportunities for people with HIV/AIDS.
Contact: Brian Basinger, 1 (415) 552-3242 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pets are Wonderful Support (PAWS)
645 Harrison St. #100
The time and effort volunteers invest helps hundreds of clients stay with their beloved animal companions.
Contact: Daniel Marlay, 1 (415) 979-9550 or email@example.com.
San Francisco Rescued Orphan Mammal Program
879 47th Ave.
Programs include public education, rehabilitating injured/orphaned mammals for release back to the wild, habitat restoration, and biodiversity preservation.
Contact: Jamie, 1 (415) 350-9453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
San Francisco Recreation & Parks Natural Areas Programs
Renews parks and recreation centers through community service through planting and habitat restoration.
Contact: Kristin Bowman, 1 (415) 831-6325 or email@example.com.
Friends of the Urban Forest
Learn hands-on skills such as tree identification and proper planting and pruning techniques, while forming connections with community members and their trees.
Contact: Reed Milnes, 1 (415) 561-6890 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zen Hospice Project
273 Page St.
Operates on a model that transcends "charity work," by encouraging a mutually beneficial relationship between volunteers and people who are dying.
Contact: Mark Matheson, 1 (415) 863-2910 or email@example.com.
Hospice by the Bay
1902 Van Ness Ave.
Offers hospice care to patients facing life-threatening illnesses with a prognosis of six months or less.
Contact: Ann Bednarczyk, 1 (415) 626-5900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly
909 Hyde St. #628
Provides outreach, advocacy, and companionship to isolated elders by visiting, socializing, and helping with household tasks.
Contact: Gina Withers, 1 (415) 771-7957 ext. 107 or email@example.com.
LYRIC - Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center
A community center for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.
Contact: Valentin Aguirre, 1 (415) 703-6150 ext. 27 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arab Cultural and Community Center
2 Plaza St.
Aims to promote mutual understanding between the Arab community and the community at large, working against prejudice and anti-Arab sentiments.
Contact: Inas Elmashni, 1 (415) 664-2200 or email@example.com.