Stepping Forward Together
Empathy is the gift that lasts a lifetime
At the Volunteer Center, we touch hearts and open minds through the endless potential of empathy. By focusing our efforts and interactions on the practice of empathy, we change the way people live and connect. The result is that our community becomes more resilient on the inside and more giving on the outside.
For nearly 60 years, we have worked alongside community members to mobilize quickly where care is needed most.
Empathy and resilience are our tools. Volunteerism is our delivery method. Joining us means engaging with Empathy in Action – programs and experiences that prioritize social and emotional wellness; service-learning; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and that impart essential life and well-being skills to youth and adults alike.
We want to invite you to volunteer with us for our annual Operation Teddy Bear program. Operation Teddy Bear is a volunteer-powered literacy program that provides school bags filled with books and educational materials along with a lesson in kindness and volunteering to our local area's most underserved first-graders.
Get Involved Today
Court-Referred Community Members
Our court-referred community members conduct service as an alternative sentence, experiencing personal transformation through service-learning. We administer the Court-Referred Community Service (CRCS) program by matching volunteers with the most suitable nonprofit organizations by location and subject matter. The CRCS program accommodates participants’ family, employment, and educational obligations. We also schedule community members for empathy-building experiences such as the Hospital and Morgue (HAM) program and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Victim Impact Panels.LEARN MORE
Youth and Teens
More than ever, it’s a challenging time to be a teen. Our youth need to experience empathy for and from their community – and for themselves. Our programs and experiences for teens offer meaningful opportunities to connect with peers, learn about community needs and serve others. In addition, our programs focus on helping teens maintain a sense of wellbeing by expressing feelings, practicing life skills and overcoming challenges. All of our programs and scholarships are designed to empower and engage youth while touching their hearts and opening their minds.LEARN MORE
Empathy in Action Events
Through our programs, including Food for Kids and Operation Teddy Bear, we empower and build connections between community members in the spirit of service. We now host families and professional organizations for team-building experiences at the Volunteer Center facility, ideally suited for people of all ages and backgrounds including school groups, faith communities, small and large business teams. Participants engage in learning and empathy experiences, including hands-on volunteer activities. These events help local groups, donors, and volunteers to more fully understand the needs of their fellow citizens.JOIN US
Our donors help us create an umbrella of care around community members experiencing immediate hardship and distress. For example, volunteer-organized donation drives that fill the cupboards for our Food for Kids program meet a basic need for children, providing meals to low-income and unhoused families. We encourage community and business groups to organize their own distribution and collection events, showing Empathy in Action. We provide guidance and tips on creating a successful drive.LEARN MORE
Ongoing Volunteer Roles
We deliver empathy and resilience through volunteerism, and your involvement makes our continuous cycle of care possible. Step forward into one of these immediate opportunities:
Help Us When You Shop
Individual donors can make an impactful empathetic gesture toward our community simply by shopping. Configure your accounts to share community and matching rewards with us. At Ralph’s and Food for Less, simply visit your online account and select the Community Rewards tab, where you can search for and add “Volunteer Center South Bay.”
Our Valued Sponsors
Without these generous organizations, we would not be able to provide the umbrella of care that our programs, volunteers, and community members create together.
If you have any questions regarding community service, community labor, HAM, and/or MADD, you may contact us via email at email@example.com, call or visit one of our offices listed below.