Empathy in Action for a Stronger Community

At the Volunteer Center, we build connection between community members by creating opportunities to understand and help one another. Our footprint ranges from group Empathy in Action volunteer events supporting our flagship Food for Kids program, to the Affinity Support Group behind Operation Teddy Bear, to efforts made by those who serve through one of our Nonprofit Network partners. Volunteerism is our method and, regardless of the specific program, the result is the same for participants: a greater sense of personal well-being and increased empathy for our neighbors.

VolCenter Map for Web

Empathy in Action Event Calendar

In support of our Engaging Hearts and Minds (EH&M) Initiative, we host multiple events and drives where volunteers can help underserved and low-income families and children in our region. These activities include:

  • Packing and/or delivering educational kits for the Operation Teddy Bear literacy program (January – March)
  • Assembling and/or dropping off non-perishable meal kits on behalf of Food for Kids (Year-round)
  • Assisting with programs promoting youth mental health and wellness

We welcome individual and group participation, including corporate and service groups seeking team-building opportunities. Groups are required to bring 250 pounds of donated materials for each event. To arrange a hands-on volunteer experience, please send an email to Jon@volcenter.org. Please include the following information:

Group Name

Ages of Participants

Desired Day of the Week

Representative Name and Contact Information</>

Please note, during this time we only have the capacity to host 1-2 events a month, our calendar carousel shows upcoming closed and open events.

[Event Name] Highlights

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Join the Cycle of Care

Volunteer Center

The Affinity Support Group

The Affinity Group is a long-standing example of the Volunteer Center’s committed volunteer force, and of the reciprocal power of volunteerism to benefit both those providing care and those receiving it. Established in 2005 to support the Volunteer Center’s Operation Teddy Bear program, the Affinity Group is a set of dedicated community participants who have a significant impact on underserved children and their families.

Affinity Group members meet six times a year, pay annual dues, participate in special events, and have the first chance to volunteer for Operation Teddy Bear – a popular program among our volunteer base.


Volunteer Roles

We have various open volunteer roles at the Volunteer Center on a rolling basis – something for every skill set. To assist with individual programs, serve on a committee, or participate in focus groups designed to understand our community better, please reach out.


Partner Volunteer Organizations

Throughout our history, the Volunteer Center has collaborated with a network of local and national volunteer organizations in order to have the greatest possible impact. We encourage potential volunteers to consider opportunities captured in these searchable databases.

Points of Light Engage | Just Serve | Volunteer Match

Local Volunteer Opportunities

At home in the South Bay, Harbor, and Long Beach areas, a number of our local peer organizations need committed volunteers. Many allow the participation of children and teenagers, for formative experiences that open young minds.

Stay connected.
Together we can touch hearts and open minds.

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