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Volunteer Opportunities

Get involved and give back by supporting our many programs.
We have opportunities to fit your individual availability. Some volunteers work with us weekly, and others participate periodically or annually.

Our volunteers are a vital part of the services we provide to our East Bay community. Whether driving a newly arrived refugee from Afghanistan, visiting a Holocaust survivor in their home, or delivering a meal, each volunteer brings immense consideration, love, and impact to their interactions with our clients.

Check off your specific Interests in Better Impact and let us know how you’d like to help!

Welcome Refugees & Immigrants

Individual and Group Volunteer Opportunities:
There are so many ways to get involved and support the diverse clients we serve. Here are some of the different volunteer opportunities we currently offer: 

Long-Term Volunteer Opportunities: 3+ months

This is a group volunteering opportunity. Teams consist of 4-8 members and are matched with a family to assist them in the resettlement process for 3-4 months. If you are interested in volunteering directly with a refugee family for a couple of months, this is the opportunity for you!

 Individuals are matched with one refugee client to teach or practice ESL. This volunteer opportunity can be in person or on a preferred online platform. Experienced tutors/teachers are preferred but anyone interested is welcome. We do not provide training but offer resources. One hour per week minimum commitment.

This opportunity matches individual volunteers with an aging client in our adult services program. Friendly visitors meet with our clients to provide companionship such as taking walks or light exercise with clients or doing activities together like playing games or cards, watching movies, or reading.

Our storage volunteers meet with clients and donors at our storage units in Walnut Creek to help our clients furnish their new home with items donated from the community. Commitment is flexible, say yes only when you are available.

This is a great pro bono project with a 40-60 hour time commitment over a six-month period for any active, licensed attorney. You don’t need to have any prior experience in immigration law to get involved. JFCS East Bay provides pro bono partners with ample training, expert mentorship, interpreters, thoroughly screened cases with initial document packets, professional liability insurance, case management support, and more!

Host Responsibilities:

  • Provide a private bedroom and bathroom, either in the home or an in-law unit
  • Share facilities such as kitchen and laundry, and small storage area, i.e for bicycles
  • Receive $250 – $500 a month (including utilities) based on client’s income
  • Commit to 3-6 months, with evaluation to continue at 90 days
  • Access to wifi
  • Access to parking, if client has a car
  • Confidentiality

NOTE: A housing host is NOT a sponsor and is not responsible for resettlement duties that sponsors would take on.

Clients will commit to:

  • Providing their own groceries
  • Any house rules, i.e. not wearing shoes inside…
  • Respecting the space by staying clean and tidy
  • No smoking
  • No overnight guests

Short-Term Volunteer Opportunities: 1-3 months

Individual volunteers are matched with a client to empower and mentor them to build the job skills and capabilities needed to find a desired job. Volunteers help clients build resumes and cover letters, practice interview skills, navigate online job search platforms and how to use them, introduce them to trusted job search sites, and connect them with local resource centers and job fairs.

 Support our Refugee Services team by researching available below-market rate housing opportunities open to applications that we can alert our clients about in a timely manner. Great to work on at home, on your own time. Training will be provided.

Shabbat meal drivers bring fresh kosher meals to over 20 homebound seniors and people with disabilities every Friday afternoon to our clients in Berkeley and Oakland.

This is a wonderful opportunity for our younger volunteers 12+ and older, to fulfill any service hours you may have for your high school graduation requirements, or to participate in a mitzvah project for your upcoming b’nai mitzvah. Learn about our work with refugees and gain leadership experience by organizing a collection drive for what our families and clients need the most.

One-Time Volunteer Opportunities:

Volunteers can plan a one-day event at companies, schools, or faith-based organizations to create hygiene kits for refugees that include all the personal care items and cleaning supplies they will need for their first few months here. 

Holiday delivery volunteers bring meals to over 150 homebound seniors and people with disabilities on Rosh Hashanah, Chanukah, and Passover. For each holiday, about 250 meals go to homes throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties.  

Transportation volunteers help our clients by giving them rides to doctors’ appointments or places that newcomers need to go. These opportunities are generally one-time commitments for a couple of hours.  

Once a month, we ask volunteers to help deliver rent checks to our clients who are receiving financial assistance. Volunteers need to be able to drive to our Concord office to pick up checks and then deliver them to the various cities that our clients live in.  

Do you own a large vehicle or truck? Hauler volunteers pick up and deliver furniture items to clients that do not have the ability to pick up their own furniture. This usually involves picking up a couch (for example) from a donor and delivering it to a client in another city. 

Translator and interpreter volunteers provide translation assistance for a variety of tasks such as making appointments, filling out paperwork, reading documents, and can also assist with interpreting legal documents. This opportunity can be done either in person, over the phone, or virtually. 

If you would like to get involved in any of these ways, please email Please remember that all volunteer opportunities with JFCS East Bay require proof of vaccination against COVID-19. Want to get involved in a different way? Email us at and let us know what you’d like to do!

How To Volunteer

To get started, please create a volunteer account in Better Impact and let us know your interests. We will follow up to request a standard background check. All volunteer opportunities with JFCS East Bay require proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

After you create your account and complete a background check, a Volunteer Coordinator will send current openings and opportunities based on your interests. You will receive any necessary training and orientation and be assigned a volunteer role.

The Volunteer Coordinator provides detailed guidance at the beginning of every placement and is always available for feedback and questions.

If you have any questions, please contact

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Volunteer Services is collecting Gift Cards of all types and other items from our Amazon Gift Registry to support over 300 families by December.

This list was carefully compiled based on what our clients have requested the most. We are grateful for any contribution!