Graphic by Alex Guerra
By Emily Chang and Isabelle Oroc
Whether you need community service hours for graduate school applications, or simply want a fulfilling way to spend your weekend, volunteering locally is a great way to accomplish both and give back to our community. Here are some local volunteer opportunities in the beginning of the summer as well as ongoing opportunities that you can check out throughout the year.
On April 24, the Ventura County Aut2Run for Autism is taking place at CI. Volunteer spots on parking crew, course monitoring, race day registration and aid stations are still open for April 23 and April 24. Visit aut2run.org and click on the “Volunteer” tab to sign up for a slot to contribute to help the Aut2Run, where 100% of the proceeds go to Autism Society Ventura County.
In June, two awesome events are taking place: Love Run Westlake and the Ventura County Greek Festival. On June 5, the 28th Anniversary Love Run will be held to benefit Senior Concerns’ Meals on Wheels, helping feed local seniors in need. Click the “Get Involved” tab on loverunwestlake.com to sign up for set up crew, course monitor, aid stations and more.
The Ventura County Greek Festival, planned for June 24, 25 and 26 will be a spectacular show of Greek culture with delicious food, featured dance groups and traditional music! Hosted at Freedom Park in Camarillo, the festival is expected to attract thousands of guests. To get involved with festival set up, drawing, admission, the food and dessert vendors and more, visit vcgreekfestival.org and click on the volunteer “Sign Up Now” button.
If you love long walks on the beach, consider volunteering with the Surfrider Foundation in Ventura County! If you want to volunteer on your own, you can be a solo beach cleanup volunteer and log your cleanup data on the CleanSwell app, more information on their website. The Surfrider Foundation also typically hosts two beach cleanups per month and periodically has other volunteer opportunities available that serve the environment. Grab some friends to help clean up the environment and you can finish the day with a beach hangout! Check out their website for more information and to see their volunteer calendar, which has all the details on registration and location: https://ventura.surfrider.org/volunteer/.
There are also constant volunteer opportunities with Ventura County Rescue Mission, an organization that serves the poor and homeless. You can prepare meals, provide meal service, clean up, sort and stock food donations and more. Go to https://vcrescuemission.org/ to find ways that you can help the organization! To start providing essential services, all you have to do is fill out a volunteer application, present your photo identification and attend a volunteer orientation. If you have any special skills you want to provide to the organization, you can list them on your application to find ways to help out!
Volunteering is good for the community and the soul. As writers of this article, we have personally volunteered with these organizations before and we highly recommend being involved within the community. These events are great ways to contribute to helping others and nothing beats the feeling of creating positive change in your environment. Bring a couple of friends and have fun making a difference in our community!