Giving Back: Oakland Volunteering Opportunities
James Granatowski · October 19, 2015 ·
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As a new arrival in any town, it’s easier to become an observer of a community than it is to become a member of it. But to truly be part of your new city, interaction is mandatory. This holds true especially in major metropolitan cities like Oakland, where important social and political community projects can always use some helping hands. It’s a great way to give back to your new home and escape that observer trap we so easily fall into. Below we’ve compiled a list of eleven excellent Oakland-based volunteer work projects covering a wide array of topics and needs. This will not only assist you in meeting new people and becoming informed, but it’ll help your new community and illustrate your dedication to improving it. If you’re going to live somewhere, why not make it better?
 

  • The Eastside Arts Alliance – The ESAA is an organization comprised of people of color intent on giving back to their neighborhoods and making them beautiful. Focusing on youth in the San Antonio district of Oakland, their multi-cultural team organizes a variety of events, classes, and community projects that tackle the most pressing issues of the city today.
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  • Prescott-Joseph Center for Community Enhancement – The Prescott-Joseph Center is a West Oakland organization focused on enhancing the lives of individuals. They provide education, health and wellness, and training in crucial skills to facilitate community and economic development in West Oakland.
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  • East Oakland Youth Development Center – Established in 1978, the EOYDC began and still exists as an organization to help disenfranchised youth in the area receive an education and gain training equal to that of wealthier students. They focus on character building by employing adults that are caring and relatable to the youth.
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  • The Alameda County Community Food Bank – Operating since 1985, the ACCFB provides for 240 non-profit agencies in Alameda County, striving to end local, and eventually worldwide, hunger.
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  • Alameda Meals on Wheels/Friendly Visitors – Promoting independent living for homebound individuals of all ages, the Alameda Friendly Visitors seek to establish meaningful one-on-one connections weekly with the help of trained employees and volunteers.
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  • Bay Area Girls Rock Camp – This Oakland-based nonprofit organization uses music education, practice, and performance to empower young girls throughout the Bay Area. Encouraging acceptance and tolerance for girls of all stripes, the Bay Area Girls Rock Camp celebrates diversity through hands-on work.
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  • Girls Inc. of Alameda County – A local affiliate of the national Girls Inc. nonprofit, the Alameda County chapter is dedicated to building confidence, knowledge, and skills in young girls for a brighter future of empowered women.
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  • Critical Resistance – Dedicated to the abolishment of the prison industrial complex, Critical Resistance is a national grassroots organization comprised of serious activists seeking to destroy the practice of caging humans for punishment and profit.
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  • Family Paths – A multicultural agency committed to providing counseling and mental health therapy for low-income individuals and families. Professionals and volunteers work together to counsel and assist the multi-stressed and disenfranchised of the Bay Area.
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  • Save the Bay – A nonprofit dedicated to cleaning up and restoring the beautiful bay that surrounds our communities. Save the Bay employs hands-on volunteers to contribute to the environmental health of the bay through direct action.
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  • Family Violence Law Center – Providing a variety of volunteer work options, the FVLC focuses on helping local victims of domestic abuse with counseling and crisis intervention since 1978.
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  • Bottoms Up Community Garden – Bottoms Up Community Garden is a community-based organization, growing food, experimenting with urban agriculture and inspiring the local community to engage in food security.
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JAMES GRANATOWSKI

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