Social Responsibility is one of the three focus areas of the YMCA. It is through the generosity of volunteers that the YMCA of Orange County is able to give back to your community.
Benefits of Being a Volunteer
In addition to feeling great about your commitment and efforts, volunteers have the opportunity to:
- Experience personal growth
- Give back to their community
- Expand knowledge and skills
- Fulfill community service requirements for school credit
- Develop new relationships
- Gain community service experience
- Learn, grow and HAVE FUN!
The YMCA of Orange County has over 70 childcare sites that range from East Los Angeles County to South Orange County!
How you can help: Volunteers can help a child develop skills needed to succeed in school and in day to day life by providing one-on-one mentoring and tutoring at one of our child care sites. This opportunity is ideal for individuals who enjoy working with children, are currently enrolled in an accredited institution and/or an ROP Program and are able to commit to a weekly schedule.
The Y strives to keep programs open to all, which means the need for funds to support our scholarship programs. Volunteers can help us fundraise by taking part in our Annual Campaign or creating their own fundraiser that will benefit the Y.
How you can help: This opportunity is ideal for individuals/groups who want a flexible volunteer schedule, are comfortable asking others to help in a cause they believe in and who wish to impact the opportunities that others have to learn, grow and thrive. Campaign volunteers are typically committing to a few hours a week over a 2-3 month period.
Camp E.L.K is located an hour from Pomona Valley, just outside Wrightwood, CA. This overnight camp allows children and adults to unplug from everyday life, explore the great outdoors, and connect with themselves and others. Camp E.L.K. features traditional camp activities and ways to find adventures like hiking, swimming, ropes courses, and archery. There are four great ways to explore camp with youth summer & winter camp, family camps and group rentals.
How you can help: Volunteers can assist as a Camp Cabin Counselor and Volunteer Junior Counselor under the Leader in Training Program. Volunteers provide assistance in all aspects of the camper’s daily routine including but not limited to: meals, cabin clean-up, camper hygiene, rest hour, activity participation, etc. This opportunity is ideal for individuals that are able to commit to at least one week during summer session between Sunday-Friday.
Corporate and Groups
The YMCA has several drives that corporate and volunteer groups can support. Please see below for additional information
Essentials for Young Lives and Service Learning Donation Drive (Spring)
- Mothers and children are the fastest-growing segments of the homeless population. The Y partners with HomeAid and the Children and Families Commission of Orange County to raise essentials and awareness to support homeless families as they rebuild their life.
- How you can help: Participate by donating and conducting drives for essential care items like diapers, care products and food for homeless infants and toddlers.
Backpack and Supply Drive (Summer)
- The YMCA’s goal is to ensure that kids in our underserved communities are prepared to learn. Having the proper supplies allows children to feel confident that they can succeed in a classroom environment.
- How you can help: Participate by collecting backpacks and supplies at your office! You can also host backpack “stuffing parties”!
Holiday Blanket and Bag Drive (Winter)
- Make a blanket for a senior citizen or do a holiday bag drive for a senior citizen in need!
- How you can help with the blanket drive: Helps us fulfill our mission by providing low-income and homeless senior citizens with a warm handmade tie blanket made by your team! Groups are responsible for covering the costs of the blankets. A Y staff member will buy all of the supplies and coordinate a day with your team to come to you and host a blanket making event! Cost per blanket is estimated at $11.
- How you can help: Participate by collecting essential items for low income seniors. The Y will deliver empty bags to your office and your group is encouraged to organize your efforts and host holiday bag, “stuffing party”!
Stockings for The Troops (Winter)
- The Y partners with Words of Comfort Hope and Promise to help bring cheer to our troops overseas.
- How you can help: Participate by donating and conducting drives to collect items that will be stuffed into a stocking and sent to several troops overseas. The Y provides a box as well as collects all items that are donated.
KidZone is where kids go to have fun while their parents work out.
How you can help: Volunteers can help with story time, administrative duties, and with supervising children. This opportunity is ideal for individuals who enjoy working with children and are able to commit to a weekly schedule.
Membership volunteers have a wide variety of volunteer roles which can include anything from administrative duties to greeting our members as they enter the gym.
How you can help: participate by welcoming members to the Y. Help promote our local programs and assist with members general questions. This opportunity is ideal for those who are able to commit to a weekly schedule and who are outgoing and able to speak with the members.
Sports volunteers are role models that help our youth develop sportsmanship and character by focusing on the Y’s core values: Caring, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility. Volunteers conduct practices and work with other coaches to provide a positive game experience for all participants. Programs include basketball, soccer and baseball.
How you can help: Practices are held once a week during the evening and games are played on Saturdays. This opportunity is ideal for individuals that are able to commit to an entire season which can range from 8-10 weeks.
Youth and Government
The YMCA’s Youth and Government program is a national program that involves thousands of teens nationwide in state-organized, model-government programs. Students from all areas and backgrounds have the opportunity to learn civic engagement and practice democracy. Teens meet at their local Y and attend statewide events throughout the year to discuss and debate issues that affect citizens in their state. Currently, the YMCA of Orange County has several local clubs that meet monthly.
How you can help: Youth and Government is a volunteer ran program. Lead Advisors and Advisors play an important role to the teens as they offer mentoring and relationship building. They are truly the backbone of our program. They assist empowering youth to become leaders and responsible citizens within our community. Lead Advisors and Advisors are responsible for coordinating and hosting monthly meetings and attends all state conferences. This opportunity is ideal for individuals that are able to make an ongoing commitment for a minimum length of one year.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to be a YMCA member to volunteer?
No, you do not need to be a YMCA member to volunteer for the YMCA of Orange County, Pomona Valley, Riverside County, and East San Gabriel Valley. We welcome members and non-members to get involved in their community through volunteering.
What volunteer roles are available?
The YMCA wants to share your skill sets and strengths with the community while learning new ones! There are a number of volunteer roles available for you to be a part of! Each volunteer role varies in length of service and time commitment. Please see current opportunities for more information on how to get involved.
How do I apply to be a volunteer?
Once you identify a volunteer role that suits your needs and skill level, you can apply by submitting a volunteer application. Applications can be completed online or at the facility you’re seeking to volunteer for. Once your application is submitted, the Volunteer Coordinator will contact you to go over the next steps.
What is the current screening process?
All ongoing program volunteers will be required to go through a criminal background check. Certain volunteer roles will require additional screening such as TB test, FBI screening, and drug testing. If volunteering for a special event, volunteers will be required to complete a waiver.
Does volunteering at the YMCA accept court-ordered community service?
The YMCA has chosen not to accept court-ordered community service.
How old do I need to be to volunteer?
Volunteers are required to be at least 16 years old in order to participate in ongoing volunteer opportunities. Volunteers between the ages of 14 and older are welcome to participate at one of our many special events. Parental consent will be required for all volunteers under the age of 18.
How are my hours documented?
Once you become a volunteer, you’ll be given a PIN number which will allow you to sign in and out when volunteering at the Y. Your hours will be tracked in real time under our volunteer software, Volgistics.
How much time do I need to volunteer?
Volunteer commitments vary per location. The YMCA will try its best to work with you to find a role that meets your availability and schedule.
How much training is required?
All ongoing volunteers will be required to take an online Volunteer Orientation, Child Abuse Prevention and Role Specific Training. Sports volunteers will also be required to take a concussion training.
Is there a dress code for volunteering?
Dress code will vary on the role. Once approved to volunteer, your supervisors will discuss dress code requirements.
Do I get a free membership?
The Y currently does not offer complimentary memberships for volunteers.
Is there a question we didn’t answer?
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org