Lend a Hand: Volunteer opportunities in the Modesto region

Call the Volunteer Center of United Way at (209) 524-1307, email or go to

Volunteers needed for special events



NEEDED: Volunteers 16 and older are needed to help with setup Oct. 11 and setup and cleanup Oct. 12. Individuals of all ages are encouraged to walk in this local event and to raise donations from family, friends, and co-workers. Check-in is at 8 a.m., followed by an opening ceremony, with the walk beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Gallo Center for the Arts and traveling through downtown Modesto. There is no registration fee and no minimum fundraising amount to participate. For more information, visit, or to sign up:

CONTACT: Jasmyn Landry, (209) 524-7241,


NEEDED: Volunteers 18 and older who are also registered California voters are needed Nov. 4 to serve as Stanislaus County Election officers at the polls. Election officers set up the voter precinct, maintain ballot security, voting equipment and assist voters as necessary. Bilingual and “on call” election officers are also needed. Elections officers receive a $95 stipend for their time and commitment, which includes 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Election Day and mandatory training class.

Training provides an overview of the Election Day process and provides hands-on equipment instruction to ensure accurate setup and operation of the voting equipment. Training classes in Modesto, Oakdale and Turlock are offered Oct. 14-25. Visit

CONTACT: Registrar of Voters, (209) 525-5233; or

Ongoing volunteer positions


NEEDED: Volunteers, age 14 years and older can gain retail experience while they cashier, sort, price and steam merchandise and set up displays. Volunteers are need four hours per week with flexible day and evening shifts available. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Donations of new or gently used items such as costume and fine jewelry, clothing, art, antiques, or collectables also are needed.

CONTACT: Pat Dickerson, (209) 544-9279


NEEDED: Volunteers 21 and older are needed to be mentors for at-risk youth between the ages of 9 and 17 who live in areas of significant disadvantage in Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties. The purpose of the mentoring program is to prevent delinquency, truancy, drug use, gang involvement and other high-risk behavior and activities, while improving academic performance, making healthier choices and becoming positive members of society.

Volunteer mentors will be thoroughly trained and matched with an at-risk youth to develop and form a healthy relationship, which requires a minimum of one year. The mentor and youth relationship is built around meeting individually for a minimum of two hours a week and doing monthly recreational activities with other program participants. Volunteers must be 21 or older and pass a background check.

CONTACT: Edgar Garibay,, (209) 444-5927


NEEDED: Volunteers 18 and older are needed for opportunities including filing, data entry, senior meals intake and driveing for the Meals on Wheels program. All volunteers must fill out an application and pass a background check. Hours to be determined. Howard Training Center works with adults and children with disabilities.

CONTACT: Geri Lewis,, (209) 593-5618



NEEDED: Volunteers 18 and older are needed on weekdays to help provide food and clothing to needy individuals and families. Warehouse volunteers pick up, receive, sort and distribute food to clients; food pantry volunteers interview clients, offer support and referrals, bag grocery orders and stock shelves; clothes closet volunteers sort clothing and assist in the community clothes closet.

Volunteers are needed Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. depending on the position. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age or 16 to 17 years with an adult.

CONTACT: Shawna Teague, (209) 572-3117,



NEEDED: Volunteers 18 and older to serve as museum docents. Docents serve for four hours a month, welcoming visitors and answering questions about the museum’s exhibits of Stanislaus County history.

CONTACT: Larry Dorman (209) 576-7345,



NEEDED: Volunteers 16 and older to help with the Tuolumne River Clean-Up Project. Duties include hauling tires and shopping carts out of the river and removing trash along the riverbank. Cleanup days are one Saturday a month: Oct. 11, Nov. 15 and Dec.13. Individuals and groups are encouraged to volunteer and asked to bring gloves, water, hat and sunscreen.

CONTACT: Chris Guptill,


NEEDED: Volunteers age 14 years and older are needed on an ongoing basis to assist with childcare supervision during fun, creative activities while parents are attending class onsite. Play games, sing songs and help children increase their developmental skills.

Volunteers need to commit to two hours per week. Volunteers must have a current TB clearance and a background check for individuals 18 years and older.

CONTACT: Debbie Root, (209) 549-8193,