Modesto area volunteer opportunities

Volunteers are needed by several groups in and around Modesto.

Call the Volunteer Center of United Way, 209-524-1307, or email


NEEDED: Volunteers 18 and older – 8 and older with an adult – for the Happy Birthday Jesus Party. The annual Christmas dinner and gift distribution will be held Dec. 23 at noon. Volunteers are needed to assist set/clean up, serve dinner and pass out gifts to homeless individuals and families. Volunteer shifts are available and families are welcome. Volunteers may also sort and prepare gifts for distribution on Dec. 22 at 9 a.m. Prior to volunteering for the first time, all interested individuals must attend the volunteer orientation/tour on Dec. 10 at 5:30 p.m. (It is not necessary to attend the orientation if you have previously volunteered at the Mission.) Donations of food for the holiday dinner, warm clothing in all sizes, gloves, scarves, etc., for men, women, and children, and toys for all ages also needed.

CONTACT: Katie Smith, 209-225-2952,


NEEDED: Volunteers of all ages to participate in Christmas Kettle Campaign to help raise funds for the Salvation Army Christmas, senior basket programs and January relief efforts. Staff a Christmas Kettle and ring the bell to solicit donations from holiday shoppers outside of businesses in Modesto and Ceres. Agency staff will set up, provide training and pick up kettle and donations after shift. Flexible day and evening shifts through Dec. 24. Youths can participate with adult.

CONTACT: Brian Aird, 209-522-3209,


NEEDED: Volunteers 16 years and older to assist with the annual Christmas Dinner. Volunteers will help set up, serve dinner, distribute gifts to attendees and clean up between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Dec. 24th. Monetary donations, traditional holiday dinner items, candy, new toys, baby items, toiletries, warm clothing, etc. also needed. The Salvation Army is a nonprofit, charitable and religious agency that provides assistance with emergency food, noon meals, information and referral, disaster aid, tax preparation services, youth programs, and senior services.

CONTACT: Carole Stuart, 209-522-3209,


Needed: Volunteers 25 and older for various tasks within the hospital, such as staffing at the Gift Box. Other opportunities may include helping direct patients and visitors, assisting family members in the emergency room, escorting discharged patients by wheelchair, assisting staff with errands, stocking supply carts, making coffee for doctors and families, clerical and more. Interested volunteers are asked to commit to working two 3.5-hour shifts per month for one year. All volunteers will receive a 25-hour training orientation in the areas of service selected. Volunteers must pass a background check.

Contact: Sandi O’Neill, 209-342-3124,


Needed: Volunteers and their friendly pets to visit residents of convalescent hospitals and care facilities through the SPCA Pet Outreach Program. Children are welcome if well supervised by a parent. Volunteers accompany their pets as they socialize with residents in facilities throughout the community. During these visits animals are often successful in increasing communication, decreasing anxiety, and in cutting through the barriers that isolate people. Pets need to be friendly and like to be handled. Visits are made the first and second Saturday mornings and the third Wednesday mornings of each month.

Contact: Mary Davis,