Volunteer Opportunities in Ventura County

iStock_Volunteer.jpg

Looking for a job? Why not help yourself by filling in the gaps in your resume with new experiences while helping others! Or if you are just looking to give back to the local community, there are hundreds of opportunities to volunteer throughout Ventura County. Here's where to find volunteer opportunities:

The United Way of Ventura County hosts www.VolunteerVenturaCounty.org, which lists numerous upcoming volunteer opportunities.

Since 1998, VolunteerMatch.org has helped volunteers find over 4 million volunteer matches at over 60,000 non-profits across the country. You type in your zip code and in my case today it identified over 200 volunteer opportunities within a 20 mile radius of Newbury Park.

Or visit the Local Charities section of Conejo Valley Guide and you'll find over 100 Ventura County area non-profit organizations, most of which could use your help. I clicked a few and found plenty of volunteer needs publicized on each entity's website, like MANNA Food Bank, L.I.F.E. Animal Rescue in Agoura, Hospice of the Conejo, Friends of the Thousand Oaks Library, and CareGivers - Volunteers Assisting the Elderly.

You could also join one of over 80 service organizations in the Service Clubs section of CVG. The Rotary, Kiwanis, Optimist, Assistance League, Lions Club and other organizations provide needed services to others in need. 

The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary seeks volunteers ages 17 and up to join its local Channel Islands flotilla. Bring the USCG AUX your skills or join to develop your leadership skills through numerous free classes and workshops offered. The USCG AUX was established by Congress in 1939 to assist the Coast Guard in promoting boating safety. Volunteers assist the Coast Guard in non-law enforcement programs such as safety patrols, search and rescue, maritime security, vessel safety checks, public safe boating classes and watchstanding. Visit www.d11s.org for more information.

Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County seeks volunteers for its ReStores, with shifts available Tuesday through Saturday. Visit www.habitatventura.org/habitat-restore-merchandising to learn more and sign up.

Volunteer opportunities in Thousand Oaks: toaks.org/departments/human-resources/volunteer

Volunteer opportunities in Simi Valley: www.simivalley.org/index.aspx?page=355

Volunteer opportunities in Ventura: www.cityofventura.net/volunteeropportunities

Volunteer opportunities in Camarillo: www.cityofcamarillo.org/departments/city_clerk/volunteer_citizen_appointment.php

Volunteer opportunities in Moorpark: moorparkca.gov/389/Volunteering-in-Moorpark

Volunteering in the City of Westlake Village: www.wlv.org/index.aspx?nid=320

City of Agoura Hills Volunteers on Patrol: www.ci.agoura-hills.ca.us/department/police-and-fire/volunteers-on-patrol-vop

Volunteer opportunities in Calabasas: www.cityofcalabasas.com/volunteer.html

Volunteering for the County of Ventura: www.ventura.org/employment/volunteering-for-the-county-of-ventura

How about the National Park Service? Check the local Santa Monica Mountains volunteer opportunities and Channel Islands National Park volunteer opps.

Also check out the volunteer opportunities with the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

There are shelters and meal providers throughout Ventura County that could use your help too.

Oakbrook Regional Park in Thousand Oaks Back Open to the Public Post-Woolsey Fire

Oakbrook Regional Park sustained quite a bit of burn damage from the Woolsey Fire of November 2018 and was closed to the public for a number of months. The popular replica Chumash village was destroyed by the fire.

The good news is that the park is now back open and most of the trees, many with visible blackened trunks, are recovering and showing distinct signs of regrowth.

Docents from the Chumash Indian Museum are organizing an effort to rebuild the popular replica village and are raising funds on a GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/chumash-indian-museum-wildfire-fund to support this effort. They are also seeking volunteers to help place the tule (plant used for Chumash house structures) on the aps (traditional Chumash houses).

Oakbrook 5.27.19.jpg
New Chumash houses (or “aps”)  in process of being built.

New Chumash houses (or “aps”) in process of being built.

Conejo Valley Meal and Shelter Program Providers

FeedingNeedy.jpg

The following Conejo Valley locations take part in a program that provides year-round meals on designated nights of the week to individuals who are in need.  And from December to March, both dinner (6:30 pm) and overnight shelter is offered.

This information is current as of May 2018. Subject to change. Call in advance to confirm.

Mondays:

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

1 W. Avenida de los Arboles, Thousand Oaks (805.492.1234)

Sleeping facilities for up to 15 people during winter months. Visit www.htlcto.org/causes for more information. Hot dinner at 6:30pm year-round.

Tuesdays:

Calvary Community Church

5495 Via Rocas, Westlake Village (818.991.8040)

Visit calvarycc.org/basic-needs for more information. Dinner at 6:30pm year-round.

Wednesdays:

Westminster Presbyterian Church

32111 Watergate Rd., Westlake Village (818.889.1491)

www.wpcwestlake.org/index.php/missions/neighborhood  Hot meals at 6:30pm Wednesday nights year-round.

Thursdays:

Emmanuel Presbyterian Church

588 Camino Manzanas, Thousand Oaks (805.498.4502)

Meal site from April-November

www.epconline.org/#/events-ministries/missions

Chinese Christian Church of Thousand Oaks

218 W. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks (805.379.0882)

Meal and overnight site from December-March

sites.google.com/site/ccctohomeless

Fridays:

Thousand Oaks United Methodist Church

1000 E. Janss Rd, Thousand Oaks (805.495.7215)

Visit www.umcto.org/outreach#. Meals at 6:30pm Friday nights year-round.

Saturdays:

St. Julie Billiart Catholic Church

2475 Borchard Rd, Newbury Park (805.498.3602)

www.stjulieschurch.org/meal-and-winter-shelter

Meals served for up to 50 people and shelter for up to 30 during winter months. Dinner at 6:30pm on Saturday nights year-round.

Sundays:

St Patrick's Episcopal Church

1 Church Rd, Thousand Oaks (805.495.6441)

Meal site from April-November

stpatschurch.org/homeless-dinner-program

Temple Adat Elohim

2420 E. Hillcrest Dr, Thousand Oaks (805.497.7101)

Meal and overnight site from December-March. Hot meal for 50 to 80 people. Overnight accommodation for 20 to 35 people.

www.adatelohim.org/volunteer/social-action/shelter

HOMELESS SHELTERS AND MEAL PROVIDERS THROUGHOUT VENTURA COUNTY

Mountains Restoration Trust Preserves Land in the Santa Monica Mountains

Based in Calabasas, Mountains Restoration Trust (MRT) is a non-profit land trust dedicated to preserving natural land in the Santa Monica Mountains, a range traversing from Griffith Park to Point Mugu in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. through restoration, education and land acquisition. MRT was founded in 1981.

Restoration projects are a top priority for MRT. Non-native plant invasion has been occurring in the fragile ecology of the Santa Monica Mountains since early explorers arrived with mustard seeds to mark their trails. Non-native grasses, trees and plants have found a similar home far from their lands of origin, and are a threat to native plants and animals.

Non-native, invasive crayfish in Malibu Creek eat native amphibians and fish, wrecking havoc on the creek's ecosystem. Volunteers have removed over 11,000 crayfish from the creek! MRT encourages volunteers every Thursday through Saturday to help remove these crayfish. I signed up with my kids and it certainly was fun, interesting and rewarding!

We learned how to tell a male from a female crayfish from the biologist volunteer.

We learned how to tell a male from a female crayfish from the biologist volunteer.

After retrieving the crayfish from traps set by MRT staff, my kids helped measure their length for a long-term study.

After retrieving the crayfish from traps set by MRT staff, my kids helped measure their length for a long-term study.

The kids had a blast. Sign up to help at www.mountainstrust.org/events-grid.

In addition to restoration projects, MRT hosts nature walks, rattlesnake avoidance training, youth naturalist programs, summer camps, senior programs and more.

To learn more, visit www.mountainstrust.org or call 818.591.1701.

Compilation of 15 Local Conejo Valley Based Charities to Support in the New Year

iStock_Charity.jpg

As we begin a new year, let's take a look at some local non-profit 501(c)3 charities that are doing great things for the local Conejo Valley community!

The Arts Council of the Conejo Valley has supported and promoted the arts in the Conejo Valley since 1969. The non-profit works with the Conejo Recreation & Park District and Conejo Valley Unified School District in supporting local programs including children's music instruction, choral and theatre programs, youth theater, summer concerts in the park, the annual Thousand Oaks Arts Festival and more.

The Conejo Valley based Center4SpecialNeeds ("Bridging the Gaps for Children with Special Needs") offers financial support, educational workshops, networking and other resources for families with children that have developmental disabilities.

CancerSupportCommunity.jpg

The Westlake Village based Cancer Support Community Valley/Ventura/Santa Barbara has provided cancer education, support and hope to thousands of local residents and their families since 1991. Programs are provided free of charge in English and Spanish.

The Conejo Free Clinic’s Medical Services Program serves over 5,000 patients each year with physician and nurse care, lab testing, imaging, prescriptions, referrals and follow up, all without charge.

Established in 1995, the Conejo Open Space Foundation raises funds to promote and maintain the open space and multi-use trails of Conejo Valley.

Founded in 1977, Hospice of the Conejo, is a volunteer hospice and grief support center providing end-of-life services to those of all ages in the community at no cost.

Manna Conejo Valley Food Bank has provided food assistance to friends and neighbors in need since it was founded in 1971.

Based in Thousand Oaks, Musicians on a Mission California provides access to music through instrument "gift-aways," mentorship, and performing opportunities for our youth and members of the community.

Since 1998, the Westlake Village based My Stuff Bags Foundation has given rescued children across the country bright blue individual duffels filled with toys, books, a stuffed animal, school supplies, clothing, personal toiletries, and a security blanked - providing a little happiness and hope to these children.

Conejo Valley based PAUSE4kids was formed in September 1999 and serves hundreds of families with special needs children in the Ventura County area. The organization's goal is to "fill the gaps" by helping to provide whatever is needed for children with special needs that is not now readily available.

With a 13 acre site in Newbury Park, Ride On Therapeutic Horsemanship teaches adaptive horseback riding to children and adults with physical and cognitive disabilities and provides physical, occupational and speech therapy specializing in using the movement ofthe horse to improve specific medical conditions. Since 1994, Ride On has given over 100,000 safe, effective and individualized lessons and therapy treatments and currently serves 200 individuals each week.

SeniorConcerns_logo.gif

Serving the Conejo Valley since 1975, non-profit Senior Concerns serves the senior community and especially frail and special-need seniors, caregivers and families by providing quality programs, appropriate resources and educational outreach. raising funds and developing and administering quality-of-life programs for seniors with special needs. All programs are offered without regard for the ability to pay. Senior Concerns serves Ventura and western Los Angeles counties, special-need seniors, families, health professionals, caregivers and the community at large.

Thousand Oaks based Many Mansions provides well-managed, service-enriched, affordable housing to low-income residents of Ventura County and its surrounding communities. 

The Thousand Oaks Police Charitable Foundation was organized to promote community welfare through support of public safety and volunteer programs.

UCAAN_logo.jpg

The United Cancer Advocacy Action Network (UCAAN) is a Thousand Oaks based non-profit founded by a young cancer survivor that provides support, hope and financial resources to cancer patients, warriors and survivors with any form of cancer, any age, anywhere across the country.

This list is just a fraction of the non-profit 501(c)3 organizations that operate in the Conejo Valley and Greater Ventura County. Fora more comprehensive list, visit the Local Charities section of the site as well as the Local Service Organizations section.

Ride On Therapeutic Horsemanship in Newbury Park Serves the Disabled

Ride On Therapeutic Horsemanship teaches horseback riding to children and adults with physical and mental disabilities. Founded in 1994, Ride On has given over 81,000 safe, effective and individualized lessons and therapy treatments. Serving the Conejo Valley, Ride On's Newbury Park site is operated in partnership with the Conejo Recreation and Park District. In the San Fernando Valley, Chatsworth is home to a newer facility and 3 acre ranch.

Ride On serves over 200  riders each week at its 13 acre Newbury Park location at 401 Ronel Court and its Chatsworth location. The minimum age for therapeutic riding is 4 years old and all disabilities are served, both mental and physical.

Therapeutic riding is a unique combination of sport, recreation and education. Specially trained NARHA qualified instructors use their knowledge of disabilities to teach horsemanship skills to riders with varying ability levels. A typical therapeutic riding lesson involves safety on and around horses, warm up exercises, games and riding skills including equitation and obstacle. Increased balance, strength and self esteem are some of the benefihts of this wonderful recreational activity.

Ride On also offers hippotherapy for clients as young as 2 years old.  Hippotherapy is the use of the horse’s movement for rehabilitation. Licensed Therapists properly position the patient on the horse, analyze the patient’s response and direct the horse’s movement to achieve specific patient treatment goals. Hippotherapy facilitates improved balance, posture, mobility, communication and behavior for patients of all ages and many disabilities.

Ride On’s primary funding sources are income from lessons, grants, special events and private donations. Ride On is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Visit www.rideon.org or call 805.375.9078 for more information.

The Free Clinic of Simi Valley Has Provided Services to Local Residents Since 1971

The Free Clinic of Simi Valley has provided continuous service to local residents since its establishment in 1971 as a non-profit, volunteer-based community service organization. It's mission is to provide medical care, counseling, dental and legal assistance to individuals and families, regardless of their ability to pay. This includes those of all ages, ethnicities, religions and socioeconomic backgrounds, who are unable to use traditional sources within the community.

These services are provided through the generosity of volunteer professional. Through the efforts of over 160 volunteers, the Free Clinic had over 17,000 client contacts with 7,600+ people in 2013.

The Clinic further serves the community by assisting in the training of the next generation of professionals.

The Family Counseling Program provides those interested in becoming Marriage and Family Therapists, the necessary training and supervision, as part of the requirements for licensing in California. To date, 48 Clinic interns have become licensed Marriage and Family Therapists.

Since 2006, the Free Clinic of Simi Valley and Kaiser Permanente have partnered to provide the Family Practice Residency Program. doctors in their third year of residency provide primary care to the Clinic's clients.



The Clinic's Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Program serves as a training ground for pharmacy residents. To date, there have been 13 Ambulatory Pharmacists certified through the training program.

The Free Clinic is supported by the generous contributions of numerous individuals, businesses, service clubs and private foundations. No government funds are solicited for patient care.

The Clinic offers serves on an appointment only basis at its facility at 2060 Tapo Street. The main clinic is open Monday through Thursday and the dental clinic is open Monday through Friday. Hours vary.

Support the Free Clinic of Simi Valley with a donation and learn more at www.freeclinicsv.com or by calling 805.522.3733. Or visit the Free Clinic's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/freeclinicsv.

LEARN ABOUT THE CONEJO FREE CLINIC AT THIS LINK