Volunteering at Raphael House is an opportunity to make a meaningful and lasting impact on the future of the parents and children we serve as well as the San Francisco community at large. Virtually every aspect of life at Raphael House depends upon the support of our volunteers. As a Raphael House volunteer you will join a diverse network of over 2,000 fellow volunteers who support our families each year.
On Mondays and Thursdays, from 3:30–7 PM, groups of 3 to 6 volunteers help prepare and serve dinner for Raphael House families with one of our trained chefs. No experience is necessary. It’s a great team-building activity and a fun culinary experience! Some groups may wish to cover the cost of the evening’s meal with a donation of $300, but this is neither required nor expected. To inquire about a Corporate & Community Chefs shift for your group please complete our group volunteer inquiry form.
Shelter Upkeep Projects
Shelter upkeep projects are frequently available for groups with up to about 25 volunteers. These projects generally include cleaning or organizing common areas of the shelter such as the dining room, kitchenettes, hallways, or children’s program rooms. This could also include small painting projects or setting up for upcoming events or birthday parties, depending on the timing. To inquire about a Shelter Upkeep Project for your group complete our group volunteer inquiry form.
Holidays and Special Events
Throughout the year, we plan and celebrate special events with our families, including holidays, birthdays, and special occasions. Individuals and groups can assist staff by helping to prepare and serve holiday meals, wrapping gifts, preparing games, or hanging decorations.
Groups and individuals can also organize drives to purchase gifts for our families during the holidays through our Adopt-a-Family Program or purchase school supplies for our kids during our Back-to-School Drive in the spring. There are also opportunities to help with collecting and distributing gifts and school supplies. If your group is interested in helping out during the Holidays or with a special event please complete our group volunteer inquiry form.
Pro Bono and Specialized Volunteer Projects
As a community supported organization, we rely regularly on the generosity of individuals who contribute their time and expertise by way of providing professional services pro bono that benefit our families directly or Raphael House as a whole, such as legal representation, graphic design, or videography. We also sometimes partner with corporations and businesses to create specialized short-term volunteer projects relevant to the organization’s skills or respective industry. Employees from a technology firm, for example, might offer software training to our parents; employees from a pharmaceutical company might give a presentation to our teens on how to prepare for a career in science. If your group is interested in providing pro bono or specialized services please complete our group volunteer inquiry form.
Individual Volunteer Opportunities
Raphael House has volunteer opportunities available for individuals who are interested in working directly with Raphael House parents and children and providing regular, long-term support for our programs and for individuals interested in short term and one-off opportunities.
Individual volunteers who work directly with Raphael House parents and children are asked to commit to coming regularly for six-months to one-year, usually coming in 1 time per week. Long-term volunteers are required to submit proof of a recent, negative tuberculosis test and undergo a criminal background check as part of the application process.
Short Term Opportunities
The following opportunities are available for volunteers on a one-off basis with no long-term commitment required.