Community Service & Volunteer Opportunities

Community Service & Volunteer Opportunities

There are many reasons why you may decide to volunteer. By volunteering you make a difference in your community by giving back. You learn to work with others and gain valuable experience that you can use later. You may use your volunteer experience to test out a career path in which you have an interest and volunteer experience is always a useful addition to a resume and job application. If you need to complete court assigned community service hours you will find many opportunities on the sites listed below.

City of San Marcos

City of San Marcos

Get Involved! 

City of San Marcos volunteers provide a variety of services that help augment the work of City staff. Volunteers gain valuable experience and provide meaningful work to the community. Volunteering with the City provides an opportunity to utilize valuable skill sets and develop new ones; gain valuable work experience towards a new career path; and learn how local government functions. Each volunteer hour given by a community member helps increase the effectiveness and efficiency of City departments and their programs.


San Marcos Senior Activity Center

  • Lunch Program 
  • Front Desk  
  • Class and Program Instructors/Leaders
  • Computer Lab
  • Special Events
  • Building Maintenance/Janitorial

Please complete a Volunteer Application and Email Catherine Manis.

Parks & Trails Reserve Ranger Program

Program details Parks & Trails Volunteer Program INFO

Please complete a Parks & Trails Reserve Ranger Program application.

Please complete a Trails Advisory Committee application.

Youth Ambassador Program

For more information on volunteer opportunities, please call (760) 744-9000.
Volunteer Waiver


Guardian Angels Volunteer Program

If you would like to volunteer to work with seniors, this site is for you.

"Guardian Angels' volunteers understand the importance of socializing with seniors, especially those isolated in skilled nursing homes, assisted living facilities, convalescent centers, senior homes and memory care centers throughout San Diego County. Through their stories we learn of where we've been and where we're going, in sitting with them we learn patience, in communicating with them we learn how to listen, and by simply visiting with them we learn about ourselves." Volunteer opportunities include:

Senior Visitor:Visit with a senior(s) who may be in need of friendly chat, social stroll, or just a listening ear.(Minimum 6 month commitment, 3 hours/month)

Activities Assistant:Whether it's calling the numbers for bingo or facilitating a friendly game of bridge, facilities are always looking for individuals willing to lend their time and creativity. Plenty of facilities are even willing to customize activities to your talents, likes, and interest.
(Minimum 6 month commitment))

Social Media/Communications:Do you use Twitter, Facebook, or blog? Perhaps you're an aspiring writer, well why not put your talents and interest to use! Help us manage our Facebook page, write interesting articles for our newsletter, or visit facilities and interview some of the seniors. This is a virtual service opportunity so if you have a computer you can do this from home on your computer.(Minimum 4 months commitment, 10-20 hours/month)

Community Outreach:Are you involved in the community or would like to be? Help out at health fairs, community fairs, or help with trainings and recruitments. We'll train you and give you all the information you need then you can go out and inform others.(6 month commitment, 8-10 hours/month)

Event Coordinating:Whether it's a volunteer appreciation, regional softball game, or senior social they all require planning. Under the supervision of the program coordinator you'd be assisting to plan, oversee, and implement events that are being organized for the first time. The volunteer will have significant input in how the event will be structured.(Commitment varies per event).

North County Community Services (NCCS)

NCCS provides programs that educate young children, support working families, provide food for those feeding the hungry and creates opportunities to improve the quality of life for residents of North County. Anyone can volunteer who is above the age of 13 with an adult, or 16 without an adult - parental permission is required for all volunteers under age 18. Volunteers help out with every aspect of operations at North County Community Services. Other volunteer tasks include sorting and organizing fresh and canned food, preparing and distributing food for their Temporary Food Assistance (TFA) program, and other tasks as needed such as: painting, cleaning, gardening, refurbishing playgrounds, reading to children, and office volunteering.

Where Do I Start?

Before you volunteer, you need to attend a two-hour long orientation and training session. These occur weekly at varying times and on varying days. To get started, email or call the volunteer coordinator. Be prepared to provide your full name, email Address, phone number and the reason you would like to volunteer. Additionally, be sure to include any school program or conviction information (if applicable), along with the number of hours needed and deadline for completion (if applicable). Lastly, make sure to share the times and days you are available to volunteer so they can hook you up right!

Volunteer Match

VolunteerMatch:,%20CA,%20USA&k= VolunteerMatch provides volunteer information and listings in your local community. Find local volunteering opportunities now! Enter your city of zip code and narrow your search by your interests and the age group you'd like to work with.

San Diego County Sheriif's Department

San Diego County Sheriff's Department

The Program

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department Explorer Program is a youth-oriented program in cooperation with Boy Scouts of America. Its primary purpose is to provide, through actual experience, a means by which young adults engage in an opportunity to explore their interests and aptitudes in the field of law enforcement through on-the-job exposure. 

The Sheriff’s Explorer Post is composed of several units assigned to Sheriff’s Stations at North Coastal (Encinitas, Solana Beach, and Del Mar), Fallbrook, Imperial Beach, Lemon Grove, Rancho San Diego, Poway/Ramona, San Marcos, Santee, Vista, Valley Center, Julian, Campo, and Alpine.


Active Participation by being involved in a positive community based program, the young person is able to occupy their spare time by providing worthwhile objectives to pursue.

Encourage Positive Citizenship The program encourages desirable character traits, ethical conduct, sound morals, patriotism and respect for law and order so that the Explorers’ exemplary behavior might be emulated by their peers.

Career Exploration The Sheriff’s Explorer Program provides young people in the community the opportunity to explore their interests and aptitudes in the field of law enforcement by on the job exposure to the Sheriff’s Department’s various duties.

Participant Requirements

Explorer candidates must meet rigid standards in order to qualify to participate in the program. During the application process a complete records and background check will be completed, including contacting personal references. To submit an application you should meet the following criteria:

  • 16-20 years of age. Parent/Guardian approval must be obtained if under 18 years of age.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or a Lawfully Admitted Permanent Resident.
  • Possess a High School Diploma or GED Certificate. If still in high school, must have a “C” average or better, and maintain it.
  • Good physical condition.
  • Vision must be 20/100 or better, correctable to 20/30 or better in each eye. Color vision must be normal. Hearing must be unimpaired.
  • Good moral character. Conviction of a felony is disqualifying. A background investigation will be conducted.
  • Possess the ability to clearly express thoughts in written and verbal form.
  • Complete a condensed version of a Law Enforcement Academy specifically designed for youth.
  • Be willing to contribute at least 20-hours per month to the Explorer Program.

Explorer Academies

There are two types of Law Enforcement Academies. One is an eight-day, summer live-in academy and the other academy is held during the school year, over five weekends. The training includes classes in criminal law, patrol procedures, report writing, and physical fitness.

Upon Academy graduation, the Explorer Cadet will earn the privilege to wear the badge and uniform of a Sheriff’s Deputy Explorer. In addition, Explorers will receive continuous professional training monthly in law enforcement related topics throughout their tenure in the program.

As a Deputy Explorer you will be assigned to one of the ten patrol stations throughout San Diego County: Fallbrook, Vista, Santee, San Marcos, Poway, Ramona, North Coastal, Rancho San Diego, Lakeside, Alpine, Imperial Beach or Valley Center.

Accept the Challenge

Hundreds of current law enforcement officers in San Diego County began their career as Sheriff’s Explorers. You are invited to become a part of the Exploring team.

Download the Explorer Program Application

If you have any trouble accessing the application, please e-mail [email protected].

Completed applications should be submitted to the contact provided in the application material.

Written Correspondence:

San Diego Sheriff’s Department
Attn: Sheriff’s Personnel
P.O. Box 939062
San Diego, CA 92193-9062

For more information, e-mail Sheriff’s Personnel.

United We Serve logo

", the online home of United We Serve, is managed by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency charged with promoting and fostering volunteering and national service in America."

Simply type in your zip code (or the zip code of the area in which you'd like to volunteer) for a list of opportunities.

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