Why are volunteers important?

  • We serve more than 500 meals every day of the year
  • Handle about 50 requests per week at our homeless prevention Crisis Help Line
  • And assist more than 75 homeless clients each week at our Housing Help Desk.

Volunteer Opportunities

The St. Vincent de Paul Society is proud to be a volunteer-driven organization. We depend on capable volunteers to assist us with delivering critical services to the people who come to us for help. If these opportunities appeal to you, please fill out our online volunteer application.

Free Dining Room: Serving Assistant – Provide nourishing hot food to hungry adults and children by serving breakfast or lunch in our Free Dining Room. We’re open every day of the year, serving hundreds of meals each day. We need breakfast servers from 7:00—8:30 am, and lunch servers from 10:30 am—1:30 pm.

Free Dining Room: Kitchen Prep Assistant – Join a fun team of hands-on assistants who help our staff prepare hot meals for breakfast, lunch or “to-go” meals in our busy kitchen!  Our Prep Assistants are essential to our ability to provide over 200,000 meals annually.  Volunteers are needed every morning in 2-hour shifts from 6:30 am—8:30 am, or in a 4-hour shift from 8:30 am—10:30am.

Free Pantry: Organization & Stocking Assistant – Help us keep the Free Dining Room and kitchen stocked and organized! Most of the food we serve is donated by the SF-Marin Food Bank, community food drives and individual donations.  Stocking assistants unpack, sort and organize our pantry shelves for our clients. Must be able to lift 25-50 lbs. Shifts are available on Wed—Fri and on Sundays from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. 

Weekend Welcome Desk:  Greeter & Information Assistant – Are you a people-person?  Use your interpersonal, listening and communication skills to greet and welcome Dining Room guests; and check-in our new and returning volunteers.  You will also receive training to provide information to new diners about SVdP services and other community resources available in Marin.  Bi-lingual Spanish-speakers are especially helpful.  Shifts are available on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00am – 12:30pm.

Free Dining Room:  Bussing Assistant – We need assistance with clearing dishes from the Dining Room to our kitchen for washing, drying and restocking during breakfast and lunch service. Volunteers are needed every day in shifts from 7:00—11:00 am, or from 11:00 am—1:30pm.

Administration Office:  Admin Assistant – Help support our dedicated and highly skilled staff respond to our community! Please assist us with entering data, organizing files, mailings and sending thank you letters to our wonderful supporters. Volunteers are needed in 2-hour shifts during our office hours Monday—Friday from 9:00 am—3:00 pm.

Homeless Prevention Help Line: Receptionist Help us prevent homelessness in Marin by volunteering for our Crisis Help Line! We receive calls every day from local residents in need. Reception volunteers answer calls and relay requests to SVdP Home Visit volunteers, who then visit these neighbors in person to try to help. Shifts of 2-3 hours are available Monday—Friday from 9:00 am—3:00 pm.

Volunteer FAQs

How do I apply to volunteer?

Step 1: Fill out our online Volunteer Application

Step 2: You will be notified via email about the next weekly volunteer orientation session(s) available. Orientation provides more information about our services as well as the various volunteer positions and you’ll learn how you can schedule your time online.

What hours are available for volunteering?

Volunteers are welcome in our Free Dining Room from 6:30am-1:30pm, seven days per week; and in our administrative offices upstairs from 9am-3 pm from M-F.

What are the best parking options?

The best public parking garage is located on the corner of 3rd and B Streets.  We strongly suggest that you park in this garage, because it is easy to forget about a parking meter while volunteering and can result in a costly parking ticket.  Metered parking is available, but is limited to 2-hours. Free 4-hour on-street parking is located nearby, if you drive past Safeway on B Street to the Albert Park area.

What rules apply to volunteers?

1. All volunteers must sign in and out each day to comply with our record keeping requirements.

2. Volunteers are subject to the same rules of conduct and confidentiality which apply to paid staff, including those that apply to non-discrimination, sexual harassment and a hostile work environment. We require all volunteers to act in a responsible and professional manner when providing services to our clients.

3. While we encourage you to be a compassionate listener, agency rules do not allow staff members or volunteers to give cash or other material aid to our clients. Staff members and volunteers are also prohibited from giving clients a place to stay, even for one night. Instead, staff members and volunteers are trained to help guide guests to the appropriate resources available to them that will ensure they receive the best long-term solution that is possible.