If you’re not already donating your time or money to a worthy cause, now is the time to start. National Volunteer Week takes place April 10-16.
There are a variety of nonprofit organizations that serve Poway and the surrounding communities. To help you decide how to give back this week, we’ve compiled a local volunteer guide.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego has been dedicated to helping at-risk youth for more than 65 years. The nonprofit has 13 facilities, including a Teen Center, and four school-site programs throughout San Diego County. The Sulpizio Family Branch, which is located in Poway, was established in 1998. The 22,000-square-foot center offers youth a childcare center, gym, nutrition center, playground, sports courts and technology center.
For 20 years, Community HousingWorks has developed affordable housing in communities throughout San Diego County, including Poway. One of those communities is Poway Villas, a 60-unit apartment building located on Bowron Road. In addition to acquiring and developing affordable housing, the nonprofit offers programs and training to help educate residents about money management and credit. It also offers the HomeOwnership Center to help residents and other first-time homebuyers interested in purchasing their first home.
ElderHelp of San Diego offers social services to help seniors live independently in their own homes. The nonprofit organization was founded in 1973 as a community-based volunteer organization in the neighborhood of North Park. Since then, ElderHelp has grown throughout San Diego County. One of its satellite offices is located in Poway.
Employment & Community Options has assisted low-income adults with developmental disabilities and disadvantaged seniors for 25 years. The nonprofit, which has a Poway branch on Poway Road, creates and supports job opportunities to educate and empower these individuals.
Since 1995, Friends & Family Community Connection has served Poway, Rancho Peñasquitos and the greater San Diego area with food distribution, volunteer workdays, holiday outreach and programs for families, seniors and the homeless. In addition to helping local communities, the nonprofit has participated in national volunteer efforts for disaster relief in San Diego after the 2007 wildfires and in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. Friends & Family Community Connection has also joined international efforts to feed and educate the children in Haiti and Tanzania, Africa.
Mom's in Touch International is a nonprofit that coordinates prayer groups across the United States and in other countries. The nonprofit, which is headquartered in Poway, was formed in 1984 after President and Founder Fern Nichols contacted other moms to pray for their children and schools.
National Charity League is a philanthropic mother-daughter organization committed to community service, cultural experiences and leadership development. Established in Los Angeles in 1925 and incorporated in 1958, National Charity League now has more than 160 chapters. The Poway Chapter, which was founded in 1999, has grown to 300 mothers and daughters who have dedicated more than 47,000 hours of volunteer work in the San Diego North County Inland area.
For more than 40 years, Neighborhood Healthcare has provided quality health care and promoted wellness to people in the region. Neighborhood Healthcare offers medical, dental and behavioral health services to 68,000 people in almost 270,000 visits each year. Founded in 1969 and incorporated in 1971, the nonprofit has multiple sites in North County and East County.
North County Society of Fine Arts is a nonprofit organization that promotes the appreciation and education of fine art. The group—which held its first general meeting in 1993—meets monthly and also hosts an annual art show and reception, critiques, demonstrations, educational trips, member exhibit, paint outs and workshops. The nonprofit also awards scholarships to students each year.
Operation HOPE is a nonprofit organization that provides economic tools and services. Founded after the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, the nonprofit has developed and implemented programs dedicated to “connecting the minority community with mainstream, private sector resources.” The nonprofit has financial help line call centers located in Poway.
The Operation for HOPE Foundation is a nonprofit organization devoted to raising public awareness about domestic violence. Located in San Diego, the nonprofit offers resources to prevent and respond to this issue.
The PUSD Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides financial resources to support the district. The PUSD Foundation focuses on supporting S.T.E.A.M., which stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and math, as well as college and career readiness, and rigor, relevance and relationships. The nonprofit has provided more than $1.3 million to Poway Unified School District for K-12 student programs since its founding.
PowPAC, Poway’s Community Theatre, provides plays and musicals for the community. Volunteers run the nonprofit community theater, which celebrates its 30th season this year.
The Poway Center for the Performing Arts Foundation, or "POW! Foundation," is the nonprofit organization that books artists for the city-owned Poway Center for the Performing Arts. Formed in 1990, the nonprofit also sponsors the Arts in Education Initiative, which offers art programs for local students.
Poway-Midland Railroad Volunteers is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the restoration, operation and maintenance of antique railroad equipment. The group was founded on Feb. 13, 1991 to help restore the Porter property the City of Poway purchased in 1986.
The Poway Senior Center offers programs and services for seniors in the community. The nonprofit organization provides exercise and craft classes, a luncheon program, games and discussion groups. It also offers door-to-door transportation service to and from the center, as well as a home-delivered meal program.
RB Chorale is a nonprofit educational organization. Although it is based in Rancho Bernardo, the chorale has Poway members and often performs in Poway. In addition, the nonprofit awards scholarships to graduating seniors from North County. Since its formation in 1974, RB Chorale has awarded almost $300,000 in scholarship monies to local students.
The YMCA offers healthy programs for youth and adults in more than 10,000 neighborhoods across the United States. The Rancho Family YMCA has served the communities of Mira Mesa, Scripps Ranch, 4S Ranch, Rancho Penasquitos, Sabre Springs, Poway, Carmel Mountain Ranch, Black Mountain Ranch, Torrey Highlands, Rancho Bernardo and Santa Luz since 1989.
Rotary International is a service organization that consists of more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Members of the Rotary Club of Poway volunteer in the community and organize local programs. The club has about 40 members who meet every Wednesday.
The San Diego Foundation provides information about charitable giving and community needs. Formed in 1975, the foundation support a variety of nonprofit organizations in San Diego County.
School foundations, PTSAs and other nonprofit organizations
Many Poway schools offer foundations, PTSAs and other nonprofit organizations to support and provide resources for schools. Poway High School, for instance, has the Friends of Poway High Foundation to raise funds to support the school’s programs. The Poway High School PTSA maintains communication among the school’s parents, teachers and students. It also encourages substance abuse prevention and student wellness and safety. Other organizations like the Poway High School Music Boosters support a specific cause. The Music Boosters promote and encourage instrumental music at Poway High School. Similar organizations can be found at other local schools.
Soroptimist is an international organization for women who work to improve the lives of women and girls in local communities and throughout the world. There are almost 95,000 Soroptimists in about 120 countries. Soroptimist International of Poway’s main focus is to provide housing for battered women and their children. It is also active in a variety of other service and community projects, such as providing scholarships to Abraxas High School graduates.
The Friendship Circle supports families of children with special needs. Based in Poway, the nonprofit organization pairs local teenagers with children for weekly visits. It also offers a variety of other activities and events.
The Tony & Alicia Gwynn Foundation provides community revitalization, housing assistance, mediation, youth activities and more. Based in Poway, the nonprofit organization strives to build character in today’s youth through its community programs and services.
The Toby Wells Foundation works with other nonprofit organizations within San Diego County to serve youth, people with disabilities and animals. The foundation, which is based in Poway, was created by the family of Toby Wells, a third generation San Diegan, in honor of his memory.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars is the nonprofit service organization for United States military veterans and their families. VFW Post 7907, which is located in Poway, was formed more than 50 years ago.