BigView – Volunteering in Our Area

The BigView
By Chris Muprhy

“I get by with a little help from my friends.” – The Beatles

Community is not the physical place we live, it is the people that make a community. Modesto is special in so many ways. We are giving, we volunteer, we support each other in so many ways. In many cases, some even think we are too giving. But really, there is no such thing. This is what makes us strong. We all need each other and the community needs us to lend a hand, volunteer, mentor, motivate, and celebrate.

But fundamentally, we as a community need to look out for each other, we like to make a difference in things that we re passionate about. Volunteering means so many things. It is not all hard work, litter clean ups or hard labor, it can be volunteering at a museum, doing art with kids, being a girl scout leader, reading in a classroom, or making a donation to a non-profit or serving on their boards. The choices are huge. We are showcasing just a fraction of what you can do. ModestoView highlights community volunteer efforts in our community section for your further reading. A great way to start is joining up with the ViewCrew at Love Modesto on April 23. Thank you for being a part of our community. If you are a business owner, please consider these or other local organizations in your giving programs. Read more at

Connecting for Good – April 28
How does our community work together, how do organizations support each other and how can we do a better job? The Stanislaus Community Foundation is hosting a gathering of community and business leaders to try to do a better job to make things work better. You will learn a lot and meet a lot of good people.

Help the Homeless and the Needy
Modesto Gospel Mission and the Salvation Army are both committed to getting services directly to those in need. The best way to assist the homeless, transients and the needy is to give your time and money to organizations that help many. If you want to help, do not give to panhandlers. If you want to feed the homeless, do not give to panhandlers. There are meals and services available every day of the week and it is done is a way benefits the community.

Boys and Girls Club
The Boys and Girls Club of Stanislaus Country is connecting with kids, schools and community across our city, All kids are welcome and this organization is committed to uplifting kids with skills, peer support and education. These after school programs are so important to the neighborhoods they serve and will be a huge boost to all involved. Volunteers, mentors and donors are needed as this relatively new organization grows. This summer they will be hosting a Brain Gain Summer Camp. Every fall they have a huge Ping Pong Tournament Battle of the Paddle to raise funds. Plan on it this year.

Center for Human Services
CHS serves tens of thousands of children, individuals and families annually in Stanislaus County through six core program areas: Mental Health Services, Shelter Services, Youth Services, School Based Services, Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Resource Centers. There are important safety and re-entry programs that get people back on their feet like Hutton House for 13-17 year olds and Pathways for the 18-21. People need a safe place for a fresh start. They host the Edible Extravaganza each September as a fundraiser.

Center for Human Services
By Kate Trompetter
We (Center for Human Services) are one of the largest local nonprofits in Stanislaus County and still rely heavily on a volunteer workforce to help us accomplish our mission. Whether one sits on our Board, volunteers at Hutton House assisting with day-to-day support of the youth in crisis we serve, completes volunteer hours as an intern in our counseling clinic, or volunteers time in admin, finance or IT, we rely on the gift of time as much as we rely on the gift of money.

United Way
Their them is “Live United”
If you want one of the fastest ways to get connected with a project, the United Way is your ticket. The United Way connects many of our non-profits and is one the easiest ways to get involved. They have a really cool Volunteer Center that can match your skills and interests with a project. The publish a Lend a Hand newsletter weekly for Volunteer opportunities They have the 211 phone service to quickly link up and in May, they will be hosting the One Table Fundraiser in downtown to connect our community with their services.

United Way
By Francine DiCiano
Did you know that in California the value of ONE VOLUNTEER HOUR hour is $26.87? If you and a friend volunteer for a local non profit 4 hours a week for a year, your gift of time is valued at $11,178. for that non profit! Encourage a friend to volunteer with you! The United Way of Stanislaus County will make the rest EASY! Go to – click on the VOLUNTEER tab and log in to our Volunteer database, GetConnected to select a nonprofit to help. Call the United Way Volunteer Center at (209) 524-1307. Volunteer – it’s good for you and our community. We will be hosting the One Table Fundraiser in downtown Modesto to connect our community with our services.

Haven Women’s Services
We must prevent sexual abuse and domestic violence.
There is absolutely no justification for this… EVER. The Haven Women’s Center is there for those in critical need and immediate danger. This is a lifeline to safety in many cases. Men need to stand for women and act as a team to product women from dangerous relationships. There is a way out and help is available at Haven.
Please participate in the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event April 16 or make a donation

Gallo Center
There are a million ways to volunteer. The Volunteer Staff at the Gallo Center is mission critical to cultural success. There are thousands of hours donated by ticket takers, concessions, ushers and so much more. This is a fun way to volunteer as you get to see so many people and greet friends at the Gallo Center.

Community Hospice
This is an organization that deals with some of the hardest issues, the end of life.
Hospice is dedicated to easing the pain of a long time of suffering. The volunteers are some of the most compassionate you meet. There is so much more to the medical hospice care they offer, as there are so many other issues, both financially and legally where people need assistance.
Community Hospice will be hosting a fundraiser on May 21 in Oakdale and it would be great to have you there. Local band Third Party will be performing and you will enjoy this event.

Hope Haven West
Lonny Davis is a champion for those that need wheelchairs. This is a project in developing countries that matches the needs of the disabled with the technology of a wheelchair. Mobility can literally save and change lives. Volunteers travel to countries like Ecuador, Guatemala, Peru, Honduras and this year to Vietnam to fit each child to a chair. 100% of all funds to Hope Haven go directly to programs. Lonny is a tireless fund and “fun” raiser as many of his events are concerts. You will like getting involved.

Focus On Prevention
Focus on Prevention is a county-wide initiative that aims to improve the quality of life of all Stanislaus residents and families through coordinated prevention efforts that work across multiple sectors to promote health and wellbeing. These sectors include government; business; health; non-profit; philanthropy; education; faith; neighborhood; media; and arts, entertainment, and sports. This is the first really big effort by our county to analyze, connect and inventory the service assets we have and how they can all work better for our community.

Tuolumne River Clean Up Project
You can get dirty to clean up!
Chris Guptill and Darin Jesberg, were awarded Volunteer Excellence recognition awards from the California State Parks & Recreation Society The Tuolumne River Clean Up Project (Operation 9-2-99) that began in June, 2014. This has had a visible impact, harnessing the efforts of 945 volunteers, removing 161 tons of garbage, 435 shopping carts and 405 tires along with mounds of trash and encampment debris. This project has significantly increased visitation to this area. Two Equestrian Trial competitions and a Kayaking event have occurred at the site as a result. There are other efforts like this along the Dry Creek Trail as well.

Tuolumne River Clean Up
By Darin Jesberg

Hit the trail this month with two worthwhile volunteering opportunities, the Dry Creek Trails Coalition and Operation 9-2-99, Tuolumne River clean up. Over the past two years these projects have brought together hundreds community members from all walks of life to clean up and reclaim some of the most blighted river and trail areas right in our own back yard. Whether by bike, on foot, horseback, or kayak- our local trails and waterways are ideal for getting out of the house for a fun-filled family friendly day of exploring right here in Modesto!

For more information and to sign-up: and

Peer Recovery Project
Volunteering can be creative and fun. Peer Recovery’s goal is to end stigma, revitalize downtown areas, while implementing strategies for an all-inclusive and therefor healthier community. Peer Recovery presents the Arts for Freedom program and allows mental health and people in recovery a guided path to being a contributing part of our community. The gallery is host to many non-profit music, art and social events. Peer is linked up with ModestoView, Stanislaus Magazine and Project Yes in creating a space for art and community to flourish. Profits from Modesto Graffiti USA merchandise go to Peer Recovery Project. 13th and J St Modesto.

Guardian Angels
See Community View for more information



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About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.