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Holiday Helping Hands

Time on your hands over the holiday break? Check out these ideas to serve your community.

Though categorized by individual or group projects, most of these opportunities could be either. Reach out to the contacts to find out more.

Offer Your Time and Talents Directly

Shoes That Fit

Gain experience in grant writing and research from the nonprofit perspective:

  • Work with the Grant Writer to create a database of potential grants and timelines for the grant writing process.
  • Review funder websites and applications guidelines to determine the fit of a potential funder. Work with the Grant Writer and other staff to identify areas where a grant would help solve a problem or fill a need.
  • Conduct general and targeted research for corporate partnerships and growth markets. Research area-specific childhood poverty and trends.

Qualifications: Must love research! Writing skills are a plus. Contact Beck Wilson.

Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden

We are looking for help with small research and writing projects to populate our volunteer training manual. Volunteers assist in raising food on our sustainable farm, environmental stewardship in our state-mapped wetlands, and with horticultural activities in our 83-acre botanical garden. Our volunteer initiative is oriented toward vocational training, and we are located in an area with high young adult unemployment. Our goal is to create an accessible manual for multiple learning styles, which will be a series of short illustrated how-to guides. We would like some small, well-researched writing pieces that provide rationale for sustainable techniques and a cursory sense of environmental impact, detailing simple steps for many recurring activities. Examples: how to transplant, how to mulch fruit trees, why is composting important. We will be happy to meet virtually with the student/s to fill in knowledge gaps, and provide learning resources.

Contact Susannah Abbate.

City of Palo Alto

Help us create a system to organize our many many photos of happy kids walking and biking over the years. We need photos tagged for easy reference. Very low-key and discrete project that would be an easy success.

Contact Rosie Mesterhazy.

Meg Foundation

Meg Foundation Logo

During COVID, our work of empowering kids and families around pain has become more pressing, both developing resources for procedures like nasal swabs, and preparing for a vaccine rollout by helping reduce/eliminate pain as a barrier to immunization. We are in the process of getting our materials translated into different languages. We have volunteers around the world who are willing to do the translations, but need help coordinating these efforts, developing translation sheets, and getting the translation into our designs (familiarity with Canva would be amazing!). We are also expanding our database of contacts to reach as many families as possible. Any and all help appreciated!

Contact Jody Thomas.

First Tech Fund, Inc.

First Tech Fund is a NYC-based non-profit dedicated to supporting high school students from low-income and under-served backgrounds, to ensure they have access to technology, mentorship and skills training that will empower them to close the rampant digital divide gap. Opportunities include:

First Tech Fund
  • Competitive Analysis of 'competitor' nonprofits, national & NYC focused; 1 volunteer to start anytime during winter break (sooner the better)
  • Social media planning, identifying a list of content ideas that would be optimal for growing local awareness on social media & driving donations; 1 volunteer
  • Virtual fundraising event ideation & planning; 1 volunteer
  • Curriculum planning: how to make 1 hour/week Zoom sessions engaging for HS student fellows; 1 volunteer

Contact Hana Seligman.


unBox logo

unBox is a student-led organization leveraging data analysis, policy advocacy, and community engagement to create a more food secure US. One of our projects is, a resource map that helps low-income local residents find resources from their phone, in their preferred language. Interviews with low-income Bay Area residents and social workers taught us invaluable lessons for making our website more useful, inclusive, and accessible. We are seeking volunteers to to help turn these community insights into reality for

  • Data Warrior. 1-5 hours/week, no skills required: research Bay Area service providers (food pantries, medical clinics, benefits enrollment sites) and update their information in our database, which will then be displayed on our site
  • Data Engineer. 1-5 hours/week, Python and/or R: extracting data from other resource websites and databases, transforming information between data structures
  • Translator. 1-5 hours/week, native fluency in Spanish, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Malay, Korean, Arabic, French, or Japanese to translate website text and Know Your Rights materials
  • Designer/Developer. 1-5 hours/week, JavaScript: adding new features to our website, as inspired by user testing and human-centered design.

We are excited to work together, and can tailor opportunities as desired! Contact Charlie Hoffs.

Association for Sustainability Education

  • Write five lessons plans on sustainability for middle school students
  • Create a short video of why you chose STEM and what you hope to do in the future (1-2 students needed)

Contact Sri Srinivasan

South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking

South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking-tran

Opportunities for multiple students including assisting with planning for January Human Trafficking Awareness month events, creating and managing social media, researching and compiling prevention tools, grant research, and website assistance. Please check out our Google Doc for project details. 

Contact Sharan Dhanoa


habla logo

Write a letter of appreciation and warm holiday wishes to Stanford custodial, landscaping, or dining hall staff with Habla! Any student interested in writing a letter can fill out this form anytime through December 18th and we will email you a name of a Stanford custodial, landscaping, or dining hall staff to address your letter to, or let us know if you have someone in mind and we will make sure your letter makes it to them over the holiday season!

Habla is a caring community of Stanford custodial, landscaping, and dining hall staff, and dedicated ESL student coaches - learn more about Habla.

Contact Hannah Kelley, '22.

Active English

Write real life skits in English (e.g. at a store, at the doctor's office, at a restaurant etc.) for Italian children who will perform the skits this summer at our overnight and day camps. You will be a short-term intern at Active English, Milan, Italy and forging ties with our organization (which could lead to future collaborations and volunteering at Italian camps).

Contact Phoebe Hoyt.

Congregation Beth Am

Our Include Committee is putting together a social media campaign to increase awareness within the congregation about members who might feel disconnected due to race, gender identity, sexual identity, learning disabilities, etc. We would love a college intern over the Winter Break to help with strategy and implementation of these efforts.

Contact Rabbi Sarah Weissman.

Foundation for Argentinean Development (Fundar)

The Gender Equality team at Fundar is are looking for Stanford students who can support our work on gender economic justice, feminist networks, and building state capacity for gender equality in Argentina. We are carrying out a number of projects that volunteers could work on, mostly as research assistants. The role includes doing secondary research, including literature reviews, participating in team meetings via Zoom, and presenting the results of the research to the team. The role is suited for students interested in women's economic empowerment, LGBTQ+ rights, feminist movements in Latin America, women's leadership, as well as public policy and international development.

Contact Paola Bergallo, PhD.

Breakthrough Silicon Valley

One volunteer needed to support compiling data around recruitment for our organization. This data will be compiled and shared with our staff in an effort to be more transparent and to move forward with our DEI goals.

Contact Danielle Serrano.

Seamless Bay Area

One or two volunteers to work on both internal and external approaches to making transit services (fixed route, paratransit) address Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). The primary questions would be (1) how can the seamless transit principles address transit equity and transit justice goals (through TCRP/Academic/ articles);  (2) research how transit and nonprofit advocacy groups internally can address mobility and transit justice; and (3) create engagement strategies to promote seamlessness to non profits and other groups to get more women and minority input. The course of the project should take the course of the entire break, roughly 5 weeks or so. A group could also work on this project.

Contact Dave Sorrell.

Seeding Reciprocity

Ongoing help in building sustainable retreat center. We need help with everything (remote or onsite) from building greenhouses and raised beds to installing and integrating our gopro into our website. We have a global reach, but we are small at this new beginning.

Contact Lisa Marie Haley.

El Concilio of San Mateo County

Work with me on a regional Stop the Spread of COVID, phoning, mailing, PPE packaging, tracking and general support.

Contact Gloria Flores Garcia.

Aveti Learning

We are reaching out to less-privileged children in rural India with quality education. Learn about us. We need volunteers for

  1. Writing marketing collateral
  2. Impact blogs
  3. Designing graphics for social media out reach

The projects are suitable for groups or individuals. 

Contact Biswajit Nayak.


  1. ASL 911 Access Campaign (1 volunteer) December 15 - January 3: Calling 911 is not accessible for groups with hearing loss. Objective is to set up 911 Access campaign. Deliverable is setting up campaign on social media via Facebook Group, growing the group members, and writing posts on the importance of 911 accessibility.
  2. Style Guide for Social Media (1 volunteer) December 15 - January 3: Our branding and style is not consistent. Objective is to set up a style guide standards and social media templates for our social media posts. Deliverable is an information document containing standard font, color, icons, and graphics and setting up FB, IG, Linkedin, Twitter templates using Canva.
  3. Team Project: Grants Database and Calendar (2 volunteers) December 15 - January 3. Our grants database is a hot mess and we have no grant due date calendar. Two objectives: organize our grants database and other objective researching and adding potential grants to the database. Deliverable would be an organized grants database and finding grants that we would qualify for and adding it to the database, and have the due dates link to a grants calendar.
  4. Holiday and Q4 Wrap-up Update Email Campaign (1 volunteer) December 15 - December 24. Our organization needs to send funders and those who are part of our organization a q4 update with holiday greetings. Objective is sending a q4/holiday newsletter. Deliverable would be designing and writing the newsletter in either mailchimp or hubspot, and sending it out to our funders. 

Contact Gabriella Wong.

Survivors of Torture, International

Assist the Operations Manager in implementing organizational communications strategies. Depending on skill set this volunteer could assist with communications tasks including, but not limited to: search engine optimization (SEO) and website management, social media content, graphic design, data entry and analysis, writing and editing, and other administrative support tasks as assigned.

Contact Katrina Pimental.

Join a Group Service Project

School Garden Network - FILLED

Community-based research - Full Circle Farm

We are a small but passionate nonprofit. Volunteers can:

  • orchestrate and complete a social media campaign
  • film videos of garden demo’s / garden sites / online lessons
  • help with YouTube channel—posting / editing videos / we have some content
  • work on fundraising letter writing campaign to schools / community / press
  • create a metric report with pretty media and snazzy layout

Contact Lynn Wheeler.

la Raza Centro Legal

Letter campaign—stuff envelopes and write hand written thank you notes and place in mail; help purchase small gifts and thank you notes to give to non profit staff of 14 for holidays—will provide all supplies and mailing fees.

Contact Amanda Alvarado Ford.


FIRST logo

Work with an organization whose mission is to create a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders.

In typical years, FIRST Robotics Competition and FIRST Tech Challenge teams of middle and high school students work under strict rules and limited time and resources to raise funds, hone teamwork skills, and build and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded competitors.

With the shift to remote learning, FIRST is pivoting to a set of challenges, including the FIRST Innovation Challenges presented by Qualcomm. Through the FIRST GAME CHANGERS themed challenge, participating middle and high school teams will:

  • Identify a problem or opportunity
  • Design a solution to seize the opportunity or solve the problem.
  • Actualize their innovation by creating a business model and developing a business pitch. 
  • Advance their skills by using technology in their solution development process and/or design.

We are seeking a small team of Stanford students to help develop a series of 3-4 remote workshops of 45 minutes each that will be used to train participating FIRST teams on the fundamentals of Design Thinking, enabling them to successfully explore what it means to be an innovator and find solutions to society’s greatest challenges. Students will also have the opportunity to share their perspectives as “near peers” during these remote workshops, which will take place January-early April.

Contact Shoshanah Cohen

Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts has developed a series of STEM badges for all age levels. Review a selected set of badges (e.g., engineering, space science, coding) and develop plans for girls to complete badge requirements at home using a kit of materials sent to them. Tasks include understanding the requirements, refining the steps so that they can be completed by individual girls (assisted by an adult as appropriate), identifying appropriate materials within a specified budget, and purchasing and testing the materials to validate the instructions. All expenses will be reimbursed.

Contact Shoshanah Cohen.

Lupus Foundation of America - FILLED

The Southern California Region has a modest social media presence that reflects the limited number of hours that our small team of three can devote to it. A larger social media presence will mean more people with lupus will connect with us to participate in our educational events and programming. Students will help design a social media plan to be implemented in the next 3–6 months.  Alongside the social media plan, we hope to develop a strategy to connect with more bloggers who focus on lupus and other auto-immune diseases.  

Contact Matthew Scelza.

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project

We are looking for help going through new articles to fill out our growing spreadsheet of eviction stories and cases nationally and internationally, and to research expiration dates of local and international eviction moratoriums. We can take up to 4 volunteers who are interested in helping, and will offer a training and ongoing support. This research would help us develop this map and a corresponding database in order to help support multiple housing justice organizations. All that is required is an ability to search for key words online, read new articles, and input data into an Airtable form that we will share with you. This research can happen asynchronously, though we would set up a synchronous onboarding and occasional check-in meeting.

Contact Erin McElroy.

The Better Lab

Better Lab logo

The Better Lab is a multidisciplinary research laboratory at UCSF that uses mixed methods research, including human centered design to develop innovative technologies and solutions to improve quality, efficiency, access and experience in health care. We can use your help in revitalizing our online presence in a multitude of ways!

  1. Web designer to revitalize our website (1–2 volunteers): The website is outdated. We want to revamp our website to more accurately represent our current work, team, initiatives, resources and more. The web designer will work closely with the Executive Director, Design Director to redesign the website architecture and then use Squarespace to implement their designs. We imagine this taking 40-50 hours over the course of 7 weeks.
  2. Visual designer to design several design assets, such as diagrams of the human-centered design x healthcare x research process, visual abstracts (which are visual representations of our research outputs), and other documentation on how we work as a lab (1–2 volunteers). The visual designer will work closely with the Executive Director, Research Director and Design Director. We imagine this taking 40-50 hours over the course of 7 weeks.
  3. Put together a social media campaign to help us better disseminate our learnings and attract funding (1–2 volunteers). We are looking to better engage with the design communities and healthcare communities via social media. We would imagine a student could help us create a social media plan (timeline, types of content, any tools we might want to use, etc.), novel pieces of content, and help us grow our followings across. They will work closely with the Executive Director and Design Director. We imagine this taking 10–15 hours over the course of 7 weeks.

Contact Devika Patel, '16, MS '17

Averroes High School

  • Work on a social media and marketing campaign: Revamp their social media presence on Instagram and play an integral role in putting together an awareness campaign
  • Skill-based tutoring: Work with students in mastering the elements of writing and/or algebra and precalculus
  • Plan an online science festival for students: Design flyers and secure sponsors
  • Book Mobile: Maintain a database of books and create a social media challenge for students

Contact Rebecca Chiao.

Menlo Together

Menlo Together Logo

Reach out to people on Menlo Together's email list (about 400) either by phone (if we have their number) or email, to have deep canvassing conversations and learn what's important to them about Menlo Together's housing/ transportation/sustainability/equity agenda. We will train you in deep canvassing, which aims to connect, at a deep level, to encourage engagement and action to support our shared values. Suitable for groups or individuals.

Contact Adina Levin.

Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth

The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and the Mastercard Impact Fund is two years into a five year strategic plan to drive inclusive growth. We are doing a strategic review to assess where we’ve been and how we should pivot not least because of the economic and social implications of COVID. As part of that, we want to conduct a landscape analysis of other corporates operating in social impact to benchmark ourselves and see what we need to pivot for years 3-5 to be best in class.

We are looking for a team of students to conduct a landscape review of other corporate social impact programs - with a specific focus on those operating in the financial inclusion, placed based economic development, future of workers, and data science for social impact spaces. We also want to know what our payment competitors are doing to understand the overlaps and opportunities to differentiate. We’d like insight not only on the scale and depth of the company’s social impact but also their ability to realize influence and reputational halo. In many cases, a company might make a modest set of social impact investments but realize huge returns on their brand through their ability to garner media, government and other stakeholder attention.

The final output would be a PowerPoint presentation that students would have the opportunity to present to senior Center management in early January.

Contact Payal Dalal.


Context: Argentine citizens grow up hearing about debt crises, ‘vulture funds’ and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in connection to economic crises. Although not always aware of why sovereign debt crises erupt, what the 'vulture funds' do, or the role and function the Fund plays in the international financial architecture (IFA), Argentines tend to have strong opinions on all sovereign debt-related matters. There are those who scape-goat the IMF and call for an end of the tyranny of finance. Or those who hold the successive Argentine governments solely responsible for the seemingly endless cycle of booms and busts, and who tend to consider that private creditors simply insist on what is rightfully theirs, namely the enforcement of a legal contract. While both positions may have some truth in them, they also miss crucial nuances that provide a more balanced picture. The first position misses crucial aspects such as the absolute central role financing plays in achieving development, or the important role the IMF can play as a creditor of last resort. The latter view disregards the deeply asymmetrical global political economic order and imperfect IFA within which Argentina tries to pursue a sustainable development avenue, as well as the uneven playing field within which restructuring negotiations occur.

Project: Fundar, with the support of Open Society Foundation (OSF), is working on a narrative change campaign for social media regarding sovereign debt and its role in national development. The aim of the campaign is to educate the general citizenry in a tangible way about questions such as: why governments accrue debt, what it means to do so sustainably, why sovereign debt crises erupt, who the relevant actors are, what an orderly debt-restructuring could look like, how Argentina is embedded in the global economy and how the international financial architecture influences Argentina’s options for a sustainable development path.

Task: As part of the first project phase, Fundar has elaborated on a report about existing narratives regarding sovereign debt in the local media. We seek to enrich the research done with two additional reports compiling:

  1. narratives regarding sovereign debt crises in Ecuador (given that Ecuador restructured their sovereign debt with private creditors at the same time Argentina did and also reached an agreement with the IMF). Fluent Spanish is mandatory for accomplishing this task.
  2. perspectives on the Argentinean case in the international press.

These tasks can be completed by groups or individuals. A 15 day period for elaborating each one of the reports should be enough, though we can adapt to a different schedule.

Contact María Belén Bonelo.

Art Ripples

Art Ripples provides free art programs that impart creativity, healing, and purpose.

Art Ripples logo

We hope to take part in making education in the arts readily accessible to everyone. Alongside providing month-long workshops, we host art programs with women shelters, neighborhood community centers, and youth mental health initiatives. We are hoping to reach volunteers who are interested in teaching art workshops (art practice, art history, music, etc), as well as volunteers who would like to join our outreach or marketing and design team. The timing be determined by the volunteer and their hopes in involvement.

Contact Helena Zhang.

Quality Schools International - FILLED

For those interested in child protection: Debbie Downes is the Child Protection Lead of an international school organization and works closely with the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children. Both organizations would happily give design and policy-writing tasks to an interested student. All tasks would benefit children in international school settings. We can tailor tasks to your interests. One or two students are welcome. We can work with your timing. We are comfortable in the virtual environment and will work with the time you have to offer.

Literacy Council of Northern Virginia - FILLED

*Creating mobile-friendly learning materials for adult immigrants and refugees* Help with one or more of these mini-projects to support adults learning English:

  1. Make interactive, story-based sentence scrambles for up to 50 stories.
  2. Create Quizlet flashcard sets for 100+ vocabulary related to workforce English. Convert print-based multiple choice tests to Google Forms.
  3. Animate dialogs depicting workplace scenarios.

2–5 volunteers needed Estimated time: 2–20 hours depending on chosen mini-projects.

Contact Amy Tristan.

Centura Health - FILLED

Work with the new Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer of Colorado's largest healthcare organization in one (or more) of several projects for individuals or a group:

  • Create a resource list for physicians of recent medical studies on race/diversity.
  • Create a resource list for studies concerning the benefits of diversity and inclusion for corporations.
  • Help set up a program for underrepresented racial/ethnic minority college students interested in medicine. Contact patients and discuss screening with them to improve quality metrics—this is similar to a population health role/advocate.
  • Help the Mile High Medical Society, Denver's Black physician group, get the paperwork ready to become a 501c3 organization.

Contact Oswaldo Grenardo, MD.

World Learning - FILLED

World Learning - NGO

Help us connect emerging leaders from around the world to share ideas and build their professional networks! This international NGO, based in DC and Vermont, partners with the US Department of State on international professional exchange programs for emerging global leaders in a wide range of fields. We have converted in-person programs to virtual formats, which has required creativity and some new tech skills. A volunteer could help us by researching virtual interpretation companies, setting up project pages on Canvas, researching organizations and potential speakers on topics related to US foreign policy, developing interactive virtual activities, or other tasks related to global virtual engagement. Timing is flexible, but a minimum of 1–2 meetings per week during business hours would allow us to collaborate on the project. May lead to a paid virtual internship if there is mutual interest.

Contact Patricia Harrison, '91.

Literacy Council of Northern Virginia - FILLED

*Queering English language materials for the adult immigrant/refugee classroom* The invisibility of LGBTQIA2+ communities and individuals is a persistent and well-documented issue in the field of English language teaching. That said, we are gradually seeing more work connecting queer theory and language pedagogy. Some practitioners (e.g., Tyson Seburn in his blogpost), present different approaches. We’re looking for Stanford students who are interested in creating queer-inclusive content and instructional language activities modeled off of activities found in a typical textbook series for immigrant-background adults learning English. Inclusivity-focused sample units will be shared for inspiration. Lots of freedom to create products that will benefit adult education classes. 5+ hours. Queer students are especially encouraged to sign up.

Contact Amy Tristan.

In addition, we recommend you visit Community Care for a wide variety of service ideas that you can accomplish on your own. For organizations that would like to share additional service activities, complete this form. Questions? Contact Reza Rezvani or Peggy Propp.