Steps to Becoming a Volunteer
As a volunteer at the Karsh Center, you will meet hundreds of clients who face challenges daily. At the Karsh Center, they will be able to find some of their needs met — by a legal remedy, a dental filling, or a pair of glasses. But more powerful than any of these important solutions is the caring and compassionate conversation they will have with you, reminding them that they are not alone and that someone cares.
If you are interested in being a part of this vision, please fill out our interest form here. Please note that we are growing rapidly, and will do our best to be in touch quickly. We appreciate your patience as we move through the process.
After we receive your form, we will contact you. Each volunteer must then complete an application (which we will provide), provide a government-issued photo ID and receive a volunteer identification card, a volunteer assignment, and any additional training that might be required for the task.
Volunteer Opportunities/ Job Descriptions
- ESL/Civics: ESL/Civics volunteers will help legal immigrants (primarily from South Korea and Latin America) to develop the knowledge of English, American history, and civics needed to become U.S. citizens. Volunteers may work as teacher aides providing support to instructors or in small groups with adult students; they may also provide individual tutoring. Volunteers will also conduct mock immigration interviews with adult students, asking about personal information and immigration status, testing their skills in reading, writing, and speaking English and their knowledge of U.S. history and civics.
- Navigator: Volunteer “navigators” will assist with the intake process for all clients seeking services at the Karsh Center. Volunteers with tablets will engage in the waiting room with new and existing clients to help them complete electronic forms. Navigators will work closely with the receptionists to ensure that clients are seen promptly and then are scheduled for follow-up appointments. Navigator volunteers will be trained to use intake software and will be provided with information to make any necessary referrals. Volunteers must be friendly, engaging, and empathic. The volunteer’s ability to be compassionate while maintaining boundaries is essential. Spanish and Korean language skills will be beneficial.
- Food Pantry: Food Pantry volunteers will have the opportunity to pack and distribute a grocery bag of staples to feed a family for a week. For volunteers this is more than an opportunity to feed a hungry individual; it is also an opportunity to meet and interact with that person. Food Pantry volunteers do not need to attend a volunteer orientation before volunteering. They simply need to sign up. The Food Pantry is open on Sundays. This volunteer opportunity is suitable for families and young people.
- Literacy: Literacy volunteers will help staff the Book Nook & Story Corner that the Book Foundation will be establishing at the Karsh Center. Volunteers in the Karsh Center waiting room will offer children a new book to take home. They will also engage the children in fun literacy-building activities and lead reading time. In addition to promoting literacy and increasing academic success, this program offers a comforting and entertaining experience to children and families. Volunteers will demonstrate reading for the parents and caregivers to promote literacy at home. Volunteers should have an open mind, a positive attitude, and patience. Literacy volunteers will receive an hour of Book Foundation training and orientation. Volunteers will also help track inventory and maintain the Book Nook. This volunteer opportunity is suitable for young volunteers.
- Dental/Vision: These volunteers will have expertise in dental or vision care and will work with the Karsh Center collaborators — KHEIR and QueensCare — in these fields.
- Legal Aid: Legal volunteers are professional attorneys and paralegals that work with collaborating organizations that provide legal services (i.e., Bet Tzedek, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Public Counsel, Inner City Law Center, and Alliance for Children’s Rights).
- Bereavement: Volunteer grief support group leaders are trained and supervised by OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center to co-lead groups for grieving children and adults at the Karsh Center. If interested, please attend our volunteer orientation and apply for the Our House training here. Spanish speakers are particularly encouraged to participate.
Questions and Answers
“The collaborative and comprehensive approach to service at the Karsh Center is exactly the right way to permanently address poverty in our community. Bet Tzedek is honored and thrilled to be a part of this incredible team of advocates and volunteers.”
Jessie Kornberg, President and Chief Executive Officer