Our Model

The commitment of a skilled and dedicated core of volunteers is integral to the work of the Karsh Family Social Services Center. Whether it’s feeding clients through our Mobile Food Pantry or helping veterans facing homelessness clear tickets at our Sunday legal clinics, volunteers are at the heart of our efforts.

Karsh volunteers lend their expertise, time, and energy to each of our pillars of service: Health and Wellness, Civic Engagement, Food and Nutrition Security, Financial Stability, Literacy and Education, and Child Well-being  — as well as to the joint Karsh Center/Wilshire Boulevard Temple programs.

We are proud to offer a variety of volunteer opportunities, which comprise a list that continues to grow and change in response to the needs of our clients and the communities we serve.

For some opportunities, you’ll need to submit an application and go through training; for others, you can simply register and show up. Some programs are interested in individuals who can participate every week, while others that you fit in a single day to help out with a special event. Our volunteers contribute in a plethora of ways, from conversing and counseling and teaching to driving and lifting and cooking. There is truly something for everyone.

Become a Food Pantry Volunteer
Sign up for our newsletter
Description What’s next? Time Commitment
Throughout the year, thousands of individuals visit the Karsh Center to access services, learn about resources, and experience a safe and thoughtful place in which to receive support. Each of those individuals’ experience begins with a conversation with a Karsh Center Navigator.

Karsh Navigators spend a minimum of one four-hour shift per week providing guidance and referrals to those in need, welcoming clients for appointments, supporting Karsh Center programs and operations, and so much more.

Submit a Volunteer Application One four-hour shift per week, plus training
Description What’s next? Time Commitment
Each Sunday morning, a dedicated group of volunteers assembles and distributes grocery bags of pantry items, produce and hygiene items to our neighbors in need in Koreatown. This effort depends on volunteers to run, and is a great way to make an impact with your Sunday morning. Volunteering at the Sunday morning food pantry is a great family-friendly activity.

Other information that is important to keep in mind:

  • Children and youth as young as 5 are welcome to volunteer with a parent/guardian present. They must be signed up/registered through this portal as well.
  • This activity requires standing for the duration of the activity, and being comfortable lifting and moving food items to put in the bags.
Register for a Sunday An hour and a half
Description What’s next? Time Commitment
Every Sunday, dedicated volunteers assemble turkey sandwiches, lunch bags and drinks, and personally hand them to individuals we serve who are facing homelessness. To provide this important service, we need you! This is a family-friendly activity, and a great way to make a difference with just a few hours on Sunday morning.

Other information that is important to keep in mind:

  • Children and youth as young as 5 are welcome to volunteer with a parent/guardian present. They must be signed up/registered through this portal as well.
  • This activity requires standing for the duration of the activity, and being comfortable lifting and moving food items to put in the bags.
Register for a Sunday Two and a half hours
Description What’s next? Time Commitment
Join us at the Karsh Center for an hour or two, and pack groceries to help feed almost 50 client families for a week! Each Tuesday, amazing volunteers join us in the Leanse Ratner Family Food Pantry at the Karsh Center to assemble all of the grocery bags that we deliver throughout the week to clients through our Mobile Food Pantry and FEAST programs.

Volunteers at this activity will pack grocery bags with shelf-stable pantry goods, sort through donated produce and divide it among the bags, and help prepare any additional items that we have available to be shared with the community we serve.

Other information that is important to keep in mind:

  • Children and youth as young as 5 are welcome to volunteer with a parent/guardian present. They must be signed up/registered through this portal as well.
  • This activity requires standing for the duration of the activity, and being comfortable lifting and moving food items to put in the bags.
Email volunteers@karshcenter.org One to two hours per week
Description What’s next? Time Commitment
Each week, our amazing group of volunteers makes sure that 50 local families enrolled in our Mobile Food Pantry program receive a bag of groceries and fresh produce, a smiling face, and conversation about how they are doing and how the Karsh Center can provide them support.

After training, Mobile Food Pantry (MFP) Volunteers come to the Karsh Center each Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning to pick up MFP bags and drive them to one of two local supportive housing complexes, where they deliver them door-to-door to client families. The same volunteers visit the same clients each week, and develop a connection that goes beyond that week’s produce!

Submit a Volunteer Application Two hours per week, plus training
Description What’s next? Time Commitment
Are you an attorney, practicing or retired, who would like to lend your services to those in need? Throughout the year, the Karsh Center hosts legal clinics in collaboration with legal services nonprofit organizations to assist the most vulnerable in our community. Typically a one-day event, volunteer attorneys will receive specialized training in a particular area of the law and then be teamed up with a pre-screened client to assist with a legal issue in that area. Some of the past clinics have focused on:

  • Assisting survivors of human trafficking apply for greencards
  • Assisting veterans who are homeless to have tickets/infractions expunged
  • Assisting individuals facing violence apply for asylum
  • Assisting families with guardianship proceedings
Email volunteers@karshcenter.org to be added to our Karsh Center Legal Listserv. Time commitment varies, typically one full day event.
Description What’s next? Time Commitment
Whether it’s assisting with childcare while parents in our neighborhood attend a wellness program at the Karsh Center, tutoring afterschool with one of our Collaborator organizations in Koreatown, or helping our staff team welcome students for a service project and a tour of the Karsh Center, the Karsh Center is increasingly looking for volunteers who want to help children connect with services and have a great experience while they’re here. Are you a caring, thoughtful adult who is ready to help the youngest members of the Karsh Center community — from clients to volunteers — feel valued, safe, and happy to be here?

This is a great opportunity for someone who is looking for a more flexible volunteer opportunity, as Children’s Program Volunteers will be called in on a program-by-program basis as the need arises.

Submit a Volunteer Application Time commitment varies, contact volunteer@karshcenter.org for more information.
Description What’s next? Time Commitment
Are fluent in Spanish, Korean, Bengali, Tagalog, or any other of the 60+ languages spoken in Koreatown? We need your help! In our effort to best serve clients, the Karsh Center shares all materials in English, Spanish and Korean, and works to make sure our special events are staffed with as many volunteers as possible who can help us connect with clients from a variety of backgrounds.

If you are interested in volunteering as a translator at events, or helping us translate materials and resources to share with those we serve, please fill out our Karsh Center volunteer application and begin the process of getting involved!

Submit a Volunteer Application Time commitment varies, contact volunteer@karshcenter.org for more information.
Description What’s next? Time Commitment
Do you have a specialized professional skill that you feel could benefit the Karsh Center and those we serve? We’d love to hear from you! Let us know more about you and what skills you would like to share with the Karsh Center. We are currently actively recruiting for volunteers to assist with specialized tasks below:

  • Data entry
  • Social media
  • Communications/PR
  • Photography
Submit a Volunteer Application Time commitment varies, contact volunteer@karshcenter.org for more information.