Bay Area’s Super Volunteer Weekend Approaches; Sign Up to Make a Difference


From Beautiful Day 2012.

A wave of kindness and compassion is about to wash over the Bay Area this weekend. Are you ready to dive in?

Numerous nonprofit and faith-based groups are sponsoring large-scale volunteer events all over the region April 27 and 28, and they’re counting on you, along with thousands of others, to swing hammers, pull weeds, paint homes, beautify schools, and take long walks all in the name of helping our communities.

The biggest events of the weekend, Beautiful Day and Compassion Weekend, could draw as many as 10,000 people to projects from San Francisco to Hollister.  National Rebuilding Day takes place on Saturday, when even more thousands of volunteers representing four local chapters of Rebuilding Together will refurbish dozens homes. There are a few more Earth Day events taking place, and several charity walks are slated.

UPDATE (4/25/13): Giant Sweep, a collaboration of Starbucks, the San Francisco Giants, and the City of San Francisco, is also taking place on Saturday, April 27, in what the coffee giant is calling a Global Day of Service. Up to 1,000 volunteers are needed to clean up litter and make improvements around the city from 8:30 a.m. to lunchtime.

Below is a rundown of all the major events happening in the region this weekend, with links to online registrations. Consider joining your neighbors in making the Bay Area a better place for all.

Did I miss an event? Please share the information in comments!

Beautiful Day

beautiful-day-san-jose-westgate-church-2013-volunteer-eventProbably the largest volunteer event in the Silicon Valley, if not the San Francisco Bay Area. This year’s Beautiful Day event encompasses about 50 projects all over Santa Clara County from Monday, April 22 to Sunday, April 28, with most of the volunteer opportunities taking place Saturday and Sunday. The group is looking to sign up more than 6,000 volunteers; as of Monday morning, leaders announced they have about 1,500 spots they need to fill.

The projects range from fixing up group homes for teens in recovery, to school makeovers, beautifying downtown areas, corralling stray shopping carts, fixing the cars of women in need, and much more. Some projects are open to families with young children, some are more appropriate for teens on up to adults. The Beautiful Day Projects page explains each project, what ages are welcome, and how many spots are left.

The faith-based Beautiful Day collaborates annually with dozens of churches, agencies, nonprofits, companies, and individuals, for one week in April to fix up schools, homes, centers, parks, neighborhoods, and other public spaces. Last year an estimated 3,500 people volunteered during Beautiful Day week; 2,400 volunteered the year before.

Volunteer for Beautiful Day

Compassion Weekend

Picture 1For the eighth year in a row, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church is cancelling regular worship services on Saturday and Sunday, and instead urging its members and friends to participate in Compassion Weekend, 33 volunteer projects up and down the Peninsula, from San Francisco to San Jose, and just up the east side of the bay in Fremont. The public is encouraged to participate.

The projects represent the church’s key focus areas, education, poverty, and human trafficking, according to a press release. Many of the projects are suitable for families and children. About 4,600 people are projected to volunteer, up from 3,900 last  year.

New projects this year include a project with Freedom House, a rehabilitation facility in San Jose for human trafficking victims under the age of 18, and a facility upgrade of the Project WeHOPE Homeless Shelter, in East Palo Alto. Menlo Park-based projects include two at the Ravenswood School District, and a new project with the “There with Care” program providing assistance and supplies to families whose children are critically ill.

Volunteer for Compassion Weekend

National Rebuilding Day

Picture 3Rebuilding Together has declared the last Saturday in April as National Rebuilding Day. Chapters across the country host huge volunteer events, motivating thousands of people to refurbish the homes of people in need. People with specific building skills are especially needed.

There are four Rebuilding Together affiliates in the San Francisco Bay Area:

Silicon Valley (website says volunteer slots are full)

Peninsula (use the affiliate’s online volunteer registration form)

San Francisco (call or email for more info)

Oakland (call or email for more info)

Giant Sweep

On Saturday Starbucks is partnering with the San Francisco Giants and the City of San Francisco for a Giant Sweep anti-litter event. The public is invited to meet at 8:30 a.m. at the U.N. Plaza, 1150 Market St., for a kickoff ceremony, followed by clean up events located all over the city. Buses will take volunteers from the rally to the projects; at noon the buses return volunteers to a waiting thank you lunch. Click on the link for more information.

Mormon Helping Hands Day

Saturday is Mormon Helping Hands Day in California. Mormons and their friends and neighbors are encouraged to participate in projects all over the state; in the Bay Area there are more than 25 projects available. In some cases Mormon churches are teaming up with Compassion Weekend and Rebuilding Together events.

See the California Mormon Helping Hands project locations page to find an event near you.

Earth Day and Environmental Events

Apparently there were so many Earth Day events last weekend, some were carried over to this coming weekend. The San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department is hosting two volunteer events in Golden Gate Park this Saturday. See the website for more information.

The California State Parks Association is hosting three events this weekend. On Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. there’s a work event at Candlestick Point Recreation Area. On Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, volunteers are needed to work restoring habitat at Half Moon Bay State Park. And on Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., campground improvements are needed at China Camp State Park. See the Park Champions calendar for links to each of the events, and for more information on how to register in advance.

Charity Walks

Physical labor not your thing? Consider getting out and walking with others in support of a good cause. Here are three charity walks happening this weekend:

Best Buddies Friendship Walk – A walk on Saturday morning through Golden Gate Park to support Best Buddies, an organization for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). There are no fees; participants who raise $50 will receive a walk t-shirt. Meet at the The Music Concourse and Bandshell in Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr., San Francisco, at 8 a.m. for registration.

March for Babies – To support the March of Dimes on Saturday; registration is at 8 a.m. at Fort Mason in San Francisco.

Walk MS: San Jose 2013 – a 5K/1K walk on Saturday to support the National MS Society. Registration at 8 a.m. at the Arena Green, N. Autumn and W. St. John streets.

Nihonmachi Run – Takes place Sunday in San Jose’s Japantown, during the 36th annual Nikkei Matsuri festival. Proceeds from the run go to support Yu-Ai Kai Community Senior Service. Register at 8 a.m. for the 5K fun run.

Still More Community Events

Got kids? Take them to the YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, on Saturday. Bay Area Y’s are opening up their doors and hosting events with bounce houses, fun activities, healthy goody bags, and lots of good health information. Find a participating YMCA location near you.

In the South Bay don’t miss Cupertino’s 30th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival at Memorial Park, on both Saturday and Sunday. Great Japanese cultural fair, with lots of good food, entertainment, cultural exhibits, art, crafts, clothing, and activities for children. Proceeds from the festival go to support the Cupertino-Toyikawa Sister City Committee.




  1. jimmy says:

    I like to help people and talk on the cb radio


  1. […] this week I told you about what I’m dubbing as the Bay Area’s “Super Volunteer Weekend”, with numerous volunteer and charity walks taking place all over the region. Beautiful Day and […]