Volunteers are the heart and soul of 826 Valencia. We offer over 4,000 hours of free programming every year, all of which result in books, magazines, newspapers, and podcasts—and it all relies on the dedication of incredible volunteers that come to our centers and join us in local schools every day to support students on their journeys as writers and thinkers.
Last year alone, we had 1,300 volunteers dedicating their time to our students. Our diverse volunteer force comes from all backgrounds: retired teachers, high school seniors, college students, and many working professionals who make time in their busy schedules to support our mission. Among those cherished individuals are our corporate partners that help us in a number of ways—from rallying co-workers to volunteer with us to contributing with in-kind donations—effecting positive change in their city. These companies are setting the trend in San Francisco in corporate philanthropy by making community engagement a priority. And we love that!
In the 2016-2017 school year, we partnered with 32 companies that sent 248 individuals to support our programs. That’s 933 hours of tutoring! That’s amazing! And each group is specially trained by 826 staff ensuring that every volunteer is prepared to work with our students and support their growth. Many companies deepen their partnership with us by making philanthropic contributions, offering matching gifts, and finding other avenues for their committed employees to support us.
To thank some of our most dedicated corporate volunteer partners (and perhaps inspire you to get your workplace involved!), we’d like to introduce you to some standouts in these categories that we completely made up, just for them:
Longest-Running Corporate Partner / Best Hashtag Users
As our longest standing corporate partnership (since 2014) Twitter’s involvement has powered our volunteer force in many ways. Their employees have supported us through their company’s bi-annual #Twitter4Good day, whether helping out at our stores with holiday inventory or working with students to craft important stories, their time with us has been truly impactful.
Largest and Most Permanent In-Kind Donation
Dolby Laboratories has supported our Tenderloin Center in big ways in the last year, sending 47 employees to help as tutors or audio editors volunteering a total of 120 hours at our Podcasting Field Trips. They also provided our largest in-kind donation yet—three professional-grade soundproof recording booths which are essential to our Podcasting Field Trips (before this donation, we were recording podcasts in our Executive Director’s office!). With their support, we’re now literally amplifying students’ voices to a higher level.
Most Creative Way to Raise Money
SquareTrade suggested its employees opt out of their catered lunch for a week to have the designated money donated towards our programs. A thoughtful initiative that can inspire other workplaces to follow suit.
Throughout the year, those companies went above and beyond to maximize their involvement in their community, dedicating almost 1,000 hours of their time to help our students hone their writing skills and find their creative voices. And we couldn’t be more grateful to them!
As our organization expands, we’re seeking to grow our volunteer force by the hundreds so we can serve even more students each year. Spread the word at your workplace and bring along a co-worker or a friend to help out in any program that fits your schedule. Learn more!
“I love volunteering with 826 Valencia. I sign up to volunteer every time Airbnb offers a chance to work with 826. It’s one of the best volunteer events I’ve attended and I always can’t wait to come back.” -Sarah, Airbnb