When it comes to volunteering, many people want to help with the most critical issues facing their community.

In Los Angeles, the biggest social problems are homelessness, youth, and the environment. Here are a few organizations that need your help.

Homelessness

Stand Up for Kids

Stand Up for Kids is a national organization working to help America’s homeless youth. Their signature purple shirted volunteers have been helping kids all over the United States since 1990.

There are centers in Venice Beach and Hollywood, where volunteers provide counseling, hot meals, a place to sleep as well as catering to hygienic needs of about 100 to 150 kids a couple nights a week.

Counselors go through a “rigorous training course” to prepare for what they’ll see on the streets and are asked to give two to three hours per week for six months upon completion.

Since the organization is 99.5% volunteers, there are many positions to be filled. %20website%20for%20more%20information.%0D%0A%0D%0ATree%20People%0D%0A%0D%0AThe%20average%20life%20span%20of%20an%20urban%20tree%20is%20only%20seven%20years.%20Tree%20People%20is%20an%20organization%20actively%20working%20to%20extend%20that%20average.%20Every%20January,%20Tree%20People%20distributes%20fruit%20trees%20to%20low%20income%20areas%20to%20be%20planted%20in%20backyards,%20school%20grounds,%20and%20community%20gardens.%20%0D%0A%0D%0AThey%E2%80%99ve%20donated%20over%2090,000%20fruit%20trees%20in%20LA%20county%20since%201984.%20Learn%20more%20about%20their%20volunteer%20opportunities%20here.

Heal the Bay

In 1985, a few concerned citizens recognized that the Santa Monica Bay was in grave danger due to an irresponsible sewage treatment plant. Since then, this non-profit has fought to improve the condition of the bay through manpower and local legislation.

Get involved and be a captain of beach clean up with orientation and training, or speak on behalf of Heal the Bay at events. Check out Falling Whistles, Causecast, and volunteering abroad focus page!