As a key strategy of its goal to raise the graduation rate in the United States to 87 percent by 2018, United Way launched a commitment to recruit one million volunteer readers, tutors and mentors. Since launching this national call to action:

   — More than 300,000 have pledged to become volunteer, readers, tutors or mentors.

   — More than 635 United Ways across the U.S. are contributing to the call to action.

As we celebrate these milestones…there is more that can be done to help students succeed. By volunteering in your community you will have the chance to gain some valuable skills and knowledge, which are common side effects of volunteering. Giving others your time brings you closer to interesting and challenging opportunities that can help you learn more about yourself and even put you on a path to your future career. Here you will find a list of some of the volunteer opportunities that United Way of Merced County has to offer.


The United Way Day of Caring is a structured volunteer opportunity that provides participants with a peek at volunteering. As part of the Day of Caring, businesses make a commitment to offer their employees a chance to “step away from their desks” to provide hands-on, volunteer labor for a wide variety of projects.

Pledge to become a volunteer reader, tutor or mentor and encourage others to do the same. 

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Merced County Food Bank: 209.726.3663 Sort & bag food, general cleanup, special projects, regular brown bag stuffing.
  • Salvation Army: 209.383.4225 M-F Breakfast service, Saturday evening dinner, monthly food giveaway.
  • Liberty Fellowship: 209.358.5701 Food and Clothing giveaway, Veterans Park, Atwater: 3rd Saturday of every month.
  • Merced County Office of Education: 209.726.0198
  • Playhouse Merced: 209-725.8587 Ushering, special projects
  • Merced County Arts Council: 209.388.1090
  • Habitat for Humanity: 209.728.0850 Help to build a house once a year.
  • Boys & Girls Club: 209.722.9922
  • Catholic Charities: 209.383.2494
  • “D” St. Homeless Shelter: 725-8188
  • Life House Recovery Homes – 510.472.1183

Ombudsman Volunteers:

  • Receive and investigate complaints on behalf of residents including allegations of abuse and neglect about residents in nursing homes and residential care facilities for the elderly.
  • Visit facilities regularly to discover and resolve problems.
  • Witness Advance Health Care Directives and Property Transfers for residents in skilled nursing facilities.
  • Work with the licensing agencies responsible for long-term facilities to solve problems.
  • Provide information and consultations to families and facility staff.
  • Provide education to community groups.
  • Offer in-service training to facility staff (this is usually done by paid staff)
  • Work with resident and family councils.

Note: The Ombudsman Volunteer must complete 36 hours of classroom training and 10 hours of field work.

Contact: Maria Nava Program Manager/Certified LTC Ombudsman (209) 385-7550 Ext. 7468

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