There are many ways to get involved when, especially before, a disaster occurs. The content found on this page will guide you to find ways to take action and protect your community in a disaster.  We know there are many in our community who want to give back while they’re Sheltering-In-Place; There are many ways to get involved during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The content found on this page will guide you to find ways to take action and give to your community in a disaster.

Donate Locally

To best meet immediate needs and to protect the health and safety of the community during the COVID-19 response, local nonprofits and agencies request financial donations instead of clothes or used items.

Donate Money

The Community Foundation for Monterey County created the COVID-19 Relief Fund in partnership with the Monterey Peninsula Foundation to help those affected by the impact of the Coronavirus in Monterey County. The COVID-19 Relief Fund will address the immediate and longer-term needs of our region’s most vulnerable residents.

Register Today

Donate Food

Monterey County Food Bank accepts non-perishable food items year-round.

Donate Today

Volunteer Locally

 Volunteer at the Alternative Care Site

The County is setting up an Alternate Care Site at the Marina Airport to treat subacute patients to open on May 4th. This will be a transitional facility for patients who have tested positive for Covid-19 and have been discharged from the hospital but still need a level of care that cannot be completed at home. This is not a walk-up clinic; this is an extension of all County Hospitals and will require admission from one of those locations.

Learn More

Community Builders for Monterey County

Community Builders for Monterey County is a hub to connect volunteers to community needs; their focus is linking the two together. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or comments.

Register Today


If you are looking for in person volunteer opportunities, you can visit the following sites:

Volunteer Virtually

There are many opportunities to volunteer virtually! If you are interested in using this time at home to help others, you can help in many ways including, but not limited to, the following:


  • Amnesty International operates a network of digital volunteers helps conduct research into global human rights violations. Volunteers have used their phones and computers to verify the location of oil spills, find evidence of drone strikes, and flag abusive tweets to women politicians in India. –

Transcription Work

  • Zooniverse provides links to more than 80 projects that provide opportunities for volunteers to transcribe historical documents or tag images or scanned documents, and their list of opportunities is frequently updated –

Provide Emotional Support

  • Adopt a grandparent campaign– virtual meetings with elders to reduce loneliness during the pandemic –
  • Crisis Text Line offers free, 24/7 support for those in crisis. If you’re at least 18 and can commit to volunteering four hours each week, you can apply to be trained for free. –
  • 7 Cups connects caring listeners to those needing free emotional support. –
  • Chemo Angels sends a card, letter or note once a week to someone undergoing chemotherapy. Apply to be a volunteer today. –
  • Monterey County Behavioral Health has developed a variety of opportunities for social connection, information sharing, and live discussions through their Forward Together Program

Data Entry or Archive work

  • The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, but even they could use a little help sometimes. Help make their collections more accessible by volunteering online to transcribe historical documents or edit Wikipedia articles related to their artifacts and research.
  • Crowd4U is a nonprofit open microvolunteering and crowdsourcing platform for academic and public purposes. It maintains a task pool to store a number of microtasks that can be performed in a short period of time. Each of many contributors performs a small number of tasks –
  • Missing Maps is the perfect online volunteering opportunity for any lover of cartography, offering them a chance to map areas which are currently uncharted. By mapping these vulnerable areas, they can help crisis teams help more efficiently to disasters. Since 2014, over 95,000 volunteers have contributed. –

Care Kit/Mask development

  • Valley Medical Foundation in Santa Clara County is creating reusable masks for health care personnel dealing with non-COVID-19 related cases; they shared a how to guy on making these masks and places to donate created masks –

Translation work

  • Translators without Borders combines language skills with humanitarian aid. Volunteers provide translations (10 million words a year!) to international organizations that focus on crisis relief, health and education. –

Copywriting, blogging, or editing

Activism and Advocacy work

  • DoSomething empowers young people to enact social change both online or off. Volunteer online through one of our campaigns to help solve real-world problems. DoSomething members have used the internet to successfully urge Apple to diversify their emojis, change the dictionary definition of “Black/black”, and create the largest crowdsourced anti-bullying guide. –
  • Ark of Hope for Children is empowering advocates and donors to bring care and awareness to those victimized as children by human trafficking, child abuse and bullying. Volunteer to be an Online Ambassador

Consulting or Marketing assistance

  • Taproot+ is a marketplace for short-term, individual pro bono consulting projects, curated by the Taproot Foundation. Many of these volunteer projects can be completed remotely. – 

 Education and Tutoring

  • The School in the Cloud provide children across the globe with access to the internet. Their Granny Cloud has over 100 volunteers that Skype with children on a regular basis. –

  • The Granny Cloud is an independent team of volunteers that reaches out to children with limited educational resources around the globe, in a variety of settings, and provides them with the opportunity to experience worlds far removed from their own via Skype.
  • Right Here at Home trains people in technology to help overcome poverty –

Virtual Assistance for those with Access and Functional Needs

  • Be My Eyes is a free app that connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers and company representatives for visual assistance through a live video call.

Record Your Voice

  • VocaliD has been at the forefront of creating custom synthetic voices using state-of-the-art machine learning and speech blending algorithms since 2014. A voice AI company with deep scientific roots, VocaliD holds innovative patents in distributed voice collection and synthetic voice aging. Share your voice and help drive innovation in voice technology –

Fundraising Phone Calls and Outreach


  • was created by The United Nations to provide virtual volunteer opportunities for sustainable human development assistance, including writing, editing, translation, teaching, training, art and design, research, technology development, project development and management, outreach and advocacy, community organizing, administration, and more!
  • provides over 700,000 virtual volunteer opportunities available, from fundraising assistance, to journalism and grant writing.  They also provide COVID19 specific virtual volunteer opportunities
  •  is providing over 600 virtual volunteer opportunities, including volunteer screeners, graphic design work, and making facemasks from home.
  • is providing over 200 opportunities exclusively for online volunteer projects. Each one has a timeline that can range anywhere from an hour to a few weeks. So whether you have an afternoon or several, you can help not-for-profit with tasks like writing thank you letters or editing photos.
  •  is Points of Light’s database providing over 8,000 volunteer opportunities including creating COVID-19 care packets, recording audio books, and fundraising.
  • provides a list of organizations that provide opportunities to virtually volunteer and provides ideas on how you can virtually help others on your own.
  •  provides a list of categorized virtual volunteer opportunities.
  • is an initiative by AARP to help its members get connected with nonprofits and causes. Anyone can use the site to find virtual volunteering activities in support of a variety of organizations. Enter either “virtual” or “online” in the keyword search, chose any for distance and date, and leave your postal code blank.

Business Donations

Legitimate companies and business that have an interest in offering resources can contact the Emergency Operations Center at

Fraudulent offers and scams will be forwarded directly to the District Attorney's Office for investigation.  

Beware of Fraud and Scams

There is a potential for fraud during emergencies. Donors should ask questions to organizations they are considering donating their time or money to. It is important to work with known and reputable groups as it is not uncommon for scams to emerge during emergency situations.

The Secondary Disaster

Monterey County is a loving and giving community; the compassion and generosity consistently demonstrated by Monterey County residents and businesses is never more evident than after a disaster. People want to help. While we appreciate the uniqueness of our supportive community, please assist us in avoiding a secondary disaster caused by uncoordinated, uncontrolled masses of donated goods and volunteers, ultimately interfering with disaster operations, by following the general guidelines listed on this page.

Please donate and volunteer responsibly.


Call, text, and (safely) knock on doors to make sure our neighbors, friends, and family are connected and have the support we all need! Click here to learn more on how to safely check in on your community during these difficult times.


The priority of volunteer activity is assistance to others. When this spontaneous activity is well managed, it also positively effects the volunteers the,selves and this contributes to the healing process of both individuals and the larger community. 

Volunteering is a valuable and necessary part of every healthy community. Volunteers come from all segments of society and often provide essential services. Everyone has the potential to contribute strength and resources in times of emergency. 

Volunteers are successful participants in emergency management systems when they are flexible, self-sufficient, aware of risks, and willing to be coordinated by local emergency management experts. Volunteers must accept the obligation to "do no harm." 

California Governor Gavin Newsom and California Volunteers launched #CaliforniansForAll, an initiative to connect residents, businesses and organizations to safely unite in service. Fill out the form on the Californians For All Website to get connected to volunteer opportunities and ways you can make a difference in your communities.


  • Volunteer with a recognized organization involved in disaster response or recovery prior to the disaster.
  • Volunteer with a non-profit organization and be trained to find meaningful volunteer opportunities following a disaster.
  • There are many organizations and faith-based groups that work nationally and in your community, that have active disaster programs and need volunteers.
  • These groups offer a wide range of services following a disaster. See National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster for more information and to sign up for volunteer opportunities.


Immediately following a disaster, a community can become easily overwhelmed by the amount of generous people who want to help. Contacting and affiliating with an established organization will help to ensure that you are appropriately trained to respond in the most effective way.


Wait until a need has been identified and the local community impacted has requested support. Sign up to volunteer, and wait to travel until opportunities have been identified. Once assigned a position, make sure you have been given an assignment and are wearing proper safety equipment for the task.


Recovery lasts a lot longer than the media attention. There will be volunteer needs for many months, often many years, after the disaster - especially when the community enters the long-term recovery period.