Volunteer/donation opportunities in the time of COVID-19

Updated 11/23/2020

Volunteer/Community Spotlight

Life’s persistent and most urgent question is “What are you doing for others?”

 Action #1 – Join the Mask and Gown Brigades! 


New volunteers:

  • Send an email to Amy here to volunteer for masks or gowns with your name, cell phone #, email address, residential address and if you need or have fabric to donate and whether you can drive for supply and demand for others.

Masks still needed!

Resistance to injustice is sometimes pushing from the front, like with the transformative marches and rallies this month. Sometimes it is refusing to leave others behind. Today’s post is for the latter.
Hospitalizations for COVID-19, a disease that strikes hardest at our farmworkers, frontline workers and the elderly in Ventura County, is going up again and our county’s volunteers are needed again.

Hello Sewing and Gown Brigade,

We are still making progress with almost 12,000 masks sewn to date but our stock is getting low. (See instructions below for “Masks for front line health-care workers”)

Dr. Fankhauser’s plan is to have 3 months supply at a 3x burn rate in the event we see a remarkable increase. So we are assisting with this tremendously. We also still want to secure childrens masks and  continue to collect civilian masks (ones with elastic for ears).  These elastic type masks are used in clinics and hospital for those that attempt to enter without a mask. 

Janice Chan masks

What is really low is actually the gown count.  Nurse Gina distributed the last 50 to the drive through COVID clinic.

If you are willing and able to sew or assemble gowns we need to continue if possible.  Today, we had 62 new cases reported in our county.  We need to continue to protect ourselves and others until a vaccination can be created.


Ventura County Health Care Agency has been awe inspiring to watch through this planning and preparing and we would not have been able to flatten the curve and ascertain resources without the lean in from all of you.  Thank you for your continued commitment to the Brigade making masks and gowns.

Please let me know if there are any high school groups or college students home that are willing to assemble gowns. It is a tedious job but it was really nice to have some of our nurses disappointed to not be able to get more alternative trash bag gowns – it made me smile knowing our communities heart went into protecting these healthcare heroes at a time when we still are not able to ascertain authentic PPE.

Thank you again for your dedication and commitment!


Update from Amy Towner, CEO of Health Care Foundation for Ventura County, Inc.:

  • Masks for front line health-care workers: Go here for their approved instructions and drop-off information.
  • Masks for you, your family and neighbors: Go here for “no-sew” and sewn options.
  • GOWN BRIGADE: Instructions here.The gowns are very tedious to iron and assemble but very much needed as our supply is very low still. For those of you that even have a few gowns assembled, please turn them in so we can put them into the supply chain!!!  We still have supply of trash bags for those of you that need more bags to assemble.Those who want to help with this project will need a solid surface like a large dining room table and scissors, possibly an iron.

Ventura’s mask-making volunteers have made the New York Times! Check out the bottom paragraphs of this article! Then watch this video of the project from KEYT. Local high school students are also using 3D-printing to create face shields for medical workers. Ventura County is full of awesome people!

Update from Amy Towner, CEO of Health Care Foundation for Ventura County, Inc.:

Donations of medical equipment needed!

  • O2 monitors: Emergency doctors need 50 of these. We set up an Amazon Wish List for this item for anyone interested in helping! Here is the link. 
  • Telephone power cords.
    • People waiting with patients need to recharge their phones. If  you have extra you can donate, please put in a ziplock or plastic bag with your name, email, cell and address on it for a future thank you note.
  • All other “Personal Protective Gear”: We are still seeking all PPE, isolation gowns, N95 masks, surgical masks, gloves, goggles.”  isolation gowns, level 2 or higher.
  • Need delivery assistance? Send an email to Amy here
  • Drop off mask or other donations to 765 Saratoga, Ventura. This week, the Ventura County Office of Emergency Services began accepting donations at three drop-off locations: Assembly member Jacqui Irwin’s offices in Oxnard and Camarillo and the Ventura County Community Foundation in Camarillo.
  • You can also donate them to medical professionals anywhere in the country at MasksforDocs and at #GetUsPPE.

Ventura County is now offering free Antibody Testing.

Testing site locations and times here.

Action #2 – Totally Local VC and the Local Love Project


The primary goal of Totally Local VC’s Local Love Project is to activate and organize members of our community in the aftermath of a disaster within our 805 communities and to provide relief and support to those affected by disaster. This is Local helping Local.

  • Have you been affected by the coronavirus, and need help?
  • Can you donate funds to help people through this disaster?
  • Can you donate services such as driving, grant writing, sewing or graphic design?
  • Can you donate your time for either Totally Local VC or the Local Love Project?

Action #3 – Help for our community members on the front lines.



The 805 UndocuFund is a collective effort among Ventura and Santa Barbara County-based grassroots organizations to assist local undocumented immigrant individuals and families who are excluded from federally funded safety net programs; that have been economically impacted by the loss of their homes, wages, and/or employment due to disasters in our community like wildfires, mudslides, and the coronavirus

You can donate online or for instructions to donate by check, click here.
Volunteers are needed to interview affected families in assistance, assist in application processing clinics and help disburse financial aid funds. Sign up here.

Farmworkers’ COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Fund

Justice for Migrant Women joined together with Hispanics In Philanthropy to raise immediate funds to help keep farmworker families safe from #COVID19 as they perform “essential” work to feed us. Show your support and appreciation and donate today to the Farmworkers’ COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Fund here. This is a nation-wide campaign.

Please donate $25 today to help support the farmworkers who feed our nation as well as  service workers like housekeepers, gardeners, restaurant cooks and dishwashers who are unemployed right now and often excluded from unemployment insurance and any kind of safety net due to immigration status.  Checks can be mailed made payable to Hispanics In Philanthropy with Farmworkers’ Pandemic Relief Fund written in the check memo line. Please mail checks to 414 13th Street, Suite 200, Oakland, CA 94612

Dignity for Farmworkers – Dignidad al Campesino

Donate here to help these local essential workers.


Action #5 – United Way of Ventura County

Check out their “current needs” page here.

Please also be advised during the crisis, some of our partners do not have the capacity to list their volunteer needs directly on this site. 

If you are interested in being notified of other COVID-19 related service opportunities we invite you to register as a Disaster Spontaneous Volunteer at http://www.volunteerventuracounty.org/need/detail/?need_id=311201. We will push out notifications to this group periodically with new needs and opportunities.

Thank you for your support of our community.”

Action #6 – Food Share seeks volunteers.

Food Share needs volunteers to help sort donations, pack boxes and help out pantries. The need is critical now. The organization is trying to double how much food it can provide as needs increase.

Action #7 – The Ventura Shelter needs donations

The Ventura Shelter still needs these items: Fresh fruit, snacks, surgical mask, coffee, hand sanitizer, dawn dish soap, laundry detergent, bleach, paper towels and non-dairy milk. Let Jim Duran jimduran@me.com if you can offer any.
Also, the Area Agency on Aging is providing two weeks of food (and a roll of toilet paper) to seniors.
They probably will continue to need volunteers, though today this message is to get the word out.
Folks can pick up a box of food at 646 County Square Drive, across from Government Center in Ventura.
Food can also be delivered.
People should call 805-477-7352.

Action #8 – Ventura County Area Agency on Aging seeks volunteers.

Ventura County Area Agency on Aging (info here) is seeking volunteers to make food deliveries or work in the agency’s senior nutrition garden to help harvest produce, which is given to area residents.

Click to access HELP-YOUR-NEIGHBORS_VCAAA-1.pdf

Action #9 – Do you have some computer /high tech skills?

If you have high tech skills to volunteer – join the “Design to Combat COVID-19 Community.

  • We are a community of volunteers who refuse to sit on the sidelines.
  • We want to virtually assist where we can, and want to take action now.
  • We are community of designers, engineers and creatives who want to remotely volunteer their skills and help create innovative solutions to support others affected by the pandemic.
  • We have the virtual resources, with the passion to help get involved, and can assist those affected by helping the best way we know how.
  • Do you have technical skills to donate? If you have experience running medical equipment, especially PCR machines or 3D printers, there are ways for you to volunteer. And, Helpful Engineering is organizing people to contribute to a number of projects to fight COVID-19.

Action #10 – Train online to be a volunteer certified nurses aid to help fight COVID-19. (Sponsored by Rotary Districts and Clubs)

As the fight against the Coronavirus escalates, Volunteer Certified Nurse Aides(CNA) can help take up the slack, allowing more RNs and MDs to focus on critical care. If we are interested in helping out, VolunteerSurge is ready to train and place 1,000 Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). If we choose to sign up, we’ll get an online learning system with a Red Cross-licensed 40-hour CNA training program, and ADP’s WorkMarket platform to match us with opportunities in communities all across the country. They will build a profile that includes our special skills and areas of interest, and pair us with a volunteer assignment that fits our needs. As the need for volunteers surges, we can scan postings in WorkMarket for assignments that touch our heart or inspire us. We can come together as a country, fight hard and save lives when we sign up to train as Volunteer CNAS here:  https://volunteersurge.com/ Thanks for answering the call!

If we’ve missed an important volunteer opportunity to help our community in this time of crisis, tell us. Send emails here: indivisibleventura@gmail.com. We will be updating this post.