The Field Guide to Community Service


"I am an example of what is possible when girls from the very beginning of their lives are loved and nurtured by people around them. I was surrounded by extraordinary women in my life who taught me about quiet strength and dignity."
— Michelle Obama


  • The next time a Girl Scout approaches you to purchase cookies, grab your wallet and buy some. It’s so simple (and yummy). If you don’t want to eat them yourself, drop the boxes off at the fire station, police department or local homeless shelter.

  • ​Donate a dress to Princess Project, which collects formal dresses and provides them to high school teens who otherwise could not afford prom dresses..


  • Share your story of courage – whether it was a victory of courage or a time when you wish you were courageous – anonymously through InHerShoes.

  • Dress for Success needs volunteers for personal shopping, career mentoring and to serve as speakers.

  • Grateful Garment has many ways for volunteers to help, from the nitty gritty work helping with intake of donations to becoming a weekend warrior. It also has a program – Leggings for Hope – to collect 10,000 pairs of new leggings (leggings are one of the most requested but least donated articles of clothing).


  • Become a FAN for Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative. The Female Athlete Network (FAN) act as stewards of an impressive legacy of women’s sports, and events allow the organization to remain educated and prepared to influence local conversation and debate that support future generations of female athletes.

  • Girls on the Run needs volunteer coaches. Coaches can be male or female and need not have running or coaching experience; you just need enthusiasm for healthy living and the desire to empower young girls.

  • Join Habitat for Humanity’s Women’s Crew, which brings women together monthly to make a difference, from volunteering to fundraising.


American Association of University Women

(408) 294-2430

AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research.

Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative

(408) 247-2544

BAWSI mobilizes the women’s sports community to engage, inspire and empower children who need us the most. Its programs focus on increasing resiliency in children living with adversity.

Blossom Birth & Family

(650) 321-2326

Blossom Birth & Family works to connect new and expectant families in the Bay Area with services, resources and support for a healthy, informed and confident pregnancy and parenting journey.​

Dress for Success San Jose

(408) 935-829

Dress for Success provides professional attire, a network of support and career development tools to help disadvantaged women thrive in work and in life.

Front Door Communities

(408) 600-6654

Front Door Communities supports and serves homeless and at-risk men and women in downtown San Jose. One of Front Door's programs is Lifted Spirits, a women’s drop-in center that provides a safe place for homeless women to receive a meal, shower and socialization. The center collects clothing and hygiene product donations to give to the women.

Girl Scouts of Northern California

(800) 447-447

Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.

Girls on the Run Silicon Valley

(800) 524-192

Girls on the Run inspires girls (3rd thru 8th grade) to be joyful, healthy and confident using curriculum that creatively integrates running.

Grateful Garment Project, The

(408) 674-5744

The Grateful Garment Project ensures that victims of sexual crimes are provided with whatever new clothing, toiletries, snacks and other miscellaneous items that he or she needs.

Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley

(866) 450-4432

Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. They have many volunteer opportunities, including Women’s Crew, which brings women together to make a difference on a monthly basis.

Heritage Home

(408) 294-1238

Heritage Home is part of San Jose's CityTeam and helps pregnant women overcome homelessness, addiction and other hardships while becoming loving mothers to their newborn babies.


InHerShoes is committed to encouraging girls and women around the world to live and create courageously. The organization takes a stand for freedom of expression, assertion of npassion and pursuit of possibility in every aspect of their lives.

Junior League of San Jose

(408) 264-3058

The Junior League is committed to developing the potential of women, improving the community, and promoting volunteerism through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

March of Dimes

(415) 788-2202

March of Dimes improves the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.

Mothers’ Milk Bank

(877) 375-6645

Mothers’ Milk Bank provides safe and processed breast milk for babies who are under the care of a health care professional.

National Charity League Inc.

NCL fosters the mother-daughter relationship through community service, leadership development and cultural experiences.

Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence

(408) 501-7550

Next Door Solutions is dedicated to domestic violence and creates paths for women to achieve safety, stability and self-sufficiency.

100+ Women Who Care Silicon Valley

100+ Women is a giving circle that empowers women to learn about local nonprofits and then donate $100 directly to the organization by joining together with other women and creating a powerful impact in our local area.


onRoute22 works to end poverty for women by restoring dignity and hope.

Peninsula Women’s Chorus

(650) 327-3095

PWC is a 50-voice women’s choir performing high-quality classical and contemporary music. The chorus envisions a future as a vibrant music making community where women collaborate to create transcendent musical moments beyond their imaginations.

Princess Project, The

The Princess Project promotes self-confidence and individual beauty by providing free prom dresses and accessories to high school teens who cannot otherwise afford them. High school students can organize a dress drive at school.

Rainbow Women’s Chorus

(408) 603-9367

RWC works to develop musical excellence in an atmosphere of mutual support and respect. The chorus performs publicly for the entertainment, education and cultural enrichment of the community.

San Jose Woman’s Club

(408) 294-6919

San Jose Woman’s Club supports the city’s cultural, educational, civic and community initiatives through charitable works and financial gifts.

Teen Success Inc.

(408) 263-8330

Teen Success breaks the cycle of intergenerational poverty by helping teen mothers graduate from high school and pursue post-secondary education, delay additional children until adulthood, and get on a path to long-term self-sufficiency and well-being.

YWCA Golden Gate Silicon Valley

(800) 572-2782

The YWCA Golden Gate Silicon Valley is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.


  • Walk your neighborhood.

  • Remember a nonprofit in your will.

  • Find out if your company has matching donations.

  • Work on a political campaign.

  • Practice compassion.


This Field Guide chapter was edited by Annie Fisher.

Annie graduated Chapman University in Orange in 2020.

When she is not editing the Field Guide, she likes to do ballet, explore new restaurants in the Orange County area and spend quality time with friends.

Community service is important to her because she wants everyone to have a fair chance in this world. She likes to help people through hands-on dedicated work because it directly makes an impact on people's lives.