Volunteer at Felton

Volunteer. Join us and be a force that transforms the world.

Felton Institute is proud to recognize the impact of volunteerism in building stronger communities. As a volunteer, you choose to invest your time and energy in giving back to a community you know and love.

The personal attention that volunteers are able to bring is always appreciated. Here are some opportunities that we hope will guide you to an impactful experience that’s meaningful and right for you.


Help Young Children Learn

If you’re a senior (55+ older) who loves to work with children, consider becoming an AmeriCorps Seniors volunteer in the San Francisco Foster Grandparent Program operated by Felton Institute. The goal of the Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) is to provide a multi-generational opportunity for older adults to serve in schools and various community settings. AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers become tutors, mentors, and friends to young children.

Assist a Senior in Everyday Life

Some older adults cannot get around on their own and lack the companionship and freedom they once had. Acts of volunteer companionship, whether running errands, delivering a meal, or just stopping by to sit and talk, make a world of difference. The Senior Companionship Program (SCP) focuses on reducing the effects of social isolation and loneliness for the elderly.

Volunteer Requirements/Eligibility: Applicants must be age 55 years of age or older and receive less than $1,985 per month to receive a small, hourly, tax-free stipend (that will not affect governmental benefits) and transportation reimbursement for their contribution.

Training Involved: Ongoing training through Felton Institute and host sites. 

Time Commitment: 15-30 hours per week 

Contact Information: Request an application by emailing us at volunteer@felton.org or by calling (415) 751-9786.

You can also contact Lolita Kintanar, Volunteer Coordinator, directly at lkintanar@felton.com  or visit the Foster Grandparent Program or Senior Companion Program pages for more information.

Support Suicide Loss Survivors

Suicide is a painful, emotional, and stigmatizing health crisis. For many, suicide deaths are violent, shocking, and can bring on a complicated grief to friends, family and loved ones.

One way to support those grieving a person who has died by suicide is through the help and hope of a LOSS Team. A LOSS Team is composed of individuals who have themselves endured the challenges of losing a person to suicide. Members of the LOSS Team are available to provide post-vention support and resources to bereaved loved ones after a sudden loss to suicide. A LOSS team brings compassion to action and can instill HOPE to those impacted by suicide.

Have you lost someone to suicide? Your experience may help others.

Volunteer Requirements: Eligible volunteers will complete an interview with the Program Coordinator, reference and background checks.

  • Be a suicide loss survivor and far enough along in your own journey that you are now able to help others. (Generally, no less than 2 years from your own loss)
  • Empathetic and compassionate
  • Professional clinician with specific training in Suicide loss and complicated grief
  • Punctual, reliable, and responds to requests in a timely manner
  • Ages 21+
  • People of all personal and professional backgrounds encouraged to apply
  • Submit to a background check

Training Involved: Prospective volunteers must attend at least four LOSS meetings and participate in approximately 8 hours of training. Training includes reading, virtual, and in-person instruction.

Time Commitment: When training is completed, our volunteers dedicate a minimum of four hours per month to our program.

  • Felton LOSS schedules are developed annually, with meetings held during weeknight evenings.
  • Survivor to Survivor Visits are scheduled on a case-by-case basis, but often take place during weeknight evenings and weekends.
  • Participation in monthly team meetings for program updates and continuing education.

Contact: Sophia Balestreri, Program Coordinator at Sbalestreri@felton.org or call (415) 726–4685 to request an interview.

LOSS Volunteer FAQ’s Downloadable PDF

To sign up for more information, https://feltoninstitute.salsalabs.org/lossvolunteer

Become a Suicide Hotline Volunteer

Are you a good listener? Caring? Supportive? Understanding? Do you want a real challenge? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then San Francisco Suicide Prevention may be right for you! As a Hotline Volunteer, you will be providing emotional support in a non-judgmental manner, assessing for risk of suicide, de-escalating crises, and giving information and referrals when appropriate.

Volunteer Requirements: Caring and reliable individuals (age 20 or older) who are willing to commit to emotionally challenging work. Professional, volunteer, or personal experience with mental health issues. Eligible volunteers will complete a phone screening interview, reference and background checks. 

Training Involved: 7-week training, which includes classroom, homework, reading, and mentorship

Time Commitment: Immediately following the completion of training, you must take one shift per week for the following 52 weeks or 200 total hours of service. Also needed are one-holiday volunteer shift and attendance of one continuing education seminar (or class). After volunteering for one year or 200 hours, you must commit at least 1 four-hour shift per month to maintain volunteer status.

Contact: Learn more about volunteering with San Francisco Suicide Prevention at sfsuicide.org/volunteering. Or contact the team directly by emailing sfsuicide@felton.org.

Help Empower Seniors Through Technology

Tech Squad is a program under Feltons Senior Division aimed at bridging the digital divide.” Volunteers will be provided a culturally appropriate tech curriculum to lead small group trainings, coach Seniors on how to access online services, and use of online communication tools. If you enjoy technology, working with older adults, and have the ability to communicate with patience and understanding – consider joining the Tech Squad today.

Volunteer Requirements: Tech-savvy teenagers and adults of any age with computer proficiency and knowledge of Zoom and other communication platforms, technical and problem-solving skills. Proficiency in non-English languages is a plus!  

Training Involved: Ongoing through the Tech Squad 

Time Commitment: 3 to 5 hours a week, Weekdays between 9am and 5pm

Contact: A Tech Squad Team Member at techsquad@felton.org or call (415) 474-1558 for more information. To apply, please complete the volunteer form on the Tech Squad website.

Advocating for Residents in Long-Term Care Facilities

Felton Institute San Francisco Long-Term Care Ombudsman Logo

With over 2,700 clients served, the San Francisco Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is a federally-mandated visiting advocacy program where volunteers receive and investigate complaints on behalf of older adults living in long-term care facilities. Ombudsman services are free to residents.

Volunteer Requirements: Must be at least 18 years old, pass a criminal background check, and be computer literate.

Training Involved: Volunteers must complete the 36-hour training provided for free by the State of California. Completion leads to State Certification as an Ombudsman.

Time Commitment:Volunteers commit to 5 hours per week for at least one year. 

Apply: To apply, please fill out our short Volunteer Inquiry Form so that we can get in touch with you. Call (415) 751-9788 or email ombudsman@felton.org for more information. 

Being an Ombudsman gives me the opportunity to apply my best skills. It feels great to be able to sit with someone and listen to their life stories that otherwise might not have been told.


San Francisco LTC Ombudsman Program

I love the team behind SFSP. They are among the most caring, compassionate individuals I have ever met. Everyone has their own personal story about why they volunteer here. And being part of this team gives me regular doses of wholesome, raw humanity.


SF Suicide Prevention Hotline Volunteer

“What I love about volunteering is it is a really nice way for me to give back. I get to interact with folks directly, especially some of our older folks; they don’t always have the easiest access to the support and the help that they need to use a lot of their devices. It is a nice way for me to give back and a nice way to support our community here.”

Arup C.

Tech Squad Program Volunteer