Where Mission North Volunteers

At Mission North, we’re committed to building a mindful business. Through our E3thos program, we donate two percent of our time (in addition to profits and partner equity) to support causes that align with our values. Each member of our team is allotted 40 hours of paid volunteer time per year, which has helped us build deep and thoughtful partnerships with the organizations we care about. Read on to learn about some of the ways we volunteer and how you can get involved.

New York City

New York Cares

About: New York Cares is a nonprofit organization focused on volunteer management in New York City. Its portal connects volunteers to a variety of opportunities each month related to adult learning and wellness, child and teen education, and community. New York Cares also leads a yearly coat drive and a winter wishes gift drive. Mission North has participated in both!

“I’ve been volunteering at New York Cares since 2011, and have done all kinds of projects — from reading to children at after-school programs to working on urban farms, to leading conversations with English-language learners. One of the things I really like about the organization is that it fits in with my schedule and my location. The opportunities range from a one-time session to projects with more commitment, and I try to volunteer at least a few times a year.” – Stephanie Leal, HR and operations manager, Brooklyn

How to get involved: Sign up to volunteer here. The orientation sessions are conducted online, so the sign-up process is a breeze. 

Read Ahead 

About: Read Ahead’s goal is to foster a love of reading in local elementary school students who need additional support.

“I’ve been a reading mentor with Read Ahead for over two years now. I volunteer at PS 289, a local elementary school in Brooklyn, every other Friday during the school year. I spend an hour reading, drawing and just hanging out with my mentee. I actually got to stay with the same student through her graduation from 5th grade this year (and I got to attend!)– it was so meaningful to watch her grow in that time.” – Kelsey Donohue, account manager, Brooklyn

How to get involved: Sign up to become a mentor here.

San Francisco Bay Area

San Francisco SPCA 

About: The San Francisco SPCA is an animal shelter, spay/neuter clinic and full-service public animal hospital located in San Francisco.

“Volunteering at the San Francisco SPCA has been a blessing. It’s exposed me to the most impressive, thoughtful, clean and effective animal shelter I’ve ever seen. My time spent as a “socializer” with animals helps them stay or become comfortable with humans in uncertain times, but for me, it makes an even bigger impact. Connecting with an animal is some of the best stress relief I’ve ever experienced.  I’d highly recommend others get involved!” – Sammi Ezrilov, San Francisco

How to get involved: Sign up to volunteer here. Note that it’s typically harder to volunteer with dogs than with cats because the SF SPCA often has a surplus of people interested in dogs.

Running for a Better Oakland

About: Running for a Better Oakland coaches and mentors K-12 youth as they train for and complete the Oakland Running Festival half marathon. The mentees gain confidence and values of achievement and hard work that they bring to the race day and beyond.

“Every one of the students I’ve coached is a true inspiration: They act as second parents to their siblings, juggle multiple extracurriculars and most will be the first in their families to attend college. It’s one of the greatest joys to share my favorite hobby with them!” – Chrissy Lee, account manager, San Francisco

How to get involved: Sign up to volunteer here. You can also find RBO on Saturdays at Lake Merritt – you can’t miss them in their blue and yellow shirts.

Dominical, Costa Rica

Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary 

About: Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary provides medical care to wild animals who face ever-growing threats to their existence, including attacks by humans and dogs, being hit by cars, electrocution by electricity lines that resemble vines and branches, and neglect and abuse by people who own them as “pets.” The staff and volunteers are hard-working and passionate people who are making a difference in the lives of countless animals and educating the public. When else are you going to be able to hold a sloth or bottle-feed a baby raccoon?!

“I got involved with the Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary last year when I volunteered for a week over Thanksgiving. I brought over medical and other animal care supplies, and since then, I continue to make donations and socialize their fundraising efforts. I also contributed to their newsletter, writing a post about my experience volunteering.” – Elinor Mills, senior vice president of content and media strategy, San Francisco

How to get involved: Sign up to volunteer hereThere’s a relatively short application, a fee for room and board and a vetting process over email before volunteers are accepted. Volunteers work hard and must abide by strict protocols in handling and caring for the animals, so if you’d rather spend your time surfing instead of getting your hands dirty helping animals, this experience probably isn’t for you.