Volunteering in San Marcos
We do our best to list all the nonprofit service organizations and public agencies that rely on volunteers to fulfill their mission. Please visit our Contact Us page to suggest additions we may have overlooked, or submit corrections.
Cultural / Civic Organizations
Friends of the Planetarium
760-744-1150 Ext. 2833
This nonprofit organization helps promote the planetarium at Palomar College, develop educational outreach activities for the community, inspire and educate the next generation of scientists and engineers through activities at the Planetarium, and support the Planetarium as a venue to help K-12 students connect with the science of astronomy and improve science education.
Kaiser Permanente – San Marcos Medical Offices
This nonprofit medical provider uses volunteers to greet visitors in the lobby and direct them to their destination, and assist with wheelchairs.
Palomar Medical Center
This government-run hospital relies on volunteers to serve as greeters in the lobbies, to drive shuttles, to serve as hosts in surgical waiting rooms, to staff the gift shop, and to lead activities in the skilled nursing wards, among other roles. In addition, volunteer musicians provide both entertainment and lessons.
San Marcos Branch Library
Volunteers perform a variety of duties, including, but not limited to: presenting and assisting with branch events, tutoring adult literacy learners, reading to children in the “Grandparents and Books” programs, helping students with homework, leading book discussion groups, and serving as Internet docents.
San Marcos Historical Society
The Society is a nonprofit organization devoted to the collection, preservation and presentation of artifacts, documents and photos relating to the history of the area. Volunteers serve as docents, lead school tours, help with research, and scan photos into a digital database.
San Marcos Promise
Provide programs, resources and opportunities that guide and support students on their educational journey beyond high school and into the workforce.
San Marcos Senior Activity Center
The city’s Senior Activity Center needs volunteers to staff the information table, assist with daily lunch, help visitors in the computer lab, serve as instructors and aides for classes offered at the center, and perform needed maintenance and cleaning duties.
San Marcos Sheriff’s Station
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department utilizes volunteers in the Senior Volunteer Patrol Program, in which qualified seniors can assist in either an office setting or in unarmed uniform community patrols. Youth ages 16-20 can participate in the Explorer Program, in which they learn about careers in law enforcement and help out with traffic control and other community activities. The Search & Rescue Program also utilizes volunteers, both for field work alongside reserve deputies, and in clerical support positions. Reserve Officers are sworn law officers who volunteer their time to assist full-time deputies. The Dive Unit utilizes both support and certified diver volunteers. Volunteers with a horse are eligible to apply for the Mounted Patrol for ceremonial duties.
Parks / Wilderness
Friends of the Arboretum
760-744-1150 Ext. 2133
The Friends of the Edwin & Frances Hunter Arboretum at Palomar College helps maintain the grounds of the collection, to trim and water the plants, and the plant and care for seedlings.
Friends of San Marcos Parks & Recreation
This nonprofit organization advocate for the health and happiness of the community and visitors to San Marcos by enhancing the city’s Parks & Recreation programs and facilities. The Friends of San Marcos are dedicated to responsible stewardship with an emphasis on collaboration, reaching out, and working to realize shared goals.
San Marcos Parks & Recreation Department
The Parks & Recreation Department has volunteer opportunities for reserve park rangers, horseback and bicycle patrols, docents at Jack’s Pond Nature Center, assisting with special events, and helping with trail maintenance.
Twin Oaks Valley Equestrian Association
Dedicated to “Keeping it Equestrian” An organization with the mission of preserving the rural and equestrian lifestyle of the Twin Oaks Valley and surrounding communities. Fundraising to help improve and maintain on of the only public equestrian facilities in Northern San Diego County – Walnut Grove Park.
Lake San Marcos Kiwanis
This service club supports a Scout unit, a Key Club, operates a child literacy program, offers numerous college scholarships for local high school graduates and children of an adopted military unit at Camp Pendleton, and organizes the annual Holiday Parade.
Route 78 Rotary
This Rotary club sponsors the annual Mariachi Festival to raise money for local childhood literacy programs.
San Marcos Lions Club
Part of Lions International, this club sponsors vision exams and provides free prescription eyeglasses for low-income youth, as well as providing childhood diabetes and cancer awareness programs. The club also sponsors a Scout unit, a high school Leo’s Club, and an annual youth speech contest.
San Marcos Rotary
Part of Rotary International, this club organizes a variety of fundraisers to promote childhood literacy and hunger relief programs throughout the city.
VFW Post 3795
Open to any honorably discharged veteran who served in an overseas area of foreign conflict. The local Post supports a Scout unit, organizes an annual flag display for veterans interred at San Marcos Cemetery, and supports other local veteran and patriotic events. Family members are eligible to join the VFW Auxiliary.
Youth Enrichment Programs
Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos
The Club provides a safe environment where youth can have fun and be themselves, adult role models who respect and listen to them, and interesting, constructive educational and recreational activities that channel youthful energy into challenging and productive pursuits. Volunteers assist staff with running sports programs and assisting members with homework and tutoring.
Boy Scouts of America
Volunteers help plan and staff day camps, resident camps, camporees and other large, multi-unit events; assist with fund-raising; serve on Eagle boards of review; and serve as Merit Badge counselors and STEM mentors.
City Soccer Club (SC) San Marcos dba San Marcos Youth Soccer
The nonprofit league provides a locally managed program that offers recreational, social and physical development for children of all ages regardless of skill level and financial ability.
Girl Scouts of the USA
Volunteers help staff day camps, assist with adult training workshops, sit on the Gold Award Committee, assist in the local Scout office, and mentor girls through the advancement program.
San Elijo AYSO
This league offers soccer to area youth with a philosophy of “Everyone plays.”
San Marcos AYSO
This league’s mission is to operate soccer programs where young people can learn to develop a positive self-image, self-confidence and other positive character traits through their interest and participation in soccer.
San Marcos Girls Softball
This league offers recreational and competitive softball for girls ages 5-15. Volunteers help run the snack bar (a major source of income to help keep participation costs low), assist with Opening Day ceremonies, and take part in the annual fundraising golf tournament.
The San Marcos Promise
Since its inception, The San Marcos Promise (TSMP) has strived to open doors for students by helping them discover their strengths and interests, helping them find viable post-high school pathways to pursue those interests, and then showing them the way.
San Marcos Pop Warner
This league provides football and cheer for area youth ages 5-15.
San Marcos Youth Baseball
This league offers baseball to area youth ages 5-14.
San Marcos Youth Basketball
This league provides basketball teams for area youths in grades 1-8.