Volunteering in Vista

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

Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum
collects, preserves and displays examples of mechanical ingenuity and crafts associated with the early days of the American farm and rural community. The Museum offers educational and recreational opportunities to the public through exhibits, demonstrations, activities and programs displaying the art of invention fulfilling necessity.

Friends of the Rancho Buena Vista Adobe
The Friends of the Rancho Buena Vista Adobe is a nonprofit foundation that works with the City of Vista to preserve the historic portion of this unique site and to interpret it’s significance. Volunteers lead tours, help staff the visitor center and gift shop, and serve as docents.

Gloria McClellan Adult Activity & Resource Center
The city’s Senior Services program relies on volunteers to assist with daily lunch and providing transportation for local seniors.

Moonlight Cultural Foundation
The Moonlight Cultural Foundation’s mission is to build and engage community through transformative arts experiences by providing philanthropic support for Moonlight Stage Productions and Moonlight Youth Theatre’s arts education programs.

Rancho Guajome Adobe
This county historical site relies on volunteers to assist with site maintenance, serve as docents, and patrol the grounds to answer any questions from visitors.

Vista 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.

Vista Community Emergency Response Team
When emergencies occur, CERT volunteers start evacuations and first aid as quickly as possible and serve other time-critical emergency functions to help save lives and property.

Vista Fire Department
The Fire Senior Volunteer Program utilizes volunteers over the age of 50 for picking up and delivering supplies and mail between fire stations; fire prevention education; assisting with the Smoke Alarm Program; providing support such as hydration and food to firefighters at fires and other extended emergency incidents; and conducting fire station tours.

Vista Historical Society & Museum at Rancho Minerva
The Society is a nonprfoit foundation dedicated to the discovery, recording, collecting and preservation of historical facts, properties, and other materials regarding the history of Southwestern United States, in particular, recording the settlement and development of this region in San Diego County, and also preserving and perpetuating for public benefits those artifacts, historical objects and documents for all to see.

Vista 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.

Vista Unified School District
Volunteer assistance in schools enriches the educational program, enhances supervision of students and contributes to school safety while strengthening the schools’ relationships with the community. Additionally community members are encouraged to serve as mentors providing support and motivation to students.

Parks / Wilderness

Alta Vista Botanical Gardens
Alta Vista Botanical Gardens foster involvement of the community in efforts, both local and abroad, to protect and preserve endangered habitats. Volunteers do everything from weeding, watering and planting to running events, designing gardens and signing up new members.

Anstine-Audubon Nature Preserve
Anstine-Audubon Nature Preserve is an 11.6-acre wildlife sanctuary and native plant garden, owned and operated by San Diego Audubon. Volunteers assist with activities related to habitat restoration and maintenance, and greet visitors.

The Vista Conservancy
The mission of the Vista Conservancy is to pursue the protection of historical, agricultural and environmentally sensitive open space within the Vista area.

Service Organizations

Alvin Mayo Dunn American Legion Post 365
Open to any honorably discharged military veterans, the local post currently hosts VFW Post 7041 in its quarters, provides visits and brings necessities to residents at local VA hospitals and veterans homes, and host Thanksgiving and Christmas events for local military members who are away from home for the holidays.

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.

Green Oak Ranch
This church-owned center hosts both an addiction recovery program and a retreat center. It gladly accepts volunteer projects from local organizations – Scout units, service clubs, churches or businesses. Contact the Ranch for a list of current needs.

North County Foodbank
The Foodbank partners with more than 400 nonprofits with feeding programs to provide nutritious food to individuals and families in need in communities throughout North County.

North County Lifeline
North County Lifeline’s mission is to build self-reliance among youth, adults, and families through high-quality, community-based services. Volunteers assist as tutors, arts and crafts instructors, activity leaders, office assistants, translators and in maintenance. Professionals are sought to volunteer their services as therapists, mediators, or attorneys.

Operation Hope
Provides a safe and supportive environment for families with children and single women who are experiencing homelessness as they rebuild their lives.

Pride of Vista Lions Club
Part of Lions International, this Club works with schools throughout the city to provide free vision examinations to children referred by the campus health officer. The club also collects and refurbishes used prescription eyeglasses and matches them with a needy child having that same prescription.

Rancho Buena Vista Chapter, NDAR
A chapter of the National Daughters of the American Revolution, this patriotic service organization supports local veterans organizations, historic preservation organizations, and conservation programs.

Rotary Club of Vista
Chartered in 1937 by Rotary International, this club raises money to provide meals to homeless teens in the community, among other charitable activities.

Solutions for Change
Solutions for Change transforms lives and communities by permanently solving family homelessness. Our approach is unique, providing a complete and sustainable solution driven by accountability.

Sons of Norway Lodge 6-060
The Sons of Norway promotes educational and entertainment events to preserve Norwegian culture and the contributions Norwegian immigrants have made to the local community – including the annual Vista Viking Festival.

Soroptimist International of Vista & Inland North County
Founded in 1953, this club holds fundraisers that allow it to give out educational grants to women working to improve their employment status and standard of living for themselves and their families.

Sunrise Vista Kiwanis
This Kiwanis Club is more than 40 years old. It sponsors a Boy Scout troop, several high school Key Clubs, and its members volunteer at Brother Benno’s.

Vista Elks Lodge
Lodge #1968 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks hosts several local Scouting units, and supports local organizations that serve children with special needs and their families.

Vista Masonic Lodge No. 687, F&AM
This Masonic Lodge supports the California Masonic Foundation’s childhood literacy program.

Vista Optimist Club
Founded in 1948, this service club hosts and sponsors Rancho Buena Vista Little League, raises money for annual student scholarships, and charters two Scout units.

Vista Palomar Riders
This nonprofit club exists to promote good fellowship and recreation among horse-loving people of this community and encourage them to own, ride and enjoy saddle horses. The club holds events to help maintain the equestrian heritage of North County, and to educate the community about the role of horses in our history.

VFW Post 7041
Open to any honorably discharged veteran who served in an overseas area of foreign conflict. The local club holds fundraisers to help support local Make-A-Wish programs for seriously ill children, and to support veterans and other patriotic programs.

Vista Education Foundation
This nonprofit organization works with the local business community to provide funds to local schools to supplement the arts and technology curriculum, and create apprenticeships and internships for students to learn about career opportunities. In addition, scholarships are offered for graduating high school seniors.

Vista Teen Outreach
This nonprofit organization provides food and essentials to hungry teens who are in the Vista Unified School District.

Youth Enrichment Programs

Boys & Girls Club of Vista
The Boys & Girls Club is a safe and fun place with programs focusing on character development, academic success and healthy lifestyles.  Trained staff of youth development professionals provide positive role models and mentors, supplemented by caring community volunteers.

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.

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.

Vista American Little League
This league offers baseball for youths ages 4-16 within its participation boundaries.

Vista Girls Softball
This league offers recreational and competitive softball for girls.

Vista Little League
This league offers baseball for youths ages 4-16 within its participation boundaries.

Vista Pop Warner Football & Cheer
This organization provides football, cheer and dance programs for area youth ages 5-15.

Vista Soccer Club
This program offers recreational and competitive soccer for youth ages 7-14.