First Pres supports 16 partners in Berkeley, Oakland, and the East Bay.

Our local outreach offers church members meaningful opportunities to learn firsthand about economic and social issues affecting our neighborhoods, and to work alongside inspiring leaders who are making a difference in the lives of children, families, and others in need. Several of these local partners offer regular opportunities for members of the First Pres community to join in their ministries. Learn about these opportunities below and scroll down to meet all 16 of our local partners.

Ongoing Service Opportunities

The following organizations offer opportunities to serve year-round. We invite you to learn more by visiting their websites, or by taking a look at upcoming events on our calendar.

Children Rising employs volunteers during the academic year to teach and mentor 2nd grade children in public schools most affected by poverty, violence, and educational inequity. Faithful volunteers help these young students develop the academic and life skills they need to realize their God-given potential.

CityTeam programs provide food, shelter, clothing, training, and spiritual transformation in order to restore lives and rebuild communities.

Harbor House is a Christian nonprofit serving at-risk children and families in the lower San Antonio neighborhood of Oakland.

Meet Our Local Partners

We invite you to get to know each of our local mission partners, as listed in the categories below. We have a deep love for these organizations that are the hands and feet of Jesus, and we encourage you to become engaged with them. If you would like to get involved, please visit the volunteer links, reach out to the organizational contact, or email your First Pres liaison. If you have any other questions, please contact Director of Outreach Beth Thomsen.

Habitat for Humanity

To volunteer:, or 866-450-4432
Contact: Karen Hernandez
First Pres liaison: Gary Laymon

Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley believes in a world where everyone has a decent place to live. By building and improving homes, we create strong and stable communities. Habitat welcomes volunteers and supporters from all backgrounds, and serves people in need of housing regardless of race or religion.

International Rescue Committee

To volunteer:
Contact: Aria Brock, 510-452-8222
First Pres liaison: Barbara Frost

Each year, thousands of people forced to flee violence and persecution are welcomed into the safety and freedom of America. The International Rescue Committee provides opportunities for refugees, asylees, victims of human trafficking, survivors of torture, and other immigrants to thrive in the U.S. In Oakland, and in other offices across the country, the IRC helps these new Americans to rebuild their lives.

Children Rising

To volunteer:
Contact: Bronwyn Harris
First Pres liaison: Martha Allen

Every year, almost 2,000 Oakland school children reach third grade unable to read or perform basic math. Without these skills, they will not have the confidence, or the ability, to succeed in elementary school, middle school, and beyond. Children Rising nurtures and equips these vulnerable children to rise above the challenges created by generations of poverty, violence, and educational inequity. Children Rising volunteers teach, mentor, and nourish these children and youth to help them realize their God-given potential.


To volunteer:
First Pres liaison: Martha Allen

Cru, formerly Campus Crusade for Christ International, has been at work for more than 60 years helping students come to know Jesus, grow in their faith, and share the gospel of Christ. Cru partners with 2,300 campus ministries, as well as with other local ministries. First Pres directly supports staff members David and Bethanne Moles, who currently serve together in the Mid-Atlantic Region.

New College Berkeley

First Pres liaison: Christina Davis

New College Berkeley encourages and enables Christians to integrate faith with their academic disciplines, and to cultivate Christian vocation within secular studies and professional engagement. Since its founding in 1977, New College Berkeley has served undergraduates, graduate students, and lifelong learners with wide-ranging courses, conferences, seminars, lectures, and retreats aimed at renewing minds, deepening faith, and shaping vocation. New College Berkeley is an affiliate of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, an interfaith consortium of nine seminaries and 11 affiliates associated with the University of California at Berkeley.

Oakland International High School

To volunteer:, or email Daryna Lock
Contact: Lauren Markham
First Pres liaison: Doug Chin

Oakland International High School provides quality alternative education to recently arrived refugee and immigrant students from more than 30 countries who speak more than 35 languages. Many of these students arrive with significant gaps in their formal education, having fled war, violence, and extreme economic hardship. Oakland International High School connects these students with socio-emotional services that support their transition to the U.S. We rely on volunteers (in the classroom and outside) who can make a long-term commitment to build relationships with students, staff, and program partners and become part of the dynamic OIHS community.

Young Life – Berkeley

To volunteer:
Contact: Tricia Singleton, 510-280-6163
First Pres liaison: Kathy Drake

Young Life’s national mission is to give youth the opportunity to hear the gospel and know Jesus Christ. Volunteer leaders educate students on the teachings of Jesus and provide homework help, college preparation assistance, and basic life skills mentoring for independent living. University students and working-adult volunteers serve on a weekly basis to give one-on-one attention to students in need.

Rotacare Richmond

To volunteer:
Contact: Amit Randhawa, 510-871-4974
First Pres liaison: Marie Corwin

RotaCare Richmond offers bilingual medical care to uninsured adults in Richmond, California. An all-volunteer staff provides a range of diagnostic and therapeutic medical services, all offered free of charge. Rotacare recently expanded to include a Women’s Health Clinic as well as specialized care for patients living with diabetes, asthma, and hypertension. Clinics are in need of volunteer physicians, nurse practitioners, clerks, pharmacists, and more. Other volunteers are welcome as well.

1951 Coffee Company

To volunteer:
Contact: [email protected], 510-280-6171
First Pres liaison: Mindy Phillips

Created in 2015, the 1951 Coffee Company is named for the year when the United Nations Refugee Agency first set forth guidelines for the protection of refugees. 1951 Coffee Company provides job training and employment opportunities for refugees and asylum seekers. More than 200 individuals have completed this free, two-week program, with 80% of the graduates finding good-paying jobs at Blue Bottle, Red Bay, Highwire, Equator, Starbucks, and other companies, or at one of 1951’s three nonprofit cafes. Volunteers support 1951’s barista training by giving trainees mock interviews, real-life work experience, and practice in conversational English.

Berkeley Food & Housing Project

To volunteer:
Contact: [email protected], 510-601-2604
First Pres liaison: Marie Corwin

The mission of Berkeley Food & Housing Project is to ease and end the crisis of homelessness in our communities. Since 1970, Berkeley Food & Housing has been a compassionate provider of food, housing, and support services. The organization operates a 32-bed men’s shelter, a 32-bed women’s shelter, and a 12-bed transitional housing program for male veterans. Berkeley Food & Housing also serves free, nutritious meals almost every weekday at shelters around Berkeley. Volunteers (ages 14 and older) assist with meal preparation and meal service.


To volunteer:
Contact: Teddy Feldmann, 510-452-3758
First Pres liaison: Gary Laymon

CityTeam is a nationwide, non-denominational Christian organization serving the poor, the homeless, and the lost. What starts with a simple meal can ultimately transform the lives of the thousands of men, women, and children who find hope within the doors of their local CityTeam. The Oakland location, including its new women’s shelter, provides hot meals, shelter, medical services, learning and career counseling, and spiritual care. CityTeam welcomes individual and group volunteers to serve meals, assist in the learning center, serve as mentors, and participate in other ways.

First Pres Street Meal

To volunteer in the kitchen: contact Lars Stenstedt
To provide hospitality: contact Marie Corwin
To donate clothing and other items: contact Nancy Koerner
First Pres liaison: Marie Corwin

The First Pres Street Meal is much more than a hot, tasty supper served to 150 of our homeless and food-insecure neighbors twice a month. It is a loud, energetic, sometimes raucous experience of God’s grace. On the second and last Saturday of the month, volunteers open their hearts, and the First Pres kitchen, to cook and serve dinner. Guests also receive clothing, toiletries, and bedding, and enjoy time to relax and socialize. After dinner, volunteers lead a Bible study that welcomes everyone, believers and skeptics alike. To donate to Street Meal, click here. To view upcoming Street Meals, click here. You can find a list of what is needed for Care Package donations on the event page here.

Harbor House

To volunteer:
Contact: [email protected], 510-534-0165
First Pres liaison: Martha Allen

Harbor House is a Christian nonprofit serving at-risk children and families in the lower San Antonio neighborhood of Oakland. Unemployment and underemployment are significant challenges for residents here; for many, refugee status, illiteracy, and inadequate education make these challenges even tougher. Children under 18 represent 30 percent of the population in this community. Harbor House provides a safe place for children and families to find opportunities and resources, and to build relationships with one another. Volunteers enrich Harbor House programs by sharing their time and skills in our elementary and teen support programs, family services, adult education, and more.

YEAH!/Covenant House

To volunteer:
Contact: Alina Schenk or Shelby Booker, 510-379-100
First Pres liaison: Kathy Dwyer

In partnership with compassionate community members in Berkeley, YEAH! (Youth, Engagement, Advocacy, and Housing) provides shelter, case-management, mental health counseling, and supportive services to young people ages 18 to 25 who are experiencing homelessness. YEAH! programs focus on co-creating a community with young people to help them achieve the stability, wellness, and personal goals they desire. Volunteers support the two supervisors who watch over and lead the shelter’s residents, helping out in preparing and serving meals, washing dishes, and overseeing shower and laundry facilities.


To volunteer:
Contact: [email protected], 510-251-2070
First Pres liaison: Beth Thomsen

MISSSEY (Motivating, Inspiring, Supporting & Serving Sexually Exploited Youth) is an Oakland nonprofit that envisions a world where no young person is bought, sold, or exploited. MISSSEY provides services to exploited youth in our community, many of them victims and survivors of multiple human rights abuses. Through MISSSEY, they receive nonjudgmental, trauma-informed, and healing-centered services from an experienced, compassionate staff. MISSEY accepts volunteers on an as-needed basis and puts them to work in a variety of ways.

Project Peace East Bay

Contact: [email protected], 510-402-5060
First Pres liaison: Mindy Phillips

Project Peace East Bay creates partnerships among local churches, schools, and social service providers to work together for just and sustainable communities in Berkeley, Oakland, and surrounding areas. In addition to an annual speaker series focused on social justice issues, Project Peace coordinates Days of Service throughout the year, giving volunteers an opportunity to work with various community groups on projects involving “sweat equity” across the East Bay. First Pres Berkeley partners once a year with Project Peace for Do Justice, a day when 150-200 volunteers worship God through acts of service.