Dorothy's Place

co-operating out of poverty


The work we do to enrich the lives of guests would cease without our volunteers! We welcome you to partner with us:

Review our applications to see where your interests and availability will best fit into Dorothy's Place! If something sparks your interest, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator by email or phone, (831) 776-8674, to discuss the possibilities! 


Our individual volunteers are a huge help in supporting our programs. You may choose to come once a week, twice a month, or monthly to participate with Dorothy's depending on your schedule and our program needs. As a volunteer, you will contribute your time and talent, doing both small and large tasks, and in the process we emphasize that you get to know the guests we serve and begin to become part of our community. We need people to be greeters, good listeners, kitchen helpers, floor sweepers, resume writers, database managers, and much more!

Additonally, as a community of people bound in service to the poor, we are always looking for professionals with special expertise to join us in service.  If you have professional expertise in any area that you believe could be of help to the poor, please consider donating your time and experience.  Some areas of need include:

  • Medical/Dental
  • Mental health
  • Counseling
  • Art
  • Music
  • Hair care/personal care
  • Building maintenance/electrical/mechanic contractor
  • Marketing
  • Fundraising
  • Website Design

If you're interested in volunteering, please complete our on-line application or contact the Volunteer Coordinator by email or phone, (831) 776-8674.

We have many faith communities, school groups, corporations, and service groups that volunteer at Dorothy's Place - many for one-time service, and others on a regular basis. This is a great opportunity for your group to come and make a difference in the community as well as to gain team-building experience! During your service here, you will work together as a team to get things done for Dorothy's -- whether that is in preparing a meal together, helping to improve Dorothy's facilities, or doing a special project.  We love to have groups from the community partner with us and learn how they can serve the people who come through Dorothy's Place.

If your group is interested in volunteering, please complete our on-line Volunteer Group application or contact the Volunteer Coordinator by email or phone, (831) 776-8674.


Students from California State University Monterey Bay's Service Learning Institute serve at Dorothy's Place throughout the school year, assisting us in our programs. The mission of the Service Learning Institute is to foster and promote social justice by cultivating reciprocal service and learning partnerships among CSUMB students, faculty, staff and the surrounding tri-county community, and students often use Dorothy's Place as their service site. In the past, students have also used Dorothy's Place for their capstone projects.

Many other schools, elementary level through high-school level, have incorporated Service Learning in their educational curriculum. Please contact your school and ask if you can experience your Service Learning at Dorothy’s Place. For more information, contact our Volunteer Coordinator.


We are able to offer a limited number of service immersion opportunities to groups interested in spending a couple of days working alongside our staff, and lodging with our Franciscan Worker Community. The number of opportunities we can offer depends on the capability of our Franciscan Workers Community at the time. If you are part of a group and are interested in spending a few days to a couple of weeks immersing yourself in social justice issues and in learning how to serve the poor, we welcome you to consider participating in our immersion program! We have hosted school groups, church groups, families, and more!

These Immersion Groups live and work alongside with our staff, in dialog about the work and the experience of serving at Dorothy's Place. We invite these groups to share in our dream of a world in which compassion is the norm of personal behavior and justice the policy norm of governments and institutions. The only way we are going to arrive at that place and time is by young people experiencing the "revolution of heart" that Dorothy Day constantly spoke of, and then committing their lives and work to social change.

Through the course of many years, Immersion Groups have traveled the country to volunteer at Dorothy's Place, and nearly every local school in Monterey County has connected with Dorothy's Place in some way.

Immersion Experiences can be structured to fit the goals of particular groups. Please contact the Immersion Program for more details, and complete the Immersion Experience Memorandum of Agreement to apply. Our orientation guide and scheduling tool are downloadable at the bottom of this page.


We realize with people's busy schedules that not everyone is able to make it out and participate on a regular basis, so we welcome one-time volunteers to take part of Dorothy's Place! Thanksgiving and Christmas serving in Dorothy's Kitchen is important not just because our guests need some special love and attention around holiday time, but because you can give yourself and your family a special gift as well.

Our Thanksgiving service is the largest meal service of the year, and we sometimes serve more than 1,000 meals out of our little kitchen. In October, we start taking volunteer signups for a Thanksgiving shift!

The Christmas holiday has many opportunities!  During the holiday week, we host:

  • Dorothy's Guest party - help serve a special lunch meal or bring gifts for our guests
  • Children's Holiday Gifts - help serve the hundreds of children or help with the holiday toy drive!
  • Women Alive! - help out with their Christmas Eve Prayer dinner

Additonally, you can keep up with new events and opportunities coming up through our News and Events Page. If you're interested in participating, please sign up for these events at least two weeks in advance by emailing the Volunteer Coordinator or by calling (831) 776-8674.


The Franciscan Workers Community works for social justice as an expression of deeply held spiritual values that lead us to serve our fellows while living simply and mindfully in Community. We are an inclusive interfaith group who support each other in practicing our diverse traditions with the common goal of manifesting our faith in our daily lives and service.

Our society has separated spirituality (God, holiness, the sacred) from the everyday world and from the work we do. The Franciscan Workers Community purpose is to consciously reintegrate our spiritual beliefs and values with our daily lives. We support and nurture this practice with each other through our Community meals, meetings and rituals, and through meditation, prayer and other contemplative practices. We bring our integrated spirituality into the world through our service with Franciscan Workers of Junipero Serra. This purpose is not tacit or inferred, but is an openly conscious and explicit decision to live intentionally; therefore, it is most important that all Franciscan Workers Community members participate fully in group meetings, rituals and contemplative practices. These communal practices are an expectation of all Community members.

Franciscan Workers Community members are encouraged to bring their own spiritual energy and traditions into the Community through their individual practice as well as through communal practices.

Find out more and apply to Community.