A Life-Changing Volunteer Opportunity: Support People Living with Cancer or HIV/AIDS


Cause Areas


It's flexible! We'll work with your schedule.


730 Polk Street3rd floorSan Francisco, CA 94109


"My volunteer is a very important part of my life and a tremendous help. It is hard to quantify how significant he is and I can't imagine what my life would be like without him." - Shanti client

For 42 years, Shanti peer support volunteers have been providing emotional and practical support to underserved San Francisco residents battling life-threatening illnesses. If you would like to tangibly enhance the life of someone who needs it the most, we encourage you to contact us and learn more about this truly unique opportunity.

As a peer support volunteer, you will:

--Go through the internationally-recognized Shanti Model of Peer Support training

--Be matched 1-on-1 with a client to whom you will provide companionship, a non-judgmental ear and light practical assistance

--Join a community of thoughtful, supportive volunteers and staff

For this program, we ask for a commitment of 2 to 6 hours a week for at least 6 months. We also organize support groups once a month, and ask all volunteers to attend. The 2-6 hours can be done according to volunteer's schedules--a lot of our volunteers visit their clients on weekends or evenings--so it's definitely flexible.

If you decide to enroll in the Peer Support Program there is a mandatory volunteer training. Each interested volunteer must attend ALL of the training dates listed below.

The dates for the next trainings are as follows:

· Friday, March 24th from 6pm-9:30pm

· Saturday, March 25th from 9am-6pm

· Sunday, March 26th from 9am-6pm

· and Wed., March 29th from 6pm-9:30pm

The purpose of this training is to prepare volunteers to work with individuals with life-threatening illnesses. The training will supply information about cancer, HIV/AIDS and other disabilities as well as teach communication and listening skills through a variety of interactive exercises. The training is pretty intensive, but our volunteers typically find it to be an enriching, community-building experience.

You can make an invaluable difference to an underserved person battling cancer, HIV/AIDS or other disabilities - and have your life changed in the process.

Shanti was founded in 1974. Since its inception, Shanti has trained more than 18,000 individuals in the Bay Area and 600 organizations around the world in compassionately providing emotional and practical support to clients grappling with life-threatening illnesses and poverty. Recognized as the first community-based AIDS Organization in the world, Shanti serves over 2,000 underserved San Francisco residents with cancer, HIV/AIDS and other disabilities annually.

To learn more about how to get involved, please contact Volunteer Services at 415-674-4726 or email volunteerservices@shanti.org

To view an inspirational video on the work of a Shanti volunteer, click on the link below:


I just got off the phone with Fernando D’Avila, Steve Moore’s PSV. Here are my brief notes.

Phonecall with PSV, Fernando D'Avila, to check-in re: match. Things are going well, he has met with Steve twice so far, and was invited and went to their house for New Year's Day and had home-made gumbo. He feels Steve is very open and forthcoming about his conditions and symptoms, and also a very interesting and resilient person. He enjoys talking with him and listening to Steve's life stories. We talked about whether Steve's limited time availability was an issue, and Fernando says it is not, that he's able to talk on the phone with him, and txt msg with him, and feels that they will find time once the holidays wind down, and also Steve's houseguest, who is here for January, leaves.

He will follow up with me again in a week or so.


  • Mental Health
  • People Skills
  • Animal Care / Handling
  • Relationship Building

Good Match For

People 55+

Requirements & Commitment

  • Driver's License Needed
  • Must be at least 18
  • Orientation or Training
  • Mandatory training starting November 11, 2016

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