Our Locations
826LA in Mar Vista
and the Time Travel Mart
12515 Venice Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066
(310) 915-0200
826LA in Echo Park (map)
and the Time Travel Mart
1714 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 413-3388
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Maybe you’ve found yourself lost in time at The Time Travel Mart. Or perhaps you’ve chatted with a volunteer or read about 826LA’s free programs. Whatever has brought you to this point, you've decided you want to be a part of 826LA. You’ll be happy to hear that we’ve been waiting for this moment to arrive. Welcome to 826LA's volunteer force. To begin, just take a look below.

Volunteers make our world go ’round here at 826LA, and we are eager for you to get started! We have many opportunities for you to get involved, but first you must go through our quick and pain-free intake process.

Becoming a Volunteer

826LA presents Volunteering 101, a single, comprehensive, 2-hour orientation/training session, the big first step to getting started with us.

During Volunteering 101 you'll get information about the history and mission of 826LA, hear about the different aspects of our programming, watch a fun and informative tutor training video, receive our tutor handbook, get registered as a volunteer, and of course be able to ask us any and every question you might have about 826LA, tutoring, working with students, and the space-time continuum.

After Volunteering 101, we'll run your background check, and once everything is clear, you'll receive a welcome email and a link to our Projects Calendar, where all 826LA volunteers can find upcoming projects and let us know they'll be coming. Then, you can start volunteering!

  • To find a Volunteering 101 session, just check out our events calendar!
  • RSVP by emailing iwanttohelp@826la.org. You can also call us at 213.413.3388 (Echo Park) or 310.915.0200 (Mar Vista).
  • Make sure to bring a valid photo ID and any questions you may have.



What do volunteers do?

A lot. They make our free programs possible, and we have a variety of programs in which they can participate. Volunteers have the opportunity to illustrate at field trips, assist with our yearly Young Authors’ Book Project, and tutor students after school. They also have the opportunity to help students with writing projects in public schools around Los Angeles, as well as teach creative writing workshops in our writing lab.

I really want to be involved, but I have a hectic schedule. Do you need a time commitment?

We don't insist that you commit to a certain number of volunteer hours—we gladly take whatever we can get. We realize getting to our centers or to the schools we serve is not always easy. That said, we certainly want to encourage you to give us as much time as you can. We know that the free programs we offer are most effective and have the most impact on the lives of students when we are consistent. Students need to trust their tutors, and that takes time and effort. In the end, what really helps the young people we serve is one-on-one attention from volunteers, and the more you can provide, the more they (and you) get.

Wait. Does 826LA have two locations? Did I just make that up?

You’re not making things up—at least not right at this moment. We do in fact have two locations, one in Mar Vista and one in Echo Park. Both locations offer the same free programs to students on a daily basis. Regardless of where you attend a Volunteering 101 session, you can volunteer at both sites or stick to one. (To find out more, just check out our program overview page.)

How do I find out when and where the next Volunteering 101 takes place?

Check out our handy-dandy 826LA events calendar (check on Friday and Saturday afternoons). Or email our New Volunteer Helpline at iwanttohelp@826la.org, and we'll let you know. Or, you can just give us a call at 213.413.3388 (Echo Park) or 310.915.0200 (Mar Vista).

Isn’t tutoring students pretty self-explanatory? Is attending a Volunteering 101 session really necessary?

Believe us, many tutoring methods exist. We’re all about consistency at 826LA, and we want all our volunteers to be on the same page. In addition to providing you with tutoring tips, Volunteering 101 is also the time when you’ll be filling out important paperwork that we need.

Do I really need a background check done? I’ve never committed crimes, I promise! I just want to start right away!

Thanks for wanting to volunteer and being so eager to do so! We definitely want you on board as soon as possible, but we do really need a background check from you. To learn more about becoming a volunteer and our Live Scan background check process, just email iwanttohelp@826la.org!

Whoa. 826LA has a lot of programs going on. How can I keep up to date?

Great question! As soon as you're an official 826LA volunteer, we will add you to our volunteer-only email list. Every couple of days (or couple of weeks, depending on the mailing lists you're subscribed to), we send out emails that list our upcoming projects. Once you’re officially a volunteer, you’ll receive access to our volunteer-only projects calendar. Please check the calendar as often as you like and sign up for projects online. When you sign up for the project, you’ll receive a reminder email about the project the day before. Isn’t that convenient? And easy?

I am required to complete community service hours as part of a sentence/court order. Can I do this at 826LA?

We want to ensure that our volunteers are working with our students because they want to, not because they have to. Unfortunately, we do not offer credit for court-appointed hours.

I would like to earn community service hours by volunteering at 826LA. Can I do this here?

Possibly. First, volunteers must be at least 16 years old, and high schoolers can only volunteer with after-school tutoring and our summer camp. More importantly, the volunteer opportunities available at 826LA are very different from those at other organizations. We want to make sure that we're a good fit for you, and vice versa. Please get in touch with us first about the nature of the community service program at your school; we will not sign off on hours without prior approval from 826LA staff.

So I guess my question is not frequently asked because it’s not here. How can I ask you an infrequently asked question?

Please email us! You can also reach us by calling our Echo Park location at 213.413.3388 or our Mar Vista location at 310.915.0200.