March 17 Cancelled – April 21 – May 19 – June 16 – July 21 – August 18 – September 15 – October 20
On the third Saturday of each month from March through October, volunteers help with the work of maintaining the 10-acre National AIDS Memorial. With only one designated full-time gardener, upkeep of the Memorial would be impossible without volunteers.
Over the years, thousands of volunteers have removed countless tons of brush and debris, and planted over 10,000 new trees, plants, and shrubs. They regularly scrub the numerous engraved hardscape features, and resurface roads and pathways. Participation has grown to the extent that we regularly provide volunteers to neighboring areas such as Rhododendron Dell, Fern Dell, California Native Garden, California Academy of Sciences, and Golden Gate Park’s Main Nursery. Workdays are therefore embraced not only by our volunteers, constituents, and members of the general public, but also by the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department.
Over 1,700 people volunteer at the National AIDS Memorial each year, providing the 4,500 hours of (annual) volunteer labor necessary to maintain the 10-acre site. A milestone of 200,000 volunteer hours was achieved in 2017. Workdays bring together a broad cross-section of individuals—young and old; gay and straight; those who lived through the epidemic and others just learning about it. Numerous corporate and community groups, groups of faith, universities, high schools, and other youth groups participate on a regular basis. In fact, nearly 50% of our volunteers range from high school to college age, demonstrating a growing interest in volunteerism in younger generations.
What to Know as a Volunteer
Workdays begin at 8:30am with registration and a breakfast of coffee, juices, bagels, and fruit. After an introduction to the National AIDS Memorial, our gardener explains the day’s various projects, and volunteers break into teams and work under the supervision of experienced volunteer team leaders. At noon, work ends, and volunteers gather for “Circle Time” for announcements, acknowledgement of sponsors, and a moment of silence in honor of lives lost to AIDS. Lunch is then provided to all.
No RSVP is required, however any groups of 5 or larger must contact us at least three weeks in advance of a scheduled Workday in order to confirm available space. You may send an e-mail to Matt Kennedy at email@example.com or call (415) 765-0446. Gloves and tools are provided. We suggest that you wear sturdy shoes, and a hat or cap. No open-toe shoes, please. Wear sturdy clothing (jeans and long-sleeved shirts are suggested) to avoid getting scratched by twigs or branches, and to protect your knees in the event of hand-weeding. All participants under the age of 18 must bring a Workday Release Form form signed by a parent/guardian. Click Here to download our required Workday Release Form (PDF) to complete and sign ahead of time, or they will be available at the volunteer sign-in area.
Please click here for directions to the National AIDS Memorial, and public transportation information. In the event of rain, a Workday will likely be cancelled. Please call 415-765-0446 on the morning of a rainy Workday for a recorded message that will confirm either way.
Sponsors provide an important source of revenue necessary to sustain the Community Volunteer Workday program by offsetting associated costs. Honor a loved one, or have your company/group name presented at “Circle Time.” For corporate or other group sponsorship opportunities, please download our 2018 Volunteer Workdays Sponsorship Levels and Benefits Form.pdf.
Corporate and Community Group Special Workdays
We host up to eight “special” corporate and/or community group Workdays each year (typically on a weekday) upon request. For questions related to Special Workdays, please contact Matt Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (415) 765-0446.