Volunteer Opportunities

    Fit Families small    USC PT Fit Families (SLE)
    The mission of USC Physical Therapy Fit Families Program is to provide pro bono preventive and wellness physical therapy services to underserved children, ages 7-17 and their families, in the local community diagnosed with or at high risk for diabetes and conditions associated with physical inactivity. In partnership with the community, intervention will focus on culturally relevant personalized and structured nutritional, exercise and physical activity-related education for children in collaboration with their families to enhance potential for long-term lifestyle change.

    Located in Hazard Park next to the HSC, Fit Families is held every Saturday from 9:00 am to noon. Volunteers help oversee the exercise and education provided to participants.

    Fit Families
     Special Olympics   Special Olympics – Healthy Athletes FUNFitness (SLE)
    USC PT students participate in screening athletes for their participation in the Special Olympics. They help assess and improve flexibility, functional strength and balance; educate participants, families and coaches about the importance of flexibility, strength and balance; and provide hands-on opportunity for participants to learn about physical therapy.

    Southern California Special Olympics

    World Games 2015
     SO - Team Coach   Special Olympics – Team Coach (SLE)
    USC PT students coach Special Olympics athletes in sports such as basketball, golf, track, and gymnastics.

    Visit website for details 

    ARC small   ARC - Activities Recreation & Care for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (SLE)
    ARC is a charitable, non-profit, tax-deductible, California corporation, incorporated for the purpose of promoting the welfare, protection, education and advancement of individuals with developmental disabilities. The Saturday program for which students may volunteer is for individuals with developmental disabilities who are 16 years or older. Currently, there are over 100 clients and their families benefiting from this program. The primary goals of this program are to enhance peer relationships through socialization, maintain physical fitness, and assist the clients with community integration and awareness.

    Volunteers lead exercise classes and assist participants as needed at the North Hollywood site.

     Gabriel House   Gabriel House – Maneadero, Mexico (SLE)
    Gabriel House is a not-for-profit Christian residential home dedicated to the total care and rehabilitation of profoundly handicapped children and children with immune deficiency disorders. Located south of Ensenada, Mexico, the central mission for Gabriel House includes housing for 50 children; school and therapy programs that meet the specific needs of the children; special needs medical and dental facilities; a training program for missionary volunteers; and play areas specifically geared to the needs of the children.

    Volunteers travel to Mexico with faculty members to provide care to the children residing at Gabriel House. Care focuses on issues such as teaching caregivers range of motion exercises and positioning, safe transfer techniques and adaptation of equipment such as wheelchairs and walkers. Spanish language ability is appreciated but not required for participation.

    Gabriel House
     Girls on the run small   Girls on the Run (SLE)
    Girls on the Run uses the power of running to prepare girls in 3rd – 8th grades for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living.

    The programs combine training for a non-competitive running event with lessons that inspire them to recognize and honor their individual strengths and talents. The goals of the programs are to encourage positive emotional, social, mental, spiritual and physical development. With a detailed curriculum of games, activities, discussions, and running, girls experience the joy of simply being themselves. At the end of each season, they celebrate their success by participating in a non-competitive 5k (3.1 mile) walk/run. Volunteers work with participants on a weekly basis.

    Girls on the Run
     LifeRollsOn   Life Rolls On – They Will Surf Again (SLE)
    They Will Surf Again (TWSA) is an award-winning series of events that empower persons with paraplegia or quadriplegia to experience the freedom of mobility by riding a wave with the assistance of adaptive equipment and the support of hard working volunteers. They Will Surf Again has the unique ability to engage and bridge the able-bodied and disabled communities, as they collaborate to push the bounds of possibility for those with SCI.

    They Will Surf Again also serves as an exceptional opportunity for individuals with SCI and their families to network and establish new support networks outside traditional group support settings. TWSA also shifts negative stereotypes of the paralysis community, as the public is able to learn, through watching or by participating in this program, what is truly possible beyond paralysis. Volunteers assist participants in all phases of participation.

    Additional Life Rolls On programs include “They will ski again” and “They will skate again”

    Life Rolls On
        CNL   Camp No Limits (SLE)    
    Camp No Limits, located in Big Bear, California, is one of the sites run by a non-profit organization providing camps for children with limb loss, and education, mentorship, and support to these children and their families. Their mission is to educate and empower young people with limb loss to discover and develop a healthy, happy and independent life style. Volunteers assist the campers with all activities from 9 am until dark. You may participate for 1-3 days. There are licensed physical and occupational therapists on site to assist you. Volunteers assist with activities directed at facilitating the children’s use of their prostheses with goals of improving agility, strength, endurance and coordination. Camp prosthetists provide education for the campers, their families, and volunteers. Volunteers are provided with meals. Overnight stays require cabin rental. Participants are required to provide a background check. Background checks completed for clinical affiliations are acceptable. If you are interested in participating, visit the web site to complete the application forms.

    Camp No Limits
    Casa Colina – Adaptive Sports (SLE)
    This program provides the opportunity for persons with disability to experience health, confidence and achievement through competitive and recreational sports. It focuses on abilities, not disabilities. The program also enables its members to experience success both physically and emotionally. Some of the sports include basketball, power soccer, hand cycling, water rafting, kayaking, sailing, hiking, etc.
    Serious Fun Camp - The Painted Turtle (SLE)
    This program provides the opportunity for persons with disability to experience health, confidence and achievement through summer camp activities. It focuses on abilities, not disabilities. The program also enables its members to experience success both physically and emotionally.
    LA’s Best (SLE)
    USC PT students volunteer their time at this after school education, enrichment and recreation program for children 5 to 12 years of age in the city of Los Angeles. The program provides homework assistance, drill team/dance, arts and crafts, reading for recreation, music, science and math clubs, seasonal sports, computer instruction, theater and visual arts, and field trips.
    LA Marathon – medical staff (SLE)
    USC PT students volunteer along side medical doctors, nurses, EMT’s, firemen, and other professionals to treat runners along the race course. Soft tissue mobilization, taping, and more are used to treat the runners.
    Rancho Los Amigos – Spinal Injury Games (SLE)
    USC PT students assist approximately 300 Rancho patients with disabilities participate in a variety of wheelchair sports such as football, basketball, bowling, hockey, baseball, golf, power soccer and tennis. This event gives patients an opportunity to push their athletic skills to the limit. It is an important part of the therapy process.
    For further SLE ideas, view the link below. All volunteer experiences from this list must be pre-approved.

    SLE Ideas
     Additional Events
    MS Society Walk
    Students and faculty have participated in this walk to raise awareness and funds for the fight against Multiple Sclerosis.
    Parkinson’s Beach Brigade
    It is a really fun event and an opportunity to support Parkinson's disease research.
    Relay For Life
    Relay for Life is a 24-hour walk-a-thon that helps the community celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer. The USC physical therapy department participates in raising awareness and funds for cancer research.
    Shane’s Inspiration Walk
    USC PT students, faculty, and their family and friends participate in the Walk-Fun-Roll to raise money. Students lead opening stretches and warm up for participants. The program creates universally accessible play environments and provides community outreach, education, and transportation for children with disabilities to play independently with their peers.
    Special Olympics USC vs. UCLA 5k Walk
    Students and faculty have participated in this walk to raise money towards Special Olympics. USC competes with UCLA in fund raising and participation.
    Swim with Mike
    The program was originally called "Swim for Mike," and was put on by the friends of a three-time All-American swimmer at USC who was paralyzed in 1981 from the chest down in a motorcycle accident. Since 1981, the event has grown and benefited more than 30 physically-challenged athletes with over $2 million in contributions.
    Swim with Mike
    Rancho Los Amigos – Walk for Brain Injury
    Students and faculty have participated in this walk to raise awareness and funds for Rancho’s brain injury program.
    Rancho Los Amigos – Walk for Brain Injury
    Rancho Los Amigos – Roll Around the Ranch Health and Wellness Fair
    The Rancho Los Amigos “Roll Around the Ranch Health & Wellness Fair” is an annual 5K/1K roll/walk/run event that aims to promote stroke awareness and prevention.
    Roll Around the Ranch Health and Wellness Fair
    For further SLE ideas, view the link below. All volunteer experiences from this list must be pre-approved.

    SLE Ideas