What is PatchWorks?

Want to make a difference in your community and get an awesome discount at your co-op too? You’ve come to the right place!

  • BriarPatch Food Co-op launched PatchWorks volunteer program in January 2020. In 2021, we won national recognition from Progressive Grocer for the program. Read all about it here!
  • PatchWorks serves to create a positive, meaningful and lasting impact in our community through participation and cooperation between BriarPatch Food Co-op, its owners and select nonprofit organizations.
  • To sign up, download and fill out the PatchWorks Volunteer Packet and submit the completed application to Courtney Tarrant at courtneyt@briarpatch.coop Questions? Call (530) 272-CO-OP (2667) X 145.

How it Works

  • Households, regardless of number of members or age, who volunteer for six (6) or more hours per month at an approved PatchWorks Nonprofit Neighbor organization will receive a coupon for 15% off one shopping trip the following month
  • Households who volunteer for twelve (12) or more hours per month at an approved PatchWorks Nonprofit Neighbor organization will receive one additional coupon, for a maximum of two discounted shopping trips per month
  • Households must maintain active and up-to-date ownership with BriarPatch Food Co-op to be eligible
  • Volunteer hours must be performed at an approved PatchWorks Nonprofit Neighbor organization (full list below)

Choose a PatchWorks Partner

Bear Yuba Land Trust

Bear Yuba Land Trust
Volunteer needs
  • Volunteer Open House
    • Thursday, October 14 | 3:00-7:00 PM
      Bear Yuba Land Trust Office
      12183 Auburn Road, Grass Valley
  • Trail Stewardship Team: Build new trails and help BYLT maintain 45+ miles of trails in Nevada and Yuba Counties. Tasks include using loppers, shovels, rakes, saws and McLeods to build and maintain trail corridors. Volunteers will be working outside in rugged terrain.
  • Trail Ambassadors: Trail Ambassadors commit to a season of outreach on local trailheads to gather recreational use data and promote BYLT. Tasks include setting up an outreach booth at a designated trailheads, collecting community data, and conversing with trail users about the trail and BYLT.
  • Restoration Crew: The Restoration Crew is responsible for the stewardship and revitalization of BYLT’s conserved lands. Tasks include site preparation and planting of native species, and native seed collection, and propagation in the BYLT greenhouse.
  • Youth Programs: Youth Program volunteers help facilitate and provide expert knowledge for youth field trips. Tasks include assisting with youth field trips by helping identify plants and animals, providing supervision, and presenting BYLT information.
  • Administrative Assistant: Administrative Assistants help perform office duties for BYLT. Tasks include sorting, stuffing and sending letters during a mass mailing event, calling BYLT Members, and general office assistance such as filling papers and organizing.
  • Outreach & Events: Outreach & Events volunteers promote BYLT in the community through assisting with tabling, fundraising events, and merchandise sales. Tasks include providing information at booths, selling merchandise and assisting with BYLT events, such as the annual Gala.
Contact Info

Bear Yuba Land Trust

Megan Green Wells
Community Engagement Manager
(530) 272-5994 x207

Bright Futures for Youth

Volunteer needs
  • Mentor– Spend some time with a youth, share an activity and/or passion – and be a much-needed friend. Learn more about a mentor and a youth.
  • Driver– Drivers take youth from school to meetings, activities, on field trips or even medical and other important activities – and also take them home. Drivers often use their own vehicles.
  • Tutor– Work one-on-one or in small groups to provide academic help and study skills.
  • Instructional coach– Encourage and support individual students in their studies, as well as their personal life.
  • Youth center– Our drop-in Youth Center depends heavily on volunteers, who help coordinate events and work closely with youth.
  • Meal prep– We provide several thousand meals every year to youth, and our new commercial kitchen will make the effort more efficient.
  • Office volunteer– Your assistance with calls, mailings, organizing and other office tasks would be a huge help.
  • Fundraising events– Have some fun and help us during one of our many fundraising events during the year. Whether it’s helping with planning and setup, or helping with registration, you can help us raise money – and meet some new people and have fun at the same time.
Contact Info

Bright Futures for Youth

Cindy Hintz
Community Engagement Manager
(530) 265-4311

Color Me Human

Color Me Human
Volunteer Needs
Contact Courtney Tarrant or visit Color Me Human’s website for current volunteer opportunities.
Contact Info

Color Me Human 

Tracy Pepper
Executive Director
(530) 559-4245

The Food Bank of Nevada County

The Food Bank of Nevada County
Volunteer needs
  • Food packing and sorting
  • Office and administrative support
  • Summer lunch program
  • Food distribution sites
  • Warehouse assistance
  • Driving and deliveries
  • Annual food drives, fundraising, and special events
  • Become a board member
  • Special Events
Contact Info

The Food Bank of Nevada County

Megan Calarco
Volunteer Coordinator
(541) 977-9000

FREED Center for Independent Living

FREED Center for Independent Living
Volunteer needs
  • Battery Delivery: Must be able to lift at least 70 pounds and provide own transportation.
    Pick up batteries at the FREED offices in Grass Valley and deliver them to community members. Upon delivery, give a short demo of how to use the battery, and collect signatures on paperwork which will be returned to the FREED office.
    Mileage reimbursement available.
  • Fix-it: Assist community members with minor home repairs and modifications such as building ramps and installing grab bars in bathrooms. Volunteers provide their own tools and transportation. FREED will provide or reimburse for any supplies as well as mileage. While anyone handy can perform most of the tasks needed, we also need skilled trades people in the areas of plumbing, electrical, and HVAC.
  • Phone Reassurance: Volunteer from the comfort of home, calling older adults and people with disabilities who are experiencing social isolation. Most calls happen on weekdays during business hours, but there is some flexibility if you want to help out but are not available during those times. Volunteers call 6-8 people during a 2-hour shift, most calls are short, just a quick check in. Volunteers report their time online.
  • Friendly Visitor: Be matched 1:1 with a neighbor experiencing social isolation. You’ll spend an hour each week chatting on the phone, or if both parties are vaccinated, you can meet in person for activities you both enjoy. Work on a puzzle, or a craft project, go see a movie or take a stroll in the park. Perhaps you can run some errands together, it can be anything you both like to do. Mileage reimbursement available for in-person visits. Proof of vaccination required.
Contact Info

FREED Center for Independent Living

Courtney Williams
Volunteer Coordinator
(530) 477-3333 x225

Good Sun

Good Sun
Volunteer Needs
  • Habitat for Humanity ReStore: Help process and clean items (must be able to lift)
  • Business Development(in-person or remote): help with making phone calls; seeking & applying for grants; marketing, sending out mailers and tee shirts
  • Washing Solar Panels(requires lifting)
Contact Info

Good Sun

Vince Lucia
Chief Operations Officer
(530) 913-8972

Grass Valley Downtown Association

Grass Valley Downtown Assoc.
Volunteer needs

Volunteer at the 2021 Grass Valley Brew Fest on Saturday, October 9th (all of the volunteer opportunities listed there now are for this event).

  • Event staff:Responsible for working under the instructions of the event manager or lead.
  • Check in:ID Check/Wrist-bander volunteer
  • Security: Security checks that alcohol does not leave or enter the event
  • Cashier: Must be able to operate point-of-sale (POS) system to handle cash and credit card sales. Will train. Maintain product display and keep track of inventory, ticket list.
  • Loading equipment:Moving event supplies into storage. Moving event supplies into storage. Must be able to be in outdoors heat for 2 hours.
Contact Info

Grass Valley Downtown Association

Marni Marshall
Executive Director
(530) 798-9690

Hospitality House

Hospitality House
Volunteer needs
Contact Courney Tarrant or visit Hospitality House for current volunteer opportunities.
Contact Info

Hospitality House

Christina Apkarian
Marketing & Development Specialist
(530) 615-0852

Interfaith Food Ministry

Interfaith Food Ministry
Volunteer Needs
Driver:  Must have a truck or van and a good back to pick up perishable food items from local markets, starting at 7:30 am.  Two – three hours, you select the dates to work.  Training provided and helper assigned if needed.
Distributor:  Sort food and fill grocery carts for clients, according to cards provided by Interviewers and directions from Supervisor.  Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 8 am – 1 pm or split shift 8 am – 11 am or 11 am – 1 pm.
Interviewer:  Greet, talk with clients and updates records.  9:45 am – 1 pm shifts.  Training provided for a Monday, Wednesday or Friday.
Maintenance:  On call for repairs of electrical, plumbing, carpentry, repairs and for general cleanup.
Packer:  Sort donated food, bag oats/beans/rice and pack staples.  Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 am – 10 am.
Experienced Event Planners:  Take leadership role in organizing an event while working with the fundraising team.
Contact Info


Naomi Cabral
Development Director
(530) 273-8132

Nevada City Farmers Market

Nevada City Farmers Market
Volunteer needs
Contact Info

Nevada City Farmer’s Market

Becca Warner
Market Manager
(530) 955-9720

Nevada County Habitat for Humanity

Volunteer needs

At The ReStore:

Construction Site Lunch Provider

  • Help in providing lunches for Habitat’s volunteer construction crew at 11:15 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and/or Saturdays.

At NC Habitat Office:

  • Answer the phone
  • Check e-mail
  • Help with copying, filing, mailings and general office tasks.
Contact Info

Nevada County Habitat for Humanity

Mary Gill
ReStore Manager
(530) 274-3761

Nevada County Media

Nevada County Media
Volunteer Needs
Contact Info

Nevada County Media

Stephanie Simpson
Administrative Assistant
(530) 272-8862

Sammie's Friends

Volunteer needs
  • Dog Walkers
  • Cat Care
  • Foster Homes
  • Office Helpers
  • Animal Transporter
  • Dog Kennel Assistants
  • Event Support
  • Nifty Thrift Shop
Contact Info


Lizette Taylor
Shelter Director
(530) 471-5041

Sierra Harvest

Sierra Harvest
Volunteer needs
  • Food Love Farm – Farmers and volunteers participate in no till farming, composting and permaculture practices. Meet on Tuesdays from 9 am – 1 pm.
  • Gleaning – Help harvest local fresh produce that will otherwise go to waste. 2 hours
  • Office Support – Long term position and the schedule is flexible. 2-3 hours at a time
  • Carpenter – We are building an educational, outdoor kitchen to help encourage the children in our community to be involved in their healthy eating choices. We envision 1-2 days would be required and we’d love to work with someone who can work independently and doesn’t need much oversight from us
Contact Info
Crystal Dossman
Staff Director
(530) 265-2343

Sierra Streams institute

Sierra Streams Institute
Volunteer Needs
  • Benthic Macroinvertebrate (BMI) Lab Every Wednesday morning from 8am-10am, a long-time volunteer trains new volunteers on the counting, sorting, and identification protocols and is available for assistance.
  • Water Chemistry Lab Every afternoon during monthly monitoring weeks, SSI processes water samples collected in the field for nitrates, phosphates, bacteria, and E.coli. Work in the water chemistry lab takes 1-4 hours, depending on the amount of samples and volunteer availability.
  • Water Quality Monitoring Water quality monitoring happens during a two-week period every month. We currently monitor 17 sites on Deer Creek and 7 sites on the Bear River and are always in need of committed monthly volunteers and substitute monitors. Each site is monitored by a pair of volunteers who go to the same site together every month. Water quality monitoring takes anywhere from 1-3 hours depending on the distance to the site.
  • Data Entry Data entry is by far our most flexible volunteer opportunity and can be done any day or time at the volunteer’s convenience, so long as you coordinate with the lab manager beforehand.
  • Restoration Restoration volunteers help with monthly work days for fuels reductions, invasive species removal, and other projects.
  • OutreachOutreach volunteers assist us in event planning and creating outreach materials for social media, our newsletter, and for print.
Contact Info

Sierra Streams Institute

Helen Fitanides
Water Quality Lab Manager
(805) 709-6294


South Yuba River Citizens League
Volunteer needs
  • Yuba River Cleanup Day: The Annual River Cleanup Day, held every year on the third Saturday in September.
  • Restoration: With the assistance and leadership from volunteers, SYRCL is actively engaged in lower Yuba restoration, meadow restoration and invasive species removal.
  • River Ambassadors: River Ambassadors innovatively address excessive trash, broken glass, and trails littered with dog waste by speaking one-on-one with visitors to encourage collective stewardship of the Yuba River.
  • River Monitoring: We will give you all the tools to collect accredited scientific data. Training is required to participate in the River Monitoring program.  Since 2000, SYRCL has been sending out 80-100 volunteers monthly to conduct water quality testing at over 40 sites throughout the Yuba watershed.  Training occurs in March.
  • Salmon Expeditions Naturalist: Every fall, Chinook salmon swim from the Pacific Ocean to their birthplace in the Lower Yuba River to spawn the next generation of salmon.  SYRCL and Environmental Travel Companions (ETC) are looking for new volunteer rafting guides to bring students and members of the public to see this spectacle of nature.
  • At Events: SYRCL promotes its mission by a collective of community awareness and education events, watershed stewardship opportunities, and membership fundraising events which all help to protect the Yuba River watershed. We’d love for you to get involved by attending or volunteering. Go to our calendar of events to get updated information about each event.
  • In Office: Assist SYRCL staff with mailings, data entry, research, film library, events and special projects. We love to have volunteers every afternoon.
  • Phone Banking: SYRCL seeks volunteers who enjoy talking on the phone to call SYRCL members whose memberships have expired and ask them to renew. Volunteers will improve their communication, fundraising, and public relations skills.
Contact Info

SYRCL – South Yuba River Citizens League

Daniel Belshe
Community Engagement Manager
(530) 265-5961 x201

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How does the discount work?
A. The new 15% discount on a one-time shopping trip is the highest discount BriarPatch offers, on par with what the Co-op’s Board of Directors and staff receive.
Q. Can we bank hours to use for future discounts?
A. No. PatchWorks exists to create active, sustained volunteerism for our Nonprofit Neighbors. Volunteers are not required to work the six hours a month, but they do need to remain active consistently throughout the year.
Q. How will I know you received my hours for the month? When do I get the discount?
A. Our PatchWorks Nonprofit Neighbors are trained on a professional volunteer management software and will log your hours each time you work a volunteer shift. BriarPatch staff will process hours and issue the discount coupons on the 1st of the following month.
Q. I already volunteer at my favorite nonprofit. Can the time I spend there count?
A. To earn the one-time discounted shopping trip, PatchWorks Volunteers must volunteer at a qualified PatchWorks Nonprofit Neighbor organization. PatchWorks Nonprofit Neighbors are selected because they closely align with BriarPatch’s Ends Policies and the 7th Cooperative Principle, Concern for Community.
Q. I volunteer for multiple organizations. Can I combine hours across organizations to reach my minimum monthly requirement for the discount?
A. Yes! As long as the nonprofits you volunteer for are approved PatchWorks Nonprofit Neighbors, you can spread your hours out across multiple organizations.
Q. How does a nonprofit become a PatchWorks Nonprofit Neighbor?
A. BriarPatch Food Co-op invites a small number of nonprofit organizations to participate in the PatchWorks volunteer program as a qualified Nonprofit Neighbor. If you are interested in receiving an application for consideration of future participation, please contact Courtney Tarrant at courtneyt@briarpatch.coop
Q. I’m interested in becoming part of the PatchWorks Volunteer Team, but I don’t have a computer. What do I do?
A. Please call the registration line at (530) 272-CO-OP (2667) x145 to request a physical application.
Q. Can I pick up Volunteer and Nonprofit Neighbor applications at the Customer Service Desk?
A. For the Customer Service Desk to concentrate on the many needs of Co-op shoppers, we respectfully request you call Courtney Tarrant at (530) 272-CO-OP (2667) x145 or find a PDF version of the Volunteer application on our website. Interested Nonprofit Neighbors may contact Courtney directly.