Direct Relief relies upon the talents and contributions of volunteers to assist with many activities, including clerical and administrative support, program research, editorial tasks, public outreach, warehouse inventorying, and event hospitality.

In 2011, Direct Relief Volunteers donated 9,500 hours of work at our headquarter – that’s 180 40-hour work weeks from more than 50 volunteers per month. And those stats don’t include the thousands of hours logged by the organization’s unpaid volunteer Board of Directors.

All Direct Relief’s volunteer opportunities are offered only at our facilities in Santa Barbara, California. We don’t send volunteers overseas or to relief areas.

Throughout the year, unpaid intern positions are available at Direct Relief’s Santa Barbara, California headquarters. Because needs are always changing, internships at Direct Relief are intermittent and offered at various points throughout the year. Intern applicants are encouraged to apply three to five weeks ahead of their intended internship start date. Flexibility in the duration and emphasis of the internship is highly valued. To learn more about internships at Direct Relief, email the intern coordinator Karoline Albuquerque at kalbuquerque@directrelief.org.

Volunteer Application
Internship Application


Q: Do you send volunteers overseas?
A: Direct Relief’s staff works actively with our local, in-country partners. All of our volunteer opportunities take place at our headquarters in Santa Barbara, CA.

Q: I’m a medical professional; can I volunteer for Direct Relief?
A: Direct Relief sends medical material aid to our partners, who are in-country medical professionals. We are not sending medical professionals overseas at this time. If you would like to apply to volunteer at our Santa Barbara headquarters, you may do so at kalbuquerque@directrelief.org.

Q: Do you supply medicines for short-term projects?
A: Direct Relief is actively securing and sending medical aid to our in-country partner network. At this time we do not send medicines for short-term service projects or one-time shipments to health facilities that are not in our current partner network.

Q: I live outside the United States. Can I volunteer for Direct Relief?
A: Thank you very much for your desire to represent Direct Relief abroad. Unfortunately, all of our volunteer opportunities take place in California.

Q: What is the term of a volunteer opportunity?
A: Volunteer opportunities range in length depending on the project and flexibility of the volunteer. They can range from a few weeks or months to much longer, depending on the scope of the project and the volunteer’s availability.

Q: What kind of volunteer opportunities are open at Direct Relief?
A: Direct Relief is able to meet volunteer needs with current interns and volunteers. However, throughout the year Direct Relief reassesses needs and contacts prospective volunteers who have applied. Please feel free to fill out the Volunteer Application and submit it to the coordinator at kalbuquerque@directrelief.org.

Q: Does Direct Relief have an internship program?
A: Direct Relief has an internship program for qualified individuals who would like to donate a minimum of three months time to supporting our staff. Please feel free to fill out the Internship Application and submit it to the intern coordinator at kalbuquerque@directrelief.org for up-to-date opportunities.

Video about Volunteering with Direct Relief