Throughout the year, Hands of Peace relies on the passion and skills of dedicated volunteers. We would like to find a spot on our team that matches your talents and availability.

Volunteer to:

  • Host a Summer Program participant in Chicago or San Diego
  • Recruit Host Families
  • Secure Donated Meals during the Summer Program
  • Plan Events like the Farewell Celebration and Spring Benefits
  • Plan Community Circle Events
  • Provide Technical Support in the Chicago Office
  • Write Grants for Financial Assistance

Apply to volunteer at Hands of Peace by filling out this volunteer application.


Nominations are now open for the 2022 Olive Branch Awards. Every year, we recognize special Hands of Peace volunteers with the Olive Branch Award.  This Award recognizes individuals who have made significant and long-term contributions to Hands of Peace.  Awards are given at the Farewell Celebration.   A nominee may be recommended by any member of the Hands of Peace community.  

– volunteers who have made significant and/or long-term contributions to Hands of Peace
– contributions strengthen the Hands of Peace community in their city, particularly with other partner organizations including interfaith or community partners;
– commitment toward and involvement with Hands of Peace, above and beyond the norm.

  • 2006: Ron Miller, Lisa Fisher and Falah Tabahi
  • 2007: Wayne Andersen, Sheila O’Brien and the Andersen/O’Brien Family
  • 2008: Tina Plunkett
  • 2009: Bill Taylor, Alan Rubin, Don and Ellen Clark
  • 2010: Jim and Gail Tatsuda, Barry and Maggie Cain
  • 2011: Karen Boton, Debby Fosdick, Dr. Peg Lee
  • 2012: Rob Orr, Hank and Harriet Conroe, Laura Bernstein
  • 2013: Rabbi Brant Rosen, Helena and Amir Abushamaa
  • 2014: Mike and Barbara Lauesen, Ismail Hummos, Frank and Sandy Gelber
  • 2015: Chicago – Aziz Abu Sarah and Kevin Schrimmer
  • 2015: San Diego – Tamara Kabban-Miller and Kristina Abudawas
  • 2016: Chicago  – Jackie and Steve Hirsch
  • 2016: San Diego – Kathy Reese and Kelley Grimes
  • 2017: Chicago – Vera Ginburg and Wayne Rhodes
  • 2017: San Diego  – Azim Khamisa
  • 2018: Chicago –  Irene Smith and Rich Katz
  • 2018: San Diego – Melinda Wynar and The Middletons
  • 2019: Chicago – Rev. Chuck Mize and Jeanie Bond, Marily and Spike Schonthal
  • 2019: San Diego – Davida Huchel, Mary Scherr and Marvin Sippel
  • 2020: Chicago – Julie Orr
  • 2020: San Diego – Bob Ohlweiler
  • 2021: Chicago – Katherine Hughes, Lori Kaskowitz Kenward and John Kenward
  • 2021: San Diego  – Carol Arkin*, Bobbi Cohen*, Barb and Mo Winicki.
  • 2022: Chicago – Debbie Berg
  • 2022: San Diego – Dr. Sharon Sternfeld and Devin Mathios, Lynn and Lee Sterling

* Pictured on the right


Congratulations Kim Lande! Kim received the 2022 Encinitas Rotary Club PeaceMaker Award at a Rotary luncheon on March 16, 2022.
Kim has been a champion of Hands of Peace since the first Summer Program at Pacific Ridge School. Kim and her family have hosted five alumna from Israel, Palestine and Brooklyn. And her two daughters, Rebecca and Sophie, also participated in the Summer Program. A Board Member for Hands of Peace, Kim has produced videos, chaired Benefits and co-chaired the recent Reimagining of Hands of Peace.


Kathy and Dennis Reese were recognized by Hands of Peace as our 2021 Volunteers of the Year at the North County Philanthropy Council Volunteer Awards on Friday, November 5, 2021.

The Reese family has hosted nine participants from the Middle East for the Hands of Peace Summer Program. Kathy served on the Hands of Peace Board and both Kathy and Dennis are sustaining monthly donors, called “Peace Partners.” Dennis is also a member of the Encinitas Rotary and is on the Board of the Encinitas Rotaract Club for young adults where daughter Jessica is President and was named “Rotaract of the Year” for 2021.


Please join us in congratulating Bob Ohweiler, who was recognized by Hands of Peace as our Volunteer Awardee at the North County Philanthropy Council Volunteer Awards on Nov. 19, 2020 in Carlsbad, California.

Volunteers are an essential part of the Hands of Peace community, and Bob is a perfect example.

As Hands of Peace Host Committee Chair, Bob has made it his mission to ensure that Israeli and Palestinian youth have welcoming North County hosts for the 19-day Summer Program. Both of Bob’s sons have participated in the Summer Program and his family hosted five Israeli and Palestinian boys who have become extended members of his family. Says Bob:

“The host family environment is a critical element to the Summer Program and I want these courageous youth to feel safe on their transformative journey. My family’s worldview has expanded through friendship with our guests, and we have touched their lives too.”