November 2013 - Twin Cities Family Volunteer Opportunities

DGT November 2013 Family Volunteer Opportunities

November 2013 Twin Cities Family Volunteer Opportunities

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 November 2013 - Twin Cities
Volunteer Opportunities
for Families 
Help us help you
Better Together: A Family Service Event
Doing Good Together


Date/Time: Friday, November 22, 5-8 pm


Location: Midtown Global Market, 920 East Lake Street, Minneapolis
Better Together is a free, community-wide family service event hosted by the Midtown Global Market and Doing Good Together, in collaboration with GenerationOn, Disney Friends for Change and Embassy Suites. Families are invited to come together to do simple, hands-on service projects, reflect on the importance of giving back, and learn about opportunities to get involved in their community. A diverse group of organizations (including Metro Meals on Wheels, Bundles of Love, Blair's Tree of Hope, B.A.R.K. and others) will be participating - each hosting a "station" with a kid-friendly service activity for families to complete. The organizations will also provide information about their mission and volunteer opportunities that are available for families. This event will be held in conjunction with Midtown Global Market's Family night, and will feature live, family entertainment from 5:30 to 7:30pm in the Market's Central Plaza.


Ages: All ages are welcome 


Time Commitment: Come for as long as you'd like between 5pm and 8pm


Contact: Nassim Rossi at   


Two Great Holiday Gifts that Give Back!
Doing Good Together


Location: Order online. Your young recipient can enjoy these gifts right at home
Have kids on your gift-giving list? Looking for something you feel GOOD about giving? With these two gifts, ALL the proceeds benefit nonprofits that serve children and families. In addition, the gifts themselves teach children about the joy of doing for others. Most important of all, though, children will LOVE these fabulous presents.

Big-Hearted Families Book Club 

Each month your recipient will receive one high-quality children's book, along with a kindness activity and an original recipe. Turn family night into a book-centered kindness practice! Choose between a one-month, three-month or full-year subscription. (You can decide which month your subscription will begin.) Learn more & subscribe at our Big-Hearted Families shop. 


Crafts with Kindness Kits
Your family can make a difference, right from your kitchen table! Crafts with Kindness is an all-in-one craft kit that makes it easy for families to complete a meaningful service project, no matter how busy their schedule might be. (Note: Must order by November 10. This kit ships on November 15.) Learn more & purchase your kits today:  


Ages: Most appropriate for children 3-8 years old  


Contact: Laurie at with any questions   



Operation Comfort  


Date/Time: Flexible, but would like to receive all blankets no later than Sunday, December 8   


Location: Blankets can be delivered to Mary Rustad Herrera, 8468 Bryce Court, Inver Grove Heights
Over the last seven years Operation Comfort volunteers have made and donated over 425 blankets. These blankets have been donated to social service agencies such as Cornerstone, The Ronald McDonald House and Children's Hospital. The making of fleece no-sew blankets is fast and simple; all you need to do is select your material and follow directions. You can accomplish this one of two ways:

  1. JoAnn Fabrics has prepackaged blanket and pillow kits which include directions
  2. If you want to select from the bolts of fleece, these are the yardage requirements:
  • Baby/Toddler Size - 1.5 yards x 2
  • Child/Lap Size - 2-2.5 yards x 2
  • Adult/Bed size - 2.5-3 yards x 2

You will need a top layer and coordinating bottom fabric. JoAnn Fabrics also has photocopies of directions for the blankets or you can follow these easy to use instructions: 

  • Take the two pieces of fleece - any coordinating colors or patterns
  • Lay out one on top of the other
  • Cut off the selvage edge to make all sides even
  • Cut 4-5" squares from each corner
  • Make the same length cuts along each side about 1" apart
  • Double knot the fringe pieces together connecting the top and bottom pieces of fabric - be careful not to tie them too tight as the side will begin to curl up 

If you are unable to make a blanket but would still like to contribute - you can do so in a couple of different ways:  

  1. You can donate money that will be used to purchase material for someone else to make the blankets
  2. Purchase fabric and drop it off before Nov 27th and we will put it together for you     

Ages: All ages can participate 


Time Commitment: Each blanket will take approximately 1½ hours, depending on the size - the smaller ones won't take as long as the larger ones


Contact: Mary Rustad Herrera, 651.451.2041 or 651.775.1480 or    



Snow Shoveling for Seniors

Neighborhood Involvement Program (NIP) Seniors Program


Date/Time: Dependent on when it snows


Location: Exact location TBD in Minneapolis; depends upon where the senior lives
Get in shape and help your neighbor! Develop strong muscles by shoveling the snow off a grateful senior citizen's walkways and driveway. Adopt a yard until the weather warms. Residents will provide the thankful smile.  


Ages: Family teams and small groups welcome. Youth must be first graders or older and supervised by an adult


Time Commitment: Adopt a yard for the winter season


Contact: Jeanne, 612.746.8549, Jeanne Tramel Rasmussen, srvolunteer@ 



Walk to End Hunger  

Greater Twin Cities United Way and the Mosaic Company


Date/Time: Thursday, November 28, 7-10am. Volunteer shift times may vary; walk registration runs from 7-9:30am


Location: Mall of America, 60 East Broadway, Bloomington. For easy access to registration on Thanksgiving morning, park in the West Parking Ramp and enter via the West Entrance.
The Walk to End Hunger, a family-friendly 5K fun walk held on Thanksgiving morning at the Mall of America, is a great way to start your holiday off right - giving back before you give thanks! Since its inception in 2008, the Walk to End Hunger has raised nearly $1,200,000 to help support 12 hunger relief organizations that work together to eliminate hunger in the Twin Cities metro area. All of the net proceeds of the Walk are distributed to the 12 partner organizations. The entire Walk to End Hunger 5K route is equal to six laps around the first floor of the Mall of America. Walkers are welcome to walk as much or as little as they like. Activities and entertainment will take place at three locations along the Walk route. Families are welcome to volunteer at the Water Stations, as Greeters/Traffic (helping people know where to go) and at Creative Activities.   


Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate


Time Commitment: Varies, most volunteer shifts are two-three hours


Contact: Kristi Shepherd at Register for volunteer opportunities online. To register for the walk and to create a personal fundraising page for the walk click here
www.walktoendhunger.kintera. org



Volunteer Bell Ringers  

Salvation Army


Date/Time: November 11-December 24, shifts available Monday-Saturday


Location: Opportunities are available throughout the metro area
You, too, can be a bell-ringer this Christmas season. Join the tradition of giving and discover the joy of making a difference in your community. Individuals, families and groups can all volunteer. You sign up for a time, date and location that are convenient for you. After your timeslot has been confirmed simply show up at the appointed location. A kettle and bell will be at your location or you will take over for the ringer stationed there before you. Just start ringing and smiling! Wish shoppers a "Merry Christmas" and be sure to thank people for their donation. Click here to read our bell ringing frequently asked questions for more information.


Ages: Everyone of any age is welcome to ring at the kettle! Youth under the age of 18 must have written permission to volunteer.


Time Commitment: Varies depending on location, 2 hour shift minimum


Contact: For more information and to sign up for bell ringing click volunteer bell ringing 



Holiday Mail for Heroes


Date/Time: Cards need to be received no later than Friday, December 6. Holiday cards received after this date cannot be guaranteed delivery.


Location: Send cards to: Holiday Mail for Heroes, P.O. Box 5456, Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456
Be part of the 2013 American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes. Each year the American Red Cross provides assistance to more than 2 million service members and many of our nation's 24 million veterans. We support military families, military and veterans hospitals and provide emergency communications across the globe. And once a year, we get the joy of delivering holiday cards to veterans, military families and active-duty service members at hospitals and installations around the world. The cards and personal messages, sent by tens of thousands of Americans, provide a welcome "touch of home" for our troops during the holiday season. The process is very simple and takes no time at all. All you need is a pen and a card to share your appreciation for the sacrifices members of the U.S. Armed Forces make to protect our freedom.

Card Guidelines: Every card will be screened for hazardous materials by Pitney Bowes and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working around the country. Please observe the following guidelines to ensure a quick reviewing process:  

  • Ensure that all cards are signed.
  • Use generic salutations such as "Dear Service Member." Cards addressed to specific individuals cannot be delivered through this program.
  • Only cards are being accepted. Do not send or include letters.
  • Do not include email or home addresses on the cards: the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.
  • Do not include inserts of any kind, including photos: these items will be removed during the reviewing process.
  • Please refrain from choosing cards with glitter or using loose glitter as it can aggravate health issues of ill and injured warriors.
  • If you are mailing a large quantity of cards, please bundle them and place them in large mailing envelopes or flat rate postal shipping boxes. Each card does not need its own envelope, as envelopes will be removed from all cards before distribution

Ages: All ages can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies





Collect and Assemble Grocery Kits  

Minnesota Visiting Nurse Agency (MVNA)


Date/Time: Flexible, the MVNA office is open 8am-4:30pm Monday through Friday  


Location: 2000 Summer Street, Suite 100, Minneapolis
Many people in our community are suffering from hunger. Food is a necessity that must be present in order to ensure the health and healing of our families and seniors. Our Public Health Nurses work closely with families and seniors to help them obtain food security. With your donation, you will be able to offer meals to a family or a senior that will help bridge the gap of hunger in our community.
Each kit should include:  

  • 2 Canned Soups
  • 2 Applesauce Cups
  • 1 Box of Pasta
  • 1 Pasta Sauce
  • 2 Mac and Cheese style boxed dinners
  • 1 Jar of Peanut Butter
  • 1 Canned Tuna
  • 1 Canned Vegetable
  • 1 Canned Beans
  • 1 Canned Fruit
  • 1 Box of Cereal (Unsweetened Type)

Please make sure that items are not expired and are unopened. You may also want to include a Cub or Rainbow Gift Card to help the recipients purchase perishable items  


Ages: Everyone can participate


Time Commitment: Flexible


Contact: Suzanne Chowen,, 612.777.8460. Please call or email to make arrangements to drop off kits



Adopt a Family for the Holidays  



Date/Time: Donors will be matched with families between November 8 and December 6; gifts should be delivered to RESOURCE by December 16


Location: 1900 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis
RESOURCE empowers people to achieve greater personal, social, and economic success through providing employment, training, chemical health, and mental health services to the Twin Cities. RESOURCE hosts an Adopt-a-Family program as a way to give the families we serve a chance to celebrate the holidays and find hope in their lives. When you register to adopt a family you will be asked what family size you feel most comfortable with and if you are interested in meeting the family you're adopting. We will provide you with the family's wish list and then you can purchase items for the family. Gifts can be wrapped or unwrapped. We can also accommodate larger groups that would like to adopt multiple families or provide gifts for a certain number of people for "Giving Trees."  


Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact: Samantha Sleeman, or 612.752.8030 



Toy Sorters  

Salvation Army


Date/Time: Flexible 


Location:  Salvation Army Divisional Headquarters, 2445 Prior Ave., Roseville
Christmas will be here soon, and The Salvation Army is in need of volunteers to help sort toys that will be given out to families in need. The toys need to be sorted by age, gender and value. We are looking for groups to come in and help sort. We can be flexible and work with your schedule.  


Ages: The minimum age for this opportunity is 8 years old and those volunteers between the ages of 8 and 14 must have adult supervision. We are looking for groups of 5 - 15 people for this opportunity


Time Commitment: Flexible


Contact:  651.746.3426 



Pack food shelf items for low-income seniors  

Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners (IOCP)


Date/Time: Saturday, November 9 and/or Saturday, November 23, 11am-1pm


Location: IOCP, 1605 County Road 101 N, Plymouth
The IOCP food shelf has a home delivery program that makes food shelf items available to low-income seniors who struggle to get to IOCP on their own due to limited transportation or mobility. Volunteers are needed to pack up food bags for these senior citizens. The grocery shopper will use a request list that has already been completed with the senior over the phone to shop for the items. Once shopping is complete, the volunteer will then count and weigh the food. These opportunities happen two Saturdays each month; families can participate on a one time or ongoing basis.


Ages: Volunteers can be 5 years of age or older. All youth 5-13 years old will need to sign up with an adult.    


Time Commitment: Two hours 


Contact: Liz Erstad-Hicks,, 763.489.7506 



Snow Shoveling for Seniors  



Date/Time: After each two inches or greater snowfall this upcoming winter


Location: Older homeowners who live in the Dakota County area.
DARTS creates connections that enrich aging. Families can help seniors remain in their homes by helping them shovel their driveways. We assign families, teams and individuals to one homeowner for the winter season. We ask volunteers to shovel when two or more inches of snow fall within a 24-hour period.


Ages: All ages can participate


Time Commitment: Entire winter season 


Contact: Barb Tiggemann, 651.234.2254,  


Habitat Art Project (Community Quilt Assembly)  

Twin Cities Habitat For Humanity


Date/Time: Saturday, November 16, 1:30-3:30pm


Location: Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity Offices, 3001 4th Street SE, Minneapolis
Help Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity create a piece of art that represents the strength, diversity and beauty of our community. This piece will be made up of more than 1,600 pieces of cloth donated by volunteers, staff, homebuyers and community members. They will be arranged into a quilt to be displayed in the entryway of our new offices to welcome new homebuyers, volunteers and community members into our new home. If you are interested in helping with this project, we are accepting fabric donations, and we need volunteers to help with assembly- no sewing experience necessary. Volunteers at this event will be cutting and arranging fabric. Volunteers must be able to safely use a scissors and stapler, or have an adult helper.   


Ages: Volunteers need to be age 10 or older 


Time Commitment: Two hours 


Contact: Mattie Young-Burns, mattie.young-burns@tchabitat. org, 612.305.7164 



Fall Yard Clean-up

Opportunity Partners


Date/Time: Now through the end of November


Location: Variety of Twin Cities' area locations
The leaves are falling down! Help us clean them up! We are looking for groups to help get the homes of people with disabilities ready for winter. Yards need raking, shrubs need trimming and you can help. Your family or group can help with one house or do several homes around the Twin Cities. We provide all the tools.     


Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: Flexible  


Contact: Liz Burgard at  




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This list was compiled by Doing Good Together ( When calling to volunteer for any of the opportunities listed above, please let the coordinator know you found it through this listing. You are encouraged to ask any questions you may have of the sponsoring organization before committing to a project.

                                                                                                        © 2013 Doing Good Together