December 2014 - Family Volunteer Opportunities



December 2014 - Boston


Holiday Drive  

East End House


Date/Time: Thursday, December 18, 4-7pm or December 19, 9am-6pm


Location: 105 Spring Street, Cambridge  


For the December Holiday Drive the East End House is collecting new, unwrapped educational games and activity sets, books, warm clothing, and basic necessities for the families that utilize East End House services. They are looking for volunteers to assist with sorting and organizing donations and/or wrapping gifts for their Holiday Drive. They welcome assistance from both individuals and groups of volunteers. 


Ages: Children ages 10 and up are welcome to volunteer


Time Commitment: Shifts range from two-nine hours (depending on your availability)


Contact: Lizet Medina, or Timothy Severyn,, 617.876.4444 



Donate, Make or Serve Food   

Bread of Life


Date/Time: Ongoing


Location: 54 Eastern Avenue Rear, Malden  


Bread of Life (BOL) is a volunteer organization serving the hungry, homeless, needy and isolated that brings together 35 churches, synagogues, high schools and community organizations from the north Boston area to offer free evening meals four nights a week, an emergency food pantry, free clothing and grocery delivery to senior citizens in public housing. Bread of Life collaborates with local agencies to help low-income residents obtain counseling, furniture, housing, and financial assistance. BOL provided the equivalent of over 1,032,000 meals to hungry, homeless and isolated people in 2013. BOL is always looking for more volunteers. Although children under 13 cannot volunteer onsite, families can shop for and deliver food to BOL, which can be a meaningful volunteer experience for families with younger children.    


Ages: All ages can participate offsite; ages 13 and older can volunteer onsite 


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact: Gabriella Snyder Stelmack at 781.397.0404, 



Holiday Spoon Project  

Project Bread


Date/Time: Through Dec. 18. Photos of Spoons are due by Dec. 18 for the Spoon Contest.


Location: Email your photos to by Thursday, December 18 to take part in the contest. Voting will take place from Friday, December 19 to Tuesday, January 6. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, January 7. Photos can also be mailed to:
Project Bread
Attn: Lauren Santilli
145 Border Street
East Boston, MA 02128   


For more than 200,000 children in Massachusetts, skipping a meal is not a choice: it is a very real part of their daily lives. Children at risk of hunger and food insecurity need consistent and predictable help they can rely on year-round. Hungry children struggle to concentrate and learn. They are likely to have higher rates of absenteeism, get sick more frequently and recover more slowly. They are often at a disadvantage relative to their peers. When you see a spoon, you probably think of eating soup, cereal, or frozen yogurt. Of course, all of those foods are great, but it is also important to recognize that many people do not have any food to eat at all. There is much that we can do to help, and that we can teach our youth that they can too. When children decorate their spoons, we can teach them about hunger and how they can make a difference in their community. This year, Jordan's Furniture will match every dollar raised up to $10,000 -doubling your efforts to help those in need in Massachusetts.

  • Register! Register your family or group of friends for the Spoons Project.
  • Teach! Access the Spoons Project Curriculum and engage children in learning about hunger.
  • Create! Check out fun decorating tips and help children take an ordinary wooden spoon and create a work of art.
  • Serve! By using the fundraising tips, help children serve their community by selling their spoons and collecting donations to prevent hunger.
  • Win! Email or mail in photos of your child's spoons and enter a chance to win group tickets to Jordan's Furniture IMAX Theater.

Ages: All ages can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies 


Contact: Lauren Santilli, 



The Giving Tree Project  

Mass Appeal International


Date/Time: Ongoing through December 16; pick up will be on December 17, 18 and 19   

Location: Local businesses or stores, please contact Karla Romero at 781.321.0406 or (put Giving Tree in the subject heading) before starting your project  


The painfully slow economic recovery has left countless Massachusetts families in a prolonged fight to maintain the bare essentials. For them, the day after Thanksgiving is not a chance to get a great buy at the mall; it is another painful reminder that they may lack the means to provide their children a merry Christmas. You can help by setting up a Giving Tree donation box at your business or at local stores, where people can donate an unwrapped gift for a child in need. A Giving Tree is an artificial tree that your family or a business sponsor can donate and then you and your children can make paper ornaments decorated with gift tags of the children's name, age, and gift request. Mass Appeal International will provide you with the names of children and their wish lists.
Once the gift tag ornaments are made, set up the Giving Tree in a place that is public. (Your office or local stores or mall.) People can pick a nametag/ gift label with the name and/or gender, age, and in most cases, the gift request of the child. Do not lose this label! It will need to be secured to the gift so that Mass Appeal International can make sure it is given to the proper child. Please DO NOT wrap the gift. Call Karla at MAI when the donation box is ready to be picked up. The suggested monetary range for gifts is $15-$25 or more depending on your budget.  


Ages: All ages can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies 


Contact: Karla Romero at 781.321.0406 or (Put Giving Tree in the subject heading) 



Join a Nationwide Movement of Volunteerism and Giving  



Date/Time: Tuesday, December 2


Location: Nationwide  


You've heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday! But what about #GivingTuesday? It's a day to kick off the giving season! #Giving Tuesday is a global day dedicated to charitable giving, volunteering and harnessing the power of social media and the generosity of people around the world to bring about real change in their communities. Now in its third year, #GivingTuesday is a worldwide movement that celebrates the power of giving in all its forms! #GivingTuesday inspires innovative personal philanthropy and encourages bigger, better and smarter charitable giving during the holiday season, showing that the world truly gives as good as it gets.  


Ages: All ages can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies





The Light Princess - Volunteer Ushers Needed!  

The American Repertory Theater


Date/Time: Saturday, December 6 through Sunday, January 4


Location: The Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle Street, Cambridge  


The A.R.T. is getting ready to open The Light Princess, the Theater for Young Audiences Holiday show! Volunteer Ushers get a glimpse behind the scenes and work closely with the Front of House operations. Under the supervision of the House Manager and working with the Front of House Staff, volunteers are assigned duties that might include distributing programs, providing information about the show, scanning patrons' tickets at the door, light clean up after the performance, and completing other tasks during and after the show. Volunteers must wear white tops and black slacks or skirts; no jeans, t-shirts or sneakers. Arrival time is normally 90 minutes before the performance but this may vary depending on the production. Volunteer Ushers will be able to see the performance free of charge but may have to join Standing Room Only if the show is sold-out.    


Ages: Parents with children 14 and over can volunteer together.  Teens 16 and older can volunteer unaccompanied.  


Time Commitment: Approximately three hours- 90 minutes prior to the show plus the 70 minute show.


Contact: The A.R.T. Administrative Offices, 617.495.2668. Volunteer registration in available online. Please indicate in the comment section how many volunteers are 14 or 15. Sign up early! 



Donate Goods or Toys for the Holidays  

Horizons for Homeless Children


Date/Time: Ongoing


Location: 1705 Columbus Avenue, Roxbury  


Horizons for Homeless Children is one of the few organizations in Massachusetts focused exclusively on the needs of young homeless children and their families. They are recognized as a national leader in the education of homeless children. Today, they provide high-quality early education, opportunities for play, and family support services to more than 2,000 homeless children each week in Massachusetts. Horizons for Homeless Children relies on the support of the many individuals, corporations, and community groups who donate goods and services. If you are interested in donating goods, please review their wish list or create a toy drive with your friends and family. When donating goods: 

  • Please call their office prior to delivering your items. This will allow them to schedule a drop-off appointment and plan for distribution.
  • Please include your name, address and estimated value of your donation so that they may thank you for your donation and provide a receipt for tax purposes.
  • Items should be in new or like new condition. All toys must be new. Items should not be wrapped and should be age appropriate for children ages two months to six years old, except where noted.

Ages: All ages can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact: name and contact info 



Make Handmade Cards for Meals on Wheels Deliveries  



Date/Time: Flexible


Location: 555 Amory Street, Jamaica Plain  


Ethos is a Boston-based, nonprofit organization that has served the elderly and disabled since 1973. Its mission is to promote personal well-being, dignity and autonomy through the delivery of high quality, affordable and culturally competent home and community-based care. For Christmas, Chanukah, Valentine's Day, and all kinds of holidays in between, children and their families make homemade cards for Meals on Wheels deliveries. Make a bunch of cards and Meg Licht, Volunteer Coordinator has kindly offered to pick them up or you can mail them directly to Ethos. Ethos would also be happy to host a group or family at their office in Jamaica Plain to work on a project together.  


Ages: All ages can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies depending on volunteer project 


Contact: Meg Licht at 617.477.6623, 



Make and/or Deliver Holiday Gift Baskets: 

Community Servings


Date/Time: Ongoing through Dec. 13 (Holiday Basket Delivery Day)


Location: Work Inc., 25 Beach Street, Dorchester  


Community Servings provides food and nutrition services throughout Massachusetts to individuals and families living with critical and chronic illnesses. They give their clients, their dependent families, and caregivers appealing, nutritious meals, and send the message to those in greatest need that someone cares. The Community Servings Holiday Basket Program brings basic necessities and holiday gifts to our clients with life-threatening illnesses and their families. With 94% of their clients living in poverty, they have little to spend on items like toiletries, cleaning products, and clothing. Through the Holiday Basket Program, clients call Community Servings with their holiday wishes, and they match those "wish lists" with volunteer Basket Makers willing to shop for the gifts. Typically, wish lists contain requests for basic necessities like warm clothing and toiletries. Consider becoming a Basket Central Volunteer with your family and help sort and organize gift baskets. Volunteers are especially needed on Holiday Basket Delivery Day, Saturday, December 13. This can be a fun family activity because your children can join you in delivering the baskets.  


Ages: Volunteering at Basket Central requires a 1:1 parent to child ratio for children under eight years old or a 1:2 ratio of parent to children for ages eight and over.


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact: Kate White, 617-522-7777 x.228. Click here to sign up for volunteer slots. Register quickly as spots are filling up! 



Sell Project Bread Holiday Cards and help feed the hungry   

Project Bread 


Date/Time: Ongoing through the holidays 


Location: Flexible   


Project Bread anticipates and responds to immediate needs in our communities with emergency and short-term programs - provided with dignity and kindness. They also connect people to local food resources, and enable them to participate in their local food economies and the marketplace. In 2013, Project Bread invested more than $5 million in community based programs, food pantries, health centers, summer meal programs, elder meal programs, their FoodSource Hotline and more-all to reach the state's most vulnerable populations: children, working poor families, immigrants, and seniors-and to bolster our local food economies.

A fun and easy way to support Project Bread is to sell Project Bread holiday cards through your school or neighborhood.

Project Bread holiday cards: 

  • Come shrink-wrapped in packs of 10 and retail for $15
  • Are 5 x 7" and include matching envelopes
  • Are designed by local artists
  • Are printed in Massachusetts on high-quality recycled paper using soy-based inks

How it Works: 

  • Choose your favorite holiday card design. Click here to see the collection.
  • Sell the cards to your friends, family, or teachers for $15 per pack.
  • Give $12.50 to Project Bread and keep $2.50. You may also donate 100% of the proceeds.
  • At the end of the season, if you haven't sold all of the packs you ordered, simply mail back any unsold packs to Project Bread; they will reimburse you for postage.
  • All stores and organizations are asked to sign a consignment agreement upon placement of an order. 

Ages: All ages can participate.


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact: Morgan Bleimeyer, 617.239.2539  or  



One Book at A Time  



Date/Time: Flexible


Location: Your home 


Family-to-Family is a non-profit national hunger and poverty relief organization dedicated to connecting, one-to-one, families with enough to share to impoverished American families with profoundly less. Family-to-Family programs create a bridge between communities with "more" and some of our country's poorest areas. You and your family can sponsor a child with one book a month through Family-to-Family's One Book at a Time program. The holiday season is the perfect time to take on a broader commitment that will carry your urge to give back through the whole year to come. Part pen pal, part book club, the One Book at a Time program will inspire both the book lovers who give the books and the ones who receive them. Family-to-Family will match you to a child living in poverty in one of the communities they serve, give you the child's name, age, grade, reading level, and list of favorite books or authors, and ask you to send him or her one new book, along with a letter, each month. Your family will commit to the program for one year, sending a total of 12 books and 12 letters. The child who receives the books will be encouraged to write back to you. Visit the DGT™ Feed Hungry Minds project page for reflection ideas, book suggestions, and ways to take this project further.  


Ages: Everyone can participate as a sponsor; recipient children are primarily between the ages of 7 and 12.  


Time Commitment: One year 


Contact: Email with your name, address and phone number and you will be matched with a child. 




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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.
Disclaimer: This list is provided as a service to families. Inclusion of organizations in this listing does not imply affiliation, endorsement or quality assurance on the part of Doing Good Together.™ Doing Good Together™ bears no responsibility whatsoever for the activities and actions of the listed organizations. 

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