September 2014 - Family Volunteer Opportunities



September 2014 - Boston


Operation Sock Drop  

Friends of Boston's Homeless


Date/Time: Flexible


Location: Drop your donations off at The Woods Mullen Shelter - 794 Mass Ave. Boston (between Albany and Melnea Cass), or The Long Island Shelter - East Squantum St., Quincy.  

Starting in September, donation bins will be at both shelters and drop offs can happen 24/7.

We all put on a clean pair of socks every morning with hardly a thought. But for our community's homeless men and women these items are often a luxury. By participating in Operation Sock Drop you not only help keep our community's neediest, most vulnerable citizens safe, warm and healthy, but you also help maintain their dignity and comfort during this most difficult time in their lives. You can organize a drive at your work, school, place of worship, community organization, or even with friends, family and neighbors, and it's very easy to run. To participate, all you need do is donate at least one new pair of men's or women's socks, a pair of underwear or an undershirt (men's XL and 2XL are always needed). It's an easy and inexpensive way to make a big impact on the comfort, health, safety and dignity of our community's homeless. The Friends of Boston's Homeless supports the Woods Mullen Shelter in Boston's South End and the Long Island Shelter on Boston Harbor. These shelters serve over 850 homeless individuals every day. The shelters provide safe, dignified care and basic emergency services including a nutritious meal, hot shower, a warm bed, clothing and toiletries to each and every individual in need.    


Ages: All ages can participate


Time Commitment: Varies





Housewarming Gift Baskets  

Friends of Boston's Homeless


Date/Time: Flexible 


Location: Drop off at either The Woods Mullen Shelter - 794 Mass Ave. Boston (between Albany and Melnea Cass), or The Long Island Shelter - East Squantum St., Quincy


Remember moving into your first apartment or home and the anticipation and excitement of finally having a space to call your own? You can help people who may have spent years living on the streets or in shelters feel that same warmth and excitement as they move into their new home by providing the essential items we all need to make our house a home. By assembling and donating Housewarming Gift Baskets, you'll play an important part in welcoming people into their new homes where they'll find the stability and serenity they need to begin their journey to restoration. It's as simple as assembling new (not used) items (cleaning supplies, dish soap, laundry detergent, toilet paper, a set of sheets or towels) in a basket to be given as a housewarming gift to "Housing First" beneficiaries. And don't forget to include a nice welcome note! Your gifts will transform someone's new apartment into a warm, welcoming home.


Ages: All ages can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies





Community Meals Program  

Friends of Boston's Homeless


Date/Time: Any evening. Dinner begins around 5pm and ends around 8pm, but volunteer groups vary in the amount of time they spend onsite. 


Location: The Woods Mullen Shelter - 794 Mass Ave. Boston (between Albany and Melnea Cass), or The Long Island Shelter - East Squantum St., Quincy 


Serving a hot, nutritious meal at Woods Mullen Shelter in the South End or Boston's Long Island Shelter in Quincy is a great family volunteer opportunity. Volunteers help with meal set up, serving, clean up, and will also often host a game of BINGO after the meal. Dinner is served 365 evenings a year. The shelters greatly appreciate the help and your presence means a lot to the people you serve. You pick the location and night you would like to serve. For just a couple dollars per guest, some families also help sponsor all or a portion of the meal they'll serve. Sponsoring a meal allows the shelter to serve something a little more special on the day you serve and helps support the shelter's kitchen. (They serve 2,000 meals a day.) However, sponsoring is not a requirement to serve - your donation of your time, energy, and your presence are greatly appreciated.


Ages: Ages 14 and over with adult supervision


Time Commitment: Two to three hour shifts





ReVision Urban Farming  

ReVision Urban Farm


Date/Time: Three-hour shifts, Tuesday-Friday, between 9am and 4pm. Morning shifts are 9am-noon and afternoon shifts are 1-4pm


Location: 38 Fabyan Street, Dorchester


Victory Programs' ReVision Urban Farm relies on the support of volunteers to help feed the families residing at ReVision Family Home, a shelter for homeless women and their children.  Most volunteers work on the farm, assisting with the physical tasks necessary to keep the farm growing. Volunteering at the Farm Stand, 1062 Blue Hill Avenue, at the corner of Arbutus Street, is also possible. When you volunteer at ReVision Urban Farm, not only will you get your hands dirty, but you'll also be part of the movement to grow fresh, healthy food in the city and help women and children in need of good food.    


Ages: During the height of the season (May through mid-October) the Farm prefers children ages 12 and over because the nature of the work requires both speed and efficiency. During the months of March and April, and mid-October through mid- November, children as young as two years old can volunteer with their family.


Time Commitment: Two hour minimum 


Contact: Joy Gary, Volunteer Coordinator, 617.822.3276 or 



Throw a Birthday Party!  

Heading Home


Date/Time: Various dates throughout the year, based on client birthdays. Parties take place from 6-7:30pm.


Location: Heading Home's family shelters are in Dorchester 


Heading Home's client families consist of a single mom with 1-2 young children, which represents the demographics of homeless families in Massachusetts. Like all of Heading Home's programs, these shelters provide families with a safe and homelike environment where they can receive the critical support they need to work towards permanent housing. Volunteers can help provide what every child deserves -- a birthday party! Volunteers provide a cake, decorations, goodie bags and 1-3 gifts, as well as planning a party activity for the birthday boy or girl and the other shelter residents.


Ages: All ages are welcome. Children under age 16 must be accompanied by an adult.


Time Commitment: Approximately one to one-and-a-half hours


Contact: Caitlin Quinn, Development Coordinator, or 617.864.8140 



Donations for Heading Home Clients  

Heading Home


Date/Time: Flexible and year-round 


Location: The Schrafft Center, 529 Main Street, Suite 100, Charlestown. Contact Caitlin Quinn to arrange a drop off time. (Weekdays only for drop offs)


Heading Home's clients gratefully accept new and gently used in-kind donations so they can focus their limited resources on saving for a brighter future. The following items are always in high demand: 

  • Furniture (dressers, sofas, kitchen tables)
  • Extra-long twin bedding (new)
  • Pillows (new)
  • Towels (new)
  • Kitchenware and utensils
  • Toiletries
  • Laundry supplies  
  • Backpacks (adult and child)
  • Winter boots and jackets
  • Thermal clothing and socks
  • Hats and gloves
  • Non-perishable food

Ages: All ages can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies 


Contact: Caitlin Quinn, or 617.864.8140 



JDRF One Walk Boston (5K)  



Date/Time: September 27, 8:30am-1:30pm. Registration begins at 9:30am and the walk begins at 10:30am.


Location: DCR Hatch Shell, 47 David G Mugar Highway, Boston

Each year, JDRF One Walk (formerly JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes) brings together more than 900,000 people to change the future of type 1 diabetes (T1D) and they need YOUR help! Volunteers sustain JDRF's leadership in T1D research funding. Share your talent and time and make a meaningful difference to people living with T1D. This is a family-friendly 5K walk. Info on how to create a fund-raising team is on the JDRF website.    


Ages: Open to all ages for fundraising and the walk. Walk volunteers must be a minimum of 15 years old and accompanied by an adult.


Time Commitment: Five hours 


Contact: Nichole Messier,; 781.431.0700. To sign up to become a volunteer please fill out the online form 



Spy Pond Park Work Day  

Friends of Spy Pond Park


Date/Time: Saturday, September 6, 1-4pm


Location: Spy Pond Playground, Pond Lane, Arlington


Join the Friends of Spy Pond Park for native planting, shoreline maintenance, park cleanup tasks and Family Fun Day activities for kids. Please bring water, gloves, waterproof boots, and tools or you can borrow from their small supply.


Ages: Families are welcome; children need to be accompanied by an adult. Teens can earn community service credits.


Time Commitment: Flexible; one to three hours


Contact: Lally Stowell, 



Moving Day® Boston Walk (5K walk and shorter)  

National Parkinson Foundation


Date/Time: Saturday, October 11, 9am-noon


Location: Artesani Park, 1255 Soldiers Field Rd, Boston

Moving Day® Boston is the National Parkinson Foundation's annual fundraising walk event. It is a fun and inspiring fundraising event that unites families, friends and communities both large and small in the fight against Parkinson's disease. This celebration of movement will feature a family friendly walk course (5K and one shorter, easier route around the Charles River), a kids area, a caregivers relaxation tent and a special Movement Pavilion featuring yoga, dance, Tai Chi, Pilates, which have all been proven to help manage the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Moving Day® Boston raises awareness of Parkinson's both nationally and in the Boston community. This is a great opportunity for children to practice fundraising prior to an event as well. The event will take place rain or shine. If cancellation of the event is warranted due to dangerous weather conditions, announcements will be made on the event day at the event site. The event will not be canceled in advance. All decisions regarding cancellation will be made on site. We would love for kids to volunteer, ideally under the supervision of their parents. Kids can help out as fantastic cheerleaders, water servers, snack passers, temporary tattoo artists, poster/signage-makers, etc.


Ages: All ages can participate 


Time Commitment: Four hours or less 


Contact: Patrick Nelson,, 508.423.8004 




Welcome Basket Marathon Event  

Heading Home, Inc. / Doing Good Together™


Date/Time: Thursday, September 25, 4-6pm  


Location: Cambridge 


Kira Hower, DGT™ Boston Coordinator, and Caitlin Quinn, Development Coordinator at Heading Home, will co-host a fun and meaningful event in Cambridge at Kira's home studio. Volunteers of all ages will create Welcome Baskets for formerly homeless families, primarily single mothers with 1-3 children, who are making the milestone move from Heading Home shelters to permanent housing. Volunteer families will donate materials like toiletry items and kitchen supplies to fill the Welcome Baskets. This event will be limited to 15 families but we will gratefully accept donations of materials, gift cards and tax-deductible monetary contributions from everyone. Your support will benefit families as they transition into their new permanent homes, provided alongside intensive support services to help them stay on track.  


Ages: All ages can participate 


Time Commitment: Two hours 


Contact: Please email Kira Hower at more details about the event or to register. & 



Pajama Program Book & Pajama Drive  

Big-Hearted Families™ Book Club


Date/Time: Flexible 


Location: The Pajama Program will contact you with the name of an organization that would love to receive your donation, or you can contact your local Pajama Program chapter.

Join with our Big-Hearted Families Book Club subscribers to help the Pajama Program collect one million new pajamas, one million new books and the resources needed to get them in the hands of children in need by December 31, 2015. The Pajama Program provides new pajamas and new books to children in need, many who are waiting and hoping to be adopted. These children live in various situations including group homes, shelters and temporary housing facilities and are often shuffled from one place to another. Many of them have been abandoned, abused or neglected. Most of these children have never enjoyed the simple comfort of having a mother or father tuck them in at bedtime with warm, clean pajamas and a bedtime story. Some of the children we serve are living with their families below the poverty level, in desperate need of food, clothing and shelter. Your family can conduct a pajama and book drive, have a pajama/book themed party, or you can simply send a pair of pajamas and a book from your family to the Pajama Program. Click for information and instructions from the Pajama Program. Once you've completed your drive, report your results here, and the Pajama Program will contact you within seven days with the name of an organization that would love to receive your donation.   


Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact:, 212.716.9757 




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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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