December 2014 - Twin Cities Family Volunteer Opportunities



 December 2014 - Twin Cities 


Brighten the Holiday for Seniors 

Gifts for Seniors


Date/Time: Now through December 


Location: Check the Gifts for Seniors website for barrel locations  


You and your family can help make the holiday season brighter for seniors by donating gifts! Gifts for Seniors provides donated gifts and life-affirming personal contact during the winter holidays to isolated seniors in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area. Please use the Gifts for Seniors wish list as a guide when shopping for gifts for isolated seniors. With the critical support of volunteers, donors and community partners - people like you - we can stop the spiral into loneliness, isolation and early death.   


Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies






Wooddale Church


Date/Time: Saturday, December 6, 9am-noon


Location: Wooddale Church Gym, Door 5, 6630 Shady Oak Road, Eden Prairie. The sandwich-making project will be hosted at the Edina Campus, 5532 Wooddale Avenue South, Edina  


Join Love In[Deed] in making a difference in the Twin Cities. Just show up, choose from a variety of pre-planned volunteer opportunities, and then go serve the community  


Ages: Some sites do require a minimum age due to safety concerns or the nature of the work. However, we ensure that there will be sites open to people of all ages.


Time Commitment: Three hours 


Contact: For more information visit To contact the church regarding Love In[Deed] please email them at 



Adopt A Holiday Basket  

The Aliveness Project


Date/Time: Basket adoption deadline is Friday, December 12. Basket drop off times are Monday- Friday, 9am-7pm. Special weekend hours December 13 & 14 ONLY, 11am-1pm  


Location: 730 E 38th St, Minneapolis  


Founded in 1985, The Aliveness Project is a local non-profit that offers a variety of supportive services for people living with HIV/AIDS and their families. Since 1988 our Holiday Basket Program has provided thousands of gift baskets to men, women, and children affected by HIV/AIDS throughout Minnesota. Each holiday season, volunteers help by adopting baskets. Most of our baskets are geared towards Christmas or Hanukkah, but we will create a basket for any winter holiday. Basket recipients are families with children, adult couples, or single adults. Using their own funds, the volunteer shops for the basket recipient(s) and may be guided by a wishlist provided by the recipient if they so choose. The wishlist contains info about age, sizes, hobbies, and any particular 'holiday wishes'. We ask volunteers to budget a modest $35 per person in the basket. This allows a volunteer to decide how many people they would like to adopt.  


Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies 


Contact:; 612.822.7946 x206. Click here for more information and to sign-up. 



Give the Gift of Warmth  

Matter (formerly Hope for the City)


Date/Time: You can drop off your donations Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm


Location: 7005 Oxford Street, St Louis Park  


Matter is built on the foundation of resourcefulness. Founded in 2000, Matter is committed to delivering food and other products locally as well as medical supplies and education supplies internationally. Through simple acts of being resourceful, we believe we can change the world. We see a world where everyone and everything is seen for all it's worth, a world where we all matter. This winter, Matter is teaming up with partners in Minnesota and Afghanistan to give the gift of warmth to kids and families in need. We are collecting new and gently used boots, hats, scarves, gloves, and coats. You and your family can bring in your own donations or you can contact to get a barrel delivered to your school, business, or place of worship for a Give the Gift of Warmth drive.  


Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact: Hannah Wortz, Service Learning Program Director, 



Make Fleece Blankets   

Camp Noah


Date/Time: Flexible


Location: Mail quilts to Camp Noah, 2213 East Main, Albert Lea, MN 56007 or drop quilts off at the Center for Changing Lives, 2400 Park Ave, Minneapolis  


Make and donate fleece tie blankets for the Camp Noah program. Camp Noah is a locally hosted event for elementary-age children whose communities have been impacted by disaster. A Camp Noah event is hosted wherever it is needed, in disaster-impacted communities across the country. Camp Noah can also be done as a preparedness camp to equip children with the resiliency skills that will help them successfully respond to challenges they will face in the future. 

  • Quilt Size - 40' X 72' approximately
  • Please use youth appropriate fabrics, typically towards the older end of the childhood spectrum. Bright, gender-neutral fabrics work the best and please stay away from very specifically themed prints (e.g. sports, Disney, hunting, etc.). The children who receive blankets range in age from 6 to 14.

Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact: Cari Logan,, 320.266.4391 or 507.473.2040 



Holiday Cookie Baking or Holiday Food Drive  

Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners (IOCP)


Date/Time: Deliver cookies between December 1-3; holiday food donations should be delivered by December 5.  


Location: 1605 County Road 101 N, Plymouth  


Since 1979, Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners has been making an impact in eight west suburban Hennepin communities. IOCP provides both emergency and long-term solutions around food and clothing, housing, employment, childcare, transportation, and access to resources and healthy community connection. Your family can help by baking extra cookies or bars this holiday season to share with families and kids served by IOCP. The cookies will be served as dessert at IOCP's client holiday party and during their holiday gift distribution. You can also help make the holidays a joyous time for IOCP clients by donating special food items for their celebrations. Click here for a list of needed holiday food items.  


Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact:  Liz Erstad-Hicks, 763.489.7506 



Christmas Meal Volunteers    

Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly


Date/Time: Thursday, December 25, noon-2pm


Location: St. Mary's University, 2500 Park Ave S, Minneapolis  


Help brighten the Christmas holiday for isolated elders with Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly at their annual Christmas Meal event. There are a couple of ways you and your family can help:   

  • Drive elder participants to the dinner site, eat and visit with them during the event, and drive them home afterward. Total time commitment is from 11am to 3pm.
  • Deliver a meal and have a brief visit with an elder participant unable to attend the dinner on Christmas Day. Total time commitment would be about two and one-half hours.

Please note that we expect many of these roles to fill quickly, so contact us right away to learn how to reserve your spot.  


Ages: All ages can participate 


Time Commitment: Two and-one-half to four hours 


Contact:  Danielle Fehring at or 612.746.0726. 



Holiday Helper Program 2014  

Minneapolis Crisis Nursery


Date/Time:  Donations will be accepted Monday, November 24 through Monday, December 22, 9am-5pm


Location: Gifts may be delivered to the front entrance of the Nursery's shelter in South Minneapolis at 4544 4th Avenue South.  


The Holiday Helper Program supports families who access Crisis Nursery services during the winter season of giving. Gifts received from the Holiday Helper Program are distributed to families based on their specific needs and what has been donated. The Crisis Nursery is looking for donations of new, unwrapped toys for children newborn through age six. Toys that promote cultural diversity are encouraged. We do ask that toys do not require batteries and do not promote violence such as toy guns or war action figures. Gifts are given to families beginning on Friday, November 28 through Thursday, December 25.

Holiday Wish List for Families: 

  • New toys, including educational activities, and games for children newborn through age six
  • Gift items for parents such as kitchen items, bath items and winter accessories
  • Gift certificates to retail stores for $25 or more including Target, Wal-Mart, etc.
  • Holiday wrapping paper, bows and tape
  • Large black garbage bags

Please do not wrap gifts. The deadline for making a donation to the Holiday Helper Program is Monday, December 22. This deadline allows Nursery staff to distribute holiday items to families in a timely and efficient manner.


Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact: Abbie Hugunin, Stewardship and Volunteer Services Associate, 612.767.8470 



Winter Wear Drive  

Project for Pride in Living


Date/Time: Flexible


Location: Deliver items to 1035 E. Franklin Ave, Minneapolis  


Help keep adults transitioning from homelessness warm this winter by providing new warm hats and mittens for the Cabrini Supportive Housing Program's residents. You can also write and decorate "happy holiday" notes to add cheer and brighten their holiday season.  


Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact: Lynn Weir; 612.454.4474 



Family Roots Alliance Winter Gathering  

Lutheran Social Service of MN


Date/Time: Friday, Dec 19, 5:30-8pm  


Location: Hyatt Regency Hotel, 1300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis 


Family Roots Alliance provides supportive services to 40 formerly homeless families who now live across the Twin Cities Metro Area. Families establish goals and work with a case manager to become self-sufficient. Parents help their children be successful in school with the help of an Educational Support Advocate. The Winter Gathering is an evening of pizza, bingo (with prizes!), cookie decorating, family photos, fellowship and fun! Volunteers welcome participants, help with coats, organize and call bingo and many more activities.  


Ages: Volunteers ten an older are welcome to volunteer with their families


Time Commitment: Three hours 


Contact: Ann Fosco, 612.0879.5331, 



Home-delivered Meals Driver- Food Friend  

Optage Senior Dining Choices


Date/Time: Deliveries usually start around 10am and last from one and one-half to two hours, Monday through Friday.


Location: Meal delivery routes are in areas around Bloomington, Oakdale, Woodbury, Stillwater, Mahtomedi and North St. Paul.  


Get creative and have fun with your kids! Deliver lunch to people in need and then go do lunch knowing you made a difference! Please consider delivering a meal and a friendly visit to brighten someone's day.  


Ages: Everyone is welcome. Children under five years of age need 1 to 1 supervision and children under age of 16 need adult supervision


Time Commitment: Ongoing and flexible. We ask that you commit to a specific length of time in delivering meals, with your choice of once a week, twice a month or as needed.


Contact: Kris Mailand, 615.724.8955,  



Holiday Home Care Baskets  

Our Saviour's Housing


Date/Time: Delivery requested by Wednesday December 17, contact Rachel to arrange delivery   

Location: 2219 Chicago Ave. S Minneapolis  


Our Saviour's Housing is a homeless shelter in South Minneapolis. We have three housing programs: an Emergency Shelter serving 40 adults a night, Transitional Housing serving 16 adults, and Permanent Supportive Housing serving 90 adults. Our 90 Permanent Supportive Housing residents have all gained their own apartments after years of homelessness and health problems. The residents' limited budgets make it tough for them to afford the necessities to care for their homes. You and your family can brighten their holidays and ease their budgets by providing a festive gift basket filled with household cleaning supplies along with other festive gifts or treats! Click for a list of suggested items. (Please note: we serve adults only and are unable to accept items for children.)  


Ages: All ages are welcome 


Time Commitment: Flexible and can be put together at your own location  


Contact: Rachel Kennedy,, 612.872.4193 x2



Help Brighten the Holidays for Others  


Do you and your family want to find an opportunity to make the holidays brighter for others? Many local food shelves and other community organizations offer holiday food or toy programs to their clients. Here is a list of organizations you can contact to see how your family can help:


Neighbors, Inc, Neighbors Holiday Program
ResourceWest, Toy Chest Drive
STEP, Holiday Toy Drive
PSP, Holiday Helpers
VEAP, Holiday Toy Program
Prism, Holiday Shop
Community Thread, Holiday Hope
CEAP,  Hope for the Holidays
Solid Ground, Home for the Holidays  



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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