October 2014 - Twin Cities Family Volunteer Opportunities



October 2014 - Twin Cities 


Become a Doing Good Together™ Family Service Fair Volunteer!  

Doing Good Together™


Date/Time: Flexible, generally 2-3 hours per month


Location: Twin Cities metro area  


Doing Good Together's Family Service Fair is a fun family event featuring stations with simple, kid-friendly projects benefiting local non-profit organizations. Our long and varied list of station projects includes making cards for sick children, decorating place mats for isolated senior citizens, creating no-sew fleece blankets for homeless families, making non-toxic cleaning supplies, assembling literacy kits for low-income children and braiding chew toys for orphaned dogs. We rely on volunteers to help make our unique family service fairs a memorably impactful experience. As representatives of Doing Good Together, our volunteers help spread the word about DGT's mission and resources; assist children and their families with the station projects; and engage participants in conversations about the significance of their work.  


Ages: Volunteers 16 years of age and older are welcome. This is a perfect opportunity for high school students needing to fulfill community service requirements. The ideal candidate will be outgoing and comfortable interacting with both adults and children.


Time Commitment: Doing Good Together Family Service Fairs take place approximately once a month and are usually in the evenings, lasting two to three hours. Volunteers are on-call and attend if the time and date work for their schedules.  


Contact: Nassim Rossi, Nassim@doinggoodtogether.org



A Duck Race!  

Neighbors, Inc.


Date/Time: Saturday, October 4, 11am-3pm


Location: The Duck Race is located outside of the T&T Galley on the corner of 9th Ave and Southview Blvd in South St Paul.  


Neighbors is a non-profit, social-service agency serving the northern Dakota County communities of Inver Grove Heights, South St. Paul, West St. Paul, Mendota Heights, Mendota, Sunfish Lake and Lilydale. Neighbors, Inc. events support our efforts to provide social services to our community. Imagine: hundreds of yellow rubber ducks racing each other towards the finish line. The 7th Annual Great Neighbors' Duck Races will be held on Saturday, October 4. We hope to raise $25,000 from this event to support the Neighbors' Food Shelf and other basic needs programs. A variety of fun volunteer opportunities for youth, adults, families and groups are available, including plucking ducks off the race course at the end of the race, playing kid-friendly games and making crafts, selling Duck "adoptions," and dressing up as Delbert the Duck-our giant duck mascot.  


Ages: This is a fun family friendly volunteer opportunity--so bring the kids or grandkids to help!


Time Commitment: The event lasts from 11am-3pm. Flexible volunteer shifts are available throughout the day. Volunteers helping with setup arrive at 8:30am. Event volunteers arrive at 10:30am. Cleanup starts at 3pm and lasts until 4:30pm.


Contact: David, 651.306.2145 or david@neighborsmn.org



Fall Yard Cleanup, Household & Outside Maintenance for the Elderly (HOME) Program  

Senior Community Services


Date/Time:  We are looking for volunteers to help seniors with fall raking October 24th - November 3rd. Other dates are available for outdoor volunteer opportunities as well.  


Location: Yard cleanup at a senior's house in any of the following communities: Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Crystal, Deephaven, Eden Prairie, Edina, Excelsior, Golden Valley, Greenwood, Hopkins, Long Lake, Maple Grove, Minnetonka, Minnetonka Beach, Mound, New Hope, Orono, Plymouth, Richfield, Robbinsdale, Shorewood, Spring Park, St. Louis Park, Tonka Bay, Wayzata, and Woodland. 


Tasks include yard work, leaf raking, window washing, weeding, garage sweeping and cleanup.  


Ages: Families are welcome. There is not a specific age requirement, but keep in mind the abilities of your children for the specific cleaning tasks listed above.   


Time Commitment: Two to four hours.  


Contact: Valerie Anderson, 952.746.4046 or email v.anderson@seniorcommunity.org to schedule a date and time.



Create a Cheerful Drawing  

Color A Smile


Date/Time: Flexible 


Location: Send your children's drawings to Color a Smile, P O Box 1516, Morristown, NJ 07962-1516. It is okay to fold the drawings to fit them in an envelope.  


Color A Smile collects colorful, crayon drawings from school children. Every month they distribute these drawings to Nursing Homes, Meals on Wheels Programs, and individuals all across the country. This activity is a simple one that younger children love to do. Visit the Color A Smile volunteer page for additional coloring instructions.  


Ages: All ages can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact: info@colorasmile.org, 973.540.9222




Family Meal Delivery  

Open Arms 


Date/Time: Monday-Friday 11am-1 pm and Saturdays 9:30-11:30am


Location: 2500 Bloomington Avenue, Minneapolis. You can choose the delivery route that suits you best  


With the support of families like yours, Open Arms brings comfort, nutrition, and support to our fellow community members who are living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life threatening illnesses. We do this through delivering homemade food to approximately 800 clients every week across the Twin Cities free of charge, using healthy ingredients.
Volunteer to deliver meals to our clients with your partner or child and help Open Arms bring nourishment to those who need it most. In return for your service, Open Arms will provide you with the opportunity to be part of a warm and giving community, with engaging and flexible volunteer opportunities, and the chance to give back in a meaningful way. Becoming a volunteer is easy - sign up to attend an orientation. Once you attend we'll ask you to fill out a Volunteer Profile, then you will be all set to go! (It is recommended for kids middle school and older to also attend orientation but not required).  


Ages: There is no minimum age requirement for children but everyone under 18 needs to be accompanied by an adult. Please note that delivery does involve leaving the car a number of times


Time Commitment: Shifts are one to two hours. You can volunteer once, on a regular shift, or as you are able.


Contact: Maria Kustritz, Volunteer Coordinator, maria@openarmsmn.org



Buckthorn Busts: Remove Bad Plants  



Date/Time: Any Saturday, October 4, 11, 25, or November 1, 9am-11am or 10am-noon


Location: The meeting place is in the woods behind Oakwood Elementary School. (Located at County Road 6 and Hwy 101)  


Come join us to help remove buckthorn and learn how you can work with your neighbors, friends, and city government to eradicate buckthorn from parks and woods. Please consider coming out and lending a hand in restoring these beautiful woods back to their native state. We have leather gloves and safety glasses for you to use. Please bring your own if you have them.  


Ages: Children eight and older are welcome to volunteer


Time Commitment: Up to four hours; please consider joining us for at least one to two hours


Contact:  daveturbenson@yahoo.com




Rake a Difference Day  

Community Thread  


Date/Time: Saturday, October 25, 9am-noon. Registration forms must be submitted by Friday, October 10.


Location: Homes to be raked are located in Washington County  


Rake-A-Difference Day benefits seniors and individuals with disabilities throughout Washington County. This family-friendly volunteer activity engages approximately 700 volunteers annually to rake yards for 80 seniors in need in our community. If you are interested in signing up as an individual or with a group, please visit the Community Thread website for more information and to fill out a registration form. Once you have submitted a registration form, you will be sent a confirmation email and follow up instructions. Yard assignments will be given out on an ongoing basis before October 17. Your group is responsible for bringing all essential supplies (rakes, gloves, etc.). Homeowners are responsible for providing leaf bags, however some leaf bags will be available through Community Thread upon request.   


Ages: All ages can participate 


Time Commitment: Depends on the number of yards your family or group is able to rake


Contact: Kira Young, Volunteer Center and Senior Centers Program Coordinator, 651.439.7434 ext. 206, kira@communitythreadmn.org



Make a Difference Day  

Cheerful Givers & Kids 'N Kinship


Date/Time: Saturday, October 25, 9-10am


Location: Thomson Reuters, 610 Opperman Drive, Eagan  


Help your community on National Make A Difference Day. Volunteers are invited to assemble 3,000 toy-filled birthday bags for less fortunate children. This will be a meaningful and fun hands-on experience. (Photographs and videos will be taken this day and used with various publicity efforts)  


Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: One hour 


Contact: Questions? Contact Kids 'n Kinship at 952.892.6368 or Cheerful Givers at 651.226.8738. Register by October 11 at www.eventbrite.com/e/kids-n-kinship-and-cheerful-givers-host-make-a-difference-day-2014-registration-12784576011. Directions and parking information will be emailed; only pre-registered guests will be admitted. Adults must bring a photo id.
www.cheerfulgivers.org, www.kidsnkinship.org




Wooddale Church


Date/Time: Saturday, October 11, 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 wooddale.org/loveindeed. To contact the church regarding Love In[Deed] please email them at  loveindeedwc@gmail.com



Be the Change - Mentor a Child  

Kids 'n Kinship


Date/Time: Ongoing opportunity


Location: Your home or the community  


Kids 'n Kinship matches volunteer mentor families, couples & individuals with youth ages 5-16 in need of additional positive role models for fun and enriching weekly activities. Mentoring just works! You can be the change in a child's life by becoming a mentor. We are based in Dakota County and have served families in Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, Farmington, Lakeville & Rosemount for over 40 years. Matches are made based on compatible personalities, ages and interests as well as preferences of both the volunteer family and the youth and parent/guardian. Our families say that mentoring together ensures they have weekly family time and that it's easy to include another child with the family activity, whether it's a board game, fishing, a trip to a park, or going to the zoo or a museum. We offer discounted passes to area attractions to make activities more affordable. Kids 'n Kinship gets you started with a 45-minute information session, a 2-hour training session, and provides ongoing training and support. We ask mentors and mentees to commit to a year's time together in order to build their relationship; however, many of our matches become lifelong friendships and our average match is about 3 years. Please consider being a mentor to a child - it is one of the most challenging and rewarding ways to volunteer!  


Ages: Mentors are families, couples, or individuals over 21


Time Commitment: One to four hours per week, on your own time (very flexible scheduling: can be weekends, evenings or after school)


Contact: Ingrid Henry, Kinship Coordinator at ihkinship@aol.com or 952.891.3885, www.kidsnkinship.org 



RAKE IT Fall Yard Clean-Up  

Neighborhood Involvement Program


Date/Time: Seasonal: starting mid-October (depending upon the weather) until the snow stays.


Location: Seniors homes in North & South Minneapolis- exact Minneapolis location TBD, depends upon where the senior citizen lives. 


Leaves do fall. Improve your health while helping a senior citizen in Minneapolis remain independent in their home! You choose the date and time to rake and clean up the yard. This is a one-time fun and flexible activity on weekdays or weekends. Feel free to sign up multiple times! 


Supplies needed: Rakes, gloves, brooms, and compostable bags   


Ages: Minimum age seven with adult


Time Commitment: Two+ hours 


Contact: Jeanne, 612.746.8549, srvolunteer@neighborhoodinvolve.org



Doyle-Kennefick Regional Park Brush Stacking  

Great River Greening


Date/Time: Saturday, October 25, 9:30am-1pm


Location: 235 St. East, Elko New Market. Click for directions.   


A recent addition to our Metro county park system, Doyle-Kennefick Regional Park features a mixture of native hardwood forest, oak savanna, prairie, and pristine wetlands scattered across a rolling glacial topography in central Scott County. Amenities at this site will include a nature center, 13 miles of hiking trails, 8 miles of bike trails, and more! Help Great River Greening remove underbrush at this beautiful park to expose 300-year-old white and bur oaks at this new metro-area site! 


Ages: All ages are welcome but children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult


Time Commitment: Three and one-half hours


Contact: Jen Kader, Volunteer & Outreach Manager, jkader@greatrivergreening.org, 651.665.9500 x11. Pre-registration is required; register online



Bike Donation Day and Help Clean and Refurbish Used Bikes  

Free Bikes 4 Kidz


Date/Time: Bike Donation Day is Saturday, October 11, 9am-1pm. Volunteers will be needed to help clean and refurbish bikes from October 13-December 5. Shifts will be available Monday-Thursdays, 9am-9pm; Friday and Saturdays, 9am-6pm; and Sundays, noon-6pm.


Location: Bikes should be dropped off at one of our drop-sites (all Allina Health hospitals and most clinics) on Saturday, October 11, from 9am to 1pm. We will not have the exact warehouse site addresses for bike cleaning and refurbishing until late September or early October. When you register, please choose either East Metro or West Metro and then schedule your volunteer time(s) and date(s). The locations will be emailed to registered volunteers as soon as they become available.  


Got a gently used bike in your garage that your family no longer needs? We will gladly take it, clean and refurbish it, and make sure it goes to a kid in need. Want to help get the bikes ready? We love folks with mad bike repair skills, but if you and your family members are handy with rags, we'd be happy to put you to work! We need volunteers of all skill levels with bikes to help us clean and then refurbish the bikes. This is a fun activity for a family to do together. Visit us at www.fb4k.com/volunteer/ to sign up for a shift or two (or more!)  


Ages: Children ages eight or older with adult supervision are welcome to volunteer. Youth groups with children ages 12 and older are welcome, but we ask for a 1:5 child to adult ratio.


Time Commitment: Three hour shifts, but there is flexibility


Contact: Jennifer Vogel, Volunteer Coordinator, volunteer@fb4k.org


Operation Comfort  


Date/Time: Flexible, but we would like to receive all blankets no later than Sunday, December 7  


Location:  Mary Herrera and her family have relocated to San Antonio but in an effort to continue "Paying it Forward" - Mary's good friend Brenda and her daughter, Maya, have graciously offered to continue this project. The drop off location is yet to be determined but will be located in Inver Grove Heights. You can contact Brenda or Maya at brendaandmike@comcast.net to get the location.  


Over the last eight years Operation Comfort volunteers have made and donated over 400 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 that 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 salvage 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 donate money that will be used to purchase material for someone else to make the blankets.  


Ages: All ages can participate


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


Contact: Maya or Brenda at brendaandmike@comcast.net or 651.453.9617 or 651.332.4406



Dial-A-Ride Volunteer Opportunity  

Neighbors, Inc


Date/Time: Flexible weekday business hours; as much time as the volunteer is available 


Location: Neighbors, Inc., 222 Grand Ave W, South St Paul, MN 55075  


Do you enjoy driving and want to make a difference? Volunteer drivers are needed to take neighbors, mostly seniors, to their local medical or dental appointments. Rides are scheduled in advance on weekdays based on the volunteer's availability. As a volunteer driver you will make a difference in the life of a neighbor who does not have access to reliable transportation. Training and ongoing support provided. Includes mileage reimbursement and liability insurance for Neighbors' driving assignments.  


Ages: Volunteer drivers must be 21 years old. This is a fun family friendly volunteer opportunity--so bring the kids or grandkids along for the ride!


Time Commitment: Volunteers receive assignment notices weekly, and can choose how much to drive depending on their schedule. Typically an assignment is no more than a couple of hours.


Contact: David, 651.306.2145 or david@neighborsmn.org




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This list was compiled by Doing Good Together™ (www.doinggoodtogether.org)
 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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