January 2015 - Family Volunteer Opportunities



January 2015 - Boston


Help Create a KidPack for a Deserving Child  

Cradles to Crayons


Date/Time: Ongoing - Saturdays throughout the year. Requires pre-registration 


Location: 155 North Beacon Street, Brighton  


Cradles to Crayons (C2C) was launched in 2002 with the mission to provide children from birth through age 12, living in low-income and homeless situations, with the essential items they need to thrive - at home, at school and at play. They supply these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities that have with communities that need. Every year, thousands of volunteers pass through the doors of the Cradles to Crayons Giving Factory warehouse to roll up their sleeves and help disadvantaged young children in Massachusetts. Together, youth and adults inspect, sort, and package all new and like-new donations into customized "KidPacks." Cradles to Crayons "KidPacks" are hand-selected with care to meet a local boy's or girl's specific needs and wants.


Ages: Everyone from age five on up is welcome to volunteer at the Giving Factory. Volunteers 18 years old and under must have a chaperone and a signed waiver form with them when they come.


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact: volunteerboston@cradlestocrayons.org. To volunteer, register online



Food Rescue 

Food Rescue/Mass Appeal International


Date/Time: Flexible/Ongoing


Location: Boston Government Center, 3 Center Plaza, Panera Bread  


The independent nonprofit organization Food Rescue brings together more than 500 volunteers who donate approximately 90 minutes of their time, one night each month, to rescue unserved restaurant food that otherwise would have been discarded and then deliver it to their local food pantries for distribution to those in need. Food Rescue feeds 2,000 people monthly, who are hit hardest by the recession. Food Rescue picks food up from Trader Joes, Whole Foods and Panera Bread just to name a few. You can involve your children by having them ride along with you and learn about the process.   


Ages: All ages can participate


Time Commitment: 90 minutes; one night per month


Contact: Karla Romero, 781.321.0406 or uxmagazine@yahoo.com




Family to Family


Date/Time: Ongoing


Location: Family-to-Family will help you identify a food bank in your area that needs your help  


Imagine trying to find a job on an empty stomach or showing up at a physically demanding job without any food in your belly...or going to school hungry! Often, food pantries do not have enough food on their shelves to feed all the families that come in for help. You and your child can make a difference by organizing a "KIDS CAN!" Food Drive and  insure your local community's food pantry's cupboard stays stocked! Your efforts will make food available for the hungry in your very own community.     


Ages:  All ages can participate, but an adult must supervise the program 


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact: Email kids@family-to-family.org for application forms. In that email make sure you send them your name, your contact email and your zip code.




Make a Kids Bag or a Baby Bag   

Family to Family


Date/Time: Flexible


Location: Contact pkoner@family-to-family.org and we will link you to a local shelter where you can bring your donations.  


This winter, you and your family can help provide necessities for babies and children in local shelters. You can make these bags as a family project or you can create an event with relatives, friends or co-workers and make as many bags as you can!  


For each Baby Bag, fill a clean, gently used or new diaper bag with any or all of the following: 

  • clean baby clothes
  • wipes
  • diaper cream
  • a changing pad
  • a cuddly small blanket
  • a new pacifier and/or bottle
  • small baby toy

For each Kids Bag, fill a new, kids size medium t-shirt with any or all of the following: 

  • kids shampoo & conditioner
  • soap & plastic soap case
  • kids toothbrush
  • kids toothpaste
  • small hairbrush
  • lip balm
  • kids decorated band-aids
  • small towel or washcloth

For a nice personal touch, you can make a label with a good will wish and attach it with a ribbon or string. If you made a baby bag, please attach a label to the handle of the bag indicating what age baby the clothes inside are for (e.g. 6-9 months).


Ages: Everyone can participate  


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact: Pam Koner,  pkoner@family-to-family.org.



The 5th Annual Cambridge MLK Day of Service   

Many Helping Hands 365


Date/Time: Monday, January 19, 2-5 pm


Location: Central Square, Cambridge at multiple locations: Cambridge City Hall, the Citywide Senior Center and the YWCA. (Easily accessible by public transportation - the Red Line and #1 Bus.)  


Many needs. Many people. Many helping hands. In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., lend your hands and come work with your children, friends and neighbors for hands-on service projects that will touch the lives of thousands of people in need. Make fleece scarves and blankets for homeless children and adults. Make Valentines for elders and veterans. Sort food, winter clothing, books and toiletries for people in need and more! Don't come empty handed! Bring a can of food, a children's book or a gently used item of winter clothing. Your donations of food, clothing and books are greatly valued by local food pantries, clothing exchanges and literacy organizations. In 2014, MLK Day of Service reached more than 7000 people in need through more than 70 local organizations and agencies.  


Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: Flexible, up to three hours 


Contact: info@manyhelpinghands365.org. Advanced registration is preferred but you may come any time during the afternoon, even if you have not registered in advance.   




Make blankets for people on hospice  

Ascend Hospice


Date/Time: Flexible


Location: Ascend will pick up blankets at your home  


Use your knitting, knotting, or sewing skills to make lap blankets for patients on Hospice. Ascend's patients on Hospice can enjoy a nice homemade blanket that will help to keep them warm and cozy, and feel special, and most of all, loved. You can use any color material, fleece or yarn and you choose the pattern. Suggested approximate size for lap blankets is 4'x5' (minimum). Patients will benefit from having your gift because it is made especially for them and the blanket will also serve as a keepsake for their family members. Ascend has patients located throughout the state and will come to you for pickup. No-sew blankets are a great project to do with children who are not able to sew or knit.


Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact: 866.821.1212, email or fill out their online form



Foster a Cat or Kitten  

Stray Pets in Need (SPIN)


Date/Time: Flexible


Location: Your home 


Care for mom and kittens until they are weaned and ready for adoption. A home visit is made prior to acceptance from experienced foster families. Also, short-term foster homes are needed for an adult cat needing treatment until adoptable. Foster homes are also needed for up to one month for other pets such as rabbits, dogs, or birds.  


Ages: The whole family can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact: Sue Webb, 781.235.1218, tiwat@aol.com  




Cat Care

Stray Pets In Need (SPIN)


Date/Time: Flexible, there are a variety of morning, afternoon and evening shifts.


Location: SPIN Transition House at 5 Overbrook Terrace, Natick, off Rt. 9 westbound at the Wellesley-Natick line behind the California Closet store.  


If you and your (slightly older) children love cats, this is a great volunteer opportunity. Activities include cleaning cages, giving food and water for up to 12 cats and providing socialization and playtime. For interested volunteering families, a short one-hour training is required. You can fill in a volunteer application online. Direct Care can be a rewarding experience and Stray Pets In Need appreciates any amount of time you can volunteer. 


Cat care activities include:

  • Morning: 8-10am or 9-11am; mostly cleaning help is needed. 
  • Mid-day: Anytime from noon to 4pm; mostly spot cleaning and lots of socialization, playing and exercise for the cats.
  • Evening: 5-8pm; some cleaning (less than in the morning), socializing the cats and sweeping and mopping the floor at the end of your shift. 

Ages: Ages 12 and older are welcome to volunteer. Youth volunteers must be accompanied by an adult.


Time Commitment: One 2-hour shift a week or every other week.  


Contact: Sue Webb, 781.235.1218, tiwat@aol.com



The Souper Bowl of Caring  


Date/Time: Ongoing through Super Bowl Sunday 


Location: Flexible 


Souper Bowl of Caring is a national movement of young people working to fight hunger and poverty in their own communities around the time of the Super Bowl football game. In the weeks leading up to or on Super Bowl Sunday, young people take up a collection (many use a soup pot), asking for cash donations or one item of food for people in need. They then give 100% of their donation directly to the local hunger-relief charity of their choice. You can find a list of local food pantries in the Boston area on the Greater Boston Food Bank food bank locator page. The Souper Bowl of Caring also has many resources to help with the fund raising process.   


Ages: All ages can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact: soup@souperbowl.org, 800.358.SOUP (7687). Participants can register online




Boston Cares 


Date/Time: Sunday, January 11, February 1 or March 1  


Location: Downtown Boston, specific details will be shared with participants who have signed up.  


Boston Cares is excited to kick off a new initiative to engage youth and families in service! We will offer a new goCreate project one Sunday a month. This is a chance for kids to get crafty while making an impact. Each month's project will meet a community need and the completed goods will be donated to local agencies to fulfill that need. This project is reserved for Boston Cares members who have attended an orientation. We have family-friendly memberships.  


Ages: Youth ages 5 - 17 and accompanying family members are welcome to volunteer.


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact: Ginelle Testa, generationOn Coordinator, Boston Cares gtesta@bostoncares.org, 617. 422.0910, Ext. 208 


Serve & Learn  

Boston Cares


Date/Time: Tuesday, February 17 - Friday, February 20; 10am - 4pm each day


Location: United South End Settlements (USES) and service opportunities at other sites (More Than Words & Room to Grow)  


Serve & Learn is presented by Boston Cares, a nonprofit organization that provides team-based community service opportunities that work to improve the many different communities in Greater Boston. This program is a four-day, small group opportunity designed for high school teens ages 13-17. It is an alternative school-break program and a fantastic chance to give back to the community, gain service hours for graduation requirements, and grow alongside like-minded civically engaged peers. Participants will engage in direct volunteer service correlated with service-learning components that make connections to community needs.  


Ages: Teens ages 13-17


Time Commitment: All sessions are mandatory for participants


Contact: Ginelle Testa, generationOn Coordinator, Boston Cares gtesta@bostoncares.org, 617. 422.0910, Ext. 208 




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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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