April 2015 - Twin Cities Family Volunteer Opportunities



 April 2015 - Twin Cities 



Doing Good Together


Date/Time: Thursday, April 16, 5:30-8:30pm


Location: American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Ave. South, Minneapolis    


Join us as we celebrate 10 years of creating ripples of kindness and building family traditions of caring. Learn more about our organization while enjoying the company of others interested in raising compassionate children through family service. Everyone is welcome (and encouraged!) to attend. We'll be featuring: 

  • Delicious appetizers and drinks
  • Live music by members of The Melvilles
  • Silent auction
  • Wine raffle
  • Service projects for local charities

Remember: Your generosity will enable us to help more families raise caring, compassionate children who give back to their community. Purchase tickets here and visit our website for more details. Also, be sure to check out our fabulous ONLINE AUCTION, which opens March 31. All proceeds will be used to support our mission - providing fun, engaging tools and resources to help families live generously.


Ages: Most suitable for adults, but all ages are welcome


Time Commitment: As long as you'd like, up to three hours


Contact: diana@doinggoodtogether.org




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 Works! Please consider stepping forward today to mentor a child with your family. We are based in Dakota County and have served families in Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, Farmington, Lakeville & Rosemount for 42 years. Matches are made based on compatible personalities, ages and interests as well as preferences of both 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, sledding, 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, a 45-minute information session, a two-hour training session, as well as 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 three 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: Rita Younger, Kinship Coordinator at rykinship@aol.com or 651.686.0990



Want to mentor but live in Hennepin or Anoka County? Check out Kinship of Greater Mpls (www.kinship.org) for the local mentoring program, sister to Kids 'n Kinship. Contact 612.588.4655 in Hennepin County and 763.862.6755 in Anoka County.  



Organize an Essentials Drive



Date/Time: Flexible


Location: 201 West 87th Street, Bloomington, or 1633 Terrace Drive, Roseville  


Through the effective reuse of donated items, Bridging improves lives by providing quality furniture and household goods to those transitioning out of homelessness and poverty. Bridging serves over 80 households each week who are given a sense of dignity and stability as they rebuild their lives. Collect pillows, towels or kitchen utensils for Bridging.  

  • Pillows: We need over 240 pillows per week to provide a pillow per person.
  • Towels: All sizes and types (kitchen and bath) needed. Our goal is one bath towel per person - that's over 12,000 towels a year!
  • Kitchen Packs: We need over 80 packs per week to give every home a set. Basic packs include can opener, mixing spoon, spatula and dish towel/cloth. Donate full packs or let us bundle for you!  

Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact: Bridging-Roseville, Wendy, 651.319.9295 or wendy.erickson@bridging.org;
Bridging-Bloomington, Dave Rannow, 952.460.3750 or dave.rannow@bridging.org



Help Grow a Garden  

Senior Community Services


Date/Time: One time or throughout the growing season


Location: Seniors homes in Minneapolis or suburban Hennepin County  


Enjoy the great outdoors and get your hands dirty! Seniors in Minneapolis and suburban Hennepin County need your help to maintain their flower garden or vegetable patch. Help make someone's Grandma or Grandpa proud of their yard. Assist one-time or adopt a garden for the season until it freezes. Work with a partner and you can take turns gardening.  


Ages: Family teams are welcome; youth must be age seven or older and supervised by an adult.


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact: Jeanne, SCS - HOME Program, Volunteer Coordinator, scsvolunteer@seniorcommunity.org or call 952.767.7894



Pack Meal Items  

Optage Senior Dining


Date/Time: Monday-Friday, anytime between 7am and 5pm   


Location: 1375 Terrace Drive, Roseville  


Senior Dining Choices makes thousands of healthy, convenient and delicious ready-to-prepare meals weekly. Its innovative approach has helped hundreds of older adults maintain good daily nutrition necessary for their health and wellbeing, and supports their choice to remain in their homes. Families are welcome to come to our commissary kitchen to help package meal items used in the meals that we serve to our hungry seniors and help bring a smile to their face. Volunteer kitchen assistants help bag and package meals for home delivery. Most seniors just want to continue living in their own home for as long as they can and our meal program is making a real difference by helping them do just that.  


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: One and one-half to two hours


Contact: Kris Mailand, 615.724.8955, kmailand@preshomes.org



Arbor Day Tree Planting  

Great River Greening


Date/Time: Friday, April 24, noon-4pm


Location: South Washington Conservation Corridor, 5900 Woodbury Drive, Woodbury  


Plant trees with Great River Greening in the South Washington Conservation Corridor! This 80-acre parcel is part of a larger greenway in the watershed providing critical native habitat and storm water management, and will be the site of future recreational trails. We'll be planting 3,000 oak trees grown from acorns collected as a part of the Million Acorn Challenge that Great River Greening ran for several years.  


Ages: Families are welcome to volunteer


Time Commitment: Four hours 


Contact: Jen Kader at 651.665.9500 ext. 11, jkader@greatrivergreening.org



Earth Day in the City: Minneapolis Watershed Cleanup  

Friends of the Mississippi River


Date/Time: Saturday, April 25, 9:30am-noon


Location: E. 36th St. & E. 44th St. at W. River Pkwy, Mississippi River Gorge, Minneapolis  


Join this Earth Day tradition in the Minneapolis River Gorge! People come from throughout the local river corridor neighborhoods and metro area to contribute to the health and vitality of the Mississippi River Watershed. All ages are welcome and all supplies provided, including lunch. We'll meet at two sites along the parkway and bluff-top. Pick whichever works better for you - the oak savanna at East 36th Street and West River Parkway, or the maple basswood forest at 44th and the Parkway. No registration is required and complete details and directions are available on the event page. We look forward to seeing you at the first River Gorge Stewards event of the season!  


Ages: All ages  


Time Commitment: Two hours 


Contact: Sue Rich, Volunteer Coordinator, srich@fmr.org



2015 Citywide Spring Cleanup  

Saint Paul Parks and Recreation


Date/Time: Saturday, April 18, 9-11:30am


Location: Como Park Pavilion, 1199 Midway Pkwy; Harriet Island - Kelley's Landing, 200 Dr. Justus Ohage Blvd; Hamline Park, 1564 Lafond Ave; Highland Picnic Pavilion, 1200 Montreal Ave; Phalen Picnic Pavilion, 1600 Phalen Dr; Swede Hollow Park, Intersection of Greenbrier St. and Margaret St.  


For nearly 30 years, Saint Paul individuals, families, groups, and communities have volunteered to remove litter from Saint Paul's parks and neighborhoods during the annual Citywide Spring Cleanup. With the help of volunteers, we can remove the trash that accumulates in these natural areas harming wildlife, polluting lakes and rivers and detracting from the beauty of our community. This event is a fun and effective way to improve the natural environment in our local community.  


Ages: Everyone can participate


Time Commitment: Up to two and one-half hours


Contact: Ryanna Jackson, Volunteer Coordinator, Ryanna.Jackson@ci.stpaul.mn.us or 651.632.2411



Celebrate Earth Day!  

City of Minneapolis


Date/Time: Saturday, April 25, 9:30am-noon


Location: Click here for a listing of Minneapolis Earth Day clean-up sites. Arrive at any site between 9:30am-noon and check in at the registration table.


It's easy to get involved. No pre-registration is required! A site coordinator will give you gloves and bags, and instruct you where to go and where to leave trash. Every site has a coordinator who is there to assist volunteers and to answer any questions you may have. Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own work gloves, though we will have some gloves available for volunteers who need them. Check in at the registration table to get a bag and instructions on where to pick-up and leave trash. A volunteer coordinator will be at each site to assist volunteers and answer any questions.  


Ages: Open to all ages 


Time Commitment: Up to two and one-half hours


Contact: Erica Chua, Event Coordinator, 612.230.6479 or echua@minneapolisparks.org



Vermillion Stewards Earth Day Cleanup  

Friends of the Mississippi River


Date/Time: Saturday, April 25, 9-11:30am


Location: South Creek, Lakeville. Volunteers will meet at Cross of Christ Community Church, 8748 210th St. W  


Earth Day volunteers will register in the church parking lot, then enjoy a light breakfast (think granola bars and coffee) as you learn a little about Lakeville Friends of the Environment and FMR's Vermillion Stewards program - helping residents learn about the watershed while working to protect and enhance its unique natural resources. Lots and fields surrounding the church lead right up to South Creek, giving volunteers plenty of cleanup options. You can pick up trash from the parking lot and other hard surfaces, venture into the grassy areas leading up to the stream, or put on your waterproof boots to pick up litter in the marshy area next to the creek.   


Ages: Families are welcome to participate


Time Commitment: Two and one-half hours


Contact: Kate Clayton, 651.222.2193 x23



Service Day Saturday   

City of Savage & Harriet Bishop Elementary Service Club  


Date/Time: Saturday, April 18, 10am - 4pm


Location: Participants are encouraged to volunteer anywhere and report the results, or attend the service fair at city hall in Savage.    


A ten-year-old resident of Savage researched the idea of a citywide day of service and proposed his idea to the mayor.  She agreed, and April 18 will be the first annual day of service in Savage, in honor of Global Youth Service Day. Residents, businesses, organizations, and schools are encouraged to volunteer or complete a service project during the week of April 11-18 and report their efforts via the city's website. Projects and total number of hours will be recorded and displayed on a visual at city hall. Additionally, a youth led Service Fair will take place at city hall on Saturday. The public is invited to stop by to complete fun, hands-on service projects which will benefit local non-profits. This free event will also host a collection drive. Donation bins will be available for the following items: brown paper grocery bags to benefit Neighborhood House food shelf, gently used books and toys to benefit Read Indeed and The Toy Corner, personal hygiene products to benefit Kody's Closet, non-perishable food items to benefit Ruby's Pantry, and monetary donations to benefit families in under-resourced countries around the world (every $50 collected will be given to Bremer Bank's We Create Change program, which will purchase a goat for a family, in order to help them become more independent). All Service Day Saturday participants can pick up a commemorative wristband at city hall on Saturday and are encouraged to wear it around town.  


Ages: Everyone is welcome to volunteer and you don't need to live in Savage to participate. 


Time Commitment: Any amount of time, though we recommend at least one hour.    

Contact:  Email servicedaysaturday@gmail.com



Family Summer Camp Volunteers  

True Friends - Camp Courage


Date/Time: June-August


Location: Camp Courage in Maple Lake, MN, or Camp Courage North in Lake George, MN   


Families up to seven members (two of whom are adults 18 years+) assist during camp depending on skill set (including, but not limited to: cabin support, kitchen support, housekeeping, or program design). Volunteers directly support True Friends' mission: "Provide life-changing experiences that enhance independence and self-esteem for children and adults with disabilities."  


Ages: Families with children five and older are welcome to volunteer - adults must provide supervision for those under 18 years.


Time Commitment: One week; food and housing provided at no charge; various weeks June-August.


Contact: Conor McGrath, conorm@truefriends.org or 952.852.0113



Think Spring Volunteer Break!  



Date/Time: Month of May -pick a day and time!


Location: Dakota County area  


Grab your rakes and gloves and invite your friends, families and co-workers to a to a spring volunteer break. Help seniors take care of their yards by providing a day of outdoor spring-cleaning. Volunteers play a crucial role in helping older homeowners in Dakota County maintain a sense of pride in their property. This is a great opportunity for families to share in the experience of giving back to the community. It all happens in May!  


Ages: Families are welcome; all ages can participate


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact: Barb Tiggemann, 651.455.1560 or barb.tiggemann@darts1.org. To sign up for family volunteering go to: www.darts1.org/volunteer  



Plant a Row for the Hungry  

Ample Harvest or Garden Writers Association


Date/Time: During the growing season  


Location: Your garden, community garden, or wherever you have the opportunity  


Spring is in the air and gardeners everywhere can't wait to get started. Whether you plant a container garden on a windowsill or a deck, overthrow a patch of lawn in favor of a garden, or join a community effort, planning a row dedicated to the local food shelf can make a world of difference. Donating dedicated produce or extra produce from your garden helps food shelves provide more healthy food options and helps prevent food waste. Check out Doing Good Together's Plant a Row for the Hungry page for more information, reflection questions for your family, and additional resources. To find a food shelf near you that would like to receive your produce donation, visit Ample Harvest's find a food pantry page.   


Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact: Ample Harvest, info@AmpleHarvest.org or Garden Writer's Association, Plant a Row for the Hungry, PAR Hotline 1.877.492.2727
www.ampleharvest.org, www.gardenwriters.org


 DGT Families Making a Difference

Are you and your family taking advantage of the opportunities in our monthly listings? We'd love to hear about your experiences. Email us your stories and photos and we'll share them with our readers!

In mid March a number of DGT families from the Boston area came together to help support the Cradles to Crayons Pajama Drive. The event was hosted by Kira Hower, our Boston Coordinator and facilitated by Caryn Oppenheim, youth services coordinator at Cradles to Crayons. The program included a short video about C2C, a reading of the children's book Pajamas of My Dreams, and a thoughtful discussion about what types of donations are important and why. The event ended with the kids and adults making "well wishes" cards to go inside backpacks for the kids. Participants donated over 100 pairs of pajamas and raised awareness about the needs of the C2C families.



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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. 

                                                                                                     © 2015 Doing Good Together™


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