December 2015 - Twin Cities Family Volunteer Opportunities

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December 2015 - Twin Cities 

Learn and Deliver Meals With Your Family!
Meals on Wheels
Date/Time: Volunteer one hour during lunchtime, Monday through Friday. Your family can volunteer weekly, monthly, or on a schedule that works for you.
Location: With over thirty neighborhood sites throughout the Twin Cities, you can easily be connected with a delivery site near your home!

Delivering Meals on Wheels with your children or grandchildren is a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time as a family and pass on the values of kindness, compassion, and civic responsibility by helping seniors and individuals with disabilities in your community. Whether you have infants or teenagers, you can make a contribution together to improve your community. Delivering meals involves driving to the program site, picking up, and delivering eight to ten meals. It takes about an hour, and you can choose a program site near your home. The amount you socialize with the clients is dependent on the volunteer and the client. Learn more about delivering meals as a family.
Ages: Families are welcomed and encouraged to volunteer
Time Commitment: About an hour at lunchtime
Contact: Tara Kumar, 612.623.3363,
Cookie Decorating
Open Arms
Date/Time: Saturday, December 12, 10am - noon
Location: 2500 Bloomington Avenue South, Minneapolis
Looking for ways to introduce your kids to helping others? Open Arms is hosting a cookie decorating opportunity, where you and your family can brighten our clients' days by decorating holiday cookies for them. Enjoy treats and coffee while working on a creative activity together!
Ages: Families with children age eight and older are welcome
Time Commitment: Up to two hours. Feel free to arrive and depart when needed during the shift.

Contact: RSVP to with the names of those attending and the ages for anyone under the age of 18
Cook For Kids
Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery
Date/Time: We have meals three times a day, seven days a week, so it can work for anyone's schedule! Check our online calendar for shift availability
Location: 4544 4th Ave S, Minneapolis
Recruit a team of up to six people to purchase groceries, cook on site and serve breakfast, lunch or dinner to children at the Crisis Nursery. This is a great opportunity for your family to cook a meal for approximately 30 children, care provider staff and volunteers.
Ages: Volunteers must be 12 or older. All volunteers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult age 21 or older.
Time Commitment: Two hours at the Nursery (includes prep, serving, eating and clean up), plus shopping time. This can be a one-time opportunity or an ongoing one.
Contact: Keith Johnson, or 612.767.8483. For more information visit or go directly to our application:
Holiday Home Care Baskets
Our Saviour's Housing

Date/Time: Delivery requested by Thursday December 17, please contact to schedule delivery time.

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 many essential items to really make their house a home. You can brighten their holidays and ease their budgets by providing a festive gift basket. Please note, we serve adults only and are unable to accept items for children. Suggested items include:
  • Kitchenware (including cooking & eating)
  • Shower curtains & liners
  • Basic tools
  • Throw blankets & pillows
  • Towel and full bed sheet sets
  • Household décor items such as picture frames
  • Calendars or day planners
  • Socks, gloves, hats, scarves, or slippers
  • Headphones
Ages: All ages are welcome

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

Contact: Rachel Kennedy, Volunteer Coordinator,, 612.872.4193 x2

Brighten the Holidays for a Senior
Gifts for Seniors
Date/Time: Now through December
Location: Check the Gift for Seniors website for barrel locations
You and your family can help make the holiday season brighter for seniors by collecting and donating new, unwrapped gifts to them through Gifts for Seniors. Click on the Gifts for Seniors wish list to find out which items are most needed. 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. This is how it works:
  • Donors provide new, unwrapped gifts from the Gifts for Seniors wish list through gift drives or drop-offs at gift barrel locations around the Twin Cities metro area.
  • County and community agency partners pick up gifts for their clients from the Gifts for Seniors seasonal operations center.
  • Community volunteers collect donated gifts and bring them to our operations center where they are sorted, inventoried and displayed.
  • Agency partners select and personally deliver gifts to isolated seniors they serve - with that they also give the important gift of a life-affirming visit.
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Host Families for International Students
Academic Year in America
Date/Time: Ongoing
Location: Your home and local community
Would you like to give your son or daughter the opportunity to learn about another culture? Join Academic Year in America (AYA) this holiday season by giving your family the opportunity to share the American culture and celebrations with an international exchange student. AYA accepts exchange students from over 30 different countries from around the world and represents families across all 50 states. Don't miss this chance to bring the world to your doorstep. Exchange students would arrive at the beginning of each academic semester. Apply now to be a host family for Spring semester 2016!
Ages: This is a family-friendly volunteer opportunity but volunteers interested in being host parent(s) must be 25 years or older. We are seeking families of all shapes and sizes, which includes those with small children, teenage children, no children, single parents, one parent living in the home, elderly couples, non-traditional families/same sex couples, etc. All are eligible to apply.
Time Commitment: Families can choose to host a student for six-eight weeks, for a semester, or for an academic year.
Contact: Jackie,, 203.399.5043
Wooddale Church
Date/Time: Saturday, December 12, 9am-noon
Location: Wooddale Church Gym, Door 5, 6630 Shady Oak Road, Eden Prairie
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. Please pre-register online if there is a specific site you'd like to attend. Click here to view the sites for December.
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 or email
Christmas Day Celebration
Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly
Date/Time: Thursday, December 25, 11am - 3pm
Location: St. Mary's University, 2500 Park Ave S, Minneapolis
Help brighten the Christmas holiday for isolated elders served by Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly at their annual Christmas Day celebration. You and your family can help by driving elder participants to the dinner site, eating and visiting with them during the event, and driving them home afterward.  

 All ages can participate
Time Commitment: Four hours
Contact: Danielle Fehring,, 612.746.0726. Volunteer registration is available online.
Holiday Helper Program 2015
Minneapolis Crisis Nursery
Date/Time: Donations will be accepted now through Monday, December 21, 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 starting on Friday, November 27 through Friday, 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, 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 21. 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: Call 612.767. 8467 if you have any questions or need more information.
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:

Create a Family Mission Statement

Doing Good Together
Date/Time: This is a great year-end project but you can do it anytime!
Location: Your home or other convenient location
As the New Year approaches, take time away from life's busy demands to create an artistic representation of your family's mission. Our conversation starters will guide you through a big-hearted discussion about your family's passions, priorities, and goals. Your New Year's resolutions will be more meaningful, and more doable, than ever! Check out the Doing Good Together project page for more ideas on creating your own family mission statement!
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: One hour or more

Just in time for holiday gift giving:  Our new and improved Big-Hearted Families Book Club offers families a unique opportunity to turn reading time into family time. Every quarter we'll deliver recipients (kids ages 4-10) more than a carefully chosen book with a big-hearted theme. We also include customized conversation cards for parents and kindness activities for the entire family. It's a great way to help families connect while learning big-hearted lessons too. Order by December 16 for Christmas delivery. Find our book club and other kindness-themed gift options in our online DGT Store.



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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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