February 2015 - Twin Cities Family Volunteer Opportunities



February 2015 - Twin Cities 


For The Love Of Peyton Blanket Party  


Date/Time: Saturday, February 7, 3-9pm


Location: Transfiguration Lutheran Church, 11000 France Avenue South, Bloomington  


Please come and bring your friends and fleece to the 10th annual Love Of Peyton Blanket Party! The inspiration for the blanket party was a hand-tied blanket that was given to Peyton Bocklage during his treatment for cancer. Peyton will be turning 11 this August and hopes you can help us help others share the warmth of a new blanket. We are continuing the tradition of bringing comfort, hope and love to others through the making of hand-tied fleece blankets. Volunteers meet once a year to make as many hand-tied blankets as possible in one evening. We are a grassroots effort and volunteers are the most important component to a successful blanket party. Learn more about Peyton's Blanket Story at Kare 11 Boyd Huppert's Land of Ten Thousand Stories.   


Ages: Volunteers should be 12 or older


Time Commitment: Up to six hours 


Contact: Berva Bocklage, berva.bocklage@gmail.com


Help Grow Big Hearts with the Big-Hearted Families Book Club!   

Doing Good Together


Date/Time: Place your order by February 1 to receive before Valentine's Day.    


Location: Your young recipient will enjoy this gift right at home   


Looking for something you feel GOOD about giving? Give a Valentine's Day gift of the Big-Hearted Families Book Club. You'll transform family night into a fun, book-centered kindness practice. Your recipient will receive a fantastic picture book, conversation starter questions,  a kindness related activity, tasty recipe and fun stickers right to their mailbox each month. You can subscribe for one month, three months, six months or a full year. Learn more and subscribe at our DGT Store.  


Ages: Most appropriate for children ages four to ten    


Time Commitment: Flexible


Contact: Laurie at laurie@doinggoodtogether.org with any questions.


Food Packing  

Feed My Starving Children (FMSC)


Date/Time: Multiple dates, see website for details   


Location: FMSC has MN packing locations in Chanhassen, Coon Rapids and Eagan  


Feed My Starving Children is a non-profit Christian organization committed to feeding God's starving children hungry in body and spirit. Our approach is simple: children and adults hand-pack meals formulated specially for starving children, and we ship the meals to nearly 70 countries around the world. Packaged in small pouches, this easy-to-prepare food blend has won rave reviews all over the world. While the formula was designed to save the lives of severely malnourished and starving children, the ingredients also improve the health, growth and physical wellbeing of children who are no longer in immediate danger of starvation. A single bag of food-which provides meals for six children-costs around $1.32 to produce, and 92 percent of all donations to FMSC go directly toward the food program. Volunteers hand-pack all of our fortified meals. More than half of FMSC volunteers are under the age of 18. In 2013, nearly 800,000 volunteers joined FMSC to package more than 191,600,000 meals for children around the world.  

Ages: The minimum age to volunteer at FMSC is five years old. Additional FMSC age requirements can be found online  


Time Commitment: Shifts are one to two hours  


Contact: info@fmsc.org, 763.504.2919. Registration is available online. For volunteer and registration questions, registration@fmsc.org, or call Jan at 763.951.7306.


Pack Meals  

Fill Their Plate


Date/Time: Sunday, February 1, 1-2:30pm; Saturday, February 14, noon-1:30pm; or Monday, February 23, 7-8:30pm


Location: 5501 Chicago Avenue, Minneapolis. Feel free to park in our parking lot or along the street. We only ask that you avoid parking on the north side of 55th Street-our neighbors have requested this and we want to honor that.  


Fill Their Plate is a ministry of The Urban Refuge with the goal of bringing nourishment to those in need. We accomplish this by partnering with feeding partners in a local area (currently, primarily in Haiti) and send them food to distribute. We are located in South Minneapolis at The Urban Refuge. During our packing sessions volunteers package a specially formulated, dry, rice-soy casserole into serving size portions to send to people in need. Volunteers pack the meals in four steps: 

  • Fill: Sturdy plastic bags are filled with scoops of soy protein, dried vegetables, fortified vegetarian seasoning, and rice.
  • Weigh: The food packets are checked to make sure they are the correct weight.
  • Seal: Excess air is removed from the packets and they are closed with a heat sealer. Once sealed, the food will remain fresh for three years.
  • Pack: The packets are packed in boxes for shipping to their destination. One box holds enough food to feed 216 children.  

Ages: The minimum age to volunteer is five.

Time Commitment: One-and-one half hour shifts  


Contact: info@filltheirplate.org. Register for a shift online


Welcome Baskets for Families  

Emma's Place


Date/Time: Flexible


Location: 2163 Van Dyke Street, Maplewood  


Emma's Place offers permanent housing to single parents with three or more children. A wonderful community environment gives the residents of Emma's Place a village in which to raise their children. Families often come to Emma's Place with few belongings. You can help by getting together with your family and friends to purchase and put together a welcome basket that will make move in day special. Welcome baskets include all the items needed for families to make a fresh start in their new home.
Most welcome baskets include: 

  • Laundry basket
  • Laundry detergent
  • Mop, broom and dust pan
  • Garbage bags
  • Dish soap and sponges
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Toilet bowl brush
  • Dish rack
  • Silverware
  • Kitchen towels
  • Shower curtain and rings

Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact: Lucille Prinsen, lprinsen@emmanorton.org, 651.251.2627


JDRF One Walk  

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International


Date/Time: Saturday, February 21. Walk start time is 8:30am


Location: Mall of America, Bloomington 


Join thousands of others in supporting juvenile diabetes research while walking around Mall of America. The walk starts at 8:30am. (Registration starts at 7:30am) Walk for as long or short of a time as you'd like! Walk participants are encouraged to support the walk by fundraising or making a donation.  


Ages: All ages can walk (or ride in a stroller)


Time Commitment: The walk lasts an hour 


Contact: Kara Fischer, kfischer@jdrf.org, 952.851.0770,  Click for online registration information


Sandwich Makers  

The Sandwich Project


Date/Time: Ongoing opportunity 


Location: Sandwiches can be prepared in your home or any location that is convenient for you and then delivered to one of The Sandwich Project local drop off sites  


Each year, many organizations put together programs for Thanksgiving and Christmas to help feed, clothe and take care of those less fortunate. There is a remarkable amount of time, energy and money that goes into these programs. But what happens the other 363 days of the year? The Sandwich Project was established with those other days in mind. Our starting goal was to help feed 150 homeless people in Minneapolis as many times a year as possible, with the ultimate goal of doing it everyday of the year. Today, we are helping to feed about 4,500 people per week through various shelters and food shelves. We depend on volunteers from all over the Twin Cities to make sandwiches that The Sandwich Project then delivers to the hungry and homeless in our community. This is a great volunteer opportunity for families with kids of any age. You can make them in your home or at a church (or just about anywhere), as a family or with a group. It is easier to feed 150 people than you might think. It simply takes one trip to a local grocery store to purchase the supplies, and the time and effort to prepare 150 sandwiches.


Ages: All ages can participate  


Time Commitment: Flexible, commitment includes purchasing supplies, preparing the sandwiches and delivering them to a local drop off site.


Contact: To learn more and to sign up to prepare sandwiches, visit the The Sandwich Project Instructions page


Birthday Bag Mittens Drive  

Cheerful Givers


Date/Time: Now through February 28 


Location:  Send your mitten donations to: Cheerful Givers, 1287 Berry Ridge Road, Eagan, MN 55123  


It's a cold winter in Minnesota! For kids living in poverty, just imagine how good a new pair of warm mittens would feel. There are about 16,000 Minnesota kids living in poverty having birthdays this month. Cheerful Givers provides toy-filled birthday gift bags to food shelves and shelters so that parents living in poverty can give their child a birthday gift. Wouldn't it be great if they each could have new mittens in their birthday bag, along with an assortment of small new toys? Your family can help by donating mittens to Cheerful Givers.  


Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact: Karen@cheerfulgivers.org


Host families for International Students  

Academic Year in America


Date/Time: Ongoing


Location: Your home and community 


The local chapter of Academic Year in America is seeking families to host incoming international exchange students. This is a fantastic opportunity for families who wish to enrich their families' culture, to build memories and friendships, and to showcase their culture and values.   


Ages: Families of all shapes and sizes are welcome.


Time Commitment: Families can choose to host a student for 6 weeks, for a semester, or for an academic year.


Contact: Emily at EmilyS.aifs@gmail.com


Create Pet Toys

Animal Humane Society


Date/Time: Flexible


Location: Donated items can be brought to the customer service counter at any AHS location during regular business hours; no appointment is necessary  

You and your children can make pet toys to entertain and help animals feel more at home while they're living in shelters. The animal lovers in your family will enjoy the activity of sharing love and toys with lonely pets. You can create cat blankets or toys for the Animal Humane Society or you can check out Doing Good Together's Create Pet Toys project page, which includes ideas for lots of different pet toy projects, and reflection questions and other resources.


Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact: Call Customer Service at any AHS location. You can also schedule a tour of one of our AHS facilities for when you bring in your donations. All tours need to be scheduled in advance. 

Please Join Us for A Benefit Celebrating
10 Years of Doing Good Together!
Save the Date: Thursday, April 16, 5:30-8:30pm
American Swedish Institute

For more details or to donate visit




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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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