August 2016 - Twin Cities Family Volunteer Opportunities

August 2016 Twin Cities Family Volunteer Opportunities


August 2016 - Twin Cities 

Back to School supply drives & school supply distribution
Help provide school supplies for children

Add a giving aspect to your back to school ritual! Many local organizations help to provide school supplies for children who would otherwise be unable to start school with the school supplies they need. The programs listed below need help with either collecting school supplies or distributing supplies to children. If a program close to you isn't listed below you can also contact your local school district or food shelf to see how you can help in your area.

St Louis Park Emergency Program, STEP
(St Louis Park), STEP Back to School Program, 952.925.4899,
Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People, VEAP
(Bloomington, Edina, Richfield and South Minneapolis) VEAP Back to School Program, 952.888.9616,
Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners, IOCP
(West suburban Hennepin County) Back to school drive, Liz Erstad-Hicks,, or 763.489.7506
People Responding In Social Ministry, PRISM
(Golden Valley, New Hope, Robbinsdale, and parts of Crystal and Plymouth), PRISM School Supplies drive, Eleanor Trenary, 763.432.4210,
ResourceWest (Hopkins & Minnetonka schools students), 2016 School Supply Drive, 952.933.3860,
People Reaching Out To Other People, PROP,
(Eden Prairie and Chanhassen schools students) School Supply Program, Cindy at 952.294.8378 or
Ramsey County Community Sheriff's Office, (Ramsey County), Night to Unite School Supply Drive, Volunteer Services Department, 651.266.4090
360 Communities (South suburban Minneapolis and St Paul), School Supply Drive, Miquela Hernandez, 952.985.4006,
Keystone Community Services,
(Primarily St. Paul), School Supply Drive, Volunteer Coordinator, 651.603.6650 or
Community Thread (Stillwater area), Stuff the Bus 2016,, 651.439.7434
YWCA of Minneapolis Women's Triathlon
YWCA of Minneapolis
Date/Time: Sunday, August 14
Location: Lake Nokomis, many positions are available depending on your interest and skill set.

The YWCA of Minneapolis Women's Triathlon is our most-popular athletic event of the year, featuring a 500-yard swim, a 15.5-mile bike segment and a 5-kilometer run, held at beautiful Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis. More than 1,200 women will participate in this race dedicated to celebrating the strength in all women. More than 3,500 spectators will be on hand to witness the race, and more than 300 volunteers will make sure that all aspects run smoothly.

Ages: All ages are welcome, under age 14 must have parent present.
Time Commitment: Varies depending on shifts. Registration is available online.
Contact: Mary Salisbury, 612.215.4167,
Back to School Supply Distribution Week
Resource West
Date/Time: August 15 -19, 10am - noon & noon - 2pm
Location: ResourceWest, 1011 First Street S, Suite #109, Hopkins. (In the Wells Fargo Building, across from the ATM machine)

ResourceWest is a nonprofit community agency that serves low-income families and individuals living in the west metro community. We help people become more connected, more resourceful, and more hopeful about their future. Volunteers are needed to organize school supplies and pack backpacks during our annual Back to School supplies distribution days.

Ages: Everyone can participate. This is a great opportunity for families to volunteer together.
Time Commitment: Two hours
Contact: Registration is available online.
United Way Action Day at Target Field
Greater Twin Cities United Way
Date/Time: Thursday, August 18, 5 - 8pm
Location: Target Field, Downtown Minneapolis

At this free, inspirational volunteering event we'll set our community's kids up for educational success and enjoy fun-filled entertainment for the whole family! Together, we'll turn kindness into action and help all kids in our hometown community head back to school ready to reach their fullest potential. We'll pack backpacks for local kids - complete with all the supplies they'll need to hit this school year out of the park! The backpacks will be sent to United Way partners serving kids and families throughout the community.

Ages: Children must be at least eight years old to volunteer. Any age is welcome for the entertainment!
Time Commitment: Up to three hours
Minneapolis Farmers Market Produce Rescue
The Food Group
Date/Time: Sundays, noon - 2:30pm, now through October
Location: Minneapolis Farmer's Market

The Food Group, formerly Emergency Foodshelf Network, is partnering with Hunger Solutions Minnesota to collect surplus produce from farmers, vendors, and customers at the Minneapolis Farmers Market to distribute to food shelves and meal programs in the Twin Cities metro area. Produce Rescue Team Volunteers distribute boxes and flyers to market vendors and collect boxes of surplus produce at the close of the Minneapolis Farmer's Market. All rescued produce will be donated to local food shelves and meal programs. In previous years, Produce Rescuers have collected thousands of pounds of high quality produce each week for our neighbors in need.

Ages: Volunteers of all ages are welcome. Multilingual skills are a great plus!
Time Commitment: Two and one-half hours
Contact: Jared Walhowe, 763.450.3870 or

High Five for Supplies
Simon Says Give
Date/Time: Saturday, August 8 or Sunday, August 9, Shifts are two hours and are scheduled between 9am and 5pm
Location: St. Thomas Academy, 9494 Mendota Heights Rd, Mendota Heights

Simon Says Give is a nonprofit founded by Mandi Simon. At age seven, Mandi knew she wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. Most importantly, the lives of other kids! With the last name Simon, it was pretty easy to come up with "Simon Says Give." From that day forward, Simon Says Give was born, and has blossomed into a value oriented charity foundation, grown almost entirely by kids. Volunteers are needed to help sort and pack backpacks. The 2016 High Five for Supplies Goal is to support another 10,000 kids during their Backpacks and School Supplies drive! In honor of Mandi's August birthday, Simon Says Give celebrates her by providing as many kids as possible with the tools they need to go back-to-school with school readiness.

Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Two hours
Contact: 1.888.470.7523, Registration is available online
Host a Birthday Bag Blitz
Cheerful Givers
Date/Time: Flexible
Location: Birthday bags should be delivered to a nearby shelter or food shelf. Click here for a list of Minneapolis/St. Paul area shelters and food shelves.
Cheerful Givers provides birthday gift bags to economically challenged parents through shelters and food shelves so that they can give their children birthday gifts. Your family can help by holding a Birthday Bag Blitz to provide birthday gift bags for less fortunate children. Birthday bags should include items suitable for children ages 3-12. About 8-10 new items should go into each bag with a total value of about ten dollars. An effort should be made to see that one "lasting" item like a plush animal or book is included in each bag. Click here for a suggested list of items. This is a unique, fun activity for all ages! Once you've completed your Birthday Bag Blitz, please let us know how many birthday bags you filled and where you donated them.
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies

Susan G. Komen Twin Cities 3-Day
Susan G. Komen 3-Day
Date/Time: Friday, August 19, 3 - 7pm, Saturday, August 20, 3 - 7pm or Sunday, August 21, 12:30 - 6pm
Location: Friday and Saturday, Harvest Park, 2561 Barclay Street, Maplewood. Sunday, Harriet Island, 200 Dr. Justus O'Hage Blvd, St. Paul

On Friday and Saturday, the Campsite Volunteer Team will be divided into groups upon arrival to fulfill a variety of tasks at the Komen 3-Day campsite. Volunteer teams will be assigned on a first come, first served basis. Some possible duties may include:
  • Traffic Control Assistance: providing relief to our Traffic Team during peak times at campsite intersections.
  • Food Service Assistance: providing support to our camp crewmembers and helping the event catering company serve meals.
  • Camp Logistics Assistance: providing support to our camp crewmembers with trash control throughout camp.
On Sunday, the Participant Finish Area Volunteer Team will be divided into six groups upon arrival to fulfill a variety of tasks at the Participant Finish Area. Volunteer teams will be assigned that day on a first come, first served basis. Teams available include:
  • Participant Finish Area Pit Stop Support
  • Concierge
  • Victory T-Shirt Distribution
  • Traffic Control & Shuttle
  • Hydration Station
  • Gear Retrieval
Ages: Families with children five years and older are welcome to volunteer
Time Commitment: Friday and Saturday shifts are four hours; Sunday shifts are six hours
Contact: Amy Schwager, or 800.996.3DAY, ext. 178

Family Gardening at Open Farms
Open Arms of Minnesota
Date/Time: Wednesday evening and Saturday opportunities are available.
Location: 2500 Bloomington Ave S., Minneapolis

Open Arms cooks and delivers free, nutritious meals to people living with life-threatening and chronic illness in the Twin Cities. Youth are welcome to have some fun digging in the dirt at any of our three organic urban farm plots! Help weed, water, and plant the food that is used to prepare healthy, nutritious meals for our clients.

Ages: Families with children ages 6-15 years old are welcome to volunteer. Click here for more information on age requirements and adult to youth ratio.
Time Commitment: Two hours per shift. After you've completed volunteer orientation, you may sign up for as few or as many shifts you'd like. There is no minimum time commitment.

Contact: Follow these links to get started: Youth application, Parent application  
Questions? Email Jennifer Bliss at or call 612.767.7340  
Feed Hungry Minds One Book at a Time
Date/Time: Flexible
Location: Your home
As your family gets ready to go back to school, signing up for this unique, monthly, bookish service opportunity will set the stage for a year of learning and kindness. Family-to-Family is a national nonprofit hunger and poverty relief organization dedicated to connecting, one-to-one, families with enough to share to impoverished American families with profoundly less. You and your family can sponsor a child with one book a month through Family-to-Family's One Book at a Time program. Part pen pal, part book club, the One Book at a Time program will inspire both the young readers who give the books and the ones who receive them. Family-to-Family will match you to a child living in poverty in one of the communities they serve, give you the child's name, age and reading level, and ask you to send him or her one new book, along with a letter, each month. Your family will commit to the program for one year, sending a total of 12 books and 12 letters. The child who receives the books will be encouraged to write back to you. Visit the DGT™ Feed Hungry Minds project page for reflection ideas, book suggestions, and ways to take this project further.
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: One year
Contact: Email with your name, address and phone number and you will be matched with a child.
Add good news and good ideas to your family-focused newsletter or website!

If your organization has a newsletter or website that targets families, DGT™ can help you share kindness and service ideas with them. Once again, we've compiled a school year's worth of Service and Smiles Kindness Tips that you can dole out once a week from September 2016 through May 2017. You'll find service projects, kindness practices, and other simple ideas that teach children about giving, caring, and compassion. They're free to use with attribution to Doing Good Together, of course. Visit our Service and Smiles web page to sign up! Already signed up? Please share your stories or examples with DGT!


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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. 

                                                                                                     © 2016 Doing Good Together™


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