December 2017 Twin Cities Family Volunteer Opportunities

December 2017 Twin Cities Family Volunteer Opportunities


December 2017 - Twin Cities 

Thank you to our sponsors

Cookie Decorating Event
Open Arms of Minnesota
Date/Time: Saturday, December 2, 11am - 3pm
Location: 2500 Bloomington Ave S, Minneapolis

Open Arms cooks and delivers free, nutritious meals to people living with life-threatening illnesses in the Twin Cities. Looking for ways to introduce your kids to helping others? We're hosting our third annual cookie decorating event on Saturday, December 2, where you and your family can decorate cookies that will be sent out to clients. Join us for bag decorating, treats, and coffee following the event.

Ages: Families with children age seven and older are welcome to participate.
Time Commitment: Twenty minute shifts beginning at 11am
Contact: Email us at to sign up for a shift! Please RSVP to to reserve your spot in the kitchen between 11am-3pm.
Holiday Food Drive
Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners
Date/Time: Holiday food donations should be delivered by December 9
Location: 1605 County Road 101 N, Plymouth

Since 1979, Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners has been making an impact in eight west suburban Hennepin communities. IOCP provides both emergency and long-term solutions around food and clothing, housing, employment, childcare, transportation, and access to resources and healthy community connection. Your family can help make the holidays a joyous time for IOCP clients by donating special food items for their celebrations. Click here for a list of needed holiday food items.
Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: Pat Felker,, 763.489.7500
Adopt-A-Family for the Holidays
Avivo (formerly known as RESOURCE)
Date/Time: Gifts should be delivered to Avivo by Tuesday, December 12.
Location: 1900 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis

Avivo empowers people to achieve greater personal, social, and economic success by providing employment, training, chemical health, and mental health services to the Twin Cities. Avivo hosts an Adopt-A-Family program as a way to give the families we serve a chance to celebrate the holidays and find hope in their lives. The Adopt-a-Family program is a fun and meaningful holiday project for a family.
  • You will be matched with a specific family in need that is currently participating in an Avivo program.
  • Information includes children's ages and gift ideas. 
  • Sponsors receive specific gift ideas, based on a $50-per-person guideline. Sponsors are not expected to purchase all suggestions, but can choose the ones that they prefer within the suggested $50/person guideline.  
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: Courtney Flug, or 612.752.8030

Cookie Baking
The Aliveness Project
Date/Time: Deliver to The Aliveness Project between Wednesday, December 13 and Monday, December 18. Specific drop off hours include:
  • Wednesday, December 13, 9am - 7pm
  • Thursday, December 14, 9am - 7pm
  • Friday, December 15, 9am - 4pm
  • Saturday, December 16, 11am - 1pm
  • Monday, December 18, 9am - 7pm
Location: The Aliveness Project, 3808 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis

Bake your favorite holiday cookies at your home, package them by the dozen, and donate them to The Aliveness Project for our members to receive with their holiday gift. Any flavor is welcome - bake your favorites! Bag or box by the dozen and indicate if cookies contain nuts or are gluten-free.

Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Two to three hours (depending on how many cookies you would like to bake)
Contact:  Laura Henry, Volunteer Manager,, 612.822.7946, ext. 221
Frozen Meal Prep for Youth Experiencing Homelessness
The Link
Date/Time: Monday, December 11, 3:30 - 5pm
Location: Mount Calvary Lutheran Church 3930 Rahn Rd, Eagan

The Link works with youth and families to overcome the impacts of poverty and social injustice. All too often youth and families in our programs go without food. We'd like to change that. Join us to prep frozen meals that will be distributed to youth and families when they need them. The Link has planned the recipe for this volunteer activity and volunteers will be making chicken burrito bowls and pancake bites. Individual volunteers sign up to bring one or more of the ingredients. Volunteers' ingredient contributions will come together to make one big impact for youth living in poverty.

Ages: Families with children of all ages are welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Two hours
Contact: Lauren Matykowski, Volunteer Manager, Registration is available online.
Holiday Home Care Baskets
Our Saviour's Housing
Date/Time: Delivery requested by Friday, December 15, please contact Amy to schedule delivery time
Location: South Minneapolis, contact for address

Our Saviour's Housing has three housing programs: an Emergency Shelter serving 46 adults a night, Transitional Housing serving 16 adults, and Permanent Supportive Housing serving 100 adults. Our 100 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. Brighten their holidays and ease their budgets by providing a festive gift basket! Basket items should include:
  • Package of new underwear
  • Package of new socks
  • Package of plain Hanes undershirts
  • Shower curtains and liner
  • Package of AA or AAA batteries
  • Queen sized sheet set
  • A coffee pot or a blender or a toaster
  • A lamp or a fan
Contact Amy for additional information.

Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate.
Time Commitment: Varies, and can be put together at your own location!
Contact: Amy Hartman, Volunteer Coordinator,, 612.872.4193 x2
Deliver Holiday Gifts
The Aliveness Project
Date/Time: Friday, December 22, 8am - 3pm
Location: The Aliveness Project, 3808 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis

Volunteers are needed to deliver holiday gifts to 3-5 recipients' homes in the Twin Cities metro area. Spread the joy and cheer of the holiday season to Minnesotans living with HIV and their families. This is a great opportunity for families and groups to give back during the holidays. Enjoy a light meal on us!
Ages: All ages, but youth must be accompanied by an adult 18 or older
Time Commitment: Two to three hours
Contact: Laura Henry, Volunteer Manager,, 612.822.7946, ext. 221
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

The mission of the Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery is to end child abuse and neglect and create strong, healthy families. 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:
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.
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Bring Joy to Elders on Christmas Eve Day!
Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly
Date/Time: Sunday, December 24. There are two or four-hour shifts available between 9am and 3pm
Location: Envision Event Center, 484 Inwood Ave N, Oakdale
Holiday meals hosted by Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly are a time-honored tradition. This Christmas Eve day, we will bring together elders from throughout the Twin Cities with hundreds of volunteers who serve as drivers, kitchen crew members, servers, greeters, and more. Volunteers deliver hot meals to homebound elders as well. We have roles appropriate for all ages. Individuals, couples, families and small groups are welcome. Please note that background checks are required only for volunteers who choose roles that include driving our elders. The isolated elders in our community so look forward to these events - and so do our volunteers! We hope you'll join us.

Ages: Families are welcome to volunteer. Please check the website descriptions for any minimum age requirements.
Time Commitment: Two or four hours
Contact:, 612.721.1400. Check the Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly Holidays and Special Events page for more information and for specific online registration links.
Holiday Countdown Basket
The Link
Date/Time: Collect items at Thanksgiving and throughout December.
Location: Once you've registered to participate you will receive information from The Link about drop-off times and locations.

Use this holiday season to give back! Volunteers can complete this volunteer project at home with their families. Each day during the month of December ADD an item that a youth or family could use into a container (laundry basket, bin, etc). Item ideas: kitchen utensils, cleaning supplies, hygiene items, nonperishable food, laundry detergent, socks, sheets, towels, washcloths, toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags, gift cards. The Link will give the baskets to families in January in hopes of starting off the year with items they will need for their families.

Ages: Everyone can participate. This is a great opportunity to do with the whole family.
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: Lauren Matykowski, Volunteer Manager, Click here to register for this opportunity.
Holiday Helper
Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery
Date/Time: Gifts will be accepted Monday, November 20 - Monday, December 18. Gifts may be delivered 7 days a week:
  • Monday through Friday, 9am - 4pm
  • Saturday and Sunday, 10am - 3pm
Location: 4544 4th Avenue South, Minneapolis
The Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery works to end child abuse and neglect and create strong, healthy families. The Holiday Helper Program supports families who access the Nursery's services during the winter giving season. When you donate items from our Holiday Wish List you will be putting smiles on the faces of local families who may not otherwise be able to celebrate the season. Click here for the Holiday Helper wish list. You can also order directly from our Amazon Wish List.
Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: 763. 591-0400
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:
Christmas Committee (Anoka County) - Christmas Committee, Toys for Joy
Neighbors, Inc, (Dakota County) - Love Your Neighbor Holiday Program
360 Communities (Dakota County) - Armful of Love
CEAP (Anoka & Hennepin County) - Toys of Joy program
ResourceWest (Hennepin County) - Toy Chest
STEP (Hennepin County), Holiday Toy Drive
PRISM (Hennepin County), - Holiday Toy Shoppe
Good in the Hood (Hennepin County) - Holiday Help Campaign
Solid Ground (Ramsey & Hennepin) - Holiday Wish List
PROP (Hennepin County/Carver County) - Holiday Wishes
Community Action Partnership (Scott, Carver & Dakota Counties) - Hope for the Holidays
Sojourner Project (Hennepin County) - Holiday Gift Wish List
IOCP (Hennepin County) - Holiday Season Volunteer opportunities
Love Inc, (Wright County) - Holiday Sharing
Community Thread (Washington County) - Holiday Hope
Display a Kindness Quilt
Create a Kindness Quilt
Doing Good Together
Date/Time: Anytime
Location: Your home
During this busy holiday season sharing kind acts can be a wonderful way for your family to reconnect. Your family can take time to celebrate small acts of kindness with a paper quilt. Designed to accompany The Kindness Quilt by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, this project will have your family doing a kind act, drawing a picture of it, and sharing it with one another in the form of a beautiful, continuously growing paper quilt. Find project templates and more information on the Doing Good Together Display a Kindness Quilt project page.
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Just in time for Holiday Shopping... DGT™ debuts a SHOP KIND Store!

You've relied on DGT for tips, activities, book recommendations, and more. Now we have another resource to offer: our SHOP KIND Store. This online store now features a page of kindness-themed Amazon store items (because, yes, DGT is an Amazon Affiliate Advertiser). Coming soon: Another SHOP KIND page will be featuring like-minded organizations offering outstanding, mission-driven products. You'll be able to try these unique items for your next service project or when you're shopping for big-hearted gifts for yourself or others. We'll be launching soon and then continually adding more items, so revisit often to find something new. We think you'll like what we've found, and we look forward to your feedback and suggestions for more SHOP KIND products!


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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. 

                                                                                                     © 2017 Doing Good Together™


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