February 2017 - Twin Cities Family Volunteer Opportunities

February 2017 Twin Cities Family Volunteer Opportunities

February 2017 - Twin Cities 
Thank you to our sponsors

Winter Buckthorn Burn
Great River Greening
Date/Time: Saturday, February 4, 11am - 2pm
Location: Allemansrätt Wilderness Park, 31316 N Olinda Trail, Lindström

Great River Greening is hosting a winter brush pile-burning event, where invasive buckthorn is the fuel. Buckthorn's impenetrable vegetation keeps sun and water from reaching the ferns, wildflowers, grasses and tree seedlings that grow below, and are so important for nourishing wildlife. Volunteers will be hauling, stacking and burning pre-cut buckthorn. We'll serve the cocoa. You are welcome to bring hotdogs, marshmallows, and roasting sticks! This event is weather permitting and will be postponed if it is too dry or too cold. Please wear fire safe clothing: no fleece, weather tech materials, or other flammable synthetics (recommend wool and cotton). Bring food for roasting (marshmallows, hotdogs, etc.,) and your camping chairs or 5-gallon buckets for sitting by the fire.
Ages: The difficulty level of restoration task is moderate to heavy. Families with children age eight and older are welcome to volunteer
Time Commitment: Three hours
Contact: Katie Brom, volunteer@greatrivergreening.org. Registration is available online.
Usher for Ruby! The Story of Ruby Bridges
SteppingStone Theatre

Date/Time: Friday - Sunday, February 3-26. Please see signup for available performance dates and times.

Location: 55 Victoria St N, St. Paul

Greet, guide, and welcome patrons as they come into SteppingStone Theatre's auditorium. Volunteers tear ticket stubs and hand out programs, as well as monitor that no food enters the auditorium. Answer basic questions and guide patrons to Front of House staff when necessary. After the performance, do a sweep through the space for lost items and trash. Receive free admission to the performance in exchange for your volunteer time.
Ages: Ages 8 and up (children ages 8-12 must be directly supervised by an adult)

Time Commitment: Approximately two and one-half hours, including watching the one-hour performance

Contact: Lindsey Countryman, lindsey@steppingstonetheatre.org
JDRF One Walk
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International
Date/Time: Saturday, February 25. Check in starts at 7:30am. 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 as short of a time as you'd like! Walk participants are encouraged to support the walk by fundraising or making a donation.

All ages can walk (or ride in a stroller)
Time Commitment: The walk lasts one hour
Contact: Kara Fischer, kfischer@jdrf.org, 952.851.0770, Click for online registration information 
Toss the Snow
Senior Community Services
Date/Time: Through the winter snow season
Location: Residents homes in Minneapolis and suburban Hennepin County
Develop strong muscles by shoveling the snow off a grateful senior citizen's walkways and driveway. Volunteers will shovel after each two-inch or more snowfall, and sand or salt the homeowners walkways after ice storms. You'll need to bring your own shovel or snow blower but the resident will provide the warm smile.

Ages: Family teams are welcome; youth must be age seven or older and supervised by an adult.
Time Commitment: During the winter snow season when it snows more than two inches.
Contact: Jeanne, scsvolunteer@seniorcommunity.org or 952.767.7984
Sandwich Makers
The Sandwich Project
Date/Time: Ongoing project
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
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 hold 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
Contact: robin@cheerfulgivers.org
Super Saturdays
InnerCity Tennis
Date/Time: Saturdays from 2:30 to 4:30pm. For 24 Saturdays from September - April
Location: 4005 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis

InnerCity Tennis opens up our Reed Sweatt Family Tennis Center to deliver programming free of charge to our community's youth ages 3 - 18. If you like working with kids, we need you! No tennis experience is necessary. New volunteers are put in a team with veteran volunteers and each group will be at a station helping the kids. There are 22 different stations and each station incorporates a different sport (baseball, tennis, hockey, basketball, etc). As a volunteer you will be helping guide kids through your station using the station diagram.

Ages: We accept volunteers ages seven and older
Time Commitment: No long-term commitment necessary. Training and prep is done day of volunteering.
Contact: Omar Warfa, 612.584.4736, omar.warfa@innercitytennis.org
Welcome Home Bedding Drive
Project for Pride in Living (PPL)
Date/Time: Donations can be dropped off Monday through Friday, 8am - 5pm
Location: 1035 East Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis

Project for Pride in Living (PPL) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering low-income people to become self-reliant through integrated services. Our mission: PPL builds the hope, assets, and self-reliance of individuals and families who have lower incomes by providing transformative affordable housing and employment readiness services. As we welcome new residents, basic bedding supplies support people to stay warm and feel at home. You and your family can help by purchasing queen-size bedding sets (comforter, sheets, pillow) in any quantity for single adults transitioning from homelessness to PPL housing.

Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: Glory Hall, Volunteer Projects Coordinator, Glory.Hall@ppl-inc.org, 612.455.5119
Meal Delivery
Open Arms of Minnesota
Date/Time: Weekdays 10:30am - 1pm
Location: 2500 Bloomington Ave S., Minneapolis

Volunteer to deliver meals to our clients and help Open Arms bring nourishment to those who need it most. This year, Open Arms' network of more than 5,500 volunteers will help deliver more than 600,000 meals to people living with life threatening illnesses in the Twin Cities. Pick the delivery route that suits you and your family best. Drivers must have a valid driver's license.

 Families of all ages are welcome!
Time Commitment: One to two hours per shift. After you've attended a new volunteer orientation, you may sign up to volunteer as often you are able. There is no minimum time commitment.
Contact: Follow these links to get started: Youth application, Parent application  
Questions? Email Jennifer Bliss at jenb@openarmsmn.org or call 612.767.7340

Bag Decorating
Open Arms of Minnesota
Date/Time: Flexible
Location: 2500 Bloomington Ave S., Minneapolis

Our clients receive a brown grocery bag filled with meal items every week. Your family can brighten their day a little more by adding color and creativity to their brown grocery bag. Simple acts of kindness like this remind clients just how many people in their community care about them. We provide the brown bags; you provide the creativity! Stop in during our business hours to pick up as many brown bags as you want to decorate. Bring the bags home to decorate and spread the spirit of giving back with friends and family as you color!
Ages: Families of all ages are welcome!
Time Commitment: Varies

Interested in setting up a time to pick up bags to decorate? Email Jennifer Bliss at jenb@openarmsmn.org or call 612.767.7340
Meal Prep and Packaging
Open Arms of Minnesota
Date/Time: Weekend and evening shifts 6 days a week from 7:30am - 7pm
Location: 2500 Bloomington Ave S., Minneapolis

Youth are welcome to help us in the kitchen scooping cookie dough, making Jell-O, and packaging cookies for our client's weekly meal deliveries. Submit online applications for each adult and youth interested in volunteering. After attending orientation, you may sign up for kitchen shifts as often as you'd like.

Ages: 8 -15 years old accompanied by an adult. Click here for more information on age requirements and adult to youth ratio..
Time Commitment: Two hours per shift
Contact: Follow these links to get started: Youth application, Parent application
Email Jennifer Bliss at jenb@openarmsmn.org or call 612.767.7340

Write a Letter!
Operation Gratitude
Date/Time: Ongoing
Location: All your cards and letters can be sent together in one large mailing envelope or box to:
Operation Gratitude
21100 Lassen Street, Chatsworth, CA 91311-4278
ATTN: Letter Writing Program
Please include a donation form in your large mailing envelope or box.

Operation Gratitude annually sends 200,000+ Care Packages filled with food, entertainment, hygiene, and handmade items, plus personal letters of appreciation to Veterans, First Responders, New Recruits, Wounded Heroes, their Care Givers, and to individually named U.S. service members deployed overseas and their families waiting at home. Of all the items included in these packages, the most cherished are the personal letters of appreciation! Our goal is to include several letters and colorful drawings in every Care Package and tell our troops "WE CARE!" Writing a letter is a meaningful way for Americans to show support for our Military. It only takes five minutes of your day, but will bring lasting joy to our troops. Letters are accepted year-round. Right now, we have a special need for those specifically written to our New Recruits, Veterans, and First Responders. Holiday cards need to be received two to three months prior to the holidays in order for them to reach our service members on time. Once we receive letters it takes us time to screen, sort and assemble them into our care packages and then we have to factor in the shipping time. If your letters will arrive at a later date it will work well to make them general letters of appreciation so that they may be used year round. Don't know where to start? Click here for the Write a Letter flyer.

Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: OpGrat@gmail.com or info@operationgratitude.com
Friendship Bracelets
Doing Good Together
Date/Time: Flexible
Location: Your home or other community location

Your family can create these colorful bracelets to share with others. Making friendship bracelets for new students, or kids who seem to need more friends, is the perfect activity for the Valentine's season! Visit the Doing Good Together Friendship Bracelets Project Page to learn how to make the bracelets and for reflection materials and resources for this kindness activity.

Ages: Everyone can participate

Time Commitment: Varies

Have you and your family used our DGT™ resources to share kindness and/or serve others? We want to hear from you! Take part in our STORIES FOR STORIES giveaway. We'll send a DGT-selected big-hearted book to the first five families who share their stories (via the form on this page) along with a photo or video! (Submitted stories may be used on the DGT website and/or social media.) Deadline for submissions: February 15th!
P.S. Remember, your family's act of kindness and service *must* come from a DGT web page, listing, newsletter, or blog.


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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. 

                                                                                                     © 2016 Doing Good Together™


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