February 2018 - Twin Cities Family Volunteer Opportunities

February 2018 Twin Cities Family Volunteer Opportunities


February 2018 - Twin Cities 

Frozen Meal Prep for Youth Experiencing Homelessness - Super Bowl Themed Food
The Link
Date/Time: Thursday, February 1, noon - 2pm
Location: 1210 Glenwood Avenue, Minneapolis

In the spirit of the big game, help us make Super Bowl-themed food for our youth to enjoy! 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. 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, volunteer@thelinkmn.org. Registration is available online.
Valentine Bag Pack for Young Families
The Link
Date/Time: Monday, February 12, 1 - 3 pm
Location: 1210 Glenwood Avenue, Minneapolis

Won't you be our valentines? Volunteers are needed to bring items and treats from the sign-up list and to make 40 valentine bags for young moms in The Link's programs. Volunteers will decorate the bags, pack them, and then make valentine's cards for our youth. This is a great opportunity for all ages.

Ages: Families with children of all ages are welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Two hours
Contact: Lauren Matykowski, Volunteer Manager, volunteer@thelinkmn.org. Registration is available online.
Passage Community Birthday Parties!
The Birthday Party Project
Date/Time: Thursday, February 15, 6 - 8pm. Space is limited. Parties are held the third Thursday of every month. 

Location: Passage Community Agency, 17 E. 24th Street, Minneapolis

Join us for monthly birthday parties at the Passage Community Agency. We celebrate all the kiddos with birthdays that month - and all the other families are invited to join the fun! We bring everything needed for an awesome event, but we need volunteers to truly make the party come to life. We spend a half-hour setting up, an hour partying and a half-hour cleaning up. It is truly two hours of joy.

Ages: Children six and up, accompanied by an adult.
Time Commitment: Two hours
Contact: Allison Dukes, allison@thebirthdaypartyproject.org. Volunteer registration is available online. First time partygoers age 18 and older must complete a background check before volunteering.
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 every day 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: Varies, 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.
Serve and Prepare Food
House of Charity
  • Breakfast; 7 - 9am
  • Lunch Shift 1; 10:30 - 11:30am
  • Lunch Shift 2; noon -1pm
  • General Prep; 2 - 4pm
  • Dinner Shift; 4 - 6pm
  • 9am - noon
  • 4 - 6pm
Location: 714 Park Ave, Minneapolis

The mission of the House of Charity is to feed those in need, house those experiencing homelessness, and empower individuals to achieve independence by transforming lives one person at a time. Every day of the year the Food Centre serves a hot, free, nutritious meal to over 350 men, women and children. With a small kitchen staff, we rely heavily on volunteers to assist us in preparing and serving our meals each day. Volunteers, on a given week, make up 60-80% of our daily staff. Volunteers are needed to:
  • Serve food to community members
  • Prepare food for the next day/week
  • Organize food storage spaces
As an industrial kitchen can provide potential hazards during a volunteer shift, House of Charity asks volunteers to follow the following policies:
  • Wear close-toed shoes to your shift
  • Wear long hair back in a pony-tail to fit in hair-net. House of Charity will provide hairnets, gloves and aprons
  • Inform the volunteer supervisor if you have serious food allergies
Ages: Families with children age nine or older are welcome to volunteer.
Time Commitment: One to two hour shifts
Contact: Nicole Laumer, 612.436.2050, n.laumer@houseofcharity.org. Registration is available online.
Sholom Volunteers
Date/Time: Ongoing
Location: We have two campuses:
  • Ackerberg Campus, 3620 Phillips Parkway, St. Louis Park
  • Shaller Campus, 740 Kay Ave, St. Paul
Visit with residents, escort residents to and from activities & programs, assist with bingo and other games, help serve at holiday and other special dinners, accompany residents on outings, assist with birthday parties, happy hours or music.

Ages: We have volunteer opportunities for families with children of all ages. Independent volunteers can be 15 years or older.
Time Commitment: Flexible
Contact: Ackerberg Campus: Ed Johnson, edjohnson@sholom.com, 952.939.1596;
Shaller Campus: Lori Rodewald, lrodewald@sholom.com, 651.328.2065
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? Follow these letter writing guidelines:
  • Start with a generic salutation, such as "Dear Hero" or "Dear Brave One."
  • Express your thanks for their selfless service.
  • Avoid politics completely and religion in excess; however, saying you will pray for them is wonderful.
  • Share a little about yourself: Family, Hobbies, Work, School, Pets, Travel, etc.
  • Talk about life and interests: Sports, Weather, Music, Movies, Food, Books, etc.
  • Adults: Include your contact information (mail or email) so the letter recipient can reply. (Recipients may or may not write back; please do not be disappointed if you do not receive a response.)
  • Children's Letters: Include first names only and do not include addresses (an adult's address can be used).
  • Can't find the words? Consider drawing or painting a picture instead; please add a note to kids' drawings with their age.
  • No glitter or confetti please!
  • Do not put your individual cards or letters in envelopes-they are not needed and create a burden for our letter screeners.
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: OpGrat@gmail.com or info@operationgratitude.com
JDRF One Walk
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International
Date/Time: Saturday, February 24. Check in starts at 7am. 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. 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.

Ages: 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.
Prepare and Share a Shelter Meal
St. Stephen's Human Services
Date/Time: Dinner is served nightly at 7pm. Most groups prepare their meal off site and then arrive between 6:15 and 6:30pm for additional prep or to reheat dishes. Check the shelter calendar for available dates.
Location: St. Stephen's Emergency Shelter, 2211 Clinton Ave S., Minneapolis

St. Stephen's Shelter seeks volunteers to coordinate meal groups that plan, purchase and prepare a meal for 50 - 55 people. St. Stephen's strives to create a warm and hospitable environment for all shelter guests. Volunteer meal groups play an integral role in this effort. A typical meal includes a meat-based entre (non-pork), vegetarian side, vegetable or salad and dessert. The cost of the meal is approximately $100 to $150. Meal groups eat alongside guests, contribute to a welcoming atmosphere and help with clean up. Groups are highly encouraged to prepare the meals off site, as the shelter kitchen is small. Dinner is served each night at 7 pm, and generally includes an entrée, side dish, vegetable or salad, and beverage (bottled water is great!).

Ages: Families with children ages 5 and older are welcome to volunteer. Young volunteers must have strong supervision and should not wander around the shelter. Volunteers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Time Commitment: Dinner is served nightly at 7pm. Most groups prepare the meal off-site and then arrive around 6:30pm for additional prep time or to re-heat dishes. The ideal groups will commit to monthly meals for 6-12 months (preferred, but not required). We encourage meal groups to commit to a single experience and then let their team decide whether they are able to make an extended commitment.
Contact: Tess Gehring, TGehring@StStephensMPLS.org 
Car Window Poetry
Words Matter: Harness the Power of Poetry
Doing Good Together
Date/Time: Anytime
Location: Your home and community

At Doing Good Together, we know how the right turn of phrase can encourage more kindness. We know how a great book can cultivate empathy, opening a child up to the feelings and experiences of a stranger. The instructions for this project are as simple as its name.
  1. Create short, heart-warming poems, jokes, or artwork. You may want to use the free Car Window Poetry cards available here.
  2. Place your poems on car windows outside your school, playground, library, a busy grocery store, or wherever you happen to be. Note: if it's raining or remarkably windy, postpone this step a bit.
  3. Post your poems on Instagram with the #CarWindowPoetry. While you're at it, kindly add #DoingGoodTogether as well!
Learn more by visiting the Doing Good Together Words Matter: Harness the Power of Poetry project page.
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: mail@doinggoodtogether.org
Let's take the lovely day called Valentine's Day and make it a month-long kindness endeavor! Prepare now by printing and posting our 28-Day Valentine Kindness Challenge. Pick and choose your favorite days for doing something extra good for others or challenge yourselves for the entire month of February. This is a great project for families, community or faith groups, or even classrooms. And if you participate in this challenge, kindly let us know how it goes!



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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. 

                                                                                                     © 2018 Doing Good Together™


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