May 2018 - Twin Cities Family Volunteer Opportunities

May 2018 Twin Cities Family Volunteer Opportunities

 

May 2018 - Twin Cities 

 
Happy "You Day" Bag Pack for Young Families
The Link
 
Date/Time: Wednesday, May 2, 1- 3pm
 
Location: 1210 Glenwood Avenue, Minneapolis

Volunteers are needed to bring items and treats from the sign-up list and to make 40 bags for young parents in The Link's programs for the upcoming Mother's and Father's Day holidays. Volunteers will decorate the bags, pack them, and then make cards for youth.
 
Ages: This is a great opportunity for families with children of all ages.
 
Time Commitment: Two hours
 
Contact: Lauren Matykowski, Volunteer Manager, volunteer@thelinkmn.org, 612.767.4487. Registration is available online.
 
 
Donate a Dinner
Stepping Stone Emergency Housing
 
Date/Time: Dinner is served daily from 5:30 - 6:30pm. Please plan to arrive at 5pm so we can get everything set up and ready to go.
 
Location: 3300 4th Avenue North, Cronin Building #14, Anoka
 
The mission of Steppingstone Emergency Housing is to provide emergency housing and support to Youth and Adult individuals, who are 18 and older experiencing homelessness, as they strive towards self-sufficiency. Come be a part of something big and put smiles on the faces of our homeless residents by serving them a hot meal! We are looking for groups of 4 to 10 people to cook a meal off-site and come serve a home cooked meal to the 66 youth and adults we serve at our homeless shelter. We are not licensed to cook from scratch, so we rely heavily on donated food and groups to bring in meals. Feel free to try out a new recipe or ask us for some dinner ideas! We ask that you plan food for approximately 60 people.
 
Ages: Families with children ages five and older are welcome to volunteer. Children under 18 years of age must be supervised by an adult at all times.
 
Time Commitment: One and one-half hours
 
Contact: Tracy Pierce, tracy.pierce@steppingstoneeh.org or 763.277.8313. Registration is available online.
 
 
OSH Spring Cleaning Day
Our Saviour's Housing
 
Date/Time: Saturday, May 5, 10am - 2pm
 
Location: 2219 Chicago Ave. S, Minneapolis

Help spruce up Our Saviour's Housing properties with a fresh coat of paint, window washing and deep cleaning. We will also be doing some much-needed yard work such as raking, weeding, garden prep and garbage removal, etc. There will be plenty to do both indoors and outdoors! We are looking for about 10-40 volunteers to help out. Our Saviour's Housing is a community of hope for those who need a home. Our mission is eliminating homelessness by providing shelter, support, and a chance to start over. We serve nearly 500 adults each year in three housing programs: Emergency Shelter, Transitional Housing, and Permanent Supportive Housing.
 
Ages: Families with children ages six and older are welcome to volunteer.
 
Time Commitment: Four hours
 
Contact: Tamara Patton, Volunteer Coordinator, volunteer@oshousing.org, 612.872.4193 x2
https://oscs-mn.org/oursaviourshousing/
 
 
Help Remove Invasive Species at Houlton Farm
Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR)
 
Date/Time: Saturday, May 5, 9 - 11am
 
Location: William H. Houlton Conservation Area, Elk River. Registrants will receive detailed directions to the worksite from FMR

Join Friends of the Mississippi River staff and volunteers for a lovely spring morning removing garlic mustard. The William H. Houlton Conservation Area is a 347-acre property located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Elk rivers and is one of the largest undeveloped riverfront properties between the cities of Elk River and Hastings. FMR staff and ecologists will provide a brief introduction to the site and an overview on how to identify and pull the invasive plants we'll be targeting. By removing these species, we will be making way for important native plants that have been crowded out by these aggressive invaders. No experience is necessary; all tools and training will be provided.

Ages: Families with children ages five and older are welcome. Younger children may attend as long as a parent or guardian supervises children to be sure they are focused on pulling the correct plants and staying on task.
 
Time Commitment: Two hours
 
Contact: To sign up and receive directions to the meeting spot, contact FMR Volunteer Coordinator Amy Kilgore via the contact form (please select Amy by name from the staff list under "Category") or at akilgore@fmr.org, 651.222.2193 x31. Please include the name of the event, your name, address and phone number and the number in your party. You will receive a confirmation email from akilgore@fmr.org within two business days. (If you don't, please check your SPAM folder.) Registration is required and capacity is limited.
 
 
May Frozen Meal Prep: Chicken Burrito Bowls and Mac and Cheese
The Link
 
Date/Time: Wednesday, May 9, 3:30 - 5pm
 
Location: 1210 Glenwood Avenue, Minneapolis
 
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. This is a great opportunity if you are an individual, group, or family! Volunteers bring the ingredients to make a large scale collective impact for youth experiencing food insecurity. We can only make as much food as our volunteers bring so sign up for as many slots as you desire.
 
Ages: Families with children ages ten and older are welcome to participate
 
Time Commitment: One and one-half hours
 
Contact: Lauren Matykowski, Volunteer Manager, volunteer@thelinkmn.org, 612.767.4487. Registration is available online.
https://thelinkmn.org/
 
 
Pull Garlic Mustard at Pine Bend Bluffs SNA
Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR)
 
Date/Time: Thursday, May 10, 6 - 8pm
 
Location: Pine Bend Bluffs SNA, Inver Grove Heights. Registrants will receive detailed directions to the worksite from FMR.

Located just 20 minutes south of St. Paul, Pine Bend Scientific and Natural Area is home to some of the best views of the Upper Mississippi River and is a welcome respite from the bustle of the cities. After a short hike volunteers will work closely with FMR staff to remove the invasive species garlic mustard. Although a serious threat, garlic mustard is fairly easy to identify and quick to pull by hand. Volunteers should be able to see a big difference in just a couple hours of work. These characteristics make removal of this invasive species the perfect restoration activity for volunteers who want to work independently. Event participants will be offered the opportunity to sign up to make their Pledge to Pull. Pledge volunteers commit to removing garlic mustard in this area of Pine Bend for a total of six additional hours in the weeks following the training at times most convenient for them. Pledgers also receive a small card certifying their training and granting them permission to independently perform this volunteer restoration service.

Ages: Families with children ages five and older are welcome. Younger children may attend as long as a parent or guardian supervises children to be sure they are focused on pulling the correct plants and staying on task.
 
Time Commitment: Two hours
 
Contact: To sign up and receive directions to the meeting spot, contact FMR Volunteer Coordinator Amy Kilgore via the contact form (please select Amy by name from the staff list under "Category") or at akilgore@fmr.org, 651.222.2193 x31. Please include the name of the event, your name, address and phone number and the number in your party. You will receive a confirmation email from akilgore@fmr.org within two business days. (If you don't, please check your SPAM folder.) Registration is required and capacity is limited.
www.fmr.org
 
 
Garlic Mustard Challenge
Lebanon Hills Regional Park
 
Date/Time: Saturday, May 12, 9 - 11am
 
Location: Holland Lake Trailhead, 1350 Carriage Hills Drive, Eagan

Help us bust invasive species in our parks. Garlic mustard is an invasive species brought from Europe that outcompetes native wildflowers and tree seedlings. It's a biennial - completes its life cycle in two years. Volunteers pull the second-year plants prior to or during flowering. The flowering plants must be bagged up and disposed of, as the plants can still produce seed even after being pulled! Following a brief training, you'll work alongside Dakota County staff and other volunteers to hone your skills and prepare for the Garlic Mustard Challenge. Following this training, you're encouraged to take the Garlic Mustard Challenge - commit to spending an additional six hours pulling garlic mustard in the park. Volunteers will:
  • Learn how to safely and effectively remove this invasive species
  • Work with a team to remove Garlic Mustard from predetermined sections of the park
  • Remove pulled plants safely from the work sites
Please plan on being able to attend the full event. Volunteers must be able to walk on uneven terrain, stand for extended periods of time, and must be okay with getting a little dirty and being outside! Comfortable shoes are recommended.

Ages: Families with children of all ages are welcome to participate. Children just need to be able to walk with the parents and be able to identify the plants.
 
Time Commitment: Two hours
 
Contact: Garrett Zaffke, 651.438.4635, garrett.zaffke@co.dakota.mn.us. Registration is available online.
www.co.dakota.mn.us
 
 
Pull Garlic Mustard at The Sand Flats
Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR)
 
Date/Time: Tuesday, May 15, 6 - 8pm
 
Location: River Gorge Sand Flats. Registrants will receive detailed directions to the worksite from FMR

After a brief introduction and training, we will proceed to the river gorge sand flats, known for their large sandy beaches and wonderful river-edge view. Working alongside FMR staff, volunteers will remove garlic mustard - an exotic plant invading many areas of the river gorge and outcompeting native plant species. Although a serious threat, garlic mustard is not only easy to identify but quick to pull by hand. Volunteers will be pleased to see a dramatic difference in ground cover by the end of this event - improving both water quality and wildlife habitat.
 
Ages: Families with children ages five and older are welcome. Younger children may attend as long as a parent or guardian supervises children to be sure they are focused on pulling the correct plants and staying on task.
 
Time Commitment: Two hours
 
Contact: To sign up and receive directions to the meeting spot, contact FMR Volunteer Coordinator Amy Kilgore via the contact form (please select Amy by name from the staff list under "Category") or at akilgore@fmr.org, 651.222.2193 x31. Please include the name of the event, your name, address and phone number and the number in your party. You will receive a confirmation email from akilgore@fmr.org within two business days. (If you don't, please check your SPAM folder.) Registration is required and capacity is limited.
www.fmr.org
 
 
Restoration Along the Minnesota River
Great River Greening
 
Date/Time: Saturday, May 19, 8:30 - 11:30am
 
Location: Izaak Walton League, 6601 Auto Club Road, Bloomington

Volunteers will plant and seed native forbs (flowering plants) and grasses which are the natural habitat for local wildlife in the nearby The Minnesota Valley State Trail. Surrounding landscape includes a diverse wetland and floodplain connected to the Minnesota River National Wildlife Refuge. Snacks and lunch will be provided.

Ages: All ages are welcome; children under 12 need to be accompanied by an adult.
 
Time Commitment: Three mhours
 
Contact: volunteer@greatrivergreening.org, 651.272.3989. Registration is available online.
www.greatrivergreening.org
 
 
Toy Lending Events
Minneapolis Toy Library
 
Date/Time: Wednesdays, 4 - 7pm, and Saturdays, 9am - noon
 
Location: Richfield Lutheran Church, 8 W 60th St, Minneapolis

The Minneapolis Toy Library is a toy-lending program for families with children ages birth to 5 years. Like a book library, members can check out up to five toys, take them home for 2-4 weeks and exchange them for new ones when they return! The toy library offers an opportunity for families to connect with one another while supporting their children's development through play and reducing their impact on the environment. Volunteers are needed to help shelve returned toys in the correct category; check out new toys for members with our easy to use, custom-built computer program, as well as counting pieces and managing our inventory. All members clean their own toys before returning them, so cleaning is not required, but tidying of shelves is appreciated. Events can be fast-paced and some lifting of large toys may be required. It's a fun and family-friendly environment where you can really feel good about helping your community.
 
Ages:
Families with middle school age children and up are welcome to volunteer.
 
Time Commitment: Three-hour shifts, up to four times per month
 
Contact: Rosie Call, rosannacall@gmail.com, 612.232.4436
 
 
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., South, 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 7pm, 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 reheat 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: To schedule a meal contact Tess Gehring, TGehring@StStephensMPLS.org, 612.481.9501
 
 
Puppy Raisers & Long-term Foster Homes
Can Do Canines
 
Date/Time: Ongoing need, as puppies need homes at various times throughout the year.
 
Location: 9440 Science Center Drive, New Hope

Raise and train a future service dog! Volunteer puppy raisers and fosters are needed to teach our curious canines good house manners and how to behave well in public places. As a puppy raiser or long-term foster, you would attend a minimum of two training meetings each month and provide a home, food, basic veterinary care, and lots of love! This is a great opportunity to spend quality time as a family, and pass on the values of commitment, compassion, and civic responsibility by helping people with disabilities in your community.

Ages: This is a great family project. Children under age 12 can take part in obedience training, feeding and helping to work on good house manners, and those between 12 -16 can receive approval by training staff to handle dogs in class and in public places under adult supervision.
 
Time Commitment: Varies depending on age of dog when placed. Could range from 6 to 16 months.
 
Contact: Robyn Rodrigue, Volunteer Coordinator at rrodrigue@can-do-canines.org or 763.331.3000 x119
www.can-do-canines.org
 
 
Start a Community Garden (or help at an existing Community Garden)
Metro Area Community Gardens
 
Date/Time: Ongoing
 
Location: Varies

Do you like to garden? Starting or joining a community garden is a great way to volunteer with your children and to introduce them to the idea of helping people in their community access healthy food. Click here for ideas on how to start a community garden. Many local food shelves would love to receive donations of fresh produce from your garden. You can find an interested local food shelf near you on the Ample Harvest website.
 
Ages: All ages can participate, depending on the garden or farm
 
Time Commitment: Varies
 
Contact: Search for an existing garden at the American Community Gardening Association's website or check out the following websites for information about local community gardening resources: City of St Paul - Start Gardening! or Homegrown Minneapolis - Community Gardening.
www.communitygarden.org/
 
 
Meal Service Volunteers
Loaves & Fishes
 
Date/Time: Volunteer shifts vary by location. Loaves & Fishes staff have the food ready when volunteers arrive around 4:30 - 5pm, and then open the doors to the public at which time your family will scoop, slice, and serve. You will be done with clean-up by 7 - 7:30pm.
 
Location: Loaves & Fishes dining sites are located throughout the metro area.  

Loaves & Fishes serves free, healthy meals to people in need in areas where that need is greatest. Our enhanced mission emphasizes nutrition in every meal, which includes a local farm-to-table approach during Minnesota's growing season. We are always guided by our vision that all people, regardless of socioeconomic, cultural or ethnic background, deserve to meet their basic needs for food, dignity, and respect. We serve without regard to religious perspective and do not engage in activities that promote any particular religious cause. Our Minnesota free meal program began 36 years ago, in 1982, with one dining site each in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Since that time, we have grown to serving 2,000 meals daily, are present in seven Minnesota counties, and are the largest "open to the public" meal program in the state. Looking for a volunteer opportunity for your family? Loaves & Fishes' volunteers are at the heart of every meal! Come help us serve hot, healthy meals to those in need. We invite your family to partner with our staff and other volunteers to serve our guests.

Ages: Volunteers must be eight or older. Please note the following age guidelines:
  • Youth 16 years of age and older can help in all areas of the dining sites.
  • Volunteers aged 15 and younger are not permitted to be in the kitchen in the proximity of hot food, ovens, dishwashers, or other potentially hazardous kitchen equipment. These volunteers are also not permitted to handle hot beverages and food on the serving line.
  • Youth age 13 to 15 must have 1 adult to every five youth for supervision purposes.
  • Youth age 12 and under need to have direct one-on-one supervision. It is suggested that children under the age of 8 not attend.
Time Commitment: Typically, two to three hours.
 
Contact: Lonny Evans, Director of Volunteers and Outreach,
952.223.7223, levans@loavesandfishesmn.org. Registration is available online.
www.loavesandfishesmn.org  
 
 
Planting in a Pollinator Corridor
Great River Greening
 
Date/Time: Wednesday, May 30, 10am - 2pm
 
Location: Woodbury Pollinator Corridor, Ojibway Park Rd and Bailey Rd, Woodbury

Join Great River Greening for our first public event at a pollinator corridor in Woodbury. Volunteers will walk a mile to the beautiful site on flat terrain to plant 5,000 pollinator-friendly plants which will improve the natural habitat and provide food for pollinators. This communal space will provide educational principles on pollinators and produce a harvestable seed source for the City of Woodbury. Join volunteers in planting to help restore our native landscape and secure the legacy of Minnesota land and waters. Snacks and lunch will be provided.

Ages: All ages are welcome; children under 12 need to be accompanied by an adult.
 
Time Commitment: Four hours
 
Contact: volunteer@greatrivergreening.org, 651.272.3989. Registration is available online.
www.greatrivergreening.org
 
 
Spring Into Service
Community Thread
 
Date/Time: Saturday, May 19, 10am - noon
 
Location: Sites are located throughout Washington County

Community Thread's Spring into Service is an annual service day that helps local nonprofit organizations who work to strengthen our community every day. Spring into Service allows volunteers to make a difference by assisting with projects such as assembling math kits, playing games with residents, or making tie blankets for dogs. This family-friendly volunteer activity engages over 100 volunteers annually to help nonprofits better serve the St. Croix Valley. You can choose the project that most interests you. Sign up today!
 
Ages: Volunteers must be eight years of age or older and age requirements may vary by site. 
 
Time Commitment: Two hours
 
Contact: Jennifer Kmecik, 651.439.7434, Jennifer@CommunityThreadMN.org. Register online at communitythreadmn.org/community-services/spring-into-service by May 11.
www.communitythreadmn.org

 
Special Needs Summer Camp Volunteers
True Friends at Camp Courage
 
Date/Time: Sunday, August 5 - Wednesday, August 15
 
Location: Camp Courage in Maple Lake, MN

Families up to 7 members will assist adults with physical disabilities and camp staff for a week of fun at camp. Activities include: pontoon-ing, crafting, adapted high ropes course, archery, recreational games, campfires, s'mores making (and eating) and so much more. Volunteers directly support True Friends' mission: "Provide life-changing experiences that enhance independence and self-esteem for children and adults with disabilities."

Ages: Families with children ages five and older. Adults must provide supervision for those under 18. Onsite housing and meals are provided.
 
Time Commitment: Ten days; meals and housing provided
 
Contact: Amanda Sorell, amandas@truefriends.org, 952.697.2295
www.truefriends.org/volunteer

 
Special Needs Day Camp Volunteers
True Friends at Camp Eden Wood
 
Date/Time: Choose a week, 8am - 5pm daily: June 4-8, June 11-15, June 18-21, June 25-29, July 9-13, July 16-20, July 23-27, July 30-August 3, August 6-9
 
Location: Camp Eden Wood in Eden Prairie

Two to three volunteers per week are needed to assist adults and children with developmental and/or physical disabilities for a week of fun at camp. Activities include: crafting, high ropes course, archery, recreational games, campfires, s'mores making (and eating), off-site trips to local attractions and so much more. Volunteers directly support True Friends' mission: "Provide life-changing experiences that enhance independence and self-esteem for children and adults with disabilities."

Ages: 16 and older with parent/guardian.
 
Time Commitment: One week; lunch provided each day
 
Contact: Amanda Sorell, amandas@truefriends.org, 952.697.2295
www.truefriends.org/volunteer
 
 
St. Paul Tree Planting
Tree Trust
 
Date/Time:  Thursday, June 7, 4 - 7pm
 
Location: Hidden Falls Regional Park, 1313 Hidden Falls Dr., St. Paul

Hundreds of people volunteer every spring and fall to plant trees with Tree Trust. We provide hands-on training, so no experience is required to volunteer at our plantings. Volunteers are needed to help reforest a section of Hidden Falls Regional Park.
 
Ages: All ages are welcome to participate.
 
Time Commitment: Three hours
 
Contact: Jessica Talley, Jessica.talley@treetrust.org. Registration is available online.
www.treetrust.org
 
 
World's Largest Toy Battle for Bullying Prevention
Project My Neighborhood
 
Date/Time: Saturday, June 30, 9am - 6pm
 
Location: East Ridge High School, 4200 Pioneer Drive, Woodbury (Soccer fields)

Project My Neighborhood is a nonprofit that raises funds for bullying prevention. We work with schools, churches, and communities. We are attempting to set the Guinness World Record for Largest Toy Battle in Woodbury, and the proceeds for our event are going to the creation and launch of our bullying prevention app. During this event participants will use foam Nerf Blasters in a series of games that reinforce our core values of inclusion, outreach, team building, and health & wellness. To help the event run smoothly we need a number of volunteers to help set up the inflatable barriers, help with registration, chaperone for world record compliance, and help with take down at the end of the event.

Ages: Families with children ages 5 and older are welcome to participate. Volunteers must be over 14 without a parent or guardian.
 
Time Commitment: Three, six or nine hours
 
Contact: Matt Nelson, 612.735.5966
www.projectmyneighborhood.org
 
 
Explore Nature with a Scavenger Hunt
Doing Good Together
 
Date/Time: Anytime you can get outdoors with your family!
 
Location: Your local park or nature center

When children learn to appreciate and enjoy nature, they are more likely to grow into adults who value and protect our environment. You and your family can use Doing Good Together's printable Nature Scavenger Hunt checklist to liven up your next walk in the woods. Enjoy exploring nature as a family, invite friends along, or bring this activity to your scouts meeting, classroom, or community gathering. Check out Doing Good Together's Nature Scavenger Hunt project page for more ideas and reflection questions.

Ages: The whole family is welcome to participate
 
Time Commitment: Varies
 
Contact: mail@doinggoodtogether.org
www.doinggoodtogether.org
 
 
Celebrate Milestones This May!

Whether you are celebrating the graduation of a preschooler or college student - or any big moment in between - these milestone moments offer opportunities for sharing gifts that encourage kindness and giving. Visit our Shop Kind Vendor Page for our favorite gift-giving books. And for advice on tackling transitions (by kids and parents), revisit this post from our Blogger: www.doinggoodtogether.org/bhf/blog/masterful-transitions.

 

 

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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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