January 2019 - Twin Cities Family Volunteer Opportunities

January 2019 Twin Cities Family Volunteer Opportunities


January 2019 - Twin Cities 

Mentor a Child
Kids 'n Kinship
Date/Time: Ongoing opportunity
Location: Your home or the community
January is National Mentoring Month! Sign up to mentor with Kids 'n Kinship today! Kids 'n Kinship matches volunteer mentor families, couples, and individuals with youth ages 5-16 in need of additional positive role models for fun and enriching weekly activities. Mentoring Works! Please consider stepping forward today to mentor a child with your family. We are based in Dakota County and have served families in Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, Farmington, Lakeville & Rosemount for 46 years. Matches are made based on compatible personalities, ages and interests as well as preferences of both volunteer family and the youth and parent/guardian. Our families say that mentoring together ensures they have weekly family time and that it's easy to include another child with the family activity, whether it's a board game, sledding, a trip to a park, or going to the zoo or a museum. We offer discounted passes to area attractions to make activities more affordable, a 45-minute information session, a 2-hour training session, as well as ongoing training and support. We ask mentors and mentees to commit to a year's time together in order to build their relationship; however, many of our matches become lifelong friendships and our average match is about 3 years. Please consider being a mentor to a child - it is one of the most challenging and rewarding ways to volunteer!
Ages: Mentors are families, couples, or individuals over 21.
Time Commitment: One to four hours per week, on your own time (very flexible scheduling: can be weekends, evenings or after school)
Contact: Jerod Petersen, Kinship Coordinator, jpkinship@aol.com or 651.686.0990
Learn and Deliver Meals with Your Family!
Meals on Wheels
Date/Time: Volunteer one hour during lunchtime, Monday through Friday. Your family can volunteer once a week, once a month, or on a schedule that works for you.
Location: With over thirty neighborhood sites throughout the Twin Cities, you can easily be connected with a delivery site near your home! Call 612.623.3363 to be connected to the program nearest you!

Delivering Meals on Wheels with your children or grandchildren is a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time as a family and pass on the values of kindness, compassion, and civic responsibility by helping seniors and individuals with disabilities in your community. Whether you have infants or teenagers, you can make a contribution together to improve your community. Delivering meals involves driving to the program site, picking up meals, and delivering them to eight to ten clients in your community. The amount you socialize with the clients is dependent on the volunteer and the client.

Ages: Families are welcomed and encouraged to volunteer
Time Commitment: About an hour at lunchtime
Contact: Eva Hansen, 612.623.3363, eva@meals-on-wheels.com
Be a hero! Remove Snow for a Senior
Senior Community Services
Date/Time: Within 24 hours whenever there is a snowfall of 2" or more
Location: We serve Minneapolis and Suburban Hennepin County, we will match you with a senior that lives nearby
Snow and ice are a huge threat to our seniors. Your family can make a difference in the life of a senior this winter by becoming a snow removal volunteer! Senior Community Services' mission is to help seniors remain in the homes (often the most affordable option) safely and independently by providing assistance with chores they are unable to do on their own. By volunteering as a Snow Removal Volunteer, you aren't just shoveling snow, you are helping seniors in our community get to doctor's appointments and avoid social isolation during the winter. Volunteers commit to the season and we will match you with a senior that lives nearby. Get to know someone new!

Ages: Family teams are welcome! Recommended age for youth volunteers is 13 when volunteering with an adult. Volunteers must be 16 or older to volunteer independently and/or operate a snow blower.
Time Commitment: During the winter snow season when it snows more than two inches.
Contact: Cat at scsvolunteer@seniorcommunity.org or call 952.767.7894
Donate a Meal
Stepping Stone Emergency Housing
Date/Time: Opportunities are available daily, lunch or dinner.
  • Lunch is served from noon - 1pm. Please plan to arrive at 11:30am so we can get everything set up and ready to go.
  • 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 7 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
Prepare and Share a Shelter Meal
St. Stephen's Human Services
Date/Time: Dinner is served nightly at 6:30 or 7pm, depending on the shelter. See details below. All meal groups receive an onsite orientation before their serving day(s).
Clinton Avenue Shelter Emergency Shelter, 2211 Clinton Ave S., Minneapolis:
  • Dinner is served nightly at 7pm.
  • Most groups prepare their meal off-site and then arrive between 5:30 and 6:30pm for additional prep or to reheat dishes. Check the shelter calendar for available dates. 
First Covenant Church Shelter, 810 S 7th Street, Minneapolis:
  • Dinner is served nightly at 6:30pm
  • Most groups prepare their meal off-site and then arrive between 4:30 and 6pm for additional prep or to reheat dishes. Check the shelter calendar for available dates.
St. Stephen's Shelter seeks volunteers to coordinate meal groups that plan, purchase and prepare a meal for 50 - 60 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 entree (non-pork), plant-based protein side alternative (lentils, chickpeas, beans, tofu, etc.), vegetable or salad dish, beverage (bottled water is great), 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.

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: Each meal group will go through a walk through and orientation at the shelter with the group volunteer coordinator, Jordy Breslau. Dinner is served nightly at each shelter. Most groups prepare the meal off-site and then arrive with 30-90 minutes ahead of serving for additional prep time or to reheat dishes. The ideal groups will commit to quarterly or monthly servings (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 Jordy, jbreslau@ststephensmpls.org, 612.879.7635.
Puppy Raisers & Long-term Foster Homes Needed
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 one training meeting each month. Can Do Canines will cover the cost of food and vet expenses. We have amazing trainers to teach you how to raise a future assistance dog. You'll learn new skills at class, get comfortable taking the puppy in public while attending our group outings, and we promise you'll make some new friends along the way too. 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 the 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
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 - 7:30 pm.
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 2,700 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.
Snow Angels - Adopt a Senior this Season!
Date/Time: Through the winter snow season
Location: Dakota County Area - the biggest need is in the Apple Valley area

When it snows two inches or more within a 24-hour timeframe, volunteers help clear off the snow for an older homeowner's driveway and sidewalk. Most assignments take less than an hour. Volunteers make it a little brighter and safer for seniors.

Ages: Family friendly; all ages are welcome
Time Commitment: Duration of the winter snow season when there are two inches or more of snow within a 24-hour timeframe
Contact: Angela Liedke, angela.liedke@darts1.org
Toy Lending Events
Minneapolis Toy Library
Date/Time: Every other Monday, 10am - noon, Wednesdays, 4 - 7 pm, 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: Rebecca Nutter, rhayne@gmail.com, 651-324-3589. Registration is available online. 
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
Adopt Everyday Big-Hearted Habits
Doing Good Together
Date/Time: Flexible
Location: Your home and community
We are what we do. By adopting one or two simple, caring routines, you'll give your children a strong sense of themselves as helpers. In this way, big-hearted habits empower kids to become thoughtful, engaged citizens throughout their lives. Visit the Big-Hearted Families Adopt Everyday Big-Hearted Habits page for ideas to add kindness to your everyday family routines.
Ages: There are ideas for families with children of all ages.
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: mail@doinggoodtogether.org
Thank you for being a subscriber of our city listing! As you know, these monthly listings are curated by DGT in the hopes that more families will engage in big-hearted acts of volunteering in their communities. As you may not know, we offer these listings not only in your city, but throughout the count

Kindly share news of DGT's unique offerings with families you know who live in any of the metro areas listed below. (Each URL leads to not only current opportunities to volunteer, but also the form to subscribe and have future listings added to their inbox!) Thank you for not only helping others with your acts of kindness and service but also helping DGT reach more big-hearted families!

Seattle: https://www.doinggoodtogether.org/family-volunteering-seattle
Silicon Valley (San Jose, Santa Clara County suburbs):  https://www.doinggoodtogether.org/family-volunteering-silicon-valley
Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul): https://www.doinggoodtogether.org/family-volunteering-twin-cities
Boston (including Cambridge area): https://www.doinggoodtogether.org/family-volunteering-boston
Baltimore: https://www.doinggoodtogether.org/family-volunteering-baltimore
New York City: https://www.doinggoodtogether.org/family-volunteering-nyc

NEW: Oakland/East Bay, California: https://www.doinggoodtogether.org/family-volunteering-oakland-east-bay


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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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