Volunteer opportunities abound in Boston

Printed from: http://newbostonpost.com/2015/12/09/volunteer-opportunities-abound-in-boston/

With the holiday season in full swing, you may be thinking about presents for loved ones. While you’re in the spirit of giving, it may be a good time to reflect on how you can also give back to your community. But that doesn’t necessarily mean handing over some cash. There are many ways you and your family can volunteer some time to help charitable organizations do their work, now and throughout the coming year. Here is a list of Boston-based groups that can always use a hand:

Raising a Reader MA Holiday Gift Wrapping Event

Help collect donations for Raising A Reader MA, which strives to give every child an equal opportunity for achievement by engaging parents from low-income communities in daily book reading with their youngsters under age 6.

A gift wrapping event at the Barnes & Noble store in the Prudential Center mall will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 9 and Monday, Dec. 31 from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Gift wrappers of all skills are welcome at this holiday fun event.

Volunteers are asked to fill out this form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1-UslT9nRyiezDU2yRqToR83WKcR2eviJbF21O2HxsoM/viewform or contact [email protected].

Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, Boston Chapter

Volunteers give companionship at a previous Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, Boston Chapter event. (Photo courtesy of Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly)

Volunteers give companionship at a previous Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, Boston Chapter event. (Photo courtesy of Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly)

The Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly is still looking for Christmas Day volunteers to help distribute meals and gifts to hundreds of older low-income and isolated residents throughout Boston.

The group could also use help providing companionship, delivering transportation services and special luncheons on the holidays. You can also volunteer as a chef or host at a holiday party.

Volunteers can also help prepare for holiday celebrations, including outreach, working on the gift program and organizing giving trees.

For more information, contact Rene Morrissette at [email protected] or visit the group’s website.

Christmas in the City

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This all-volunteer organization annual holiday party takes place Saturday for over 5,000 children from Greater Boston homeless shelters and low-income neighborhoods.

A banquet will include live entertainment, a Winter Wonderland with games, rides, a petting zoo and more, giving these kids a day to remember. In addition, the group distributes toys and gifts to almost 2,000 families unable to attend the event.

Volunteers do everything from raising money and toy donations to setting up tables, decorating the party hall, driving trucks, waiting on tables, entering data, answering phones, distributing toys, and cleaning up after the party ends.

Visit www.christmasinthecity.org/volunteer to find out more or e-mail [email protected] with any questions.

 The Women’s Lunch Place

Two volunteers at The Women's Lunch Place (Photo courtesy of The Women's Lunch Place)

Two volunteers at The Women’s Lunch Place (Photo courtesy of The Women’s Lunch Place)

 The Women’s Lunch Place provides a day community for homelessness or impoverished women, meeting their basic needs while also coordinating and delivering support services.

Volunteers help provide breakfast, lunch, and snacks to hungry women and their children. They also assist with general office and administrative functions to help the group make a difference in these women’s lives.

The Women’s Lunch Place asks for those interested in lending a hand to make donations during this time, or to host a donation drive, for items including warm winter gear or travel-size toiletries. Volunteers are also needed throughout the year for those who can make a regular commitment.

You can learn more at www.womenslunchplace.org/volunteer or by contacting Lisa Brown, volunteer manager, at [email protected].

Rose Kennedy Greenway Outdoor Park Projects

Volunteers help spruce up a Boston garden. (Photo courtesy of Rose Kennedy Greenway)

Volunteers help spruce up a Boston garden. (Photo courtesy of Rose Kennedy Greenway)

For some lucky Boston residents, a park is effectively their front yard, providing a place to escape or relax at the end of the day and on weekends. Parks can also provide a place for some workers to stretch their legs. You can help make a difference at this festive time to by making a park near you shine.

Volunteers typically weed, rake, mulch, plant and prune, depending on weather conditions. These events typically occur every other week on weekday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon. You can find a full schedule at www.rosekennedygreenway.org or contact the volunteer coordinator at [email protected].

There are only a few spots left for this month and pre-registration is required so make sure to sign up soon!

New England Center and Home for Veterans

Help get veterans back on their feet by serving them meals, sorting and preparing supplies for them, coaching and teaching at the Veterans Training School, and by participating in special projects, including work outings for corporate groups.

Volunteer time commitments range from an hour to a full day, and may be a one-time experience or through a recurring schedule.

Learn more at www.nechv.org/volunteer. For further questions, contact [email protected].

The Greater Boston Food Bank

Lend a hand to The Greater Boston Food Bank to help it end hunger in eastern Massachusetts. The group’s goal is to distribute enough food to provide at least one meal a day to those in need.

Volunteers work in the warehouse, inspecting, sorting, and packing food and grocery products. A few tasks require the ability to lift items weighing as much as 30 pounds and most tasks require the ability to stand and inspect products for two to three hours.

All volunteers must schedule ahead of time. Learn more at http://gbfb.org/how-to-help/volunteer.php.

Community Servings, Delivering Meals, Delivering Hope

Community Servings helps deliver 9,600 lunches and dinners each week to homes of almost 920 individuals and families who are homebound because of a serious life-threatening illness.

Volunteers can help package meals in their kitchen; deliver food to clients, assist with special events and help in their offices with administrative tasks.  You can come alone or with a friend.

To learn more, visit http://www.servings.org/volunteer/index.cfm or contact Malissa Harmon at [email protected].

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