Where to Volunteer in Boston This Fall
Thinking about giving more than thanks this Thanksgiving? Boston has plenty of long and short term opportunities to warm hearts as the weather turns colder by giving the gift of service around the city. Serving meals, rounding up donations, and tutoring are just a few of the chances you have to give back. Check organization websites for shift times, applications, and more details.
If a big dinner is your main event for Thanksgiving Day, check out these opportunities to help others in Boston have meals to look forward to.
Greater Boston Food Bank
The GBFB has individual and group volunteer opportunities for those interested in joining more than 26,000 volunteers in ending hunger in eastern Massachusetts, according to their website. You can also donate until the end of November to their Holiday Meal Drive. Volunteer slots tend to fill up around the holidays, so check to make sure they have room for you! Shifts are from Monday to Saturday and times vary for groups and individuals. gbfb.org
Boston Rescue Mission
Volunteers can apply to work with meal prep, serving, and packed lunch distribution to aid the homeless and poor of Greater Boston. brm.org
Meal prep shifts in the kitchen are available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. Towards the end of November, volunteers can really get in the spirit of Thanksgiving traditions by helping package and deliver pies throughout greater Boston, or delivering Thanksgiving meals before the big day. servings.org
Friday Night Supper
Spend your Friday afternoon helping prepare or your Friday night helping serve this weekly meal for those in need on your own or with a group of 4-8 people after a quick orientation before your shift. fridaynightsupper.org
Volunteers can help with kitchen prep and food organization for this not-for-profit retail store that delivers healthy food and groceries with dignity. Sign up is required, and no experience is necessary, but an orientation is required before your first shift. Volunteers are welcome Monday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. dailytable.org
Join one of these shelters this holiday season in providing meals, supplies, and a place to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Pine Street Inn
The Inn has a waitlist for on-site volunteers this holiday season, but they are still in need of help from individuals or groups with food donations and food drives to supply 2,000 meals a day for residents. pinestreetinn.org
Volunteers can apply to work in several programs Haley House offers, including the soup kitchen, special events, and urban gardening. haleyhouse.org
St. Francis House
Volunteers have opportunities to prepare meals, sort donations, and help with life skills workshops as an individual or group. stfrancishouse.org
Boston Living Center
Volunteers are welcome to help with office work, serving meals or in coat check most weekdays. vpi.org
Volunteer to help someone keep warm as the weather gets cold, or to help them get the clothes they need to succeed.
ABCD, Inc.’s Winter Emergency Campaign
Volunteers with Action for Boston Community Development help sort donations to assist needy families with food, clothes, and holiday toys. bostonabcd.org
Dress for Success Boston
Volunteers are welcome on a long-term commitment basis in a variety of departments from inventory and boutique maintenance to special events that help empower women in the Greater Boston area towards independence. boston.dressforsuccess.org
Area hospitals usually have a more rigorous volunteer application process than other sites, but also plenty of opportunities to help in clinical and non-clinical positions. Note that these are long-term opportunities.
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston Medical Center
Brigham and Women’s
Tufts Medical Center
Beth Israel Deaconess
Boston Children’s Hospital
Humans aren’t the only ones who could use an extra pair of helping hands this season, so consider helping out some furry friends at one of these animal centers.
MSPCA Boston Adoption Center
Adoption center volunteers help with tasks including cleaning, feeding, and entertaining some of the 5,000 cats, dogs, and other small animals the center takes care of every year. mspca.org
Last Hope K9 Rescue
Volunteers at Last Hope have the opportunity to help with a number of tasks including transporting dogs, helping with special events, or even leave their mark through graphic design. The center also has many dogs up for adoption, so consider fostering one of the lovable pups this holiday season. lasthopek9.org
Who says community service has to be serious? Working with charities that benefit Boston youth gives you the chance to liven up your volunteering while giving kids valuable supplies and opportunities.
Boys and Girls Club of Boston
The BGCB offers volunteers the chance to tutor or coach kids, and much more! Volunteer needs are club-specific, so check out their website to get in touch with your club of choice. bgcb.org
Cradles to Crayons
If you’re looking to add some color to your service, individual and group volunteers can help package donations in two-hour shifts for “KidPacks” for disadvantaged children in Massachusetts. cradlestocrayons.org
Thanksgiving Day Events
Looking for one-stop service? You can spend your turkey day making sure someone else is feeling full and festive at these events on and around Thanksgiving Day.
Tavern In The Square Thanksgiving Dinner for the Less Fortunate
Contact the Tavern in the Square location of your choice to volunteer and share Thanksgiving dinner with attendees, restaurant staff, and your fellow volunteers on November 24. taverninthesquare.com
Little Brothers: Friends of the Elderly Thanksgiving celebration
Volunteers can help drive some of our more senior neighbors and enjoy the afternoon celebration with free lunch and a live DJ Thursday, November 24. littlebrothersboston.org