It’s better to give than receive, as the adage goes. While some are comfortable writing a check as their chosen act of kindness, others prefer to give of themselves, by volunteering their time in a hands-on way. Massachusetts offers up a wealth of ways to give back. The following 14 options are but the tip of that proverbial iceberg.
Dedicated to mentoring youth in Massachusetts, Mass Mentoring is an umbrella organization for more than 165 statewide organizations. Spend your time making a serious impact on a young person via one of these options.
Supporting Boston schools and other local nonprofits, Boston Cares fills 20,000 volunteer spots each year, but is always looking for more helping hands. Whether you can give an hour every few weeks or want to help out more often, they have plenty of opportunities to put you to work.
Staggering statistics show that many children in Massachusetts go hungry on a regular basis. Volunteering with the School Nutrition Association works with leaders who provide programs to feed them.
If you love nature, and enjoy getting your hands dirty, the Cambridge Department of Public Works utilizes volunteers to beautify and maintain public parks and clean up neighborhoods. They also need volunteers to help with waste reduction and other environmentally-sound projects.
Volunteers are needed to advocate for women’s reproductive rights and to assist at health centers. Contact Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts to see how to help.
If you are a pre-med student, or have those credentials in your background, the University of Massachusetts, Boston can use your help. Volunteers are needed to help out in children’s health centers, with people with disabilities and special needs, and with homeless needs and shelters.
If you have a school subject you excel in, you can put your knowledge to good use at the Home for Little Wanderers. Volunteer tutors are always needed, and orientations for volunteers take place several times per year.
If you have a law degree, are a retired lawyer, or even a para-legal, the Massachusetts Bar Association needs your help. They will put your expertise to work for senior citizens, abused children, and others who need legal assistance but are unable to pay.
From driving for Meals on Wheels to assisting elderly shoppers on bus trips, the Council on Aging in Marshfield is in need of volunteers all year long. You can even sign up to simply visit a senior citizen on a regular basis.
A world-renowned hospital can use your help. Massachusetts General Hospital is always on the hunt for volunteers to make everyone’s hospital experience a bit easier. They also have a junior program for younger volunteers.
From making baby blankets for newborns to driving kids to appointments or activities, the Family Nurturing Center in Dorchester is intent on making life easier for children in the Dorchester community. You can also volunteer to hold babies and help kids with their homework.
If you’re big on education, consider becoming a volunteer at the Museum of Science in Boston. Volunteers help with interactive projects, greet visitors, and put their administrative skills to work behind the scenes.
Needing volunteers to pick up and deliver used furniture, test household electronics, pack food boxes, and more, My Brother’s Keeper works hard to keep people off the streets. They have a special program for students who want to volunteer their time as well.
The Massachusetts chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness—called NAMI Mass—needs volunteers for spreading the word about mental illness and how to help those suffering from mental illness. Several hours of training is required.