Every child deserves to feel safe and cared for. With these organizations you can make sure underserved children are receiving the supplies and services they need to succeed. Whether it’s collecting winter coats and school supplies or creating positive after-school programming, your work can change the course of a child’s life.
Many low-income families are forced to choose between food and other essentials like clothing and school supplies. This can leave children without the resources they need to thrive or even to stay warm in the harsh Boston winter. Cradles to Crayons is a national organization that collects donations of new and nearly new children’s items from the local community and distributes them to disadvantaged children through nonprofit partners. The donations consist of everything from clothing and shoes to backpacks, school supplies, toys, and diapers. Cradles to Crayons also manages yearly initiatives like Gear Up for Winter, which provides children with cold-weather clothing.
If you don’t have extended or consistent time to volunteer in person, Cradles to Crayons accepts item donations at its factory locations and monetary donations online. In person, volunteers inspect, sort and package goods at the factory to go out to children in need. You can choose shifts scheduled Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10 am–12 pm and 1:30 pm–3:30 pm.
Start by filling out the online volunteer application form. In a few days, a coordinator will get back to you to schedule your individual or group visit. Before your volunteer day, Cradles to Crayons asks that you collect goods for the program either through donations at work or from friends and family. This opportunity is good for those who can’t commit to a regular schedule but want to give back periodically.
The Boys & Girls Clubs provide education, recreational programming and, most importantly, a safe space for Boston-area youth. For children who may not be receiving the emotional support they need, BGCB makes the club feel like home. This organization serves nearly 16,000 children and teens by addressing crucial mental and emotional developmental areas. In addition to classes in arts, academics, and technology, BGCB has full-time, licensed social workers on site to help children make good choices and build healthy habits.
Volunteers provide a wide spectrum of support to BGCB. If you’re a professional in a specific area, you can utilize your skills here. For example, teach a music course or coach a swim team. Volunteers also assist children with homework (see, you are using that algebra again!) and contribute to the administrative functions of the club. You are also asked to commit at least one hour per week for a 12-week period.
Fill out the online inquiry form with your interests, skill set, and availability. A coordinator will get back to you to discuss what position will be best for you. All volunteers must undergo a sex offender registry information (SORI) check, a criminal offender record information (CORI) check, and a national CORI background check before beginning volunteer work.
Giving Back to Greater Boston:
You can help lonely, adorable puppies get exercise, stay healthy, and find homes by partnering with one of these local animal rights organizations.
As we head into the colder months it's more important than ever to support the organizations that help keep homeless families safely off the streets.
By serving meals, leading workshops, or assisting with household tasks, you can help homeless women and female victims of abuse regain control and self-confidence in their lives.
If you're tired of feeling helpless watching the news about family separation, join one of these groups to help immigrants become citizens, learn English, and register to vote.