Boston’s female-oriented shelters provide a safe space for women suffering from homelessness and abuse. By serving meals, leading workshops, or assisting with household tasks, you can help these women regain control and self-confidence in their lives.
Rosie’s Place is one of Boston’s best-known, women-oriented charities. Founded in 1974, the nonprofit was one of the first women’s shelters in the United States. Rosie’s Place provides sanctuary and support for 12,000 poor and homeless women each year. When women are desperate and defeated from trying to scrape together meals and handle hygiene with limited access to facilities, Rosie’s Place provides them with peace of mind. Volunteers work on programs that offer dignity and assistance to the women who need it most.
Volunteer opportunities include teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), visiting women who isolate themselves from others at the shelter, preparing and serving meals, leading an arts workshop, or assisting guests shopping in the food pantry. You can also choose from a list of more industry-specific volunteer opportunities utilizing various skill sets.
If you have a busy schedule, Rosie’s Place makes it easy to volunteer: Just fill out a simple online application. Once you’re approved, you will receive access to the online scheduling system VolunteerNet. That system shows volunteer opportunities for the next 30 days, and volunteers can choose up to three slots per month. This flexibility means you can participate on a regular basis or when your schedule allows.
Jennifer Hanlon Wigon, volunteer manager, Jennifer@womenslunchplace.org
Women’s Lunch Place provides hot meals and community support to women who have experienced trauma, abuse, or loss. The organization goes far beyond serving breakfast and lunch; it offers specific resources for victims of physical or psychological violence. Free medical care is provided on site by Healthcare Without Walls, women can use the resource center and library to apply for jobs or housing, and classes are offered in everything from drawing and painting to yoga and meditation.
Women’s Lunch Place’s biggest volunteer opportunity is helping to prepare and serve meals. On average, 225 women are fed there every day. Volunteers working the Welcome Center can help women sign up for showers, wash laundry, and request medical services. The nonprofit is also looking for attorneys, interpreters, and fund-raising assistance. Check out the full list of available duties.
Fill out an online application to get access to a database to claim hours. Women’s Lunch Place also offers an online volunteer self-assessment, so you can see if this organization is a good fit for you. Shifts are available six days a week, but a consistent commitment of one day per week is preferred.
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