About a month ago, I decided it has been too long since I have volunteered any of my time to community service. I was one of the founding members of the Arts League of Lowell, and I was their Treasurer from 2003 to 2008. Before that used to serve meals on Sundays at The House of Hope in Lowell. Two great 501c3 organizations and they could always use donations and volunteer support. Please see links below:
The courting stage
But how do I put this…I do not desire to be “married” to any one organization that could use my support because I just want to enjoy the “dating/getting to know you better” stage right now. In the future, if I do make it as a successful author, it is one of my goals to set up my own foundation that will give back to the charities I feel most aligned to such as environmentalism, STEM, climbing, the outdoors, education, etc. I know that sounds like a lot, and I could list countless other great causes. I guess that is why I am presently exploring my options. In addition, I want to learn more about who could really use my support. Who knows, maybe in the future I will get married to one or more of these incredible organizations. Yes, I am not conventional in any way shape or form, but this is who I am! lol
There are so many organizations out there that not only need financial donations but volunteer support, so I went online to see what organizations in the Boston area could use my help, and in my Google search came across BostonCares.org.
After looking over their website, I became excited to learn about their calendar program. I could pick what organizations I wanted to work with when it fit into my schedule. Some organizations need only a few hours of volunteer work, while others need maybe five or more hours. You also have the choice to work during the weekday, in the evenings, or on the weekends. Not only am I learning about the countless charitable organizations in the New England area, but I would get to work beside a diverse group of people all coming together for the greater good of humanity.
So… each time I volunteer with a school or non-profit, I will blog about the experience in a future post. I hope by doing this, it might inspire someone else to look into volunteering. I hope you will sign up or learn more about the charities I volunteered for.
Please Note: Before you can volunteer with any organization Boston Cares lists on their calendar, you must sign up for a “New Volunteer Orientation” in their Boston office. There is a fee for the orientation-see below but the cost helps to pay for the administration expenses. The office is very easy to get to. I took the Red Line to North Station and the office was less than a 5-minute walk. The orientation lasted about 30 minutes and you can pick what time and date you would like to sign up for from the date/time list options.
” There is a one-time, tax-deductible registration fee that allows Boston Cares to continue to offer quality volunteer projects to our volunteers. The fee, which will be collected at the end of the Orientation, is $30 for individuals, $40 for families, $20 for students/seniors/unemployed, and free for active-duty military/current AmeriCorps members/volunteers under the age of 18. We accept credit cards, checks made out to Boston Cares, and cash (please bring exact change).”
About Boston Cares
The following is direct verbatim from the Boston Cares website and from guidestar.org.
Boston Cares mobilizes and trains individual and corporate volunteers who strengthen communities and improve the lives of people in need. We partner with schools and nonprofits with needs that can be filled by volunteer teams; then we recruit, train & lead reliable groups of volunteers who get the job done. Our year-round programs & seasonal service events engage 11,000 adults, children, teens & corporate partners who annually serve 70,000+ hours at 200 Greater Boston schools and nonprofits. Impact priorities include hunger relief and basic needs; adult education for non-traditional learners and English language tutoring; youth success; and emergency preparedness. Since 1991, our volunteers have generated over 1.1 million hours of service!
What we aim to solve
For communities to thrive they need human capital and other resources that people can leverage. Volunteerism is a powerful and often underleveraged opportunity to support communities through local nonprofits, schools, and government initiatives. And for volunteers, themselves, service can be a pathway to deeper civic engagement and leadership. However, people who want to make a difference around social issues may lack the knowledge, tools, and inspiration to so do. Boston Cares addresses gaps between community needs and an individual’s impulse to make a difference by partnering with schools and nonprofits with needs that can be filled by volunteer teams; then recruiting, training & leading reliable groups of volunteers who get the job done. Team-oriented volunteering is a proven approach for efficiently marshaling human resources to address specific community needs. As a result, virtually all of our initiatives are powered by volunteer teams.
Boston Cares’ signature Calendar Program volunteers serve in teams at over 200 monthly projects that equip adults to beat poverty, ensure young people succeed, and more. In addition to building stronger communities and improving the lives of people in need, our volunteers report personal impacts that are worth noting. For example, 87% have learned about different communities, 81% have an increased awareness of social issues, and 80% have increased their civic engagement.
Here is a Youtube Video for some visual inspiration!