On Make a Difference Day, Build a Bed for a Child Leaving Homelessness

MADD BC LOGOJoin us for Make a Difference Day 2015 as we build beds for toddlers in need and fulfill a basic need that most of us take for granted—a bed.

Children without beds can have lowered self-esteem, ability to learn, and a reduced likelihood of graduating from high school. Beds are distributed through agency partners to families with children transitioning out of homelessness and foster care.

Boston Cares has worked with skilled furniture makers to develop a simple bed design and assembly process that allows volunteers with minimal training or experience to produce beds that are attractive, sturdy, and easy to assemble. Volunteers love it!

aaa_ake a Difference Day 2014 Nitzan Shaer 10-25-2014 10-55-08 AMIn celebration of Make a Difference Day, we’ll be making beds in Boston and outside Worcester on four dates in October. Registration is $150 per person and all proceeds support the Boston Cares Bed Project. Individuals, companies and other groups are all welcome!  To register, visit or click on the links below:

For all other Make a Difference Day questions including group registrations, please contact 

Rick Wallwork, Director of Corporate Programs
617.422.0910 x202

MLK Summer Scholars in Action

Womens Lunch Place MLK Summer Scholar photo washing veggiesEvery year Boston Cares coordinates more than 300 volunteers for the MLK Summer Scholars’ Friday workshops. As the largest, most comprehensive, corporate summer jobs program of its kind in the country, the MLK Summer Scholars program is impressive. What makes volunteering for this program really meaningful however is not the size, but the teens.

Sam Belk and Janique Jean are MLK Summer Scholars for one of Boston Cares’ nonprofit partners, The Women’s Lunch Place (WLP). The Women’s Lunch Place is a safe, welcoming day community for all self-identified women who are experiencing homelessness or poverty. As an aspiring chef with a heart for social justice, Sam was originally planning to merely volunteer for WLP, so when his headmaster at Trinity Academy mentioned he could get paid to do what he loved, he signed up right away.

Womens Lunch Place MLK Summer Scholar photoNow in his second summer with the WLP, Sam said working at WLP has taught him not to assume things about others, and has made him want to understand people who are different. Janique, on the other hand, said she enjoys being a WLP Scholar because knowing she provides meals to women in need makes the work gratifying. Furthermore, Janique explained that in a world with so much destruction and hate, seeing the WLP shows her that there are good people, and there is hope.

Women’s Lunch Place is a safe, welcoming place for all women who are struggling to feed themselves, for whatever reason. As a result, the WLP brings in a range of customers. One lady in particular has left a mark. Sam mentioned that every day a woman who struggles with drugs comes into WLP and says today is the day she dies, but every day she comes back and gets lunch. At first Sam thought, “This is it, this is the last time I’m going to see her — but she kept coming back.” Sam explained that he used to cross the street when he passed someone who looked crazy, but after working at the WLP he understands that some people “say they want to kill themselves but they don’t actually want that, they just want someone to talk to”. Now well into the summer, Janique and Sam have made and served many meals, and have listened to many stories.

Sam and Janique are just two of more than 600 impressive teens who participate in MLK Summer Scholars every year. Boston Cares volunteers serve as table facilitators with the scholars at their bi-weekly workshops at BU’s Agganis Arena and also help with registration.

The MLK Summer Scholars Program is presented by John Hancock Financial, The Boston Globe, Partners Healthcare, Boston University and Teen Empowerment with volunteer support provided by Boston Cares. The program provides summer jobs in corporate and community settings for more than 600 Boston teenagers, and includes workshops incorporating teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King that will focus on youth success on the job, at school and in the community.  Scholars build meaningful relationships with other youth and volunteer table facilitators while learning life skills through guest speakers and interactive group activities. If you are interested in hearing more about the program or volunteering, check out our website or email

-Marina Lavender, 2015 Summer AmeriCorps VISTA Special Projects Volunteer Engagement Associate

Allstate Foundation Logo

The Allstate Foundation and Points of Light Prepare Greater Boston Residents for Emergencies and Natural Disasters

MEDIA ALERT – Interview and Photo Opportunities

The Allstate Foundation and Points of Light Prepare Greater Boston Residents for Emergencies and Natural Disasters

Hundreds to build free disaster preparedness kits at the Revere Beach Sand Sculpting Festival, July 24

WHAT:     The Allstate Foundation and Points of Light are bringing their 14-city disaster preparation tour and education campaign to Greater Boston on July 24, 2015.

WHY:        After surviving a winter of record-breaking snowfall, subzero temperatures, ice storms, and numerous heat and power outages, Massachusetts residents are being called to prepare for the potential damaging effects of future storms well before they hit.

Research shows 85 percent of Americans are unprepared for disaster and nearly half lack emergency supplies for use in the event of a disaster. Poor disaster preparation leads to a needless loss of property and lives. Extreme weather lead to 25 deaths in Massachusetts during the winter of 2015, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

Together with The Allstate Foundation, Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, is raising public awareness about the importance of disaster preparedness by providing materials to help keep residents safe at home.

Boston Cares, a local Points of Light affiliate with a Disaster Action Recovery Team, will be onsite to help educate residents about disaster preparedness in our region. Community volunteers and local Allstate agency owners will work side-by-side to help hundreds of Greater Boston residents build a free disaster kits they can use to keep safe in the event of a disaster or unforeseen emergency. The free kits include a hand-crank flashlight, first aid kit, cleaning supplies and other items proven to keep people safe and prepared. This event is designed to educate Boston residents on the importance of preparedness.

WHEN:     Friday July 24, 2015, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

WHERE:   Revere, MA

Location: Revere Beach Sand Sculpting Festival; booth located between Beach Street and Chestnut Ave.

Photo opportunities of residents preparing disaster preparedness kits and learning about the
importance of disaster preparation. One-on-one interviews will be available.


Kirby Franzese (781) 526-9252

We see you’re using the Web…How about Joining the Tech Corps?

Do you know how to use Microsoft Office, surf the web, utilize Google Drive, and Google Maps? Make a difference in the lives of Greater Bostonians who need to improve technology skills by joining the Boston Cares Basic Technology Corps!

We are looking for fresh faces to join existing Corps Members in advancing technology education, access, and skills for youth and adults.

Advanced technology skills are not required to volunteer with the Corps, just a desire to learn and expand opportunities for your community.

The Basic Technology Corps combines Boston Cares’ signature flexibility with a focused commitment to expanding technology skills, education, and opportunities. Corps Members will have the opportunity to be a part of a network of likeminded volunteers, skilled professionals, and two key partners focused on beginner technology skills in Boston. We will be holding a kick-off training on October 3 from 10:30 am-1:00 pm.

Sign up here!

VISTA Recruiting material 3

AmeriCorps VISTA Openings at Boston Cares, BPS, Zumix, ADSL, Ethos, WriteBoston

VISTA Recruiting material 3We’re recruiting for some great AmeriCorps VISTA positions starting in November. Join us for our 25th anniversary year in 2016 and experience the life-changing opportunity of being an AmeriCorps member.

Boston Cares mobilizes more than 25,000 volunteers annually in support of Greater Boston schools and non-profit agencies. Our AmeriCorps VISTA members are part of a peer group of approximately 25 members serving at more than 10 local nonprofits with opportunities to connect monthly and part of a broader network of over 3,300 AmeriCorps members serving throughout Massachusetts.  The AmeriCorps VISTA members serve full-time building the capacities of small Boston nonprofits to move people out of poverty.  Projects and issue areas vary by host site organization.

As of 9.10.2015, the following AmeriCorps VISTA positions are now open for application at Boston Cares and at our partner agencies:

Boston Cares Circle of Friends Development Coordinator

Leverage Boston Cares’ 25th anniversary by launching our new Circle of Friends group, planning events, and building out a robust donor cultivation system. –

Boston Cares Volunteer Engagement Coordinator

The Volunteer Engagement Coordinator will develop and implement strategic volunteer recruitment, activation and recognition programs to build the quantity and tenure of Boston Cares volunteers. –

VISTA_2015Boston Cares Agency Engagement VISTA

The Agency Engagement VISTA will help Boston Cares develop and implement strategic initiatives to better serve our nonprofit partners through more intentional and comprehensive wrap around services. –

ZUMIX Youth & Community Radio VISTA

ZUMIX Radio will transition from an online to a broadcast (LPFM) youth and community radio station in 2016. This is an exciting new project within a dynamic youth development organization. –

All Dorchester Sports League Volunteer Recruitment and Communication Coordinator

All Dorchester Sports League provides sports & education programs to under-served neighborhood youth. –

Ethos Volunteer Coordinator AmeriCorps VISTA

Seniors need your compassion, critical thinking, and creativity! Recruit and maintain relationships with community volunteers to support our neighbors as they age home with dignity and independence! –

Teens in Print 2.0 Program Associate (WriteBoston)

Amplify youth voice and create opportunities for low-income Boston teens to learn journalism and gain twenty-first century digital literacy skills for college and career success. –

VistasAt20EventBoston Public Schools Partnerships Projects Coordinator

The VISTA will develop and implement systems and trainings to build the capacity of schools, partners at BPS to support the development of school-community partnerships and increase volunteer engagement. –

Click here to read one of our VISTA member’s story about her year in AmeriCorps at Boston Cares.

Pre-Service Orientation (PSO) for the positions above will be held November 17-20 in the Boston area. The service year runs 11/21/2015 – 11/19/2016.  To complete your application, you will need to submit a resume and cover letter. You will receive an email with a link to Google Drive where you may upload those documents. We recommend adding to your email Contacts to prevent messages from going to your junk/spam folder or Promotions tab. No phone calls, please.

Shire volunteers getting the Winship school yard painted.

Welcome Back to School, Kids! Hope you Like the Upgrades!

Shire volunteers getting the Winship school yard painted.

Shire volunteers getting the Winship school yard painted.

Welcome back to school, students…Your community is rooting for your success! Over the Summer, 1,414 Boston Cares volunteers engaged in 65 service projects at schools and with students.

We work closely with the Boston Public Schools to identify important needs and get the projects done while school is out. Boston Cares also brought volunteers to charter schools, private schools for at risk and high needs children, and schools in Somerville, Lowell, Lexington, and Nashua, NH.

Over the last few months, volunteers made upgrades and did enrichment projects in the following 24 schools:

Boston Latin School
Cardinal Middle School
Community Theraputic Day school
Cotting School
Dearborn Middle School
Dearborn STEM Academy
Edison School
Elm Street School
Gardner Pilot Academy
Henderson Upper School – kicking off a long-term stewardship
Lee Academy at the Fifield
Mario Umana Academy
Mather Elementary School
Mildred Avenue School
Mission Hill School
Paige Academy
Prospect Hill Academy
Sarah Greenwood School
Trotter School
UP Academy  Charter School of Dorchester
UP Holland
Urban Science Academy
Winship Elementary
Young Achievers Math & Science K-8

Thank you to all our Corporate partners who supported this work and supplied volunteers over the Summer, including:

  • Fidelity Investments,
  • Shire
  • Boston Consulting Group
  • Kronos
  • Clough Capital
  • CBRE
  • Altman Vilandrie

School projects included  helping to create a new library at the Sarah Greenwood, building and upgrading outdoor classrooms, garden restoration, indoor painting and carpentry, and lots more. These enhancements are intended to help foster healthy, vibrant learning environments to help kids succeed.


A 9/11 Tribute: Military Care Package Drive


Boston Cares is again teaming up with the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund to assemble care packages for military from Massachusetts serving overseas and our veterans at home utilizing the services of the New England Center for Homeless Veterans. The packing project is full, but we are asking volunteers to help us collect the following items:

  • Travel size bug spray, pumps or wipes. NO AEROSOLS
  • Mens and Women’s NEW white cotton crew socks, 500 total: (400 men’s and 100 women’s). Socks will be donated to the New England Center for Homeless Veterans.

Two options for dropping off your donations:

  1. Bring your donations to our Boston Cares office weekdays through Tuesday, September 8th between 9 am-5 pm. (We will be closed on Labor Day.) We’re located right near North Station at 90 Canal Street, Suite 610. Directions here.
  2. Transport your donations to the Rose Kennedy Greenway on Wednesday, September 11th at 9:00am.

This project is part of the Boston Cares 9/11—Remember & Serve Initiative.  In 2009, the passage of the Edward M. Kennedy ServeAmerica Act formally recognized September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance under federal law and Presidential Proclamation. 

Fidelity Cares in Nashua, NH

Today 200 Fidelity volunteers are at the Elm Street Middle School in Nashua, NH for the sixth year of their Fidelity Cares school partnership. They are building a greenhouse in the courtyard, a shade structure, and painting murals in the life science classroom. It’s great working with you again @Fidelity! #FidelityCares2015

IMG_2300 IMG_2305 IMG_2309 IMG_2310

Look fun? Learn more about how Boston Cares can organize your company’s day of service.

Volunteers Needed for Youth & Education, ESOL Corps

For our new-this-year Corps program, Boston Cares is recruiting volunteers interested in taking a deeper dive into two high-needs impact areas: ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) and Youth and Education. The Corps build on a flexible volunteering model with a greater commitment from individuals. With the Boston Cares Corps program, volunteers still get flexibility, but the learners we’re supporting will also be able to build relationships with Corps members over time, which greatly helps their ability to build skills.

All Corps members will need to complete and pass a CORI background check and plan to attend a kick-off and training in September. See details below.

Seeking 15 Volunteers to go Back to School with the Youth and Education Corps

Youth and Education Corps

Kick off 9/2/15, 6 p.m. (By invitation to those who have expressed interest in joining the Corps here.)

Our Youth and Education Corps will launch Sept. 2, and will include multiple opportunities for volunteering. Youth and Education Corps members will sign-up for two shifts a month at one of our partner agencies: Citizen Schoools, Prospect Hill Academy, and UP Academy Dorchester.  Corps members will gain hands-on experience working with youth as well as networking opportunities and training. One opportunity at Citizen Schools will place volunteers in the classroom with students, teaching a curriculum in consultation with the school.  Corps members can select other partnerships with activities that range from a wide variety of offerings such as sports, games, tutoring, homework help, and college prep. Daytime availability is important for the Youth and Education Corps.

Help English Language Learners Get the Skills for Success

ESOL Corps

Kick off 9/26/15

This Fall the Boston Cares English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Corps will bring on five new members –and you could be one! These new ESOL Corps members will join a network of like-minded volunteers, skilled professionals, and key partners focused on Adult ESOL Education in Boston: St. Mark’s Community Education Center, Project Hope, and Gilbert Albert Community Center. Corps members commit to taking on a greater role as a volunteer, through a twice a month corps-opportunity commitment, training, and leadership in the classroom.  Corps members volunteer in classrooms and community centers in conversation groups or one-on-one with  adult learners to build English Language Skills. They work with a diverse population of volunteers and adult learners and should be comfortable with cultural differences.

The September Training will provide volunteers with the opportunity to meet the Corps members who joined earlier this year, learn ESOL classroom tips and tricks from knowledgeable and local ESOL expert educators, as well as receive an orientation from local partner agencies so you’re ready to go at your first projects!

To learn more, sign up online or reach out to Emily Rackleff,