Many volunteers come to Boston Cares with a desire to become more connected to their community and make a positive impact. Whether they are born and raised in Boston, just moved from another part of the country, or have come from abroad to make Boston their temporary or permanent home, there is no doubt that volunteering through Boston Cares gives volunteers the opportunity to explore the city while giving back to it. This month, we are highlighting projects in neighborhoods in and around the city of Boston to encourage YOU to explore new areas and get more involved in addressing the needs of different areas of the city.
Check out the map below to see all the volunteer opportunities happening this August!
Allston: Facilitate Professional Development through the MLK Scholars Program @ BU Agganis Arena
Historically home to Boston’s meatpacking industries, Allston now serves as a thriving community filled with young families and students. Right on theme with the neighborhood, Boston University’s Agganis Arena is hosting Facilitating Professional Development through the MLK Scholars Program, which allows volunteers to participate and help facilitate professional development sessions for high school students in the city of Boston. Produced in partnership between John Hancock, the Boston Globe, Partners Healthcare, Boston University, the Ad Club, and the City of Boston, the MLK Scholars Program provides summer jobs for Boston youth in corporate and community settings. The professional development workshops on Fridays throughout the summer help scholars build meaningful relationships with other youth and volunteer table facilitators while learning professional development skills with guest speakers and interactive group activities.
This exciting event also needs registration volunteers to help greet, check-in, update attendance, and distribute materials for the more than 600 youth Scholars attending the Friday sessions.
Back Bay: Serve Lunch at the Boston Living Center
Home to a vibrant mix of Boston’s most well-known business and restaurants as well as some of the city’s most distinctively Bostonian architecture, Back Bay is one of Boston’s most vibrant neighborhoods. Here, Boston Cares partners with an organization called Victory Programs that focuses on helping families and individuals struggling with homelessness, substance use disorders, and/or chronic health issues such as HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, and mental illness. In Back Bay, Victory Programs runs the Boston Living Center (BLC), where Boston Cares volunteers have the opportunity (14 times this August!) to help serve lunch to clients as they take advantage of the BLC’s programs. No kitchen experience required and volunteers are always provided with the same healthy warm meal they will help serve to clients.
Home to some of the Boston area’s most historic and famous academic communities, Cambridge is home to some of the area’s most cult-worthy restaurants and professional and academic environment that commits itself to advancing the community and world in a forward direction. Here, Boston Cares partners with the Democracy Center, an organization that works to foster a more vibrant local and global democracy by supporting more sustainable, united, and stronger communities of action in offering materials and meeting spaces to grassroots organizations. For these purposes, the Democracy Center needs volunteers to help keep the building clean and organized so that it can properly host the hundreds of guests it has weekly. Come explore Cambridge and help pitch in at one organization which reflects the city’s altruistic nature!
Dorchester: Garden in the City at ReVision Urban Farm
Dorchester is both Boston’s largest neighborhood as well as its oldest, a few months older, even, than the city itself. Dorchester is also one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Boston, serving as the center of settlement for many immigrating families over the centuries. Boston Cares offers a variety of service projects throughout the year in Dorchester, but have an especially seasonally appropriate one offered this August: Gardening in the City at ReVision Urban Farm. ReVision Urban Farm is another project by Victory Programs that serves as a community-based urban agriculture project that grows produce and provides access access to affordable, nutritious, culturally appropriate food to the residents of the ReVision Family Home and the extended community. Volunteers can expect an agricultural experience working with the land while harvesting, weeding, and caring for the produce.
Downtown is the heart of the city of Boston. Home to City and State Hall, some of the offices of Boston’s most famous companies and agencies, and some of the richest historical landmarks in the country. Here in this hustling and bustling area of the city, Boston Cares partners with the New England Center and Home for Veterans to give volunteers the opportunity to give back to veterans that have served our country by serving them warm meals. The New England Center and Home for Veterans is located right in the most central part of the city and is a great way for volunteers looking to do a bit of service while enjoying the heart of Boston.
East Boston was historically the center of shipbuilding for the city, but now is home to the Boston Logan Airport and a huge neighborhood of immigrants and people of all walks of life. It is also home to one of Boston’s most beautiful waterfronts. Boston Cares is offering a volunteer opportunity to help Distribute Food to Seniors in Need at the ABCD East Boston APAC. For this event, the East Boston Area and Planning Action Council partners with the Greater Boston Food Bank to distribute shelf-stable food items to seniors in need. After you serve, feel free to take a stroll to some of the beautiful parks of East Boston! The ones closest to this event include Piers Park and LoPresti Park.
One of the most scenic spots in Boston, the Esplanade provides a lovely greenway, pier and event space that overlooks the Charles River onto the sparkling view of Cambridge across it. This summer, one of the amazing events being offered at the outdoor venue, Hatch Memorial Shell, is a free concert performed by the Boston Landmarks Orchestra. For this event, volunteers are needed to help hand out program books, assisting patrons with setting up their seats to watch the show, and other tasks to help make the event run smoothly! After helping, volunteers are encouraged to stay and enjoy the concert themselves. This is a great event in one of the prettiest places to spend an evening in Boston.
As well as being home to one of Boston’s most famous sports arenas, Fenway Park, Fenway is a lively and quickly developing neighborhood with plenty of new and trending restaurants and nightlife! All of this can be explored and enjoyed of course, alongside a trip to the historic James P. Kelleher Rose Garden in the Back Bay Fens. This rose garden is one of the true treasures of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, the organization Boston Cares partners with on this project, which maintains and runs events at parks all across Boston. Check out this project and get your hands dirty with some gardening. And after, make sure to explore all the wonderful things Fenway has to offer.
Hyde Park: Collect & Sort Donations at Catie’s Closet
Boston’s southernmost neighborhood, Hyde Park is home to a widely diverse population and some extremely rich history. Its motto, ‘A Small Town in the Big City,’ is truly reflective of the charm this neighborhood offers to people wishing to have the amenities of a city but the comfort of a small town. Volunteers can help collect and sort donations at Catie’s Closet, which is a wonderful organization that supports Boston and Massachusetts’ youth by providing clothing and other supplies to children. This volunteer opportunity is a great way to give back to the community, and while you’re there, make sure to check out some of Hyde Park’s beautiful historic architecture and outdoor spaces!
Jamaica Plain: Help Out at Brew at the Zoo at the Franklin Park Zoo
Jamaica Plain is a Boston neighborhood known for its richness and strength in its diversity. It is also favorably located between some of suburban Boston’s greatest features: the Emerald Necklace, Arnold Arboretum, Franklin Park, and Jamaica Pond, just to name a few. This August, Boston Cares is partnering with the Franklin Park Zoo to provide volunteers the chance to help at the annual Brew at the Zoo event for Zoo New England. Featuring beer and wine tastings of over 50 brews and 20 food vendors, volunteers will be asked to help with restaurant duties, registration, admissions, raffle tables, along with other tasks. All of the proceeds go back to supporting the conservation and research efforts of Zoo New England.
Originally home to the Native American tribe known as the Mattahunt in the early 1600s, Mattapan has become a center point of immigrants making their homes in America and is home to a large Caribbean community. In Mattapan, Boston Cares is offering a very exciting volunteer opportunity in partnership with Boston Public Schools to help organize the library at Mildred Avenue School on August 22nd! This is an extremely fun and impactful volunteer opportunity to help BPS schools have their libraries organized in preparation for the upcoming school year. Sign up and see all that Mattapan has to offer.
Historically home to farms and breweries, Mission Hill is now a thriving city neighborhood filled with long-time residents, students, and working professionals and is close to Longwood medical area. Mission Hill features many restaurants and classic Boston charm while offering great views of downtown.. In Mission Hill, Boston Cares volunteers can help adults gain their high school equivalency through tutoring in various subjects. The High School Equivalency Tutoring program offered through X-Cel Education is one of the most frequent and rewarding volunteer events on the Boston Cares Calendar and is also offered in Dorchester.
Roslindale is a primarily residential neighborhood and a classic streetcar suburb falling between several other Boston neighborhoods such as Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury. The area is known for maintaining a true neighborhood feel, and centers around the lovely Adams Park. In this residential, neighborly area of Boston, Boston Cares has partnered with Fresh Truck to offer volunteers the opportunity to help out at Fresh Truck’s Pop-Up Markets at the Washington Beech Apartments. Fresh Truck works to radically impact community health by celebrating food culture and getting fresh food to the people that need it most. Volunteers will be supporting the market managers by helping greet customers, bagging groceries, restocking produce, among other activities. This event is also being run in Mission Hill and Dorchester.
Somerville, though not technically incorporated with Boston, is a vital part of the Greater Boston community and is a center of residential life and is seeing more and more development of shopping centers and restaurant areas every day. Here in the Winter Hill neighborhood of Somerville, Boston Cares partners with a wonderful organization called the Elizabeth Peabody House where volunteers sort donations and stock food for the food pantry. The Elizabeth Peabody House is committed to supporting families in the community and helping them grow through early childhood education, youth development and enrichment, and family services. This is a great organization to support and a great way to get to know Somerville.
Located in central Boston, the South End features beautiful Victorian style houses near Back Bay and a variety of other urban residential advantages closer to the downtown area. In this diverse and vast neighborhood, Boston Cares partners with More than Words to give volunteers the opportunity to interact with youth in helping organize materials for this used book store. More Than Words is a nonprofit social enterprise that empowers youth who are in the foster care system, court involved, homeless, or out of school to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business. This is an extremely valuable and rewarding program for the community and provides volunteers the opportunity to see more of the South End and give back to the community.
Theatre District: Community Meal Preparation at Hosteling International
Boston’s Theatre District is home to over ten historic theatres in the center of Boston and is a wonderful place to escape into the world of the performing arts for an evening. Whilst in the area, one can take part in Community Meal Preparation at Hosteling International. Hosteling International Boston (HI) is part of a global company which provides inexpensive hostel accommodation to world travelers. At this event at the Boston branch, Volunteers will help prepare community meals for travelers staying at the hostel every Wednesday night.This is a great opportunity for guests and volunteers to connect across cultures as they cook and enjoy their meals.