Now to be perfectly honest, I don’t have much experience with hiking. However, I’m pretty sure most hikes don’t involve literally walking out of a city, trekking through random towns, passing their city halls and slightly confused residents, and crossing some major highways to get to your destination. But that’s what makes the Hike for Hunger so special. It’s a group of random strangers who for some reason all decided they felt like walking 27 miles over the course of two days. It’s watching with wonder as the city streets turn into winding, scenic roads covered with vibrant fall leaves right before your very eyes. It’s realizing that 27 miles really isn’t that far when you’re in good company and the destination is so inspiring. It’s being greeted with open arms (and paws) by the beautiful people (and adorable animals) at the Heifer Global Harvest Festival. It’s learning about the wonderful things that this organization does to help fight hunger and poverty, and knowing that our donation is going to go a long way. As I said before, I don’t have much experience with hikes, but I am pretty certain this is one of the best there is.
-Alyssa DeRosa (CAS ’15)
Allston Neighborhood Clean-Up
We all know Allston, whether it’s for its weekend night life or the hidden treasures that lie within. One of these places is the Stanley Ringer Park. Stanley A. Ringer Playground is a 12.25-acre public park on Allston Street between Commonwealth and Brighton avenues. The park consists of two tennis courts, two basketball courts, a baseball diamond, a playground and many walkways. Joan Pasquale, the director of the Parents and Community Build Group, who sponsor the park, says that the park is for all neighbors and wants it to feel safe for everyone who uses the park. The goal is to get people to incorporate themselves in the neighborhood.
So how can you help give back to this grand idea? Sign up for this GDS site and work with District 14 of the Boston Police Department cleaning up the park. You will get to work with alumni and police officers at the site and will clean up trash, help cut down trees, and beautify the area. It’s right down the street from your lovely home at BU, and one of our largest sites, making it a great place to meet new people.
Heading Home was founded in 1974 with the mission to end homelessness in Greater Boston. They provide emergency, transitional and permanent housing, and support services, to low-income homeless and formerly homeless families and individuals. Heading Home believes that a stable home provides the optimal foundation to get back on track and since 2006, they have successfully created more than 350 units of housing.
Permanent housing programs remain at the core of Heading Home’s services although they also provide life skills training and education and employment services. Volunteers are very important at Heading Home and provide help in many areas such as client assistance, property maintenance, and administrative support.
Global Day of Service volunteers will be assisting in organizing donated furniture items that will later be distributed to individuals in need through Heading Home’s housing programs. Interested? Be sure to visit Heading Home’s website and connect with them on Facebook for up-to-date information on their work in the Greater Boston community.
To register for Heading Home and over 30 other sites on Saturday, April 19, 2014 please see our registration page.
– Alison Ishii (SMG ’16)
The Lowell Wish Project is a wonderful organization in Lowell, MA. The organization donates to clients in need who have recently acquired housing. The project donates furniture, clothing, appliances and other things to help people stay out of homelessness permanently. The project also gives aid to victims of fires and natural disasters. The Lowell Wish Project has many partner organizations, and many clients in need of help. During Global Day of Service, Students will be helping sort, clean, and put together packages for clients. Contributing to this project will help many other people in the area, and is a great way to celebrate the Global Day of Service.
Cooper Community Center
We are seeking volunteers to work at the shelter doing maintenance and planting flowers. Their mission is to provide children and youth with the strongest developmental foundation to inspire a life long excitement for learning and skills to become caring and responsible citizens. Providing countless programs for underserved children daily, Cooper Community Center ensures that children and their families can have a safe educational facility, creating a foundation for future success.
Learn more here: http://www.cooperctr.org
iChase for the Cure
iChase the Cure is a nonprofit organization that really touches close to home– it was founded by a group of Boston University students! iChase has been holding 5K run-walks for the past four years, and will continue the tradition this year on the Esplanade. All proceeds go towards funding research for cures for various diseases, and this year’s walk raises awareness for children’s brain tumors.
So what will you be expected to do as a volunteer? iChase the Cure is looking for enthusiastic students to help set up the course, hand out shirts, greet guests, and help with registration for participants. So come be a part of the fun and join iChase the Cure by the beautiful Esplanade on April 19th! This is sure to be the biggest 5K iChase has ever had, so get involved and join the fight against pediatric cancer today!
Red Cross Food Pantry
Food is great. Community service is awesome. Put the two together and you have the best of both worlds! Get the opportunity to serve the Boston community at the Red Cross Food Pantry. The Red Cross Food Pantry in Boston is one of the largest in the New England area. It was established in 1982 and still is very active today. What will volunteers be able to do? They will get the opportunity to help package and distribute food bags to American Red Cross clients.
-Linda Jung (CAS ’16)
Are you a cat-lover? Do you want to spend your day watching cats do their cat things? The Gifford Cat Shelter, located at the end of the B-line, is the first cage-less, no-kill shelter in the United States and was founded in 1884. Back in the day, the shelter cared for goats, bulls, dogs, and cats. As Brighton changed over the years, so did the shelter, and eventually it came to be that shelter solely housed cats. Did you read that right? There is a building full of cats right here in Boston.
More than 75% of the shelter’s cats have been rescued from homelessness, hoarders, or abandonment. At Gifford, the cats are able to roam freely within the facility and able to play, exercise, and socialize with other cats. The cat housing spaces are bright, open environments with room for the felines to partake in feline activities. When it’s nice out, the cats are allowed to go out to the outdoor enclosure, which gives the cats a safe space to get fresh air, run, play and roll in the grass.
So how can you help as a volunteer? Gifford divides their volunteer opportunities into four different categories. The opportunities vary from being part of the cleaning crew, where you can clean bowls, scoop litter boxes, sweep, and do laundry, to socializing and enriching the cats where make sure that the cats stay friendly and wonderful just by playing with them. There is also more hands-on work where the shelter needs volunteers to do some light painting as well as minor repairs. Volunteers are important to the shelter because with our help, the amazing people who make Gifford what it is can focus on the quality of life for the cats and don’t have to sweat the small stuff.
For more information: http://www.giffordcatshelter.org
twitter – https://twitter.com/giffordcats
–Miles Avila (CAS ’15)
Room to Grow was founded in 1998 with the mission of supporting the fundamental needs of babies born into poverty during their first three years of life. They provide one-on-one parenting support and essential baby items for families at their Boston headquarters in the Back Bay. Parents visit Room to Grow once every three months from just before their child’s birth until they turn three. As of 2014, the organization has supported more than 1,000 families in both Boston and New York.
Founder Julie Burns says that “Room to Grow is designed to help low-income mothers who don’t have a family support system to navigate the challenges of motherhood.” The organization works to ensure that parents receive customized support and knowledge to provide a healthy start for their child. Room to Grow is always looking for volunteers and donations for their drives and fundraisers throughout the year so don’t be afraid to reach out!
As a Global Day of Service volunteer, you will be helping to sort and organize donations of baby clothes, toys, and supplies that will later be distributed to families in need. Interested? Be sure to visit Room to Grow’s website, connect with them on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to their YouTube channel for an inside look at the inspiring organization.
To register for Room to Grow and over 30 other sites on Saturday, April 19, 2014 please see our registration page.
– Alison Ishii (SMG ’16)
City of Boston Animal Shelter
The City of Boston Animal Shelter, located in Roslindale, MA is the perfect volunteer opportunity for any animal lovers! The City of Boston Animal Control department runs the shelter, and their goal is to find these animals new homes. Thanks to websites like PetFinder.com, new owners both in and out of state are adopting the animals. As a volunteer, students get to interact with animals, including socializing, bathing and exercising. The shelter also needs help with general tasks like cleaning and laundry. Many of the animals are strays or have been abandoned by their owners and just need a little love! The shelter has dogs, cats, and other small animals, so there is something for everyone.
– Alanna Raskin (CGS ’16)
For more information, visit: http://www.cityofboston.gov/animalcontrol/