Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Give Back Boston

'Tis the season of giving! Giving thanks, giving gifts and most importantly, giving back. Do something for your community this season and embrace the joy of giving! Here are some great ways to give back in Boston over the next few weeks.

Animal Rescue League of Boston

Don't forget, the winter can be a tough time for animals too. The Animal Rescue League of Boston is the only animal welfare organization in Massachusetts that has an emergency rescue services team dedicated to assisting domestic animals and wildlife in distress. Regularly scheduled volunteers are needed to help with yard cleanup, dog walking, and pet food organizing. (10 Chandler St., Boston; dvogel@arlboston.org for more information)

Boys and Girls Club of Boston

This organization—which is devoted to helping young people build character and recognize their full potential—helps approximately 16,000 children and teens, ages 6 to 18, in their Clubs and through programs and partnerships. How amazing is that? They are currently accepting volunteers for their after-school programming. Don't wait, help today! (200 High St., 3rd Floor, Boston; info@bgcb.org for more information)

Cradles to Crayons

This organization provides children through age 12 who are living in homeless or low-income situations with the items they need to thrive—at home, at school, and at play—free of charge. Added bonus: Anyone age 5 and above can volunteer at the Giving Factory, making this a great organization to volunteer for with your family. It's important to foster our youth. They are the future! (155 North Beacon St., Brighton; eduperey@cradlestocrayons.org for more information)

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Horizons for Homeless Children

This nonprofit focuses exclusively on the needs of young homeless children in Massachusetts. Throughout the year, they look for volunteers to spend two hours a week at one of their “Playspaces’’ across the state. For the holidays, they’re looking for donations of Play-Doh, construction paper, and other items listed online. Give the gift of fun to these children in need of some play time! (Horizons for Homeless Children Headquarters; 1705 Columbus Ave., Roxbury; info@horizonschildren.org for more information)

Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly

Little Brothers Boston was founded in 1979 to aid those 70 years and older who are without the benefit of family or social contacts. We can't forget about those who've gotten our community to where it is today. The organization is looking for help providing companionship and delivering meals and flowers during the holiday season. (3305 Washington St., Jamaica Plain; boston@littlebrothers.org for more information)

New England Center and Home for Veterans

They’re in search of volunteers who can serve meals, sort and prepare school and housing supplies, coach and teach at the Veterans Training School, and participate in special work details, projects, and corporate work outings. This folks served our country. It's time to serve them back! Get involved today. (17 Court St., Boston; community.support@nechv.org to schedule)

Community Servings

Community Servings prepares and delivers 9,600 meals each week to the homes of individuals who are homebound with an acute life-threatening illness. On November 21-23, they are looking for volunteers to help sort and deliver over 20,000 pies, and prepare, sort, and deliver Thanksgiving meal bags. Let's share the holiday with those who need it the most. (18 Marbury Terrace, Jamaica Plain; afioretti@servings.org to schedule)

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Lovin’ Spoonfuls

Lovin’ Spoonfuls collects and distributes healthy food that would otherwise be discarded to community organizations and resources like the New England Center for Homeless Veterans, Project Bread, the Dorchester Boys and Girls Club, and the Friday Night Supper Program. They are looking for volunteers for their events and community fundraising days. Show your love with a spoonful of giving back this holiday season! (367 Western Ave., Brighton; info@lovinspoonfulsinc.org to schedule)

AstraZeneca Hope Lodge Center

We haven't heard of this facility until today and are truly grateful to the folks that put this together. The Hope Lodge is a place for cancer patients traveling more than 40 miles to stay for free during their outpatient treatments. Since November 2008, the center has provided more than 94,000 nights of free lodging to 2,850 cancer patients from 48 states and 15 countries, saving them more than $17 million in housing costs. Volunteers are needed to prepare meals, clean, run events like talent shows and ice cream socials, drive patients, and landscape. Their mind/body community is also looking for volunteer nutritionists, yoga instructors, and massage therapists. (125 South Huntington Ave., Boston; jessica.brooks@cancer.org to schedule)

Coats for Kids

Our company donated earlier this year to this wonderful program. Anton’s Cleaners and Jordan’s Furniture locations are collecting warm winter coats for Coats for Kids through January 6. Anton’s Cleaners will clean all donations before the coats are distributed by partners such as the Massachusetts Community Action Programs, the Salvation Army, Wish Project, and Community Giving Tree. (Various locations; info@caringpartnersinc.org for more information)

Charities and nonprofits throughout Massachusetts are always accepting volunteers and donations, but even more so throughout November and December. Take some time when giving thanks and giving gifts to also give back and devour the details of the true meaning of giving this holiday season!

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