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18 June 2013 @ 09:16 am
 
I'm looking for group volunteer opportunities. Complicating factors:

* Boston area in early December
* group of 70 ... but can break into smaller groups
* 3-5 hours during a weekday

Any ideas?
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Beahbeah on June 18th, 2013 01:31 pm (UTC)
Pick a theme/issue and send smaller groups to several organizations that deal with that theme. For the homeless, you could send folks to St. Francis House, Rosie's Place, Pine Street Inn, the VA shelter, and probably a couple of others around here. For food security you could send teams to the Greater Boston Food Bank, Food for Free, and a bunch of the smaller food pantries in the area. For animal welfare, you could go to the MSPCA farm (Nevins), the Boston Animal Rescue League, etc.
ruthless compassion: martini handsaroraborealis on June 18th, 2013 04:49 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I was thinking themes -- good thoughts for specific locations. Thanks!
Katefenicedautun on June 19th, 2013 01:29 pm (UTC)
Was just at NECHV volunteering through my companies service thingie, and they mentioned that they normally turn people away from Thanksgiving through Christmas. So you may want to see if you can be flexible on dates ('cause I'm betting these places deeply need help in Jan-Feb)
ruthless compassion: martini handsaroraborealis on June 19th, 2013 01:33 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, this is in conjunction with a team retreat, so the dates are set. But I'm saving all this info for other teams who might be interested in dedicating some time to volunteering, and you're right that "off" times will be good opportunities when we're flexible.
existential hot showerveek on June 18th, 2013 01:36 pm (UTC)
The BU Community Service Center organizes large groups for such things, I think year-round. They might have good information for you.
Madame Blue aka Pygmentsweetmmeblue on June 18th, 2013 01:41 pm (UTC)
you beat me to it
I was going to recommend them or checking with the school of social work.
ruthless compassion: cheersaroraborealis on June 18th, 2013 04:48 pm (UTC)
Awesome, thanks!
drwexdrwex on June 18th, 2013 02:52 pm (UTC)
Boston Food Bank?
http://www.gbfb.org/how-to-help/volunteer.php

At my past company we used to go to the GBFB a couple times a year. They're set up to take groups of 10-20 at a time. Most of what we did was sort and box food donations for distribution to local pantries. I'm not sure what other volunteer opportunities they offer.

It's generally friendly and well-organized and they're set up to give the group quick feedback on what they accomplished. It's generally a 2-hour commitment, but can be longer.
ruthless compassion: pouncearoraborealis on June 18th, 2013 04:45 pm (UTC)
Re: Boston Food Bank?
This is *perfect*. Thank you!
wild, predictable abandon: me_laughing_bwcontessagrrl on June 18th, 2013 10:11 pm (UTC)
yeah, seconding this. the food banks (at least in SF and in Boston) are GREAT for large group of volunteers.
Chancemiss_chance on June 18th, 2013 04:10 pm (UTC)
Are you more interested in stepping in, doing tasks for a few hours, then leaving your work behind when you leave? or more interested in organizing, planning, or otherwise heading up an effort? Are you looking to be able to sign up for a "shift" of a set recurring 3 - 5 hours with a defined role? Or looking to work 3 - 5 hours total spread out over various times as the need arises?

In the very short term (like only until next Tuesday's election) the Markey campaign could use help.
Chancemiss_chance on June 18th, 2013 04:16 pm (UTC)
Ah! Sorry, poor reading comprehension first time through. I see you're looking for Group volunteering.

Are you doing this for your work teams? If so, if you're only doing it once or twice a year (vs. on-going), you might consider using one of the existing companies that already do the job you're trying to do. Brick-by-Brick is the one that SOS failed the "fun" test for. They might do what you want.
ruthless compassion: martini handsaroraborealis on June 18th, 2013 04:23 pm (UTC)
As noted in the complicating factors, this is for early December, so it won't be much help to the Markey campaign (and this is a work-related project, so I would want to avoid political party alignment, anyway).

I'm confused about your questions. I guess what I wrote was unclear?

I have a team of 70 people interested in spending a single 3-5 hour chunk of time doing some useful volunteer work, either all together or (more likely) in smaller groups. I do not want to organize or plan it from scratch; I do want to find organizations that get real value out of group volunteer efforts.
Chancemiss_chance on June 18th, 2013 04:37 pm (UTC)
Nope, sorry! you were clear, I just had poor reading comprehension first time through. oops.

The comment about types of volunteering (and mentioning the Markey campaign) were on first reading. The second comment about groups like Brick-by-Brick was after re-reading.

Anyway, point is that if you're trying to get your group out just this one time in December, you might find that one of the volunteer-social groups has already done the work of partnering with organizations and figured out who needs that specific kind of volunteering. A lot of groups have trouble dealing with "here is a large influx of people. they're going to show up, all get trained, do work for a few hours then leave," but the groups that specialize in what you're doing has streamlined some of that process and found groups that need people--but not necessarily the same people--every week.

3-5 hours means the training has to be very brief and simple for it to be valuable. If it were warmer weather, I'd say something like a walk for hunger always needs scores of people to stand around and guide people along the route, and that doesn't require a lot of training or equipment. There might be a performance of arts event that needs people to people tables/booths/doors.
ruthless compassion: martini handsaroraborealis on June 18th, 2013 04:44 pm (UTC)
Got it. Thanks for your thoughts!
Chancemiss_chance on June 18th, 2013 04:14 pm (UTC)
There are lots of organizations that hook up volunteers for short-term gigs, a sort of social-networking around volunteering. SOS found them not to be helpful at all because the work we needed was deemed not fun and social enough: we needed 2 people in a tent at a time, representing SOS to the public, and they want to give their volunteers the experience of doing some work together but talking and making friends with each other. If that's the experience you're looking for there are several groups that pre-vet the volunteering experience for that specific kind of time.
Martha42itous on June 19th, 2013 12:59 am (UTC)
It's not exactly what you're asking for, but what about asking the Red Cross to come to your location and give everyone the training necessary for certification in CPR, AED, and First Aid? It doesn't have the same instantaneous gratification of hands-on volunteer work, but it has the potential to make a lot more difference because training can pay off down the line.
ruthless compassion: martini handsaroraborealis on June 19th, 2013 12:30 pm (UTC)
I'm happy to say, we already do this!
Martha42itous on June 19th, 2013 01:40 pm (UTC)
Awesome, I'm glad to hear that!