Eight Ways to Volunteer and Make a Difference in Cambridge as a Family

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Volunteering as a family is a great way to plan for quality time, especially if community service is already a priority for your family. Get the whole family involved—children, grandparents.

Children often feel empowers by community service. Donating toys, books and clothing they’ve outgrown can create a sense of pride and self-awareness. Organizing cans at a food pantry or making a Valentine for a veteran can help children develop a greater awareness of their community and the ways in which we are all connected.

Here are a few of our favorite ideas for giving back as a family:

  • Take part in a one-day community service events like Many Helping Hands MLK Day of Service, East End House’s Thanksgiving Turkey Basket Give Away and the annual Secret Santa Day for isolated elders run by the Cambridge Police Department and Cambridge Housing Authority.
  • Participate in clean-up days along banks of the Charles River run by Charles River Conservancy and days to pull invasive weeds organized by Fresh Pond Reservation.
  • Cambridge nursing homes like Neville Place and Youville Place and Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services welcome families to come visit and spend time with elders – think about gathering a group to play games, sing songs or just come to visit.
  • Organize a neighborhood lightbulb exchange with Cambridge Energy Alliance.
  • Help stock food at one of Cambridge’s food pantries (they are profiled on this site).
  • Gather some friends and make a meal to deliver to homeless women at On the Rise or homeless adults at Heading Home’s School Street Shelter. Form a Community Cooks’ team with another family (or two) and make a meal for a shelter together.
  • Sort clothes at Children’s Clothing Exchange.
  • Tend one of the CitySprouts schoolyard gardens during the summer.
PHOTO: Lisa L Wiedmeier, Creative Commons
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