March 23rd, 2018
By Jason Parr
After taking a week off in Las Vegas for spring break, I’m back and feeling energized enough to survive the rest of this Minnesota winter (now Spring, but with snow?!). No matter what it looks like outside right now, we are that much closer to summer! Something I am most looking forward to this summer is having more time to volunteer. I love getting involved in different types of service, as it is so humbling and gives such a strong sense of hope in our communities. Through research and past experience, I have compiled a list of great places that continuously go above and beyond to better our cities, and have included links so you can check them out for yourself!
- The Jeremiah Program (Saint Paul and Minneapolis)
This organization strives to keep single mothers and their children off the street. It provides childcare, housing, career coaching, and support for college education. Single mothers with children under age 5 can apply for the Jeremiah Program and receive help at no cost, with the expectation that they are enrolled in an academic institution and maintain above a 2.0 GPA. I volunteered regularly here last semester by providing evening childcare, and the kids are adorable! There are also plenty of other volunteering opportunities at both their locations including cooking, tutoring, and working the front desk.
- Ronald McDonald House (Minneapolis)
This organization provides housing for families with sick children who need to be relocated to hospitals 60 miles or more from their home. Their goal is to reduce stress and bring comfort by keeping families together. At this location, many of the sick children require care from the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Minnesota in Minneapolis. I volunteered here with my Women in Business committee by cooking a meal for the whole house, serving it, and cleaning up afterwards. Other opportunities include working as a classroom aide, driving residents to local grocery stores, and cleaning rooms for new residents.
- Mowing for Seniors
If you are looking for a simple but impactful way to give back to our community, sign up to mow lawns and do gardening work for senior citizens! You can be matched with someone in your neighborhood for convenience and have the opportunity to “adopt a yard” or just do it once. The flexibility and chance to spend time outdoors make this a great summer opportunity. Contact Cat at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Special Olympics (Saint Paul)
An all around great organization, we are lucky to have one right in our cities. By signing up for the Special Olympics Summer Games in June you can serve as a source of inspiration for the athletes by cheering them on. Opportunities to get involved include working as a judge, announcer, referee, athlete escort, and so much more. Visit the following website for a full list of open positions and registration details.
If you have another place you love to volunteer, let me know about it in the comments section!