Author Archives: Kelly

About Kelly

I live in the North End of Boston and see heinous crimes against pants on a daily basis. It has become a passion of mine to educate the women-folk of this world about what does and does not constitute as pants. So if you are ever walking the streets of Boston and hear someone in the near distance saying "Good lord she's not wearing pants", it's probably me.

You Don’t Need Clean Water to Volunteer!

Now that we Bostonians can return triumphantly to our beloved Dunkie’s and Starbucks for the caffeine fix we all know we need, we can turn our attention back from scalping cases of water to our volunteering lives. Even though a City emergency like this can throw our lifestyles for a loop, nonprofits have had to think of creative solutions to keep their services going without a hitch. The Greater Boston Food Bank supplied its member hunger-relief agencies in the no-water zone with bottled water free of charge. The United Way of Mass Bay and Merrimack Valley delivered almost 8,000 water bottles to homeless families in the affected towns (source: massnonprofit.org). It reminds me that the simple things we might take for granted, like clean water, are not as readily available for individuals and families in need. It also reminds me that it takes a village to protect and beautify the sources of our water and other resources, and several environmental organizations are fighting that good fight every day. With a water focus in mind, here are some nonprofits you can support that are gung ho about H2O:

Save the Harbor / Save the Bay: citizens, scientists, and community leaders who strive to protect and restore Massachusetts Bay and the Boston Harbor.

Boston Harbor Island Alliance: promotes the use, enjoyment, and awareness of the Boston Harbor Islands national park area.

Charles River Conservancy: works to make the Charles River parklands more attractive, active and accessible to all.

Agency Spotlight: Friday Night Supper Program

Between unpredictable weather and other unforeseen circumstances, volunteer projects can get cancelled all the time in Boston—not Friday Night Supper Program. FNSP, located in the basement of the Arlington Street Church in the Back Bay, has never missed serving a Friday night meal since opening its doors in 1984. This meal service agency serves upwards of 150 clients every Friday, and the volunteer experience here is a well-oiled machine. Everyone who volunteers there is given a very specific job and is kept busy the entire time: everything from serving to doing dishes to clothing closet help to even recording demographics. If you’re not convinced yet, listen to what FNSP volunteer and board member Karen Boss has to say: “Friday Night Supper is volunteerism – soup to nuts! You get to see the set-up, help prep the hall and food, participate in serving the meal restaurant style, interact with the guests, and do all the clean up. And all this in a friendly, fun atmosphere. Whether you are a first-time volunteer or a volunteerism veteran, FNSP is the place for you!” If you can’t volunteer on a Friday evening, FNSP is ALWAYS looking for men’s clothing and toiletries to stock its clothing closet. If you’ve been working on your spring cleaning, or took a trip through the CVS mini-toiletry section, contact Executive Director Caroline Carwood about dropping off your donations at ccarwood@partners.org!

Project Highlights

All of these projects are found on the Boston Cares Calendar—check them out, and if you like what you see, sign up to become a member!

Special Olympics Track Training with Newton Parks & Rec: getting a good run around the track will keep you in shape, and working with the athletes will give you that extra inspiration you need to make it through a busy day!

Saturday Tutoring at Boston Latin’s Saturday Success School: the kids at Boston Latin School are super motivated and this program is extremely organized and well-run.

East End House Free Farmers Market: with this project, the farmers market is delivered directly to elderly and disabled residents at their homes!

Happy Volunteering,

Kelly Clark, Boston Cares

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Volunteer Vednesday 4/28/10

We’ve had a streak of nice weather recently, and that always puts me in a good mood. And that good spirit makes me think about neighboring. If you aren’t familiar with the concept of “neighboring”, it’s a grassroots form of civic engagement, where neighbors literally help other neighbors. Examples of this include helping your elderly neighbor carry her groceries from the store, doing an energy audit and changing the light bulbs in the house down the street, and starting a community garden. The idea is to improve the place where you live, and to enhance the relationships among its residents. When neighbors take action together, they get to know each other, and can help each other in times of natural disaster (hello flooding), crime and economic downturn. Continue reading

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Volunteer Vednesday!

In honor of this rainy day (where did that fantastic sun go??), I figured I’d try to drum up some inspiration with some quotes on volunteering. Without further ado…

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Margaret Mead

“Service to others is the payment you make for your space here on earth.”
Mohammed Ali

“One is not born into the world to do everything but to do something.”
Henry David Thoreau, poet, writer, philosopher

“Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain love for one another.”
Erma Bombeck

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Clean Out Your Closet to Benefit Your Community

Spring is in the air and even though we might be jumping the gun with pulling out the shorts and flip-flops, a crop of exciting environmental volunteer opportunities are on the horizon. As the weather continues to warm, keep an eye out for opportunities with great agencies like The Esplanade Association, The Food Project, EarthWorks and Gaining Ground. Hopefully this weather will also inspire you to do a little spring cleaning! I know that the bar in my closet is sagging a bit from all the clothes hung on it, and there are some really worthy organizations that will be glad to take some of that weight for you. Men’s clothes are especially needed at the New England Center for Homeless Vets and Friday Night Supper Program (located in the basement of Arlington Street Church). Women’s clothes can be dropped off at Women’s Lunch Place or Rosie’s Place. And if you have more than just clothes, Boomerangs in Jamaica Plain is a fantastic second-hand shop where all the proceeds from sales benefit the AIDS Action Committee. Do some good while making room for your spring wardrobe!

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