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 firstname.lastname@example.org!
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!
Kelly Clark, Boston Cares