Needham Community Council Logo

570 Hillside Avenue
Needham, MA 02494

Needham Community Council Logo

570 Hillside Avenue
Needham, MA 02494


Volunteer & Give Back



Info for Adults looking for volunteer opportunities.

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Info for students looking for volunteer opportunities.


Families & Groups

Get the whole community involved in giving back.


Current Volunteers

View schedules, make attendance changes & more.

Adult Volunteers


Volunteer Opportunites

Volunteer Needs as of June 2023

We are so proud of our family of over 250 volunteers.  At this moment we have a limited number of volunteer opportunities but we encourage you to apply.    

General Volunteer Application

Both the English Language Learning Program or the Tech & Tutor Program are currently in need of Tutors, we encourage you to apply directly to those programs with the following links:

Tech & Tutor Application

ELL Tutor Application

  Thank you for your consideration.
How Our Volunteers Help

For over 90 years the Council has been run by our family of volunteers.  Our team of over 250 volunteers keep our services going – we couldn’t do it without them!

Volunteers work in many areas of the Council including:

  • Thrift Store
  • Food Pantry
  • Data Entry
  • Office Support
  • Special Events
  • English Language Learning
  • Tablets & Tutors
What is Expected of Our Volunteers

People count on us and our services.

  • Our volunteers typically work once a week for a 2-3 hour shift.
  • We ask you to take responsibility for your commitment to the Council seriously. We know things come up and ask for a days notice if you are unable to attend.
  • If you have to make a change to your schedule, please complete the following form:   Volunteer Change Form
  • All volunteers will be asked to sign a confidentiality form.
  • Volunteers that work in the Food Pantry, ELL and Tech and Tutors programs will be asked to sign CORI form.
  • Treat co-workers, clients and the members of the public fairly and without discrimination.
  • Respect the mission and goals of the Council.
Getting Started

Thanks for your interest in volunteering at the Needham Community Council.  We are lucky to be in a town where the residents care so much about their neighbors and helping others. 

If you are interested in volunteering at the Council, please complete the appropriate application.  Our volunteer coordinator will be reaching out to set up an interview.  Please check your email. 

General Volunteer Application

ELL Volunteer Application

English Language Learning Tutor Program

Our ELL tutors do not need to know the language of their learner or have teaching experience.  They just need to be flexible, welcoming, and open to other cultures!

Tutors attend free training sessions in the spring or fall. They are then paired with a learner to meet [weekly] for 60-90 minutes to practice English conversation, reading and/or writing depending on student needs. Meetings can be virtual or at a location that is convenient.  (Zoom support is available)

For more about the ELL program and how you can apply to be a tutor: English Language Learning

Corporate or Large Group Vounteers

We are grateful for your organization’s desire to give back.  Space within our building is extremely limited therefore we ask for support off site.  Please contact us to learn more about these opportunites and to get started.

Some ideas to help your group get involved are:

  • Dedicated food drive
  • Clothing drive for Thrift Store inventory
  • Returnable can or bottle drive
  • Coin drive
  • Birthday bags
  • Always open to new ideas!

If any of these opportunities interest you please complete the following application and share your interest or ideas in the Notes field

Volunteer Interest Form

More About Food Drives

 Food Drive Interest Form



Student Volunteers

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Volunteer Opportunites

Current Student Volunteer Opportunities

If you are in need of your community service hours, we ecourage you to not wait until the last semester and please consider the Student Kindness Project option outlined below.

What You Need to Know

The Needham Community Council embraces the idea of students experiencing the importance of giving back.  They can also use this as an opportunity to complete their required community service volunteer hours.  Lots of our students continue with us even after the requirement is completed because the enjoyment and sense of community they get out of our volunteer experience!

  • We will not respond to parent requests – drop-ins or phone calls.
  • We will respond to your online request to set up an interview, but please be patient.
  • All communications must be from the student directly.
  • We expect all volunteers to act in a professional, responsible manner.
  • Students must be willing to commit to a minimum of 2 hours a week for 4 months
High School Students

We offer volunteer opportunities to high school students.  In addition to completing their school community service requirements, our young volunteers learn the value of being a part of a community of “People Helping People”

Requests from parents, family members, teachers will not be accepted.  We feel strongly that part of the growth from a volunteer experience is a student taking on the responsibility in an independent and mature fashion.

We typically do not have students work in the Food Pantry due to confidentiality.

Typical work assignments for students may include:
• Wiping down shelves & counters
• Bringing trash to designated area
• Sorting hangers by size and type
• Breaking down boxes to be recycled
• Vacuum food pantry & thrift shop
• Sorting donations & organizing in the thrift shop
• Preparing bulk mailings, stuffing envelopes, labeling

Preference is given to Needham residents.

Please complete the following application for and our volunteer coordinator will email you to set up an interview.  Please check your email (including your junk mail – it occasionally goes there)

Student Volunteer Application

Middle School Students

As we are reopening and adapting our programs after Covid, we are still limiting the number of volunteers in our building.  For this reason, we are unable to offer opportunties for our younger students.  We encourage you look at the options for Families Volunteering below – many of those options work well for middle school students. 

Family & Group Volunteers

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Getting Your Family & Group Involved

About Volunteering at the Council

We love to see families in Needham teaching the value of giving back to their community.  Due to safety and privacy issues, we are unable to have young children volunteering in our building.  We’ve collected a number of other ways to help families participate and learn the value of helping others.   We look forward to having you and your family be a part of our community of “Neighbors Helping Neighbors”

Bake Sale at the Council Thrift

Are you looking for a way to give back this fall? Bring a group (sports teams, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, other youth groups) to our location and sell baked goods to benefit the Needham Community Council.

Sign up for a slot on a Saturday in September or October to host a bake sale in front of The Council Thrift (570 Hillside Ave, Needham) during business hours. Groups will provide a table, goods to sell, and volunteers to staff your assigned shift. There will be no access to the inside of the building so please plan accordingly.

Please call the office 781 444 2415 with any questions or email

Thank you for thinking of the Council this season!

Sign up here!

Project Holiday Gift Box

Help spread some holiday cheer with the Holiday Gift Box project! The Council is looking for all artists to help decorate boxes that will be used to distribute gift cards to food pantry households during the holiday season.

Things to know:

  • As you decorate, please keep designs to a winter theme and not specific to any particular holiday. It’s important that we recognize people celebrate the season in many different ways.
  • Each activity pack comes with 20 boxes, permanent markers, and winter-themed stickers. Please don’t feel limited by these supplies. We welcome your creativity and any added elements!

Please call the office 781-444 2415 for more information and to arrange to pick up gift box supplies. The deadline to return completed boxes is Wednesday, November 1, 2023.


Food Drives

Do a Food Drive

A great way to get your whole family involved, is to do a food drive amongst your friends or neighbors.  We ask that you learn more about how to do a food drive on our food drive page:



Cans for Calcium

The Cans for Calcium Program collects returnable bottles & cans and uses the proceeds to purchase all the milk for the Food Pantry.   Run by our volunteer, Jeff Dinneen, join his team of young people and families who help organize can drives in their neighborhood and help sorting and collecting the cans at the Needham Transfer Station.  In September 2023, the Cans for Calcium program hit an astounding milestone. Jeff and his crew collected over 2 million redeemable cans & bottles, translating to $100,000 in milk. Email the if you are interested in joining the team.

Can’t get to the Needham RTS when they are open?  Drop your collections 24/7 at Jeff’s home at 1625 Great Plain Ave (green barrels at the end of driveway).  

Private Fundraisers

The youth of Needham have amazing ideas, talents and heart!  Creating small private fundraisers that have big impact is a great way to give back and help kids enjoy building community.  We thank all the kids and families that have joined our team of “People Helping People” with some of these ideas:

  • making jewelry to sell to friends
  • collecting golf balls to resell to local golfers
  • selling healthy food to commuters at the train station
  • collecting spare change coins
  • making tie dye masks to sell locally

Use one of these ideas or create your own to help your kids make a difference!

Common Cents Collections
Looking for a fun summer project with your little ones? Stop by the Council offices and pick up a Common Cents tool kit!
The kit contains three little boxes; one box is for saving money for something special, one is for spending now, the last one is to share with Needham neighbors who might need some help.
Over the years, we’ve had many requests to involve children in the work of the Community Council. This tool was developed to help children learn about charitable giving and supports the three S’s theory – “Save, Spend, Share”.
You and your child can decide how much money goes in each box and help build good financial habits. When a box fills, empty it and use it! We welcome the “Share” proceeds in our office at 570 Hillside Ave., Needham, MA.
Thank you to our partner at Direct Federal for supporting this project.