Volunteer & Give Back
How Our Volunteers Help
For over 90 years the Council has been run by our family of volunteers. Our team of over 100 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
- Child Assault Prevention Program
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 committment to the Council seriously. We know things come up and ask for a days notice if you are unable to attend.
- All volunteers will be asked to sign a confidentiality form.
- Volunteers that work in the Food Pantry, ELL and Tablets 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.
To join our team of volunteers, complete the Volunteer Interest Form.
Our Volunteer Coordinator via email regarding your application or to arrange an interview so we can find the best fit for you and the Council. Please be patient, we are a very busy office.
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
Current Volunteer Needs
Our Food Pantry is the heart of what we do and we need helping hands to keep it running smoothly. We are in need of daytime volunteers who can help us pack and distribute food. This can be a physical job with some lifting. We also need 2-3 people who are able to lift 30 – 40 lbs on Thursday midday when the delivery from the Greater Boston Food Bank arrives.
Tablets and Tutors:
This program is gaining speed with well over 100 new users and many more in the queue. Volunteers are needed to help organize and distribute Tablets and to support our users with technology guidance. Training is available and you will be given a Tablet to “follow along” with your student.
If either of these opportunities interests you please complete and application and specify which position you are interested in.
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.
Preference is given to Needham residents.
More details about volunteering: High School Volunteer Info
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.
Student Kindness Project
The Student Kindness Project encourages our students to perform a simple act of kindness for a friend, neighbor or family member.
In order to receive community service credit students must complete a Kindness Log and write an impact Statement.
Program Details: Student Kindness Project Info (PDF)
Getting Your Family 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 “People Helping People”
Ride for Food
Join our single biggest fundraiser The Ride for Food. The Off-the-Beaten-Path virtual ride is perfect for families! Whichever activity you choose, we look forward to working with you as a team member to help raise awareness of food insecurity in Needham, beat hunger, and have fun!
Off-the-Beaten-Path Virtual Event
Would you like to participate but not sure what activity you or your family may want to do? Here are some fun ideas, not all need to be active! Work with one of ideas or make up your own. We encourage you to find something you love, pick a time frame and challenge yourself just a bit! The best part is….everyone in the family can participate!
- Kick 25 goals into a soccer goal every day for a month
- Family read-a-thon, read 25 books over the summer
- Peloton or Spin Classes, do 25 spin classes in a month
- Try 40 new recipes this summer
- Have a family dance party after dinner every day for a week
- Get your Hoop on…do 20 minutes of Hula Hooping every day for a month
- Tye Dye Gang – get some friends and bike together in matching outfits
- Pick up trash in the town common spaces every weekend
Visit the Our Ride for Food Team Page for more info, to register or donate.
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. Since the pandemic started he’s collected over $25,000 in returnables! 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. Email the firstname.lastname@example.org 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).
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 Sense Collections
Please check back soon for details on a new way to help our kids learn about the importance of saving and giving back their resources.
How to Plan a Food Drive
Limited Food Drive Options
While we are not accepting private food donations, we are opening up to dedicated Food Drives. If you or an organization would like to have a food drive, we will ask that the food be limited to the items we need most during that time. These items are typically items we find it hard to purchase affordably.
Please check that food that is donated to your food drive has not expired!
We can not distribute food that is past it’s expiration date.
Items we are currently in need of:
|Olive Oil||Coffee||Tea (Individually wrapped)|
|Breakfast Cereal||Tuna||Laundry Detergent|
|Tomato Paste||Real Mayonnaise||Household Cleaning Products|
Food may be dropped off at the Council during our office hours. Larger food drives should contact the office at email@example.com