Volunteer & Give Back
Current Volunteer Needs as of August 2022
Ride For Food 2022:
We are creating our Ride for Food team and ALL are welcome! This year’s ride will have a 5K Walk or choose from two rides 25 mile or 50 mile. Team events have been added to get us all excited and prepared for the the ride.
Food Pantry Mobile Market Volunteers:
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
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.
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.
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
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)
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 2022
Ride for Food – Off the Beaten Path
One of our largest fundraisers each year is the Ride for Food. While it has gone back to a one day event on October 2nd, they’ve retained the “Off the Beaten Path” option, perfect for our young families! Learn more about the Ride HERE
Common Cents Collections
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 email@example.com 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).
Hunger Calendar Activity
Counting on You to Fight Hunger Activity
The Needham Public Schools lunch program partnered with us and printed a interactive Calendar on the back of all school menus. Children from all over Needham counted their pennies to give back.
Little hands make a big difference. Each day on the calendar has an easy and fun activity that your family can do together to be mindful of
hunger and help our Food Pantry.
All you have to do is:
FIND: Find a bowl or storage container. Place it at your table to remind you of those who go without nutritious food each day.
COUNT: Every day, count something in your home according to the prompt on your calendar.
COLLECT: Put a coin in the bowl for each item counted.
DONATE: At the end of the month, donate the coins to the Needham Community Council’s Food Pantry, located at 570 Hillside Ave.
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!
How to Plan a Food Drive
Limited Food Drive Options
9Please read the details below and complete a Food Drive Interest Form
FOOD DRIVE INTEREST FORM
We are only accepting food to the Food Pantry by way of 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:
|Cooking Oil – any kind||Coffee||Tea (Individually wrapped)|
|Canned Peas & Corn||Tuna||Sugar & Flour|
|Ketchup||Real Mayonnaise||Household Cleaning Products|
|Protein Bars||Trail Mix||Laundry Detergent|
|Aluminum Foil||Salad Dressing – Italian & Ranch||Cereal|
|Jarred Spaghetti Sauce||Jam||Gluten Free Products|
(this list last updated 9/29/22)
Please begin by completing a Food Drive Interest Form.
We will contact you regarding drop off times and answer any of your questions