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Elizabeth ClayPosted by:
Elizabeth Clay, Director of Grassroots Governance

With the economic downturn there is more community need than ever, but local non-profits that often rise to the call are stretched thinly. At the same time there are also people with talents and time to share, but often don’t know how. Whether you have an extra hour this month or several hours each week- your service would make a difference.

I have done a bit this summer, like an afternoon at the Greater Boston Food Bank and training to become a shelter volunteer in natural disasters. But I am really inspired by others’ stories around the state like Commonwealth Corps members who held a short donation drive on June 26th and collected over 120 pounds of food, they went on to sort almost 4000 pounds of food and make hundreds of grocery bags for low-income seniors.


There is one month left in federal summer of service initiative, “United We Serve”, a nationwide initiative to facilitate us all making a difference this year. Can you take an hour or two this month to give back in your community?

A few ways to get involved

  1. Use the web to find an opportunity next door: The United We Serve site and Connect and Serve allow you to find volunteer opportunities by zip code, date and project type
  2. Help end homelessness, one of the Patrick Administration’s top priorities. There are suggestions on what you can do as an individual or with a group here, or contact a shelter nearby.
  3. Talk to your colleagues and find out about volunteer opportunities through work. At the state we have the SERV program and several employers promote volunteerism- or you could start the first donation drive or service day.

What else can we do? Add your suggestions, volunteer needs or experiences in the comments.

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