15 Twin Cities Family Volunteer Opportunities in July

Volunteering with your kids can be a great way to spend quality time together while instilling important values such as empathy and giving back to your local community. It can also help your children develop essential teamwork, communication, and leadership skills. Additionally, volunteering can provide opportunities for your family to learn about different cultures and lifestyles, and can help to broaden your children’s perspectives.

We are proud to work with Doing Good Together – Twin Cities to bring you these volunteer opportunities every month.

Check out these opportunities for July 2023:

Assemble School Supply Packs for Action Day

Greater Twin Cities United Way (GTCUW)
 
Date/Time: Completed school supply packs can be dropped off from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. at these Bremer Bank or UPS Service Center locations from Monday, June 19–Friday, August 11. Click here for more information.
 
Location(s): Completed school supply packs can be dropped off at these Bremer Bank or UPS Service Center locations throughout the metro area. If you are not able to drop-off at a Bremer Bank or UPS location please select “Schedule a Drop-off at United Way” during signup, and a member of the Volunteer United team will reach out to coordinate a drop-off at United Way’s office, 404 S 8th St, Minneapolis, MN 55404.
 
Help GTCUW meet its goal of sending 40,000 students back to school with essential school supplies by assembling School Supply Packs from home. School Supply Packs will be distributed to local nonprofits during Action Day on August 3. Volunteering At Home is as easy as 1-2-3! Create your own volunteer-at-home experience with family and friends by following these easy steps:
  1. Sign up and determine the quantity and type of School Supply Packs you’d like to assemble: elementary, middle/high school, or both!
  2. Purchase listed items and assemble each School Supply Pack by placing all supplies into a 2-gallon Ziploc bag, and labeling each pack with the type (elementary or middle/high school). Click the School Supply Pack Lists for a full list of supplies.
  3. Drop off your completed School Supply Packs at a designated location. Don’t forget to sign up to let us know where you plan to drop off! Please note that purchasing the backpack is optional. United Way can provide a backpack for your completed School Supply Packs. 
You are encouraged to add a homemade Encouragement Card to your School Supply Packs!
  • Use cardstock if possible. Cards can be folded (keep folded size to 5-1/2” by 8”) or use a notecard.
  • Keep messages positive and upbeat! For example, “Have a great school year!”
  • Original art is encouraged! Markers, crayons, colored pencils, paint, ink stamps—anything works! Just no stickers, please. They tend to curl up and fall off.
Contact: [email protected]. Sign up on our website at https://2023.uwactionday.org.
 
 

Pollinator Monitoring Events

Great River Greening
 
Date/Time(s): Friday July 8:
  • Ritter Farm Park, 10 a.m.–noon.
  • Spring Lake Regional Park, 1–3 p.m.
There will also be August dates for both of these projects, Friday, August 4, and Thursday, August 17. Check the Great River Greening calendar for exact dates and times.
 
Location(s):
  • Ritter Farm Park, 11300 Ritter Park Trail, Lakeville.
  • Spring Lake Regional Park, 15851 Howard Lake Rd, Prior Lake.
We will send exact parking locations and maps to registrants two weeks before the event.
 
Ages: Families with children of all ages are welcome to participate.
 
Time Commitment: Two hours.
 
Join Great River Greening, U of M Extension Bee Lab, and the Xerces Society for a hands-on pollinator capture and release sampling field day. Participants will gain more experience with capture and release practices, as well as pollinator identification. Sampling field days will take place on multiple days at both Ritter Farm in Lakeville and Spring Lake Regional Park in Prior Lake with morning and afternoon sessions available. With multiple sampling efforts throughout the summer, we will gain a better understanding of how pollinator populations are responding to our restoration efforts.
 
Contact: Jessica Drummond, at [email protected]. Registration is required and is available online at the links below:
Check the Great River Greening calendar to register for August dates.
 
 

Minneapolis Storm Drain Stenciling Program

City of Minneapolis
 
Date/Time: Anytime from now through November.
 
Location: In your neighborhood.
 
Ages: Everyone can participate.
 
Time Commitment: Varies.
 
Your family can help improve your local waterways by stenciling storm drains in your neighborhood. Stormwater flows directly to creeks, lakes, and the Mississippi River, acting as a conduit for trash and organic pollutants. Storm drains are gateways that allow pollutants in stormwater to flow untreated from your street to our waters. Oil, grease, solids, antifreeze, cigarette butts, yard waste, plastic, and many different kinds of waste from streets, parking lots, and your driveway pollute downstream waters These pollutants increase phosphorus levels, reduce oxygen levels, and impair aquatic habitat for fish and other organisms as well as drinking water. Many people believe that storm drains discharge to water treatment plants. The City of Minneapolis will provide everything you need, free of charge, to paint educational messages near storm drains by you, including:
  • Custom GIS map showing storm drains pipes and outlets to local waterbodies in your neighborhood. 
  • Stencils (specific to where your area drains to) and paint.
  • Wire brush, broom, and dustpan.
  • Adopt-a-Drain trash bags and gloves.
  • Safety cones, vests, and glasses.
  • Educational door hangers.
  • Also, consider adopting a storm drain near you! Sign up at https://adopt-a-drain.org/.
Anyone is welcome to participate, but storm drain stenciling activities must happen within the boundaries of the City of Minneapolis.
 
Contact: Lane Christianson, Adopt-A-Drain & Storm Drain Stenciling Programs Manager, [email protected], 612.280.1956.
 
 

Family Care Packages

Solid Ground
 
Date/Time: Ongoing.
 
Location: Solid Ground, 3521 Century Ave N, White Bear Lake.
 
Ages: Everyone can participate.
 
Time Commitment: Varies.
 
The mission of Solid Ground is to prevent and end homelessness for families with children in the communities we serve through housing, resources, and opportunity. Volunteers are needed to assemble packages of everyday essential items tailored to our families’ most urgent needs. Items could be purchased in bulk at discount stores or collected via a donation drive. On average, a group of five volunteers can assemble 50–100 packages in under 20 minutes!
 
Here’s how it works:
  1. Select a project that best fits your group size, availability, and interest.
  2. Gather materials to supply at least three of the suggested items per package.
  3. Assemble packages as a group, labeling the contents on each package.
  4. Arrange for delivery to Solid Ground at 3521 Century Ave N, White Bear Lake, MN 55110.
Care Package Ideas:
  • Personal Care Pack: suggested items include shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, toothbrush, and toothpaste.
  • Healthy Snack Pack: suggested items include granola bars, applesauce, Goldfish crackers, a juice box, and fruit snacks.
  • Cleaning Supply Starter Kit: suggested items include a small waste basket, an all-purpose cleaner, paper towels, trash bags, and a spray bottle.
Contact: Dylan at [email protected] for more details.
 

Mentor a Child

Kids ‘n Kinship
 
Date/Time: Ongoing opportunity.
 
Location: Your home or the community.
 
Ages: Mentors are families, couples, or individuals over 21 years old.
 
Time Commitment: One to four hours per week, on average. Scheduling is very flexible; weekends, evenings, or after-school times are available.
 
Mentoring Makes a Difference! Kids ‘N Kinship is in need of mentors as we currently have 41 youth on a waitlist waiting for a mentor. Would you consider stepping in to help us fill this need? We are based in Dakota County, and we serve families in Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, Farmington, Lakeville, and Rosemount. Kids ‘n Kinship matches volunteer mentors as families, couples, and individuals with youth ages 5–16 years old in need of additional positive role models. We have three opportunities to mentor: community mentoring, school-based mentoring, and serving as a pen pal for a child currently on our waitlist. Matches are made based on compatible personalities, ages, and interests, as well as the preferences of both the volunteer family and the youth with their parent/guardian. Our mentoring families say that mentoring together ensures they have weekly family time and that it’s easy to include another child in the family activity, whether it’s a board game, sledding, a trip to a park, or going to the zoo or a museum. Kids ‘n Kinship offers passes to area attractions to make activities more affordable. Additionally, we provide continuous support and training for our mentors, starting with a 45-minute information session and a two-hour training session. We ask mentors and mentees to commit to one year together in order to build their relationship; however, many of our matches become lifelong friends, and our average match is about two to three years. Please consider being a mentor to a child. It is one of the most life-changing and rewarding ways to volunteer your time. Learn more at www.kidsnkinship.org.
 
Contact: Kerry Stok, [email protected].
 
 

Make a Jared Box

Jared Box
 
Date/Time: Contact Alyson Weiss, Child Life Specialist, at 612.873.3355, [email protected] to make arrangements to deliver your boxes.
 
Location: Hennepin Healthcare, 701 Park Avenue, Minneapolis.
 
Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate.
 
Time Commitment: Varies.
 
The mission of The Jared Box Project is to put smiles on the faces of children in the hospital. A Jared Box is a plastic shoebox filled with small gifts, toys, cards, and games. Jared Boxes are inexpensive and easy to make; a great service project idea for all ages! The boxes provide a fun, special distraction for young patients. The boxes symbolize the importance of play and are filled with well wishes, hope, and love. Over 900,000 Jared Boxes have been delivered across the United States. A Jared Box is a plastic storage box filled with small gifts, toys, games, and fun activities. Each box contains items selected for a specific age and gender. The boxes are delivered to hospitals. Jared Boxes provide a special diversion for young patients in emergency rooms, patient rooms, surgical centers, and clinics as they receive chemotherapy and other medical treatments. Jared Boxes bring smiles and laughter and lift the spirits of children in the hospital. Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to make a Jared Box.
 
Contact[email protected], 814.883.8615.
 
 

Summer Meal Service

Simpson Housing Services
 
Date/Time: Lunchtime, 10:30 a.m.–1 p.m. or dinner time, 5:30–8 p.m.
 
Location: Simpson Housing Services Emergency Shelter, 128 W. 33rd Street, Minneapolis.
 
Ages: Everyone can help! Group sizes of five-eight people.
 
Time Commitment: Two and a half hours.
 
Are you looking for a group activity for our long Minnesota summer evenings? Help provide Simpson Housing’s Emergency Homeless Shelter with meals for the hot summer months! Each night 64 single adults sleep at the shelter where we offer three meals a day and rely heavily on volunteers to provide our guests with lunch and dinner.
 
Serving a meal to those experiencing homelessness is a fun, rewarding, and very manageable volunteer opportunity! Your family can plan a menu using your favorite recipes or use one of ours, purchase groceries (average cost is $150), and cook and serve a meal to approximately 35 shelter guests at lunch or 50 shelter guests at dinner. We will work with you to make it as easy as possible. From planning the menu, and figuring out portions, to orienting yourself to the kitchen, we will be there to make sure you have a meaningful and successful evening. We have quite a few dates available this July and August! Please contact us for a list of dates from which to choose. What a great way to spend a summer evening with family and friends!
 
Contact: Aaron Ramos at [email protected].
 
 

Volunteer at Action Day!

Greater Twin Cities United Way
 
Date/Time: Action Day is Thursday, August 3. Shift times are:
  • 9–11 a.m.
  • 10 a.m.–noon.
  • 1–3 p.m.
  • 2–4 p.m.
If your desired shift time is no longer available, you can join our waitlist.
 
Location: Target Field, downtown Minneapolis.
 
Ages: Families with children ages 12 and older are welcome to volunteer.
 
Time Commitment: Two-hour shifts.
 
Volunteers will come together to pack backpacks full of school supplies at Target Field. This year’s Action Day event will provide a robust 90-minute to two-hour volunteer experience where you will work in a group of up to 20 to pack 400 backpacks. Your volunteer experience will include:
  • Unpacking boxes of school supplies and setting up your station.
  • Packing backpacks. 
  • Boxing completed backpacks.
  • Cleaning up your station.
Contact: Mary Walker, [email protected]. Registration is required and is available online. Spaces will fill quickly! 
 

Tour de Tonka

Minnetonka Community Education
 
Date/Time: Friday, August 4, and Saturday, August 5. Volunteers are needed for a variety of times on both days.
 
Location: Various locations.
 
Ages: All ages.
 
Time Commitment: Flexible scheduling is available.
 
The annual Tour de Tonka bike ride has become a staple of the west metro community, growing from 819 riders in its inaugural year of 2006 to nearly 3,500 riders annually. Riders from more than 166 Minnesota cities, 73 counties, and 44 US states participated in the event. Countless riders from across the state tell us each year that Tour de Tonka is “Minnesota’s Ride.” Tour de Tonka partners with the ICA Food Shelf to give participants an opportunity to make an impact with their rides. A portion of each rider’s registration fee is donated to the ICA. Riders can also donate money or non-perishable food items on or before the day of the ride. The remaining proceeds support Minnetonka Community Education Programs. Learn more here.
 
 
 

Assemble and Donate Needed Kits

Agate Housing and Services (formerly St. Stephen’s/House of Charity)
 
Date/Time: Ongoing need.
 
Location: To drop off items, reach out to Abigail Abele at 612.715.0449 (text or call) or by email at [email protected].
 
Ages: Everyone can help.
 
Time Commitment: Varies.
 
Agate is committed to helping every person and family have a stable place to live and their basic human needs met. Programs offered by Agate include:
  • Street outreach.
  • Temporary and permanent housing.
  • Free public meals.
  • Free public showers.
  • Representative payee services.
  • Birth certificate and ID support.
Your family can help by purchasing items, assembling kits, and donating them to Agate.
 
Summer Weather Protection Kits. These kits help our clients and unsheltered neighbors stay safe in Minnesota’s unruly spring weather. Items in these kits can include water, tents, tarps, ponchos, and many other weather protection items.
Snack Packs. We use these packs a lot! They are given to people who stop into our Welcome Center and are given by our Street Outreach team as well. These kits are usually assembled in gallon-sized bags and include non-perishable foods and water.
Welcome Home Baskets. When our neighbors transition from being unhoused or leaving a shelter, they usually don’t have the supplies needed to care for their new home. That’s what these baskets are for! Baskets include items like soap, garbage bags, and towels.
 
Don’t have the time to assemble kits? You can check out our Amazon wishlist and have supplies shipped directly to Agate.
 
Contact: Abigail Abele (Volunteer and In-kind Coordinator) at [email protected] or 612.715.0449 with any questions or to schedule a drop-off directly.
 

Operation: Warm Winter

Soldiers’ Angels
 
Date/Time: Operation: Warm Winter runs from July 1–September 30.
 
Location: Ship your collected items to:
Soldiers’ Angels Operation: Warm Winter
2895 NE Loop 410, Suite 107
San Antonio, Texas 78218
 
Ages: All ages can participate.
 
Time Commitment: Varies.
 
Operation: Warm Winter helps Soldiers’ Angels collect warm items that will be shared directly with homeless veterans in need across the country through VA Hospitals we support. Formerly our annual Blanket Drive, this campaign has expanded to include highly requested coats and gloves. The items we will be collecting are:
 
Blankets
  • New, unused blankets only.
  • Store-bought or handmade blankets are accepted.
  • Twin-sized blankets are preferred.
Coats
  • New, unused adult-sized winter coats.
  • All adult sizes and all colors are accepted.
  • Waterproof coats are a plus.
Gloves
  • New, unused adult-sized winter gloves.
  • All adult sizes and all colors are accepted.
  • Waterproof gloves are a plus.
Volunteers are still welcome to make blankets. You can sew, knit, or crochet blankets, or click here for directions on how to make no-sew blankets. Click here to learn more about Operation: Warm Winter.
 
Contact: 210.629.0020, [email protected].
 

Lemon-Aid Stand Campaign

MyChild’sCancer
 
Date/Time: This summer-long event runs until Labor Day, Monday, September 4.
 
Location: Outside your house or apartment building or somewhere in your neighborhood.
 
Ages: Best for children six to fourteen years old.
 
Time Commitment: Flexible.
 
MyChildsCancer provides families fighting cancer with the life-saving answers they need. Their team of cancer experts, medical researchers, and oncologists conduct personalized research into cancer type, treatment methodologies, new drugs, specialists, hospitals, and emerging clinical trials. Your family or children can host a Lemon-Aid stand and donate the proceeds to MyChildsCancer. You will find everything you need to host your Lemon-Aid stand on our website. We provide downloadable posters, checklists, recipes, social media ideas, and much more. If your Lemon-Aid stand raises the most money, you can win amazing prizes like VR sets, I-pads, gift cards, and more. We can also provide a letter recognizing your community service hours.
 
Contact: Inbal, [email protected]. Register your lemon-aid stand here.
 

Stuff the Bus

Community Thread
 
Date/Time: Donate supplies July 10–August 9, Monday–Friday from 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
 
Location: Drop off new school supplies at Community Thread, 2300 Orleans Street West, Stillwater. Additional community drop-off sites will be posted online.
 
Ages: Everyone can help collect and donate school supplies. Volunteer opportunities will be available for families with children eight years old and older. Volunteer registration opens on July 10.
 
Time Commitment: Varies.
 
With the cost of sending a child back to school being so high, Community Thread and United Way of Washington County–East recognize the importance of helping all kids succeed by providing them with the essential tools needed to start the year off right in class. Your family can help by donating new school supplies for Stuff the Bus. Click here for the comprehensive list of needed school supplies. There are also lists of needed school supplies by grade on the Stuff the Bus page. You may also donate directly through our Stuff the Bus Amazon Wish List. Volunteers will be needed in early August to sort and count supplies, assemble and bag list items, and help with pick-up days.
 
Contact: Leanna Miller, [email protected]. Volunteer registration begins July 10.
 

Grow and Give from your Garden

Every Meal
 
Date/Time: Produce is accepted June 26–October 10 on Mondays from 9 a.m.–2 p.m. and Tuesdays from 9 a.m.–noon. Please email our Program Team at [email protected] with a brief donation description to coordinate your drop-off.
 
Location: 2723 Patton Road, Roseville.
 
Ages: Everyone can help by donating produce from their home garden.
 
Time Commitment: Varies.
 
Every Meal’s Grow & Give Program brings together produce from our garden, community garden partners, and you to expand access to fresh produce. Each week during the summer growing season, the collected vegetables and fruits are distributed to children and families in our community. Your family can help by donating produce from your own garden! Below is a list of our most desired produce, but additional types of produce are welcome.
  • Broccoli.
  • Cabbage.
  • Carrots.
  • Cucumbers.
  • Eggplant.
  • Herbs (mint, cilantro, parsley, basil, etc.).
  • Green beans.
  • Leafy greens (kale, chard, lettuce, etc.).
  • Peppers (spicy and sweet varieties).
  • Potatoes. 
  • Radishes.
  • Tomatoes (large and small varieties).
  • Squash.
  • Zucchini.
Please harvest fruits and vegetables in a safe manner to minimize the risk of foodborne illness. For example, always wash your hands before harvesting and wear clean gloves. Do not harvest if you are sick (coughing, sneezing, have a fever, etc.). If you are ill and worried about your produce spoiling, please ask a friend or neighbor to help harvest. We kindly ask that herbicides, insecticides, and chemical fertilizers not be used in the growing of produce donated. Organic fertilizers and pest control should be used when needed. Do not donate food that is overripe, has mold, bruising, or insect damage Wipe as much dirt/mud off of the produce as possible, but do not rinse. Learn more here.
 
 

Meal Delivery

 
Date/Time(s): Weekdays, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
  • Monday–Wednesday deliveries serve the greater West Metro area and are labeled MPLS. These routes pick up meals at our Minneapolis location.
  • Thursday and Friday deliveries serve the greater East Metro area and are labeled STP. These routes pick up meals at our St. Paul location. 
Location(s):
  • MPLS: 2500 Bloomington Ave S, Minneapolis.
  • STP: 380 E Lafayette Frontage Rd, St. Paul.
Ages: Families with children of all ages are welcome to volunteer. The driver must be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license.
 
Time Commitment: One to two hours per shift. After you’ve attended a new volunteer orientation or completed our online orientation and completed a background check (driver only), you may sign up to volunteer. There is no minimum time commitment. You can volunteer once, on a regular basis, or as often as you are available.
 
Volunteer to deliver meals to our clients and help Open Arms bring nourishment to people who need it most. Open Arms delivers homemade food to approximately 1,200 clients every week across the Twin Cities, using healthy ingredients, free of charge. Pick the delivery route that suits you and your family best. Because of Covid, we do drive-up contactless delivery. You drive up, and we load your car. You do not need to exit your vehicle at all. When delivering to the client, we enforce a drop, wait, and wave policy. We do not enter any homes; however, we do enter apartment buildings. Masks are required. We supply masks if needed and hand sanitizer between routes.
 
Contact: Questions? Contact us at [email protected]. Follow this link to get started: https://openarmsmn.volunteerhub.com/.

This list was compiled by Doing Good Together™ (www.doinggoodtogether.org). 

When calling or emailing to volunteer for any of the opportunities listed above, please let the coordinator know you found it through this listing. You are encouraged to ask any questions you may have of the sponsoring organization before committing to a project.
 
Disclaimer: This list is provided as a service to families. Inclusion of organizations in this listing does not imply affiliation, endorsement, or quality assurance on the part of Doing Good Together™. Doing Good Together™ bears no responsibility whatsoever for the activities and actions of the listed organizations.
 
Visit Doing Good Together for more ideas, opportunities and activities.
 

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