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Volunteer Boston: Best Organizations To Collaborate With


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Norina Gao



Boston, the capital city of Massachusetts, is not only known for its rich history and vibrant culture, but also for its strong sense of community and dedication to making a difference. From supporting those in need to promoting education and environmental sustainability, there are numerous organizations in Boston that rely on the collaboration and commitment of volunteers to fulfill their missions.


This article will highlight some of the best organizations in Boston where you can volunteer your time and skills. Whether you are a local Bostonian or a visitor looking to give back during your stay, these organizations offer opportunities for you to make a positive impact on the community.


By becoming a volunteer, you can engage with diverse populations, contribute to important causes, and develop new skills. Volunteering also provides a unique opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals, fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie. So, let’s explore some of the top volunteer organizations in Boston and find the perfect match for your interests and passion.


Boston Cares

Boston Cares is one of the largest volunteer organizations in New England, with a mission to mobilize and connect individuals, groups, and companies to meaningful volunteer opportunities. They collaborate with over 200 nonprofit agencies in the Greater Boston area to address critical community needs.


One of the unique aspects of volunteering with Boston Cares is the flexibility they offer. Whether you have a few hours to spare or wish to commit to a long-term project, they have diverse options to suit your availability and interests. From serving meals at soup kitchens to tutoring students, assisting with environmental cleanups, or supporting elderly residents, there is no shortage of opportunities to make a difference.


Boston Cares also provides volunteers with the necessary training and support to succeed in their roles. They offer orientation sessions, leadership development programs, and even skill-building workshops to enhance the volunteer experience. This ensures that volunteers not only contribute to the community but also gain valuable skills and personal growth.


The organization also hosts various events throughout the year that promote social and team-building activities among volunteers. These events create a sense of community and allow volunteers to network and connect with like-minded individuals.


Whether you are new to volunteering or have years of experience, Boston Cares welcomes everyone. By joining this organization, you can truly make a meaningful impact and be part of a network dedicated to creating positive change in the Boston community.


City Year Boston

City Year Boston is an organization that is committed to providing mentorship and support to students in under-resourced schools in the Boston area. They believe in the power of young people to create positive change and work towards educational equity.


As a City Year volunteer, you will be placed in a school and become part of a team that helps students succeed academically and socially. You’ll have the opportunity to develop mentoring relationships with students, provide academic assistance, and create engaging activities and programs.


One of the unique aspects of volunteering with City Year Boston is the year-long commitment. Volunteers called “AmeriCorps members” dedicate 10 months to serving in schools, providing consistent support to students and building relationships with teachers and administrators.


City Year Boston also offers professional development and leadership opportunities to volunteers. Through training sessions, workshops, and networking events, volunteers can enhance their skills and gain valuable experience in the field of education and community development.


Additionally, City Year Boston fosters a strong sense of community among its volunteers. You’ll have the chance to connect with fellow volunteers and engage in team-building activities that create lasting friendships and a supportive network.


By volunteering with City Year Boston, you can have a direct impact on the lives of students, helping them reach their full potential and achieve academic success. It is a rewarding experience that allows you to contribute to education equity and make a difference in the lives of young people in Boston.


Big Brother Big Sister of Massachusetts Bay

Big Brother Big Sister of Massachusetts Bay is a renowned organization that matches adult volunteers with youth from vulnerable backgrounds. Their goal is to provide mentorship and support to help young individuals build confidence, resilience, and positive relationships.


Volunteering with Big Brother Big Sister of Massachusetts Bay is a commitment to making a lasting impact on the life of a child. As a “Big,” you will have the opportunity to become a mentor and role model, focusing on individualized attention and fostering a nurturing relationship with your “Little.”


Before being matched with a child, volunteers go through an extensive screening process to ensure the safety and compatibility of both the Bigs and Littles. Once matched, the organization provides ongoing support and guidance to volunteers, helping them navigate the mentoring relationship successfully.


Both Bigs and Littles engage in a variety of activities together, such as going for walks, playing sports, exploring museums, or working on school projects. Through these experiences, volunteers can have a profound impact on the self-esteem and overall well-being of their mentees.


Big Brother Big Sister of Massachusetts Bay also organizes regular group activities and events where Bigs and Littles can come together, share experiences, and create a sense of community. These events provide additional opportunities for mentorship, support, and fun.


By becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister, you can help shape the future of a young person and provide them with the guidance and support they need to thrive. It is a rewarding and meaningful way to make a positive impact on the lives of children in the Massachusetts Bay area.


Greater Boston Food Bank

The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending hunger in eastern Massachusetts. As one of the largest food banks in the region, GBFB plays a crucial role in providing nutritious food to individuals and families in need.


Volunteering with the Greater Boston Food Bank offers an opportunity to make a direct impact on addressing food insecurity. Volunteers assist in various tasks, such as sorting, packing, and distributing food donations. These donations are then distributed to local food pantries, shelters, and other community organizations.


One of the unique aspects of volunteering with GBFB is the ability to volunteer in different areas of their operation. Whether it’s working in the warehouse, assisting with administrative tasks, or participating in community events, there are roles suited for a wide range of skills and interests.


GBFB provides training and orientation to ensure volunteers are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to carry out their tasks effectively and safely. They also offer ongoing support and regular updates on the impact of their work, allowing volunteers to see the tangible results of their efforts.


Moreover, volunteering with the Greater Boston Food Bank offers a chance to raise awareness about food insecurity and advocate for policies that address the root causes of hunger. By engaging in these activities, volunteers become part of a larger movement working towards a more equitable and hunger-free community.


Joining the Greater Boston Food Bank as a volunteer is a tangible way to contribute to the fight against hunger and help ensure that everyone in the community has access to nutritious food.


United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley

The United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley is a nonprofit organization that focuses on creating lasting change in the community by addressing its most pressing social issues. Through a collaborative approach and strategic investments, they work to improve education, income stability, and health for individuals and families across the region.


Volunteering with the United Way provides a unique opportunity to contribute to systemic change and make a significant impact on the lives of those in need. They offer a wide range of volunteer opportunities that align with their focus areas, allowing you to support various initiatives and programs.


One of the ways you can get involved is by participating in United Way’s signature volunteer event, the Day of Action. This annual event brings together individuals, companies, and organizations to work on projects that address community needs. You can contribute your time and skills to activities such as painting community centers, organizing food drives, or assisting with educational programs.


In addition to the Day of Action, the United Way offers ongoing volunteer opportunities throughout the year. These include mentoring students, providing tax assistance to low-income families, supporting local food banks, and assisting with community health initiatives.


The United Way also values the power of collective impact. By collaborating with other volunteers, nonprofits, businesses, and government agencies, they foster a coordinated approach to social change. Through their volunteer programs, you have the opportunity to network and build relationships with like-minded individuals who share a common passion for creating a better community.


Furthermore, the United Way provides resources and training to support volunteers in their roles. They offer workshops and educational sessions that enhance your understanding of the community’s needs and equip you with the skills necessary to create meaningful change.


Volunteering with the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley offers a chance to be part of a comprehensive effort to tackle social challenges and create a stronger, more vibrant community for all.


Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston

Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston is a nonprofit organization that helps families in need of affordable housing. Their mission is to bring people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Volunteers play a crucial role in achieving this mission by dedicating their time and skills to construct and renovate homes for deserving families.


Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston offers a hands-on and rewarding experience. You’ll have the opportunity to work alongside homeowners and other volunteers, learning new skills while making a tangible difference. Whether it’s framing walls, installing drywall, or painting, each task contributes to the construction of a safe and affordable home.


One of the unique aspects of volunteering with Habitat for Humanity is the sense of empowerment it provides to both volunteers and homeowners. By participating in the building process, volunteers can directly impact someone’s life and help turn their dream of homeownership into a reality.


Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston also offers various volunteer opportunities beyond construction. Volunteers can assist with neighborhood revitalization projects, support administrative tasks, or contribute their expertise in areas such as marketing, fundraising, or event planning.


Additionally, Habitat for Humanity organizes community-building events and programs that foster connections between volunteers, homeowners, and the wider community. These events create a supportive network and a sense of belonging, showcasing the transformative power of individuals coming together to create positive change.


Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston is an inspiring and impactful way to contribute to the community. By dedicating your time and skills, you can help build homes, create stronger neighborhoods, and provide families with a foundation for a brighter future.


Boston Public Library

The Boston Public Library (BPL) is not only a hub of knowledge and learning but also offers rewarding volunteer opportunities for those passionate about libraries and literacy. As a volunteer at the BPL, you can contribute to the community by supporting various programs and services.


One of the main volunteer opportunities at the Boston Public Library is assisting with the Adult Literacy Program. As a volunteer tutor, you can help adults improve their reading and writing skills, opening doors to new opportunities and empowering them to achieve their goals.


In addition to the Adult Literacy Program, the library offers volunteer positions in other areas such as children’s programs, computer assistance, and special events. Volunteers play a vital role in providing support and enriching the library experience for visitors of all ages.


Volunteering at the Boston Public Library not only benefits the community but also offers personal growth and learning opportunities. As a volunteer, you’ll have access to library resources, attend training sessions, and engage with a diverse range of individuals. It is a fantastic way to expand your knowledge, develop new skills, and contribute to the cultural and educational fabric of Boston.


Moreover, volunteering at the library allows you to connect with fellow book lovers and engage with the vibrant literary community in Boston. You can take part in book clubs, author events, and discussions, fostering a sense of camaraderie and intellectual exploration.


The Boston Public Library holds a special place in the hearts of Bostonians, and by volunteering, you become a part of its legacy. Your contribution helps create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all visitors, promoting literacy, lifelong learning, and the joy of reading.


The Home for Little Wanderers

The Home for Little Wanderers is one of the largest and oldest child and family service agencies in Boston. Their mission is to ensure the well-being and positive development of children and families facing significant challenges. Volunteering with The Home for Little Wanderers provides an opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the lives of vulnerable youth.


There are various volunteer opportunities available at The Home for Little Wanderers, each supporting different programs and initiatives. From mentoring and tutoring to organizing workshops and recreational activities, volunteers play a crucial role in providing support, guidance, and a sense of belonging to the children and families served by the organization.


One of the core volunteer programs offered by The Home for Little Wanderers is the Big Hearts mentorship program. As a mentor, you can build a one-on-one relationship with a child or adolescent, providing them with a positive role model and helping them develop important life skills. Through regular outings and activities, you can make a lasting impact on their lives.


In addition to mentorship programs, The Home for Little Wanderers also organizes volunteer opportunities in educational support, career development, and community outreach. By sharing your expertise and time, you can inspire and empower young people, helping them build a brighter future for themselves.


The organization provides training and ongoing support for volunteers to ensure they are well prepared and equipped to work with the children and families they serve. Volunteers are part of a comprehensive team that collaborates to provide the best possible care and support for those in need.


Volunteering with The Home for Little Wanderers is a rewarding and humbling experience. By offering your time, compassion, and skills, you can be a catalyst for positive change in the lives of children and families who may be facing significant adversity.


Joining The Home for Little Wanderers as a volunteer not only allows you to make a difference in the lives of others but also offers an opportunity for personal growth, increased empathy, and a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by vulnerable youth in our community.


Rosie’s Place

Rosie’s Place is a well-known nonprofit organization in Boston that provides sanctuary and support to women experiencing homelessness and poverty. Since its founding in 1974, Rosie’s Place has been a beacon of hope and a lifeline for many women in need.


Volunteering at Rosie’s Place offers a unique opportunity to make a direct and positive impact on the lives of women facing challenging circumstances. Volunteers can assist in a variety of ways, from serving meals and providing companionship to participating in educational programs and helping with administrative tasks.


One of the core volunteer programs at Rosie’s Place is their meal service. Volunteers play a key role in preparing and serving nutritious meals to women in a warm and welcoming environment. This not only addresses their immediate need for sustenance but also fosters a sense of community and care.


Rosie’s Place also offers volunteer opportunities in their Women’s Education Center, where volunteers can support adult learners by helping with tutoring, resume building, job searching, and computer skills training. By sharing your knowledge and expertise, you can empower women to build a better future for themselves.


In addition to direct services, Rosie’s Place relies on volunteers for various other tasks such as outreach, fundraising, and organizing donation drives. These contributions help sustain the organization and ensure its ability to provide essential services and programs to women in need.


Volunteering at Rosie’s Place is not solely about providing immediate assistance but also about fostering a sense of dignity, empowerment, and hope. By volunteering, you can help create a safe and supportive environment where women can access the resources and support they need to overcome their challenges.


As a volunteer, you become part of a compassionate community that believes in the power of compassion, advocacy, and kindness. By dedicating your time and energy to Rosie’s Place, you contribute to the broader mission of ending homelessness and poverty for women in Boston.


Cradles to Crayons Boston

Cradles to Crayons Boston is a nonprofit organization that provides essential items to children living in low-income and homeless situations. Their mission is to ensure that every child has the basic essentials they need to thrive—items such as clothing, shoes, school supplies, and toys.


Volunteering with Cradles to Crayons offers a rewarding and hands-on experience. The volunteer center in Boston serves as a hub for sorting, organizing, and packaging donations to create “KidPacks” customized for each child’s specific needs. Volunteers play a crucial role in this process, sorting and inspecting donated items, and assembling KidPacks with care and attention to detail.


One of the unique aspects of volunteering at Cradles to Crayons is the ability to directly impact the lives of children in need. By contributing your time, you are ensuring that children receive the basic items they require for everyday life, providing them with a sense of dignity and opportunity.


Volunteering opportunities with Cradles to Crayons are open to individuals, families, and community groups. Whether you have a few hours to spare or wish to make a regular commitment, there are flexible options available to suit your schedule.


Volunteering with Cradles to Crayons is not only about providing essential items but also about creating a sense of belonging and empowerment for children. By organizing donation drives, fundraising activities, or advocacy efforts, you can further contribute to their mission and amplify the impact of the organization.


In addition, Cradles to Crayons Boston hosts various community events and campaigns throughout the year to bring the community together and raise awareness about the needs of children in low-income and homeless situations. By participating in these events, volunteers can engage with like-minded individuals, fostering a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose.


By volunteering with Cradles to Crayons Boston, you become a vital part of a collective effort to address the tangible needs of children and empower them to thrive. Through your involvement, you are helping to build a stronger, more compassionate community for all children.



Volunteering in Boston provides a wonderful opportunity to give back to the community and make a positive impact on the lives of others. The organizations highlighted in this article – Boston Cares, City Year Boston, Big Brother Big Sister of Massachusetts Bay, Greater Boston Food Bank, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston, Boston Public Library, The Home for Little Wanderers, Rosie’s Place, and Cradles to Crayons Boston – offer diverse volunteer opportunities that cater to different interests and passions.


Whether you choose to volunteer your time and skills to support education, fight hunger, promote literacy, provide mentorship, or assist with community development, each organization plays a vital role in addressing important social issues in the Boston area.


By volunteering, you not only make a difference in the lives of those you serve but also experience personal growth, develop new skills, and form meaningful connections with fellow volunteers and community members. Volunteering allows you to become part of a greater movement, working towards creating a more equitable, inclusive, and compassionate Boston.


So, whether you are a resident of the city, a student, or simply visiting, consider joining one of these impactful organizations and lend a helping hand to those in need. Together, we can build a stronger, more vibrant community where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.