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April 2021 - Twin Cities
River Gorge Earth Day Cleanup

Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR)

Date/Time: Saturday, April 24, 9:30am - noon

Location: West River Parkway and 36th Street, Minneapolis

Ages: Everyone can participate

Time Commitment: Up to two and one-half hours

This family-friendly Earth Day tradition provides an excellent opportunity to get outside and work together to help improve this treasured area. Taking place just off of West River Parkway, this cleanup is an Earth Day tradition in the Minneapolis River Gorge. People come from throughout the local river corridor, neighborhoods and metro area to celebrate Earth Day and contribute to the health and vitality of the Mississippi River. We've returned to this site year after year and have noticed a dramatic improvement to the area thanks to dedicated volunteers like you! After cancelling this cleanup in 2020, we're excited to get back to one of our favorite events of the year in 2021. However, due to the pandemic, our cleanup will be much smaller than usual. This year we are requiring registration, and limiting our capacity to 50 individuals or households with staggered check-in times. We will offer gloves and hand sanitizer at the event. Volunteers are required to bring and wear their own masks. To carry out this event safely, we've scheduled different times throughout the morning for volunteers to check in and receive supplies from FMR staff. Once checked in, volunteers can spread out along the gorge to minimize contact with one another. Can't make it? Volunteer on your own! Not everyone will be able to join us at the gorge, but if you're picking up trash this spring, we want to celebrate it and credit you with volunteer hours! Even if you can't participate on Earth Day, you can pick up trash on your own for Earth Month — we're celebrating all April long.

Contact: Sophie Downey, sdowney@fmr.org or 651.222.2193 x27. Registration for this event is required. To register, fill out the click on the Register link and select one time slot to pick up your supplies.
Explore Outdoors and Report Your Findings

Great River Greening

Date/Time: Flexible

Location(s): Current observation sites include portions of Lebanon Hills Regional Park, Sunktokeca Creek WMA, John Peter Hoffman WMA, and Big Woods Heritage Forest WMA with more sites to come.

Ages: Everyone can participate

Time Commitment: Varies

Is your family looking for a flexible, independent volunteer opportunity that will get you outside? We have just the thing. Report your findings at select Great River Greening restoration sites featured on iNaturalist. No experience or previous education is needed. iNaturalist is a free, community science-based platform that will help you identify plants and critters you spot in the wild. Simply snap close-up photos and upload them to iNaturalist right from your phone or computer. Your observations will help our team of ecologists monitor restoration progress and have much-needed added data.

Contact: Amy Kilgore, Outreach Program Manager at volunteer@greatrivergreening.org or call 651.272.3989. Please register here to confirm your interest in sharing observations with us. Upon registering, you will receive additional information about iNaturalist, how to access Great River Greening's current projects, and other helpful details and directions. Track and report any time spent recording observations here.
Do it Yourself Earth Day

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB)

Date/Time: Anytime in April

Location: Any nearby park or trail

Ages: Everyone can help

Time Commitment: Varies

Join MPRB as we carry on the annual Earth Day cleanup – in DIY mode! You can participate anytime in April– while staying safe and preventing the spread of COVID-19. By sharing photos of your cleanup, everyone will see what we can accomplish #alonetogether for the 2021 Earth Day.
Here’s how to participate:
  1. Use a trash bag from home or check the MPRB site in April to find a site near you to pick up supplies
  2. Head to a nearby park or trail and pick up the trash you see, while getting fresh air and exercise!
  3. Practice social distancing and other current COVID-19 guidelines. Learn more at www.minneapolisparks.org/coronavirus-covid-19-information/
  4. Share pictures of your trash haul on our Facebook page – at @MPLSEarthDay – use hash tag #mplsDIYEarthDay

Contact: Check the MPRB Earth Day Cleanup page for updates.
Art Supplies/New Wish list!

Project for Pride in Living (PPL)

Date/Time: Ongoing project

Location: Drop off or mail items to Attn: PPL Volunteer Program, 1035 E Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55404. Please note that drop-offs must be scheduled with Kaia Zeigler.

Ages: Everyone can help

Time Commitment: Around one hour

Project for Pride in Living (PPL) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building the hope, assets, and self-reliance of individuals and families who have lower incomes by providing transformative affordable housing and career readiness services. We have recently compiled a wish list from our various programs at PPL and have created an Amazon registry. The registry can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/PPLRegistry. Additionally, we are looking for a variety of art supplies! Most specifically we are in need of canvases and acrylic paint sets.

Contact: Kaia Zeigler, Kaia.Zeigler@ppl-inc.org, 612.455.5199
Spring Yard Clean up!

DARTS

Date/Time: April 25 through May 16. Choose a date and time that works best for you and your family!

Location: Dakota County area

Ages: Families and groups of all ages

Time Commitment: One time – two to four hours

Grab your rakes and gloves and invite your friends, families, and co-workers to help an older homeowner clean up their yard this spring. Volunteers play a crucial role in helping older homeowners in Dakota County maintain a sense of pride in their property. This is a great opportunity for families to share in the experience of giving back to the community.

Contact: Angela Liedke, angela.liedke@darts1.org
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.

Time Commitment: One to four hours per week, on average. (very flexible scheduling: can be weekends, evenings, or after school)

Mentoring Works! Please consider stepping forward today to mentor a child with your family. We are based in Dakota County and have served families in Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, Farmington, Lakeville & Rosemount for 48 years. Kids 'n Kinship matches volunteer mentors as families, couples, & individuals with youth ages 5-16 in need of additional positive role models for fun and enriching weekly activities. Matches are made based on compatible personalities, ages, and interests as well as preferences of both the volunteer family and the youth with their parent/guardian. Our families say that mentoring together ensures they have weekly family time and that it's easy to include another child with the family activity, whether it's a board game, sledding, a trip to a park, or going to the zoo or a museum. We offer discounted passes to area attractions to make activities more affordable. We provide continuous support and training for our mentors, starting with a 45-minute information session and a 2-hour training session. We ask mentors and mentees to commit to a year's time together in order to build their relationship; however, many of our matches become lifelong friendships and our average match is about 3 years. Please consider being a mentor to a child - it is one of the most challenging and rewarding ways to volunteer your time. Kids 'n Kinship is still moving forward with making new matches in a safe way to protect everyone's health. Our matches are meeting in person at their own comfort level with guidelines in place to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Contact: Moriah Peterson, Recruitment and Projects Manager, volunteer@kidsnkinship.org, 651.301.8264
Walk MS: Twin Cities 2021

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Date/Time: Saturday, May 1

Location: Your own location

Ages: Everyone can participate

Time Commitment: Varies

Walk MS brings together passionate people from communities across the country to rally for a world free of MS. Last year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 100,000 participants came together to give a voice to the MS movement and bring us closer to a cure, collectively raising over $24 million to change the world for everyone affected by this disease. Walk MS celebrates the resiliency of the nearly 1 million people living with MS in the United States. Each step you take will sync with the step of thousands of others to make a difference like never before. No matter why you’re walking – whether it’s for your mother, uncle, friend or simply to be a part of something greater – this year’s Walk MS lets you walk for your why, your way. Go for a stroll around your neighborhood with your family or gather your team at a park for an experience that’s uniquely yours. Every step will be backed by a supportive community. You’ll have access to a library of tools and resources to help you fundraise, grow your team and connect with others in communities everywhere. No matter how or where you walk, all routes come together to end MS forever. Join your Walk MS: Twin Cities 2021 community for this year’s unique #walkMS! Visit the Walk Details page to start walking your way toward a world free of MS.

Contact: FundraisingSupport@nmss.org, 855.372.1331. Registration is available online.
Make a Meal

Lasagna Love

Date/Time: Ongoing opportunity

Location: Varies

Ages: Families with children of all ages are encouraged to participate.

Time Commitment: Varies

Lasagna Love was started at the beginning of the pandemic, when the founder was looking for a way to help moms in her community. She and her toddler started making and delivering meals to families in the neighborhood who were struggling, whether that struggle was financial, emotional, or simply feeling overwhelmed. Since then, Lasagna Love has grown into a national movement, with thousands of people cooking and delivering meals to families in their communities. How does the process work? After answering a few short questions (including how far you are able to drive) on their Volunteer Portal, you will be matched with a family in need of a meal. Once matched, volunteers are able to communicate directly with their matched family to set up a drop off date/time. When the time comes, meals are dropped off on the porch/doorstep to ensure things stay safe and contactless. In addition to cooking, you can also nominate a friend or family who may need a home-cooked meal.

Contact: info@lasagnalove.org. Check here to see if Lasagna Love is currently in your neighborhood.
Food Packing

Feed My Starving Children (FMSC)

Date/Time: Multiple dates and times, see website for details

Location: FMSC has MN packing locations in Chanhassen, Coon Rapids, and Eagan

Ages: Families with children as young as five may participate as long as they will wear a mask throughout the two-hour packing shift.

Time Commitment: Two-hour shifts

Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) is a Christian nonprofit that provides nutritionally complete meals that are specifically formulated for malnourished children. FMSC offers volunteers a one-of-a-kind experience. Volunteers hand-pack rice, soy, dried vegetables and a nutritionally complete blend of vitamins and minerals into bags which are then sealed, boxed, placed on pallets and shipped to our incredible partners working hard to reach the neediest children around the world. Through volunteering at FMSC, volunteers get the chance to impact hundreds of kids in just two hours per packing shift. You’ll experience what it’s like to make a tangible difference—today. Please review the COVID-19 volunteer updates before you register for your shift.

Contact: Registration is available online. For questions about volunteering or about registering to volunteer, please refer to the FAQ page. If you have questions that are not addressed on the website or FAQ page please contact the following: General inquiries, info@fmsc.org or 763.504.2919. Volunteer and registration questions, registration@fmsc.org or 763.951.7306.
Help Seniors in Your Community with Spring Yard Cleanup

HOME Program of Senior Community Services (SCS)

Date/Time: Seasonal: Starting in mid-April and lasting through the summer. Spring Cleanup can be scheduled on either weekdays or weekends.

Location: Exact location TBD in Minneapolis or suburban Hennepin County, depends upon where the senior lives.

Ages: Families with children ages seven and older are welcome to volunteer. Come once or come throughout the season!

Time Commitment: Two to three hours

Volunteers are needed to help with Spring Cleanup for low-income seniors in Minneapolis and suburban Hennepin County. This is a fun volunteer opportunity to get outdoors while helping seniors stay in their homes by helping with outdoor home care that they are unable to do themselves. Hours are flexible, you choose the date and time that works for you! With COVID-19, seniors have been especially at risk, so we appreciate your support!

Contact: Cat, scsvolunteer@seniorcommunity.org or 952.767.7894
Volunteer Food Packing Event

Every Meal

Date/Time: Check the online sign-up calendar for available dates.

Location: Every Meal, 2723 Patton Rd, Roseville

Ages: Families with children age eight and older are welcome. Click here for Youth Volunteer requirements.

Time Commitment: Three-hour daytime events, two-hour evening events

Every Meal works to combat hunger in our community by filling the gaps to food access that children face. Volunteers are needed to help assemble the meal bags we provide for students and families. All of our food bags are 4-5 pounds and contain approximately 4 meals of nutritious, non-perishable food, including a variety of fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains, and soups/entrees. It's a fun and upbeat volunteer environment! More info on volunteer food packing found here. Please note: Volunteers are required to wear masks and gloves, and required to keep distance between themselves and others. Click here for volunteer health and safety information.

Contact: Holly Daniels, Volunteer Coordinator, hdaniels@everymeal.org, 612.412.4417
Meal Service Volunteers

Loaves & Fishes

Date/Time: Check individual sites for dates and times

Location: Loaves & Fishes dining sites are located throughout the metro area

Ages: At Loaves & Fishes we appreciate and support youth involvement in community service, and the opportunity to expose youth to a condition of life different from their own. Our youth participation guidelines help provide a safe and efficient work environment while maintaining the dignity of our guests. The following age breakdowns are suggested best practices. However, because each dining site is different, Site Coordinators may make exceptions at their discretion and with parental input and permission.
  • Youth 16 years of age and older can help in all areas of the dining sites. 
  • Volunteers aged 15 and younger may handle cold food on the serving line as well as cold beverages. 
  • Youth age 13 to 15 must have one adult to every five youth for supervision purposes. 
  • Youth age 12 and under need to have direct one-on-one supervision. It is suggested that children under the age of 8 do not attend unless prior arrangements are made with the Site Coordinator. 

Time Commitment: Typically, two to three hours.

Loaves & Fishes serves free, healthy lunches and dinners to people in need in Minnesota. We have opportunities for individuals and small groups to help us package and serve meals. Meal sites are serving to-go meals and we are keeping the number of volunteers in our kitchens to four at any given time. This provides the opportunity for volunteers to practice safe social distancing and allows guests to receive a hot and healthy meal. No experience is necessary; our site coordinators will walk you through everything. Following state guidelines, all Loaves and Fishes volunteers are required to wear a mask for the entirety of their shift. If you have a mask, please bring it. If not, we will provide one. We provide gloves and aprons. If you don’t have a hat, we will supply a hairnet.

Contact: Lonny Evans, Director of Volunteers and Outreach, 952.223.7223, volunteer@loavesandfishesmn.org. Please check this link to search for a meal site based on location or day of the week. Whether to prep and/or serve, simply find a date (or dates) that work for you and sign up. Soon after signing up, you will receive a confirmation email. No experience is necessary!
Bid, Win, Grow Big Hearts in DGT's Spring Online Auction

Here's your chance to enjoy online fun while supporting DGT's mission to empower more families to raise kind and caring children. Bid and win great products and services donated by generous vendors, including a weekend getaway at a beautiful Wisconsin cabin, private tennis lessons, online yoga sessions, a one-night stay at the Radisson Blu at the Mall of the America, plus gift cards, book bundles, and so much more! Visit the 32 Auctions website between April 19th & 29th to make your bids. Be sure to share this link with friends and family so they can bid too. Together, we can grow big hearts and raise important funds for the compassion-building work of Doing Good Together.
Mailing Address:
5141 16th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55417
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This list was compiled by Doing Good Together™ (www.doinggoodtogether.org)
When calling 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.

© 2021 Doing Good Together™