Corporate Volunteering

We love corporate volunteers.  We love when companies come together and work to help people in our communities.  It helps the community and strengthens the bonds between co-workers.  Most of our corporate volunteer programs have been in person, however given the COVID-19 pandemic, and guidance from the CDC on large gatherings, we have decided to postpone all in-person events for the time being. While we are disappointed that we won’t be gathering for events, we’re dedicated to ensuring the health and safety of all involved.  And even though we won’t be getting together in person, we still have lots of great ways to volunteer and build cameraderie.  Check out the opportunities below, and click the “Get Started” button to let us know when you’re ready to begin.

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COMMUNITY KITS AND DRIVES

Community kits and drives are the bread and butter of volunteerism.  These are projects that you can do on your own time, at your own pace.  The joy of a child who receives new school supplies or a homeless individual who just needs a way to stay warm in the winter are what makes these projects worthwhile.

Kit-Building and Drive Opportunities

Fleece Blankets
Work with a small group of colleagues to craft fleece blankets. No sewing skills necessary— just cut and tie the fringe and voila! By the end of the opportunity your corporate team will have assembled various warm, fuzzy fleece blankets that will be distributed to local United Way agency partners who work with homeless and low-income families.

Warm Winter Weather Kits
Keep a person warm this winter by assembling United Way Warm Winter Weather Kits. These kits include winter essentials such as warm gloves and a hat, a blanket, Vaseline, Chapstick, and tissues to help ease the pain and stress that so many feel during these cold months. The kits will be distributed to our partner agencies who are working on the ground with the people in the community who need this assistance the most.

Hygiene Kits
Help provide basic hygiene necessities to low-income individuals who are currently or formerly homeless. Gather colleagues and friends to help assemble a laundry bag or tote bag with basic care products such as shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, tampons, etc.

Penny Smart Kids Kits
It’s a fact: Financial habits develop early. Preschool early. That’s why United Way has introduced the Penny Smart Kids kit which is filled with activities and resources that children 5-7 can use to hone their financial literacy skills. Each kit includes a book, story props, a mini bank, activity sheets for families to use to help their child practice currency identification and talk about important financial concepts like exchange and saving.

Backpacks
Unfortunately, many families in our community cannot afford the school supplies that children need to be successful in school. You can change this. Basics for Back to School is a rewarding volunteer experience for companies and groups that want to make a difference by assembling back packs with a variety of school supplies to prepare students for a successful academic year!

Snack Packs
United Way partner agencies request thousands of these packs every quarter. They include various healthy snacks such as granola bars, applesauce, pretzels, crackers, etc. for children of all ages to have afterschool or at home.

STEM Engineering Kits
Volunteers spark a connection with local students interested in STEM by inspiring their curiosity to problem solve and explore like a true STEM professional. Volunteers will work collaboratively with one United Way partner agency to assemble creative tinker kits for the aspiring engineer. By purchasing and assembling an assortment of supplies you will help provide students the materials and support to understand the value of a STEM education. Purchased supplies and assembled kits will be shipped to the identified United Way partner agency and distributed to students.

STEM Pattern Packs
Help math become a fun mystery to solve in this creative volunteer opportunity that reinforces student understanding of the math concepts and skills as they fill a grid to complete a mystery pattern/image. Volunteers will supplement a simple worksheet with key elements highlighting the relativity of sequences or other math concepts. Volunteers are encouraged to get creative by providing personal messages, interesting history/facts related to math and how we use it today, or other ways to reinforce student understanding of how math concepts are applied in the real world. Completed pattern packs will be shipped to a United Way partner agency and distributed to their students.

Literacy Kits
Provide a family with a child between 3-5 years old with pre-k/kindergarten activities, supplies and books that help stimulate learning and build pre-literacy, math and social skills. Volunteer activities can include creating the following activities and then assembling activities into a tote bag: puzzles, roll-a-word, puppet, bookmark, matching games, etc.

Fine Motor Kits
To support children 0-5 in the most crucial time of brain development, United Way is introducing its newest onsite activity, Fine Motor Fun Kits which include numerous activities to help the youngest in our community develop critical fine motor skills. Volunteers will assemble activities and include supplies like play-doh, laces, jumbo crayons, stickers, etc. in these kits which will be distributed to local nonprofits serving children 0-5.

Social-Emotional Learning Kits 
Help support children 0-5 in their social emotional development by assembling United Way’s newest onsite kit!  Social emotional skills are vital for children to learn how to interact positively with both adults and with other children.  These kits include a book and multiple activities focused on helping parents and guardians engage with their child’s social emotional development, through play, self-reflection, and emotional regulation.

Story Read Alouds
Volunteers record themselves reading a story. Families would receive the book and link to the YouTube read aloud. This opportunity is important because having someone outside of the family promote literacy and reading a story can be an effective way to support children whose school years were cut short and are dealing with more than the typical summer learning loss. THING TO NOTE FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY: A list of stories chosen will need to be provided to United Way to ensure that licensing and the fees of the specific books are properly obtained/paid for. This would be an added cost to the company.

Healthy Living Kits
Put together healthy living kits with your team! These kits are meant to keep the children at our nonprofit partners healthy through eating well and staying active. The kits include items such as frisbees and jump ropes for a child to play with. We include games for them to play with their new toys and other activities as well. We also developed a cookbook that includes healthy recipes for a variety of ages to cook together or independently.

Advocacy Kits
Support United Way’s policy initiatives to enact systemic change for people in need. Write a letter, draft an email or make a phone call to highlight key priorities for underserved populations.

Teacher Appreciation Kits
Thank a local teacher for their service to the community by providing them a supply pack of goodies with a personalized written letter of appreciation from each volunteer.

Winter/Summer Care Kits
Fill a reusable water bottle or thermos with necessities to keep in your car to offer the next person you meet or see that may need help

Creating Protective Face Masks
Non-profits across Boston are on the front lines providing support to families and individuals in need. A lot of agencies don’t have protective equipment for employees and clients who need services. Help us create masks to send out to our partners in need.

 

SKILLS-BASED

Do you have a specific expertise that could be put to good use?  Do you work for a pharma company that could host an online chat for young people interested in STEM?  Would you like to join the board of a nonprofit?  Check out the opportunities to put your specific skills to work.

Skills-Based Volunteer Opportunities

BoSTEM – STEM Chats
STEM Chats are approximately 20-30 minute dialogues intended to provide students with the opportunity to learn about STEM jobs and career pathways. We will explore questions related to education experience, job experience, and how current professionals established the career they have now. Format of the sessions are intended to be a conversation/discussion with time at the end for participants to ask questions. We are finding this to be a great way to explore careers or fields that someone may never heard of, from real people doing the work. BoSTEM will support volunteers with a brief training on how to mentor students in STEM, provide example formats for interacting virtually, and moderate the session to facilitate dialogue. Volunteers are encouraged to add their creativity to the format of their meeting!

BoSTEM – STEM Bites
Share your passion for STEM with middle and high school students in a quick, "bite-sized", demonstration or presentation (5-15min). Using a virtual platform, present a demonstration or provide a basic overview of one STEM concept, practice, or skill related to your current job. STEM Bites are a fun and quick way for STEM professionals to connect with students virtually and share their expertise on one STEM practice, skill, or concept.

Board Connection Certificate Training Program
United Way’s Board Connection program brings together professionals seeking meaningful community leadership opportunities with local nonprofits looking to strengthen their volunteer boards. Our Board Connection Certificate Training Program, presented in partnership with John Hancock, is a comprehensive curriculum led by professionals from the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. The program prepares you for what it really means to be an outstanding nonprofit board member. Participants will then gain access to our online BoardConnection portal where they will be able to connect with local nonprofits seeking board/committee members.

Grant Reviews
Throughout the year, United Way offers various grant, audit, and allocation reviews run through our Community Impact department that are looking for volunteers to participate. Volunteers would need access to a computer so they can read applications and submit their reviews through our electronic portal.

Venture Fund Volunteer Reviewers/Host Site
United Way’s Venture Fund catalyzes promising new ideas for driving change. A competitive, juried selection process will result in up to four awards of up to $75,000 each. These awards will go to nonprofits that have the experience, community presence, and relationships to approach a big problem in a new way but need funding and a thought partner to bring that idea to life. We can’t create lasting change without the help of volunteers. Volunteers review applications from local nonprofit organizations and help us identify the eight finalists. Companies can host a volunteer review group for our next Venture Fund in Spring 2021. Check out the Venture Fund event page for more information on how to get involved!

 

ONGOING

Ongoing opportunities are available any time – participate in a United Way initiative, help mentor a young person, if you’re available for a longer term commitment, we want your help!

Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities

Vello
Vello is the innovative, 1:1 tutoring program from United Way that matches tutor teams with local classrooms for guided reading support. Vello mobilizes passionate professionals to tutor students in reading through a safe and secure digital setting. Together, students and tutors read e-books using super simple screen sharing and audio. Companies can sponsor a classroom which can host up to 20 volunteers per classroom. The volunteer number per classroom depends upon the amount of flexibility the company wants to allow for its employee volunteers.

Marian L. Heard Mentor
If you’re looking to be a part of a scholar’s journey, you can become a volunteer e-Coach. As an MLH e-Coach, you will support your Scholar through each year of their college career, and together you’ll work toward the ultimate goal of college graduation. You’ll stay in regular contact via email with your scholar, helping them navigate classes, extracurriculars, internships, and other opportunities.

Calling Isolated Elders
Join the City of Boston's Age Strong Commission to call 80,000 residents of Boston over 60 and check in to make sure all of our older residents have access to the food, medication and assistance they need during this time. Upon signing up you will get connected to a 1-hour training going over the volunteer opportunity, basic information you should know and provided with resources to make the calls. Our older residents need our support during this time and we appreciate all the assistance in connecting with residents all over the city of Boston.

 

SIGNATURE EVENTS

Throughout the year, United Way hosts events in the community.  Our corporate partners play a special role in supporting these events – and we couldn’t pull them off otherwise.  Build your team and join us – it will be an experience you won’t forget.

Signature Volunteer Events

Thanksgiving Project (Fall)

United Way’s Annual Thanksgiving Project provides more than 15,000 families with the full ingredients needed for a Thanksgiving celebration. With the crisis at hand, unemployment rising each day, and many families unable to make ends meet, our community has continued to step up in so many ways for our neighbors in need.  Check out the Thanksgiving Project event page for opportunities to get involved!

K-Ready Kids (Spring)
We all win when our community’s children enter kindergarten with a strong foundation for literacy.  Reading is the most influential factor related to summer learning, and children who enter kindergarten ready to learn are more likely to attain their 3rd grade reading level and graduate from high school.  Help United Way fill and distribute 1750 backpacks for children ages 4 and 5 entering kindergarten this fall.  Check out the K-Ready Kids event page for opportunities to get involved!

Community Baby Shower (Spring)
United Way's Community Baby Shower supports new and expectant parents experiencing economic hardship in a reimagined way. With the public health crisis at hand and the unemployment rate climbing ever higher each day, the demand for support is greater than ever.  Check out the Community Baby Shower event page for opportunities to get involved!

 

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