children volunteering at a food bank (where to volunteer with kids in Boston)

We all want to teach our children to give back to their communities, and what better way than to spend some time volunteering together? These nine organizations are a few of the great places to volunteer with your kids in Boston. 

Know of a Boston-area organization seeking volunteer assistance from families? Please let us know!


Multiple locations

There are hundreds of miles of seashore in our beautiful state, and it is our job to help keep them clean! From September through November, thousands of volunteers are needed to help with the coastal clean up. The list of available cleanups is posted in August, and updated every week through November. Please email [email protected] for up-to-date information.

Cradles to Crayons

281 Newtonville Avenue, Newtonville :: 617-779-4700

Children as young as 5 years old are welcome to help in the Giving Factory warehouse. Volunteers help to process the goods that are donated, working in stations to inspect, sort, and package donations to be distributed to children in need within the Boston area.

Volunteers are asked to register for a volunteer shift online, and please bring at least one new or like-new children’s item to their volunteer shift. If you are unable to make it to the warehouse, remote volunteer opportunities are also available!

Father Bill’s & MainSpring

430 Belmont Street, Brockton 

Volunteers of any age are welcome to help at the distribution center receiving, sorting, and inventorying donated items, which are then distributed to individual sites. Volunteers are especially needed during the holidays when the center is most busy. The distribution center is open and seeking volunteers on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., but volunteers can also be accommodated during other days/times, depending on the level of need.

The bagged lunch program is also a wonderful way to volunteer with young children. Individuals are asked to purchase items and prepare bagged lunches at their own facilities or at home, and deliver them to the emergency shelters in either Brockton or Quincy. Lunches are gratefully accepted by prior appointment all days of the week and are particularly needed during the last two weeks of the month.

Friends of the Blue Hills

Blue Hills Reservation, 695 Hillside Street, Milton :: 781-828-1805

There are many ways to help care for the trails and forests in our area! Volunteers are needed to adopt and maintain trails. Blue Hills provides training, a manual, and tools to borrow, and volunteers can choose a trail, or section of a trail, to keep clean and beautiful.

Adoption commitments are for a minimum of two years, and volunteers are asked to complete a simple report each time they work on the trail. If a two-year commitment is longer than you are looking for, Blue Hills leads groups of all ages each year in activities that help make the forest healthier. There are also trail maintenance activities for older teens.

MSPCA Family Service Day Program

350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston :: 617-522-7400

Adult-child pairs are invited to participate as hands-on volunteers at the MSPCA during family service days, which take place on the first Sunday of each month from 7:45-9:15 a.m. This program, for children ages 6-10 along with a responsible adult (age 16+), helps families learn chores to help the animals, including cleaning cages, laundry, and dishes. Volunteers are supervised by trained staff and volunteers to make sure everyone has a fun and safe experience.  

There is a $20 fee for each session. Space is limited and registration is required. Please email [email protected] with any questions.

Children aged 11-15 are also invited to participate in the junior volunteer program, which allows young teens the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and volunteer under the guidance of trained staff!

Second Chance Animal Services

111 Young Road, East Brookfield :: 508-867-5525
831 Main Street, Worcester :: 774-243-1234
67 Mulberry Street, Springfield :: 413-739-2343
700 Worcester Street, Southbridge :: 774-318-1101

Second Chance Animal Services is a no-kill shelter and foster care program for stray, abandoned, neglected, and surrendered dogs, puppies, cats, and kittens, and also runs a pet wellness and education center in North Brookfield. Volunteers are needed to walk dogs, assist at events, run “Dogs Day Out” field trips, and much more. Young volunteers are welcome and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian while on the premises. 

School on Wheels — MA

100 Laurel Street, Suite 121, East Bridgewater :: 508-587-9091

School On Wheels provides educational support to students facing homelessness. Young volunteers are always needed to help pack and customize backpacks for distribution, as well as to collect donations of school supplies for students in need! Adult volunteers are also needed to serve as tutors to students living in family shelters and transitional housing. 

Project Giving Kids

Multiple Locations

If you want to volunteer with your kids in the Boston area but aren’t exactly sure how or where, check out Project Giving Kids. On this unique site, families can search for opportunities to help their community based on their interests or availability.

Boston Cares

Multiple Locations

Boston Cares is the largest volunteer agency in New England, matching volunteers with opportunities throughout the Greater Boston area. Many volunteer opportunities are in Boston and open to kids helping with their families!

Deanna Greenstein
Deanna is a mom of five (yes, five) children, who lives in Brockton with her small circus of kids, her husband, their dog Penny, and a few cats. Her life is loud, energetic, mostly fun, often gross (did she mention four of those kids are boys?), and she wouldn't have it any other way. In between carting kids to school, baseball, gymnastics, guitar, dance, track and field and every other kid activity known to mankind, she works as a school bus driver for the city of Brockton, and is the Director of Religious Education at the Unity Church of North Easton, a Unitarian Universalist congregation. Deanna also holds degrees in Elementary Physical Education and Dance Education, which she plans to put back into use one day. At parties, Deanna can often be found hanging out with family pets. She follows her children around with a camera like the paparazzi, is pretty sure that 97% of her blood stream is made of coffee, and her laundry is never done. You can also find her blogging at