It takes many, many hands to accomplish all we do. Without the help and support of 350 volunteers every week, Preble Street could not continue to provide services to our neighbors who depend on us when they are hungry and cold and homeless.
To get involved or learn more about any of the following opportunities is easy!
Whether you have a few hours once in awhile or once a week; whether you want to come alone or bring your team, office staff, family; whether you are an early bird or can’t pitch in until after work, there are volunteer opportunities for you. We would love to match you with one that fits with your interests and schedule. Click here to learn more about our volunteer expectations.
Most volunteer opportunities involve our very busy commercial kitchens and are not suitable for children. Children must be at least 13 to volunteer if accompanied and supervised by an adult or 15 if unaccompanied. We do encourage families and schools with young children to get involved and have made some suggestions below.
Resource Center Soup Kitchen
We serve warm, nutritious meals to 250-400 people three times a day every day of the year. We need volunteers—ages 13 or older if accompanied by an adult (15 or older if unaccompanied)—to help prepare, serve, and clean up for three-hour shifts: 7-10am, 10:30am-1:30pm, and 3:30-6:30pm.
We also need volunteers to help unload, sort, and stack food deliveries, and organize shelves on Tuesdays between 8am and 12pm, and Thursdays between 8am and 4pm. This opportunity requires heavy lifting.
Volunteers serve three meals a day at our Teen Center seven days a week. Volunteers, age 21 and older, help prepare, serve, and clean up for breakfast, 7-10am; lunch, 10:30am-1:30pm; and dinner, 5:15-7:30pm. We ask Teen Center volunteers to make a commitment of one meal weekly for at least three months.
Florence House Meals
Volunteers serve three meals a day at Florence House seven days a week. Volunteers, age 21 and older, help prepare, serve, and clean up for breakfast, 7:45-10am; lunch, 10:30am-1:30pm; and dinner, 4:30-7:30pm. We ask volunteers to make an ongoing commitment to help once a week for at least three months.
Every Thursday we distribute food to approximately 120 needy families. We need help 8am-12pm sorting fresh food donations. We also need help 1-4pm setting up the dining room for distribution, distributing food, and then cleaning up afterward.
We provide emergency clothing and toiletries to youth and adults in need. Volunteers help accept and sort donations, fold clothes, restock shelves, and keep the Receiving Center clean and organized. The Receiving Center is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9am-12pm, and Tuesday and Thursday 12:30-3:30pm.
Help tenants build their community. We can find a role for you that fits your schedule—morning, afternoon, or evening. We need volunteers, age 21 and older, to staff the front desk; facilitate game events (bingo, card tournaments, bocce, etc.); or prepare special meals for holidays or community meals at Huston Commons, Florence House and Logan Place, permanent housing for formerly homeless adults.
Help in the offices with filing, phones, and mailings on a one-time or ongoing basis.
There are lots of ways children can help the youth and adults in our communities who are homeless.
- Do a food drive, a sock drive, a towel drive, or help collect any of the items on our wish list.
- Clean up around our buildings and the neighborhood.
- Help make decorations for our holiday parties or special days throughout the year.
- Have a fundraiser: start a contest to see who can save the most nickels, have a lemonade stand… we know that if you use your imagination you can think of more fun ways to raise money!
- Make a big pot of your favorite soup or chili, or chicken wings, or chips and dip and bring them to the Teen Center.
- Bake cookies or brownies for dessert or bedtime snacks for homeless teens or women—always welcome!
Special Projects, Activities, and Events
Let us know if you have an idea or can help organize and facilitate groups or workshops for teens or adults. Some possible groups are: art, photography, knitting, English as a Second Language, theater, games, writing, and more. We welcome volunteers with special interests or talents (e.g. hairdressers, yoga instructors, dancers, gardeners, etc.) to share their time and skills with our clients.
We can also use help with projects, such as:
- Deep cleaning the soup kitchen
- Cleaning around our building and the neighborhood
- Washing windows
- Stocking shelves, or setting up for special events
You can help raise awareness of the needs of homeless youth and adults and get others involved in food drives, fundraisers, clothing drives, or toiletry drives.