Building bridges, helping those who are most struggling right now, and being good neighbors in hard times.
Create a symbol of hope
- Make and send a Star of Hope:
Over past few years, TELEM teens have painted and sent hundreds of wooden Stars of Hope with messages of hope and healing to communities that have suffered tragedies. Through this time of social distancing and staying at home, Stars is continuing their work of paying hope forward with a digital and downloadable activity.
- Show solidarity against antisemitism by printing and coloring ADL New England’s “No Place for Hate” flyer, which you can display on your windows or doors.
Chat virtually with children and those with disabilities
- Volunteer with Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters (JBBBS) You will be matched, 1:1, with a child looking for a mentor, or an adult with disabilities looking for a friend. For now, matches are meeting virtually! When the coronavirus crisis is over, they will resume spending 1:1 time together doing an activity, exploring the city, or sharing a meal! One year commitment, volunteers must be 21+. Contact .
- For STEM professionals – sign up to chat with students about real world STEM issues and skills development through BoSTEM – a city-wide initiative ensuring that every middle-school student in Boston Public Schools has access to high-quality STEM learning opportunities.
- Sign up for the Yachad buddy program!
This is an inclusive opportunity to connect and socialize with a peer for ~20 minutes once a week! Once you sign up for this program, we will match up Yachad members and volunteers to be buddies and they can then connect over the phone or online when they chose. Yachad supports individuals with disabilities and special needs. The buddy system uses an app that provides an alternative to sharing phone numbers and promotes the privacy of the volunteers. Questions? Contact Yakira at . Both teens and adults welcome as buddies.
Write cards and letters
- Write personalized cards to home-bound older adults:
This generation primarily communicated through handwritten notes and letters, so your personally-written note will be particularly meaningful. If you are proficient in Russian, we would love to receive cards written in Russian as well. Please contact Ava Harder for more information at .
- Write a letter to someone in immigrant detention:
We continue to support our neighbors in immigration detention who are struggling from a lack of resources and care at this time. If you’d like to write letters to those we are supporting with BIJAN, please contact Rachie Lewis.
- Make cards to boost the spirits of senior residents at 2Life! Cards can be mailed to 32 Commonwealth Park, Newton MA 02459, or dropped in the box on the front steps of that address.
Lend your support to those hit hardest
- Through JCRC’s work with the Boston Immigration Justice Accompaniment Network (BIJAN), we are seeking Spanish speakers in our community to support immigrant families in navigating complex resources online during this difficult time. Contact Rachie Lewis, Director of Synagogue Organizing, to learn more.
- Help process emergency assistance applications
The City of Somerville and United Way have partnered to create the Somerville Fund to provide emergency assistance to Somerville residents, workers, and parents affected by the pandemic. CAAS, the Community Action Agency of Somerville, has been asked to manage the fund. They have received over 600 applications in one week and need help! Volunteers will be trained on how to process applications and expedite aid. You can work at your own pace in your own time. Volunteer training sessions are every Wednesday and Thursday at 3pm. Contact Jacob Kramer with any questions or if you can volunteer.
- Help nonprofits applying for Paycheck Protection Loan (PPL) and Small Business Administration (SBA) Loan Programs, and support them as they navigate longer term issues (i.e. financial forecasting, HR, remote workforce).
- Record activities for JF&CS clients with intellectual and developmental Disabilities:
Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JF&CS) is creating a library of activities for their clients who are at home without structured daytime activities. Volunteers can record themselves on their phone doing an adaptive art project, dance, workout, yoga, song session, relaxation, or meditation. Clients will be able to access the videos on the JF&CS YouTube channel. To get involved, please contact Angie Waring.
Connect with PeacebuildersTake JCRC’s Pathways to Peace Learning Series:
Now more than ever, we need to find ways to connect with our neighbors. We live in a global community where stories from around the world can unite and inspire us. Join us for Pathways to Peace: a six-part series featuring Israelis and Palestinians telling their stories of identity, friendship, and cohesion even during a time of social distance.
Advocate & Contact your legislators
- Ask your legislator to co-sponsor and support House bill HD 5075 to protect our fall elections! Safe and secure elections are vital to preserving our democracy. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the inadequacies of our voting infrastructure and created an urgent need to address these issues ahead of the 2020 elections. HD 5075 is endorsed by the Election Modernization Coalition, made up voting rights and election security organizations across the state. Read a summary of An Act Ensuring Safe and Participatory 2020 State Elections in Response to COVID-19 and contact your legislator to co-sponsor and support this bill.
- Join our friends at Project Bread in asking Congress to address the devastating impact this pandemic has had on food insecurity across the country by strengthening our most effective anti-hunger program, SNAP, in the next round of legislation.
- Join our friends at the MA Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) in advocating for bills that protect immigrants’ rights. Email your legislators about the Safe Communities Act here. Click here to tweet!
- Phone bank for the Census: From our partners at the MA Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA): Census operations, like so much else in Massachusetts, have been disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak. The communities most vulnerable in this public health emergency are also most at risk of being under-counted. These communities include low-wage people of color and immigrant workers, people experiencing homelessness, and non-English speakers. We must ensure that everyone is safe during this public health emergency and that everyone is seen, heard, and counted in the 2020 Census. Please join us on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays for virtual phone banking. A short training will be included in the first 20 minutes. Click here to sign up.
- Join the ADL in urging Congress to condemn anti-Asian hate:
America has seen a rise in xenophobia and discrimination against Asians and Asian Americans as a result of COVID-19, with more than 450 cases of hate, bias, and violence since January 2020. Contact your elected representatives and urge them to support H.Res. 908, which would condemn all forms of anti-Asian sentiment as related to COVID-19.
- Help someone in your neighborhood through mutual aid:
Neighbors need to help neighbors right now, and the Neighborhood Aid Network provides a central place where you can find people near you who are in need of support. Click here to find your neighborhood.
- Take ten minutes to fill out the 2020 Census Form:
You can respond online, by phone, or by mail. Census results help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow into states
- Contact your legislators about HD 4951:
Click here to ask your state legislators to co-sponsor HD 4951, an Act to Provide Short Term Relief to Families in Deep Poverty. HD 4951 would provide immediate one-time supplemental cash assistance to 30,000 families in Massachusetts hit especially hard by the pandemic.
- Tell Governor Baker You Support His Decision to Close Gun Stores Two weeks ago, the MA Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence mobilized to get Governor Baker to change his classification of gun shops and shooting ranges from essential to non-essential businesses during this crisis. The Gun Owners Action League, the NRA arm in MA, is demanding that Governor Baker open gun stores and resume gun licensing operations immediately. A coalition of gun shops and gun owners has sued Governor Baker and Attorney General Healey to demand the same. Contact Governor Baker’s office to support his decision to keep gun stores and licensing operations closed during the pandemic to save lives.
- Urge Congress to Address Rising Hate and Xenophobia Join the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council, co-convened by AJC and the Islamic Society of North America, in standing up for the civil rights of all Americans. Together they are advocating for legislation to improve FBI hate crimes reporting. Click here for more information.
Donate Food, Supplies, and Funds
- Donate Masks with Masks for Humanity, which enables people to sign up to request masks and donate masks and craft supplies.
- Donate supplies to hospitals: Hospitals are in need of sanitizer, gloves, wipes, and more. Click here to fill out the City of Boston’s donation intake form.
- The Tuesday lunch program with the Community Day Center in Waltham is looking for donations of 40 sandwiches for the grab-and-go lunch program. Click here to sign up to make sandwiches.
- The Dwelling Place in Woburn is looking for 36 sandwiches for its grab-and-go dinner program on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. Individually portioned home-baked goods are also welcome. Email Barry Glass to get involved.
- On Saturday, May 16th, the Braintree Community Task Force will be holding a food and personal protective equipment drive at Braintree Town Hall. Click here for more information.
- Create a “Soup In A Jar” kit for our partner shelters and food pantries:
These soup mixes can be used immediately or at a later date. For more information, contact Grace Farnan, TELEM Coordinator. On hold until the fall
- Hayley House: Donate non-perishable food or sanitizing items, or send them items from their Amazon Charity Lists.
- New Hope, Inc, a TELEM partner with several safe houses and shelters in the area, is looking for donations of diapers and wipes for young families in their shelters. If you have some on hand or can purchase some when you shop, JCRC will coordinate with you to deliver the diapers to the appropriate shelters. Email Barry Glass to get involved.
- Due to severe blood shortage, donors are urgently needed. For those allowed to do so, make an appointment to donate at Boston Children’s Hospital.
- Donate to the MA COVID-19 Relief Fund The fund will benefit frontline healthcare professionals, first responders, essential workers, working families, and households disproportionately affected by the impact of COVID-19, immigrant and undocumented populations, people who are food insecure, and more.
Be part of our Fund-a-Need campaign:
You can help fund various program efforts by donating now, and your donation will be included in our campaign.
Volunteer in Person
- Volunteer at 2Life Communities:
Help meet the needs of their residents: help run their front desk, and run mail and packages to residents. Strict safety protocols and requirements for volunteers are in place. Email to get involved. Volunteer to shop for groceries here: Volunteer Grocery Shoppers form
- Deliver meals to seniors and families:
with South Boston Neighborhood House.
- Deliver meals to older adults and quarantined immigrant families:
Our friends at Jewish Family Service (Metrowest) need volunteers to deliver meals to isolated older adults and immigrant families.
- Sign up to volunteer through Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s Office:
The Mayor’s Office of neighborhood services is coordinating prospective volunteers and connect them to future outreach and volunteer opportunities. As future volunteer opportunities arise, a representative from the City of Boston will reach out to you directly. Click here to sign up.
- Volunteer for JF&CS Family Table:
Our friends at Jewish Family & Children’s Services are in dire need of volunteers to help at their Sunday distributions in Waltham, Marblehead, and Canton. Their next distribution is in Waltham on Sunday, April 5th and they need volunteers on-site and to pack and deliver groceries. Click here to sign up.
- Make sure our most vulnerable populations can eat:
Food For Free is mobilizing a volunteer team to make sure our most vulnerable populations still get food. Click here if you are willing to assist in a safe way during this challenging time.
- Help kids continue to get their school lunches:
Click here to volunteer with Boston Public Schools, packing and distributing meals. You can also donate reusable bags for families to use when picking up from meal sites by emailing .
- Volunteer at the Greater Boston Food Bank to unpack/repack food deliveries for distribution to GBFB partner food pantries and meals programs.
- Help the Harvard Graduate Students Union (HGSU) meet the needs of students, student workers, staff, and the entire university community during this difficult pandemic.
- Volunteer at Hebrew SeniorLife:
Hebrew SeniorLife needs volunteers to take shifts on their eight different campuses to perform onsite screening temperature checks. The sites are located in Brookline, Roslindale, Revere, Dedham, Canton, and Randolph. Protective gear will be provided, along with appropriate safety training. Prospective, healthy volunteers who are comfortable with physical proximity should contact Lynda Bussgang.
- Sign up to volunteer through MA Responds:
The Commonwealth is seeking people from both medical and non-medical professions. Sign up here.
- Volunteer in Community Serving’s kitchen, peeling and chopping vegetables, portioning and packaging food, and packing meal bags for delivery to clients. Click here to learn more.
- Search for even more volunteer opportunities by location at https://weconnectforgood.org/find-ways-to-help-cv19/.
- The COVID-19 crisis is particularly difficult for low-income households that cannot leave their homes to purchase basic necessities like fresh fruit and produce, among other things. About Fresh is addressing this emergency by delivering boxes of produce directly to Boston families in crisis, and they need volunteer drivers. Click here to learn more.
- Pearl St Café and Cupboard in Framingham is looking for teen and adult volunteers to assist with food pantry operations as they experience a huge rise in need. Contact Barbara LaGrenade, Volunteer Coordinator at 508-370-4902.
- Arlington EATs is in need of volunteers to help pack individual bags of groceries that they deliver to residents’ doors.