If volunteering is on your list of New Year’s resolutions, you’ll be glad to know that many local organizations are seeking people to help. The connection to others and the sense of purpose that comes with volunteering has been shown to be healthy, too. You can do something for others and for yourself by offering your skills to one of the organizations listed here. —Abraham Storer, K.C. Myers, and Edouard Fontenot
Meals on Wheels, run by Elder Services of Cape Cod and the Islands, is in need of volunteer drivers to deliver meals to seniors in Wellfleet, Truro, Eastham, and Orleans. Training and mileage reimbursement is provided. Contact Dawn Ericson-Taylor, volunteer resource manager, at 508-394-4630 or [email protected].
Helping Our Women, a resource center for Outer Cape women living with chronic or life-threatening conditions, is looking for volunteers to take on tasks ranging from driving clients to medical appointments to making home visits, doing data entry, and helping clients with basic technology. Find out more by clicking on “Get Involved” at helpingourwomen.org or by calling 508-487-4357.
Homeless Prevention Council is based in Orleans and helps people from Harwich to Provincetown take steps to keep their housing and attain financial independence. The volunteer positions listed on its website include general office support, marketing and development, events, and even landscaping at the office. To learn more and apply, go to “Get Involved” at hpccapecod.org or call 508-255-9667.
AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod has community members helping with administrative duties, food delivery, and events. There is a strong group of volunteers now, but new people are always welcome. Volunteers are free to commit as little or as much time as they want. To learn more, contact the office at 508-487-9445.
CASAS, the Carrie A. Seaman Animal Shelter, is a no-kill shelter currently housing nine cats. The shelter has an all-volunteer staff. “We have some lovely cats that need some attention,” says Anita Butler, a full-time volunteer. The shelter is cage-free and volunteers are needed to sit with cats, brush them, and scoop boxes. Prospective volunteers should stop by during visiting hours (daily from 2 to 3:30 p.m.) to fill out an application. Information can be found at casasanimalshelter.org or by calling 508-487-4243.
The Council on Aging in Provincetown is always looking for volunteers, according to Chris Hottle, the director. “I like to match volunteers with what they want to do,” she says. “Some volunteers are here every day and some are on call as needed.” Some 40 volunteers work in the meals program, teach classes, and help with over 175 other programs and services over the course of the year. Hottle meets in person with potential volunteers. She can be reached at 508-487-7080 or at [email protected].
Provincetown Art Association and Museum likes to match volunteers with projects that use their skills. Currently opportunities are available for people to distribute flyers for the museum school, reorganize archives, install member exhibitions, and help with drop-off and pick-up days. Interested candidates should contact Lesley Marchessault, PAAM’s development officer, at 508-487-1750, ext. 112 or follow the “Support” link at paam.org.
Truro Historical Museum and the Cobb Archive have many year-round opportunities for volunteers interested in the history of the town and region. Although the museum is closed in the off season, archival work continues and volunteers catalog wills, deeds, newspaper articles, and photographs that document the history of the town. The archive welcomes and trains volunteers to help organize holdings. Some winter volunteers become greeters or docents come summer. Currently the archive has a need for photographers to help with visual cataloging of museum collections and a technical person who can set up a new Wi-Fi network. To volunteer, contact museum staff at [email protected].
Truro Community Kitchen fights food insecurity in Truro by delivering free, nourishing home-cooked meals to those who need them. Winter volunteers are urgently needed to help with the preparation and packaging of food in the community kitchen at the Christian Union Church from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each Tuesday. Food delivery drivers are also needed on Tuesday afternoons. To volunteer, write to Wendy Lurie, [email protected], or call 973-868-7526.
Sustainable CAPE supports local agriculture and farmers and combats hunger and food insecurity by donating fresh-picked fruits and vegetables on the Outer Cape. Volunteer possibilities include gardening with the team and making deliveries for the CSA program. To become a volunteer, go to “Get Involved” at sustainablecape.org.
Truro Swap Shop, located at the transfer station, is the town’s best place for repurposing unwanted items and keeping them out of the waste stream. It is in dire need of volunteers. Application materials are online at the Truro town website, truro-ma.gov, where you can click on the button for “Transfer Station” then choose “Swap Shop Volunteer.” Nancy Fenichel can help interested volunteers apply. Call her at 508-349-2591.
Friends of the Truro Library are always looking for volunteers to assist library staff in keeping the library running smoothly. Volunteers’ skills go to event planning, staffing book sales, library work, publicity, presentations, and lectures. For the library’s current needs, contact Director Tricia Ford at 508-487-1125 or [email protected].
The Food Pantry is looking for new volunteers to join its community of pantry helpers. For information or to volunteer, contact Barbara Bond at [email protected] or 617-515-4342.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article, published in print on Dec. 29, 2022, incorrectly reported that the Cobb Library in Truro was closed for the winter. It is open Tuesdays and Thursdays.
AIM Thrift Shop is volunteer-run and open year-round, six days a week, except for the month of February. Proceeds benefit local nonprofits that provide health, food, and other social services. The thrift store lost a lot of volunteers during Covid, and they’re hoping to rebuild their ranks, says Jim McAuliffe, a board member. Volunteers are asked to work at least one three-hour shift a week. Interested candidates can get an application at the shop at 305 Main St.
Mass Appeal has a mission of providing free clothing to residents of the Outer Cape. Its Share Shop is staffed by volunteers who unpack donations, sort clothing, and assist customers. To become a volunteer, call 508-349-1173 or go to ccmassappeal.org and click on “Support Us” to send a message.
246 Community Kitchen’s volunteer teams prepare meals all winter on Mondays and Tuesdays. The meals are currently packaged for pickup, but they plan to return to community meals later in the winter. This winter’s teams are pretty well staffed, but those interested in helping should call Amy Carow at 908-377-0677; she says 246 always has room for enthusiastic volunteers.
The Wellfleet Food Pantry at Grace Chapel provides food to more than 150 families. Volunteers are needed to staff the pantry and serve shoppers. The time commitment can be as little as two hours per month. If interested, contact 508-349-3036 or send a message via the website, wellfleetfoodpantry.org.
Mass Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities depending on the season. At this time of year they are seeking front desk volunteers. “It’s one of the most interesting and challenging positions,” says Director Melissa Lowe Cestaro. You’ll field questions about everything from trail conditions, wildlife, and where to go to eat, she says. Ideally a volunteer would take a three-hour shift once a week.
Volunteers for the sea turtle rescue program underway now are recruited and trained in the fall. In the spring, there will be training for volunteer naturalists to lead guided walks, protect diamondback terrapins, or help with a horseshoe crab census. See massaudubon.org and click on “Get Involved” or call the sanctuary at 508-349-2615.
Wellfleet Historical Society is looking for history buffs to join in a wide range of opportunities in grant research and writing, photography, gardening and landscaping, education, conducting oral histories, and fundraising. Schedules are flexible and “there’s something for everyone,” according to the website. Choose “Get Involved” at wellfleethistoricalsociety.org or email coordinator Sheryl Jaffe, [email protected].
The Eastham Council on Aging seeks volunteers to be greeters at the senior center as well as activities organizers for the meals, events, and other programs offered there. Phone 774-801-3151 for information. People who have a mind for retail may also help at the thrift shop. For information on that, call 508-255-6164.
Wild Care attends to sick and wounded small wild animals. The staff is always looking for help cleaning the clinic, which includes disinfecting animal cages, washing dishes, doing laundry, and washing floors. A three-hour shift one day per week for a minimum of six months and attendance at a monthly meeting in Brewster is required. Volunteers are also needed to help with fundraising and events. For more information, email [email protected].
Nauset Warriors Booster Club at Nauset Regional High School depends on volunteers to raise funds for sports equipment, transportation, and other expenses that allow students to participate in sports without paying any fees. Volunteers work at the concession stand at games and tournaments. The minimum time commitment is two to three hours a season. Community members and students are invited to sign up. Contact volunteer coordinator K.C. Myers at [email protected] or learn more at nausetboosters.com.
The Windmill Weekend Committee’s president, Joanna Stevens, said her group has already started planning for Windmill Weekend in September 2023. The committee needs a chairperson to organize the road race, co-chairs for the raffle and car show, and a volunteer merchandising coordinator. These positions require attendance at monthly planning meetings throughout the year. Alternatively, you can volunteer just for the weekend itself. There’s a Windmill Weekend volunteer recruitment event at the Eastham Public Library on Feb. 2, 2023, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. or email [email protected].