Volunteer to Support the Cambridge Women's Center
Thank you for your interest in supporting our community space. Volunteers are the backbone of the Cambridge Women's Center. Our biggest need for volunteers is in Direct Service, but we also have lots of other ways to get involved. Read below to see all of our current offerings!
Direct Service Volunteers (Drop-In & Helpline)
Are you passionate about social justice? Hearing people's stories? Providing emotional support and resources? Volunteering for our Drop-In & Helpline may be a great fit! The Cambridge Women's Center is a unique center that primarily serves housing-insecure, marginalized, and low-income women in the Greater Boston area. We are entirely dependent on our wonderful direct service volunteers and interns to keep the center running during operating hours. A minimum of three volunteers is required to staff the center at all times. As a volunteer, you will: provide general staffing of the 4-story home, provide emotional support and conversation in-person and on the phone, assist community members with resource referrals and troubleshooting, perform regular walk-throughs of the house, participate in tidying and light cleaning, record data and information, and be an engaged and present advocate for our members to turn to.
You will likely encounter conversations on the following topics: homelessness, poverty, food insecurity, mental health issues, depression, isolation, trauma, domestic violence, rape and sexual assault, substance use, and more. It is important to understand what volunteering in the drop-in actually looks like. Some days are quiet, and you'll talk about television and gardening, and others are hectic and emotionally charged as you help women navigate systems aimed to help, but with many barriers. Just your presence alone allows us to stay open. There will be downtime and busy days, and we expect volunteers to be able to handle both, as well as check in with their supervisors for support.
As a volunteer you will receive ongoing support and education from regularly scheduled trainings and volunteer meetings. We encourage you to attend as many of these as you can! In addition, you will receive regular check-ins from either our Volunteer Manager, Anna Plotkin-Swing, or our Director, Jessye Kass.
We welcome new cohorts of volunteers to the center every 3-4 months. Each cohort begins by attending an initial, mandatory day-long training. The date for the spring training is yet to be determined. When the date is set, we will post the volunteer application. If you would like to be alerted when we start accepting applications for the spring training, please let us know here.
If you have any questions about volunteering in the drop-in/helpline, please email Anna, Volunteer Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Facilitating Groups or Workshops
If you'd like to work directly with people, but not in the drop-in and helpline, you could also run a group or workshop! If you're interested in facilitating a group or workshop, please click here to learn more!
Current Specialized Volunteer Positions:
If you'd prefer helping out in another way, check out our other options!
1. Maintenance Volunteer: Assist with various (low to medium skill) maintenance projects in four-story home that serves as a drop-in day shelter for marginalized women. Begin ASAP; schedule is flexible dependent on your schedule. Restrictions: Women only!
2. Cleaning Volunteer: Vacuum, sweep, dust and scrub a four-story home that serves as a drop-in day shelter for marginalized women. A clean house is a welcoming house! This work is done on Sundays while the Women's Center is closed. Begin ASAP. Restrictions: Must be responsible and willing to clean without supervision.
3. Mental Health Professional Volunteer — Support Groups, Clinical Work and Trainings: Lead a support group for women (can be specialized), provide clinical time to women interested in MH services (pending LICSW supervision), and/or provide trainings on MH and active listening to volunteer staff members. Begin: December 2018; ongoing. Schedule: Flexible given your schedule.
4. Fundraising Volunteer: Help with donor research, thank you notes, data input, event planning, publicity, or other tasks. Schedule: Flexible given your schedule; some work can be done remotely. Please click here to download our Fundraising Volunteer Application Form, or email Linda Pinkow, our Development Coordinator, for more information.
If you're interested in any of these opportunities (except fundraising), please email Jessye Kass, Director of Volunteers, with the subject line of which volunteer position you're interested in.