Volunteer & Engagement Opportunities from February 2018 Newsletter

Spruce believes that our generation has so much to give to the causes we care about, so we put out the call for area nonprofits to advertise their opportunities to get involved in our newsletter.

Please read on for this month’s opportunities! (Disclaimer: Please note that as an all-volunteer organization, Spruce is not able to vet these organizations or opportunities and encourages you to do your own research.)

ASAP/After School Activities Partnerships

About the Opportunities:

  1. Assistant Club Leader: Looking for an opportunity to connect with Philly youth? Volunteer to help lead an after school Chess, Debate, Drama, or Scrabble Club! No experience is necessary – ASAP staff provides training and ongoing support as you help engage students in exploring their passions. To ensure continuity for youth, ASAP asks that volunteers commit to working with one club a minimum of one hour per week for at least a semester (12-16 weeks).
  2. Debate Judges: Due to the growing popularity of scholastic debate, ASAP is looking for volunteers willing to serve as judges for ASAP’s middle and high school debate matches. More than just determining the winners, the role of a debate judge is to provide feedback to students to help them refine their arguments and to think critically about key issues. No debate experience is necessary to serve as a judge. This is a flexible opportunity – attend a one-hour orientation, then sign up for debates as your schedule permits!
  3. Event Support: Want to volunteer but can’t commit to an ongoing need? ASAP is always looking for caring adults to help large events run smoothly. Volunteers can expect to assist with registration and check-in, handing out snacks, setting up tables and chairs (we regularly have 150-200+ students at our events!),assisting with student transitions between activities, and other miscellaneous tasks. Most events are after school or on the weekends and last 3-8 hours – volunteers can sign up for shifts at longer events.
    1. Philadelphia Scholastic Debate League Finals: Wednesday, March 7th, 3:30 p.m. -5:30 p.m. at the University of Pennsylvania. After five months of weekly competition, more than 200 Philadelphia public and charter high school students will compete in a final round of public forum debate to determine which team is the city champion. Volunteers will be trained before the final round begins, and then assigned to judging panels to determine the winners of varsity and novice debates.
    2. “In Search of the American Dream” ASAP Drama Showcase: Thursday, March 8th, 1:00 p.m. -8:00 p.m. (shifts available) at West Philadelphia High School. This year, ASAP Drama is piloting a new curriculum titled In Search of the American Dream. Under this theme, students in grades K-12 are reading texts about Class, Immigration, and Gender and will work to translate what they’ve discovered into original devised pieces. These new works will be performed in front of a live audience at the Showcase. Volunteers will assist with coordination and transition of groups, set up/break down, and ushering.
    3. Spring Into Scrabble: Saturday, March 17th, 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 pm at the Parkway Central Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia. This annual event engages students and their families in fun Scrabble play, along with other word games, to make sure that parents and caregivers have the tools to promote family literacy. Volunteers would help set up the space, direct participants to Scrabble boards, and act as Word Arbiters to answer any official challenges.

Interested in more information about these opportunities? Contact: Sara Morningstar at smorningstar@phillyasap.org.

Own Your Awesomeness

About the Opportunity: We are looking for female teachers who want to volunteer for a week of camp this July! The camp is for high school girls and the girls learn new skills (how to use a drill and change a tire), discuss important topics (body image, sex ed, women’s representation in the media), build community, and have fun!

Interested in more information about this opportunity? Contact: Kate Zipin, kate@ownyourawesomeness.org

Rock to the Future

About the Opportunity: Rock to the Future prepares underserved Philly youth for every stage! We provide free and low-cost music programs to help youth succeed in music, school, and life. We are always looking for volunteers to help students with homework, music and instrument instruction, and youth mentoring at our after-school program, MusiCore. We have several MusiCore volunteer orientations every year – the next orientation is on Tuesday, March 6 from 6:30-7:30pm at our Kensington location: 2139 E Cumberland St. There are plenty of other opportunities to get involved, like joining the Programming and Engagement Committees, providing photography and videography during events, and staffing special events and concerts. All current volunteer openings can be found online: Sign Up Genius

Interested in more information about this opportunity? Contact: Email Becky at info@rocktothefuture.org

Sky Community Partners

About the Opportunity: The 4th Annual Point Breeze 5K and Health Fair on April 21st. The Point Breeze 5K Run/Walk and Health Fair is being organized to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer and to promote healthy living. To put on this event, we rely on volunteers! If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out this form: 2018 Point Breeze 5K Volunteer Form

Interested in more information about this opportunity? Contact: Megan at megan@skycommunitypartners.com

Steppingstone Scholars, Inc

About the Opportunity: Steppingstone Scholars’ Mentor Program works to help our Scholars and students gain personal and professional insight into future careers and education. Our Mentors are role models, advocates and supporters who open doors to social, cultural, educational and professional experiences for college and career bound high school students. We have opportunities for ongoing one-on-one mentors who take personal and professional interest in a student as well as opportunities for ongoing or one time group mentoring where you can provide career and personal guidance to a cohort of students through workshops and online sessions.

Interested in more information about this opportunity? Contact: Monique Curry-Mims at mcurry@steppingstonescholars.org

Team Up Philly, Empowering Girls to Win in Life

About the Opportunities:

Volunteers would have to get clearances and background checks done before they could start.

  1. Thursday scholars (tutoring) held three Thursdays a month at Ludington Library in Bryn Mawr from 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.. Volunteers work one-on-one or in small groups to help girls develop academic skills and good work habits. We want to stimulate curiosity and love of learning. Poetry, math games and book club are common activities.
  2. Girls’ after-school sports, Tuesdays 3:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. at Shepard Rec Center, 57th & Haverford, West Philly. We combine sports skills (basketball, general fitness and other sports) with character-building curriculum. Volunteers ideally would commit to coming once a week for a season (fall/winter, spring).
  3. Girls’ after-school sports, Wednesdays 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Olney Elementary,Olney neighborhood. We combine sports skills (basketball, general fitness and other sports) with character-building curriculum. Volunteers ideally would commit to coming once a week for a season (fall/winter, spring).
  4. Saturday tennis held at DVTA, Bryn Mawr from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Girls have an hour of tennis instruction and play, followed by a second hour of healthy lunch and character-building activities. Volunteers could help with either or both hours; no tennis experience necessary! Lunch discussions are very interesting!
  5. Cooking partnership with the Vetri Foundation, held at universal Daroff Charter School eight week sessions in spring and fall. Volunteers would back up our head volunteer chef. The group learns to prepare healthful, affordable meals while being introduced to an array of fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains.
  6. Girls’ Leadership project, held on some Saturdays during the school year at our Narberth office and varied locations. The GLP is for girls who have done well in TUP programs and want to further develop leadership and life skills. Volunteers would serve as mentors/role models and/or share specific talents with the group.We bring in as many resources as possible to meet the needs of the girls. Women Against Abuse is a powerful partner, helping girls identify healthy relationships, learn to set boundaries and recognize warning signs for abuse. Nutrition, self-defense, college readiness, financial literacy, exposure to arts and culture are other areas of focus.

Interested in more information about this opportunity? Contact: Marian Fischer Pearlman at 484-270-8779 or Marian@teamupphilly.org

The Legacy Exists, Joe Frazier Scholarship Fund

About the Opportunity: We are in the need of ongoing social media assistance and help at our next event: The Legacy Exists, Joe Frazier Scholarship, 3rd Annual Cocktail Fundraiser, March 10, 2017. Penns Landing Caterer, Philadelphia, PA.

Interested in more information about this opportunity? Contact: Weatta Frazier Collins at thelegacyexists@gmail.com

Tree House Books

About the Opportunity: Come join our volunteer-staffed Giving Library by organizing and inventorying our growing library as well as selecting and packaging book donations to go out into the community. Volunteers should be ready and enthusiastic to regularly interact with the people of our community, help them find certain books, suggest books, and engage in conversation. Our Volunteer Librarians are a crucial part of our operation and the face of our Giving Library to those who are coming in for a book or dropping off a donation. Become an essential part of our Giving Library today! Our library is open from Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can set your own schedule within our hours of operation!

Interested in more information about this opportunity? Contact: Emma Goldstein at Emma@treehousebooks.org

Urban Tree Connection

About the Opportunity: Urban Tree Connection, is a non-profit organization in West Philly that was founded in 1989. Our mission is to work with residents in the Haddington neighborhood to reclaim vacant land for community use and more specifically for greening and gardening projects. In the last year we have made significant shifts in our leadership to become more reflective of the community we serve, both racially and socio-economically. With those advances, we are seeking opportunities to draw in more diverse candidates across diverse skillsets that match our organizational needs and align with our vision for more equitable and sustainable local food systems. As such, we would like to extend an invitation for you and folks in your network to consider applying for / serving on one of our board committees. *Candidates of color are strongly encouraged to apply* For more information about Urban Tree Connection, click here. For more information about the board committee opportunity, click here.

Interested in more information about this opportunity? Contact: Noelle Warford, Executive Director, at noelle@urbantreeconnection.org or 215-877-7203.

West Park Cultural Center

About the Opportunity: Volunteer at West Park Arts Fest (presented by West Park Cultural Center, Fairmount Park Conservancy and Mural Arts Philadelphia). The event is on Saturday June 9, 2018 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., and the organization is looking for volunteers from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Volunteers are asked to give at least a 4 hour block of time.) The event is located on South Concourse Drive between 41st and Memorial Hall Drive in West Fairmount Park. More volunteer details including types of volunteer tasks can be found on the West Park Arts Fest page of the West Park Cultural Center’s website.

Interested in more information about this opportunity? Contact: Betty Lindley at 215-473-7810 or blindley@westparkcultural.org.

Author: Elizabeth Starrantino

Elizabeth Starrantino is a Spruce Foundation alumni board member and chair of the organization’s communications committee. She spent five years in non-profit marketing and fundraising, and knows from first-hand experience the difference dedicated, enthusiastic, hard-working volunteers make to move organizations forward. She got involved with the Spruce Foundation because she knows her peers have the skills and drive to be those volunteers and make that difference, and she wants to help connect them to the causes that need them so they can start making Philadelphia even more awesome than it already is.

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