Where to volunteer in Philadelphia

MANNA did their first Thanksgiving in their new space, located at 420 N. 20th St.
HughE Dillon

Tomorrow is #givingtuesday and it’s the perfect opportunity to get into the habit of doing service work in your community not just over the holiday season, but throughout the year. From volunteering at soup kitchens to performing music for sick patients to tutoring kids, there are so many ways to give back in the Philadelphia community. Not sure where to get started? Here are a few organizations to jump-start your journey doing volunteer work.

420 N. 20th St.

MANNA began in 1990 as a way to provide nourishment as well as a sense of support and community to people dying of AIDS, at a time when the stigma around the disease was so great, people were ostracized by family and friends. Twenty seven years later, MANNA provides healthy meals to all people living with life-threatening illnesses in the Philadelphia region, and since they’ve moved to their new facility, they’re expecting to serve 1.2 million meals in 2018. Volunteer shifts are available for both individuals and groups Monday through Friday. You’ll need to fill out a volunteer application and attend a mandatory orientation to get started.

Mighty Writers
1025 S. 9th St.
2123 N. Gratz St.
1501 Christian St.
3861 Lancaster Ave.

Being able to express yourself clearly through the written word is a must if you’re hoping to achieve success in any field. Mighty Writers in Philadelphia is dedicated to helping kids ages 7 to 17 improve their writing skills. They have four different locations where you can volunteer, covering all areas of the city and the team of 400 volunteers includes teachers and writers as well as journalists. 2,500 kids benefit from the program each year. They also offer workshops for kids and teens throughout the year, featuring subjects like Cursive Writing (since it’s not offered in school anymore) as well as safe internet practices.

St. Peter’s Food Cupboard
313 Pine St.

Founded in 1987, the St. Peter’s Food Cupboard began when someone knocked on the doors of St. Peter’s Church asking for food. Today, it serves 180 families each week with the help of over 100 volunteers. Individuals as well as groups are invited to help manage the donations received from Philabundance and responsibilities include unpacking, sorting and storing the food on weekday afternoons, and on Saturdays, volunteers are needed to help prepare and serve the food. There’s also an opportunity to assist with the Mobile Food Cupboard on Saturdays, which delivers food to two underserved communities.

Musicians On Call
Various locations

This nonprofit organization is based out of New York City but has a partnership with WXPN for its Philadelphia chapter. It brings live music (and recorded music) to the bedsides of sick patients at area hospitals that include: The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, Philadelphia VA Medical Center, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and more. Since 2004, over 98,000 patients benefit from the healing power of music. If you are interested in getting involved as either a musician or a guide, there is an application process. 

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