Tis the season for decadence and frivolity, but not everything we give this year has to be in the form of a toy or gift card. For those willing to give a little bit of their time, there are opportunities around the area that give Tewksbury residents a chance to help others. With the help of Marina Villeneuve and Freyja Sanger of the Tewksbury Public Library, we've compiled a list of volunteering opportunities in Tewksbury and beyond.
Tewksbury Public Library
If you love books, or just love being around them, you can come to the Tewksbury Public library to volunteer. They're always looking for residents who want to give a helping hand with some of their day-to-day tasks. According to Reference Librarian and Volunteer Coordinator Freyja Sanger, there is plenty of work to be done around the library. "Mostly what (volunteers) do is shelve our books and we have some smaller projects in tech services… They also volunteer for the 'Friends of the Library.' (Friends of the Library) is separate from the library but it's the fundraising arm. They also have a bookstore downstairs. The bookstore is open on Wednesday and Saturday. If I have a volunteer who's not interested in shelving books, I'll have them do that."
Also, volunteers can work on Children's Projects or do basic cleaning around the library. The Tewksbury Public Library takes residents aged 14 and above. Freyja said, "We have students and we have senior citizens coming and volunteering…We get a lot of students from the high school. They have to put in ten hours of community service before they graduate. They usually put in way more than that."
The Tewksbury Public Library is always accepting volunteers. If you would like to print a volunteer application form, go to http://www.tewksburypl.org/coriform.htm. If you have any questions, you can call Freyja Sanger at (978) 640-4490 x207 or email her at email@example.com.
As reported a few weeks ago by patch.com, the Tewksbury Community Food Pantry on 999 Whipple Road is always looking for strong willed individuals with a passion to help out their fellow man. Work at the food pantry can vary from food distribution to the stocking of shelves. Any help a resident can give is greatly accepted.
According to the Food Pantry website, "The Pantry is able to continue because of the dedication and hard work of its volunteers. Volunteers sort and check food for expiration dates, fill boxes, bags of can goods, pick up food at The Lowell Food Bank, help with food drives, and work on the three distribution days."
For more information, you can go to their website at http://www.tewksburypantry.org/index.html. If you would like to volunteer or have any questions about the Tewksbury Food Pantry, please call (978) 858-2273
If you have free time and a love for horses, then volunteering at the Tewksbury Hospital Equestrian Farm just might be the activity for you.
The purpose of their program can best be summarized in the Farm's mission statement: "T.H.E. FARM's (Tewksbury Hospital Equestrian FARM)mission is to provide a public, self sustaining, agricultural based equine program which complements the needs of the Tewksbury Hospital community and fosters a regional environment for education, research, and the integration of members of the disabled and the able bodied communities."
You can volunteer by doing barn chores, maintenance, sidewalking, horse care, administrative or use any other skill you have to benefit the cause. There are age restrictions for some of the activities so be sure go to there website to confirm your eligibility: http://www.t-h-e-farm.org/you-can-help/volunteer
No experience is necessary. Call (978) 851-5540 or go to the website mentioned above if you are interested.
Lowell Habitat for Humanity is looking for a few good men and women who believe that everybody should have a warm place to call home. Not only are they looking for volunteers of all ages to help build homes, but they also need people willing to do many of the "behind-the-scenes" jobs. Go to their website and find out how you can help!
If you're looking for a way to help our returning servicemen and women, then look no further than the Bedford VA Hospital. Their website states, "The VA provides a wide range of benefits including, Disability, Education and Training, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, Home Loan Guaranty, Dependant and Survivor Benefits, Medical Treatment, Life Insurance and Burial Benefits."
There are many ways to help and they are all listed on the VA website at: http://www.bedford.va.gov/giving/