Deliver meals, clean beaches or design a newsletter: Volunteer opportunities abound this summer
Volunteers are the backbone of many organizations across Wareham, and there’s no shortage of service opportunities this summer.
Want to bring meals to homebound seniors? How about helping with packaging food or designing online newsletters for Damien’s Food Pantry? Or maybe stretch your legs and help maintain trails with the Wareham Land Trust?
No matter your age, interest or skill level, there’s likely a volunteer opportunity in Wareham that’s right for you.
“We have something for everyone,” said Onset Bay Association executive director Kat Jones.
The same is true at the Council on Aging, where director Missy Dziczek said meal delivery drivers and teachers help the council serve Wareham seniors.
Read on to discover how you can help fellow residents, and be sure to click our new “Volunteer Opportunities” button on our website to find updated volunteer opportunities in the future!
Driving (and teaching) for a cause
The Wareham Council on Aging is always looking for volunteers to keep the council’s many programs chugging along, Dziczek said.
The Meals on Wheels program, which helps deliver food to more than 100 homebound senior residents five days a week, needs drivers, she said.
The program is divided into six routes, and with six drivers needed per day, there’s at least 30 drivers needed per week, if volunteers put in just one day each.
“There’s always a lack of Meals on Wheels volunteers in the winter,” Dziczek said, though the council still has a constant need for volunteers year-round.
For anyone looking to share a special interest, whether it’s knitting, ship-building or playing bridge, the council director said volunteers can sign up to teach seniors something they’re passionate about.
“We’re very interested in having people share their talents with us,” she said. “We’re gonna take whatever you give us.”
Volunteers can choose to hold a one-time class or schedule a more consistent program, like weekly or monthly club meetings and classes, Dzicek said.
Those interested in helping out with the Council on Aging can call the office at 508-291-3130, and they must fill out a few forms. A new volunteer coordinator will help applicants through the process, Dziczek said.
From beach clean-up to ticket sales
The Onset Bay Association accepts volunteers for a whole host of tasks, from helping with big events to heavy lifting to selling tickets to picking up litter on the beach.
Some volunteer work can be done while sitting down, Jones said, helpful for people who may have mobility issues.
On Saturday, a handful of OBA volunteers helped lead Family Beach Day, which attracted families from as far as Albany, New York to Onset Beach for a day of sand-sculpting, reading and flying kites.
Volunteers set up a booth at the front of the beach for passersby to visit, and they helped sell kites and hand out buckets and shovels for children to play with in the sand.
To find work that fits for them with the OBA, volunteers can navigate to the association’s website or its office at 196 Onset Ave., Wednesday through Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Score some time with the Gatemen
The Wareham Gatemen use volunteers for a variety of tasks, president Andrew Lang said.
“You volunteer to join the organization and then you help,” Lang said.
Volunteers attend meetings with the organization, Lang said, where work is distributed and volunteers can sign up for tasks for the month. He said volunteers let people know when they’re available to help and go from there, and work can include helping with tickets, concessions and more.
“It’s very free-flowing,” Land said.
The Gatemen are busiest during baseball season around June to August, but help is appreciated year round, he said.
Those interested can fill out a form on the Gatemen’s website by clicking the “Organization” tab and then the “Opportunities” button.
If you’re looking for more outdoor activities, the Wareham Land Trust has a variety of work that volunteers can help with while spending some time in the sun.
Try helping the land trust with trail and property maintenance, which you don’t have to do alone! The trust hosts scheduled volunteer days where people can get together to accomplish tasks together.
Maintaining trails also includes trimming trails, building trail kiosks and bog boards and making sure invasive species are removed.
The trust also welcomes volunteers to work as property stewards, as several long-time stewards have recently retired. Property stewards help monitor trust properties, which is required at least once a year and generally happens between October and November, with training in September.
If you have a special skill or interest in photography, bookkeeping or fundraising, the trust could also use your help.
The Wareham Land Trust is a small non-profit with just one full-time staffer, and volunteers help the organization keep up its conservation efforts. Those interested in helping can fill out a form on the trust’s website or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
The Family Food Pantry — Damien’s Place has a wide range of volunteer opportunities for people with many different kinds of skills — from data entry and social media work to bagging and packing for those in need.
Some work is also remote-friendly, for those who prefer to stay home.
A list of volunteer opportunities at Damien’s Pantry is available here.
Know of a volunteer opportunity you’d like us to highlight? Email email@example.com.