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Spreading The Brotherly Love: Top 5 Spots To Volunteer In Philadelphia

No one has ever made it through life without someone else’s help. Thanks to founding father William Penn’s motivation, and to the helping hands of the city’s original citizens like Benjamin Franklin, and present-day natives like Sister Mary Scullion, Philadelphia has a legacy of being one of America’s most innovative places for exploring and exercising the civic potential of brotherly love and sisterly affection. A city named for love, volunteers are who help keep the blood pumping throughout the heart of this great city. The following is an assorted compilation of the five top spots where you can be a direct reflection of a city whose utmost strength comes from its inherent ability to stand together united in diversity.

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1. PHILABUNDANCE

Philabundance / Via philabundance.org

As one in six American’s struggle with hunger, Philabundance has been working towards making nutritious food accessible to all people since 1984. Be a part of their mission to “end hunger forever” by helping distribute fresh produce to marginalized neighborhoods, or by sorting and packing emergency food items at the Hunger Relief Center in South Philadelphia. You can even spend summer and fall mornings in the field, harvesting leftover crops, putting handpicked fruits and veggies in the hands of those in need. Once a month, Philabundance hosts a Family Night for volunteers as young as eight years old to help feed our communities. Learn more about how you and your family can “squash hunger” by visiting philabundance.org

2. PROJECT HOME

Daniel Cox / Via gwyneddnow.org

1515 Faimont Ave 2826 Diamond Street

Philadelphia PA, 19121 Philadelphia PA, 19130

Philadelphia has a 26.3 percent poverty rate, one of the highest in the nation. Co-founded by Philadelphia-based, service-work activist, Sister Mary Scullion in 1989, Project HOME is a nonprofit organization that promotes breaking the cycle of poverty by providing safe havens for the homeless to find opportunities for new beginnings. This organization enables you to nurture your community spirit as an advocate for social justice—spend an afternoon serving a meal at one of Project HOME’s residence sites, provide them with necessary items by hosting a donation drive, or support the Project HOME Shop— in 2016, 40 residents earned income by making HOME made gifts for the community, like scented candles, soaps, and even greeting cards. Find out how you can lend a hand by visiting projecthome.org

3. NORTHERN CHILDREN'S SERVICES

Bonnie Dugan / Via northernchildren.org

5301 Ridge Avenue

Philadelphia PA, 19128

Poverty has been a persistent obstacle for the healthy development, education, and welfare of many of Philadelphia’s children. Northern Children’s Services, a nonprofit organization, believes that every child has the potential to transform him or herself— no matter their background or life circumstances. Between behavioral health, foster care, and residential housing for young mothers and their children, Northern is committed to building positive relationships in a nurturing and safe environment, striving to ensure bright futures for these children. The options to help fulfill Northern’s mission to “help children and their families today so we can all do better tomorrow” are abundant. Situated on a charming six-acre campus high atop Ridge Avenue in Roxborough, volunteers can assist with landscaping or gardening, and those seeking an adventure can accompany children on trips to amusement parks and museums. “We love our volunteers. It is wonderful to have them present as part of the Northern family,” said Renata Cobbs-Fletcher, President and CEO of Northern Children’s Services. Whether you are an individual or part of a group, you can learn more about Northern’s Days of Service Projects by visiting their website at northernchildren.org

4. CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL OF PHILADELPHIA

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia / Via chop.edu

3401 Civic Center Blvd.

Philadelphia PA, 19104

A child’s stay at the hospital is not only difficult for the child, but also for their family. If you love children, are over eighteen, and can dedicate a minimum of three hours per week for six months, volunteering your time and talents at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is sure to serve up some smiles on the faces of little patients. From arts and crafts, to reading, to simply sharing a Wawa coffee with a tired mom or dad, CHOP volunteers support the hospital’s mission to care not just for the patient but the entire family. Learn more about the application process and the wide array of service opportunities offered at chop.edu

5. PHILADOPTABLES

Philadoptables / Via philadoptables.org

111 West Hunting Park Avenue

Philadelphia PA, 19140

Founded in 2010, Philadoptables– Friends of the Philadelphia Animal Control Shelter, is the city’s first independent organization dedicated to helping save the lives and supporting the welfare of the staggering 30,000 plus animals received each year by the Philadelphia Animal Control Shelter. Comprised entirely of volunteers, Philadoptables welcomes animal lovers to give these helpless dogs and cats the love and care they deserve— dog walking, grooming, adoption event support, and even foster care opportunities are just a WOOF away at philadoptables.org

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