The Clearinghouse: Advice for Volunteers

Check our “Needed Now” list below.
Download the 2018 Volunteer Guide with 100+ agency listings.
Sign up for our quarterly Newsletter. 

About us

CVC logo white backgroundFounded in 1994, the Clearinghouse matches potential volunteers of all ages with Cambridge agencies that need their skills and talents.

FOR VOLUNTEERS: Through workshops, email, phone or in-person communication, we strive to make the right match for a long-term engagement. A great way to get started is to review our 2018 Volunteer Guide and join a free workshop. (Upcoming dates are listed below.)

FOR AGENCIES: We help you get out the word about volunteer needs and options. Check your listing in our 2018 Volunteer Guide and send us any updates. Feel free to contact us with urgent/current needs. We may ask to visit your site at a mutually convenient time.

FOR EVERYONE: Sign up for our e-newsletter, The Cambridge Volunteer. Succinct and current, the Volunteer will keep you informed  of new and urgent calls for volunteers and other local volunteer-related events and news. 

Learn about volunteering in Cambridge

voluntariado1.weblargeFree one-hour workshops for up to 20 people to help you sort out where you would enjoy volunteering in Cambridge. Come with questions, leave with suggestions for your search.

UPCOMING SESSIONS (Contact us about hosting a workshop at your agency/business)

Friday, March 16, 2018 | 11am-12pm
Thursday, April 19,2018  | 11am-12pm

Friday, May 18, 2018 | 5:30pm-6:30pm
Thursday, June 14, 2018 | 11am-12pm

Cambridge Center for Adult Education, 42 Brattle Street, Cambridge 02138

2018 Volunteer Resource Guide (pdf)

Well over 100 agencies serving all sectors of Cambridge list their volunteer needs with us.
A co-publication of Many Helping Hands|365 and the CVC.
Download a pdf of the comprehensive 2018 Volunteer Guide

Needed Now!


Improbable Players – Theater/substance abuse
Support theater performances and youth workshops addressing addiction, alcoholism and the opioid epidemic, based on true stores and performed by people in recovery. Work at the office (Watertown) or remotely on wide range of projects from data analysis to graphic design, business guidance, production assistance. Check the volunteer listings at
Contact Andy Short at or call 617.926.8124.

ALSO:  Ushers are needed for performances; planners for arts events. Senior residences and multi-service agencies may be eager for your art/craft expertise.  See Volunteer Guide.

EDUCATION and MENTORING – Children/youth

Breakthrough Greater Boston (CRLS or public libraries)
1-on-1 Academic Mentors needed for high school students enrolled in a 6-year, year-round college access program.  Meet 1hr/week after school, evenings or weekends to tutor a core academic subject plus study skills, organization and self-advocacy.  Details and contact information here.

Cambridge Family & Children’s Service | 60 Gore Street (E.Cambridge & other sites)
Lead life skills and finance workshops for girls (Malden) or boys (Boston). Once or periodic.
Contact Bob Gittens, Exec. Director at 617.876.4210.

Cambridge School Volunteers – 2nd semester
Tutors needed especially for middle and high school, and reading, literacy and art/science programs for young learners. Training provided. Seniors specifically recruited for Intergenerational math tutoring.  Learn more.
Upcoming orientation/training sessions:
High school tutors: Feb 28, March 6, March 15
Art-and-Science-in-One: March 23

Tutoring Plus (T+)  trainings in March | 225 Windsor Street (Central Sq/The Port)
Become a T+ mentor/tutor and support the academic, personal and social growth of youth in grades 4-12. Work 1-on-1 with the same student or a small group weekly in the evenings or directly after school, some summer options. Most students are from The Port between Kendall & Central Squares; new drop-in site in North Cambridge (Fresh Pond).  Apply at Email

Cambridge YWCA GOLD (girls leadership) Program | 7 Temple Street (Central Square)
Bi-monthly after school program to empower Cambridge’s girls (8th grade) to become resilient and transformative leaders of their lives and beyond. Celebrate exploration, self-expression, and girl power.
Two Wednesdays per month, 5-7pm, now through May.  Details and application here.
Contact: Whitney Mooney,, 617 491-6050 x3021

Big Brothers Big Sisters – (Greater Boston)
Matches youth ages 7-12 with caring, responsible and stable adult volunteers 18 and over to become Big Brothers/Sisters. More than 600 children are on the waitlist (60 in Cambridge/Somerville)
Contact: Alex Barber, Community Partnerships,, 617-956-0284


Parents Helping Parents (Watertown and Remote)
Parent stress line volunteers: help parents, prevent child abuse and build stronger families.
Volunteers will be trained on crisis intervention and basic counseling techniques at our Watertown office. Once training is complete, calls may be taken at home or on a cell phone. 50 four-hour shifts OR 20 overnight shifts = 200 hrs/year.
Contact: OR Call Claudia Vigil at 617-926-5008 x103.


Somerville Cambridge Elder Services Brown Baggers | 61 Medford Street (Somerville)
SCES in conjunction with the Greater Boston Food Bank supplies 650 low-income seniors with a free bag of groceries. 15-20 volunteers are needed to help unload the Food Bank truck, sort food, and fill brown bags.  Every second Tuesday of the month: 8:30-11:00 am.
Registration and details online. Or call 617-628-2601, x3051 or email

Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House | 71 Cherry Street (Central Sq./The Port)
Wed 2-7:30pm, Thurs. 1-5pm, and Friday and Saturday 8am-12pm. Volunteers are encouraged to bring others.  Contact: Ayanna Woodhouse at 617-547-4680

Dozens of food pantries and meal services need help daily. See Volunteer Guide.


Cambridge Community Learning Center – 5 Western Avenue  (Central Square)
Urgent current need for ESOL Classroom Assistant Tues/Thurs 9am-12pm. Training provided. ESOL Program Contact: Email Whit Hendon |  617-349-6366
ALSO: Learn about all CCLC services including many Adult Basic Education programs at their Open House March 14, 3-5pm (drop in any time).  RSVP to Lisa Gimbel at

Just-A-Start Corporation1035 Cambridge Street, Suite 12 (East Cambridge)
Highest need now for volunteer tax preparers Jan-April.  Other programs year-round.
Contact: Gerry Zipser, Director of Housing at

CCTV | 438 Massachussetts Avenue (Central Square)
Computer Lab Intern for Senior drop-in hours (2-4 hours/week, up to 4 months)
Contact: email resume and availability to


Memory Café – at the Cambridge Senior Center  | 806 Mass. Ave. (Central Square)
Free and fun monthly social gathering for people with memory loss or forgetfulness and their care partners, family, or friends. Assist facilitator with setup, participate in the activities, and interact with attendees, to help create a warm and inviting experience for everyone. Time commitment is 3 hours on the 3rd Friday of the month, 9:30am – 12:30pm.
Contact Nancy Quigg-Gonsalves | 617-628-2614, x3607 |

Watertown Health Center – 59 Coolidge Hill Road (Watertown/Coolidge Hill)
Watertown Health Center nursing  home borders West Cambridge and has many Cambridge residents. A small group of 2-4 elderly men would appreciate a new friend for simple board games, activities and conversation; a group of women would like a crochet/knitting teacher.
Contact: Carolann Leibovitz
, Director of Food Services and Activities | 617.924.1130

Cadbury Commons Assisted Living – 66 Sherman Street (North Cambridge)
Friendly Visitors and Share a Skill; flexible time commitment
Contact – Lisa Walts, Director of Resident and Family Support | 617.868.0575

The Cambridge Homes | 360 Mt. Auburn Street (West Cambridge)
Diverse needs for volunteers for one-time programs, weekly visits, residents’ flower garden. Contact: Somita Ray | | 617 876-0369


Cambridge Women’s Center  46 Pleasant Street (Cambridgeport)
Founded in 1971, offering diverse services in a lovely Cambridgeport home, open to all who identify as women, 6 days/week. Volunteers form the backbone of the Center, providing companionship, childcare and leading groups.  Highest need for daytime companions and  hotline volunteers. Also needed: maintenance, IT support, fundraising/event planning. Fill out an application or email co-founder Judy Norris or call Judy at (617) 354-6494 x12 for more information.

BARCC (Boston Area Rape Crisis Center) | 99 Bishop Allen Drive (Central Square)
Heavily recruiting for Office Support Volunteers M-F daytime, 3 hr shift, 3 month min.
Also needed: Direct-service (hotline) volunteers, Feb & Jun trainings
Contact: Megan Mulcahy, Recruitment & Training Coordinator
617-649-1273 |


Charles River Watershed Association (sites vary)
20-hr/week Environmental Internship now through April. Job description at Send cover letter and resume to Nishaila Porter at


Massachusetts Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired  (Brookline)
Share Your Sight: Volunteer with an individual who is blind/visually impaired.
Cambridge residents need help reading mail, grocery shopping, and paying bills. Weekly or bi-monthly commitment, flexible schedule, lasting impact. Information and sign up here.
Contact Kyle,  or (617) 926-4312


  • MA Dept. of Conservation and Recreation adaptive outdoor recreation
  • Garden/landscape and other outdoor opportunities
  • Summer openings at agencies that rely on college students

Annual Volunteer Awards

Cambridge Mayor Marc McGovern reading to children.On June 18, 2018, Cambidge Mayor Marc McGovern and CVC will confer a select number of Extraordinary Service Awards and dozens of Outstanding Service Awards to volunteers in a televised ceremony at City Hall in front of elected officials and civic and business leaders.

Check back in this space March 15 2018, for the 2018 nomination form.

Last year’s awardees were

AGENCIES:  Click here to download a pdf of the 2017 Outstanding Service Award, which may be personalized for any volunteer who was unable to attend the ceremony.  Ask us to send hard copies for your volunteers.

Contact us

Director Laurie Rothstein and CSVC Board Chair, Bob Hurlbut.
Cambridge Volunteer Clearinghouse (CVC) Director Laurie Rothstein and Founder/Board Chair, Bob Hurlbut.

Laurie Rothstein, Director (best method)
617-864-6688 (email preferred)
Mail to: Cambridge Volunteer Clearinghouse, c/o Cambridge Senior Center, 806 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139

Join Our Board or Volunteer for CVC

The CVC Board meets the first Thursday morning of the month at 8:30am at the Cambridge Senior Center. Volunteers assist with direct volunteer communication, researching our eNews and assisting with office work. Inquire at

Robert Hurlbut, Jr., Co-Founder and Board Chair
Dorothy Gonson, Educator and Community Volunteer
David Maher, Cambridge City Counselor and Director, Cambridge Chamber of Commerce
Frinde Maher, Educator and Community Volunteer
Susan Pacheco, Executive Director, Cambridge Council on Aging

Cambridge Volunteer Clearinghouse (formerly the Cambridge Senior Volunteer Clearinghouse)  is supported by the Cambridge Community Foundation (CCF). Learn more about CCF and the culture of volunteerism and giving in Cambridge.