This is a list of nonprofit and/or service-oriented organizations in or near Metrowest (Massachusetts) that need your time, talent, money or “stuff.”

By its very nature, this list is always in flux. If you know of another worthy local group to add, or an existing organization whose information needs to be changed, please e-mail Johanna Ambrosio-LaPlante, at Make sure to include what the group does (who it serves), what’s needed, a contact name and phone number for the group and, if possible, a URL for the organization’s Web site.

Important note, or what our lawyers would make us say if we actually employed any lawyers: The fact that an organization is on this list does not mean we’ve necessarily vetted it in any way. Some of these groups we know from first-hand experience, some we don’t. As always, it’s important that you check out any organization before you send any money. If you have any negative experiences with any group listed here, please drop Johanna an e-mail so we can decide what to do about continuing to list them.

Addressing homelessness

  1. Sylvia’s Haven – located in Devens, Mass., it provides transitional housing for homeless women and their children. In addition to donations, the group is desperately seeking furnishings (beds, tables, chairs, dishes, pots/pans, end tables, TVs, etc.). Clients who move into their own housing need to take these items – and more – with them. The organization also needs personal care items including soap, shampoo, etc., diapers, cold medications, etc.
    Contact: 978-772-0925; e-mail them at; or visit them on the Web at
  2. North-Central Massachusetts Habitat for Humanity – builds homes with and for low-income folks. Needs donations of money and land, and hands-on helpers when construction begins in the spring.
    Contact: Barbara Alberts-Pirani at or Wendy Cohen at
  3. The Interfaith Hospitality Network, with local groups in Worcester, Leominster and Southbridge. The group unities communities of faith to help support families living in local shelters with food, meals, playtime for the kids and other services meant to help diminish the hurt of homelessness.
    Contact: Walt Steele at 781-581-0432 and via email at; or look at the group’s Web site at
  4. Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless – helps advocate for the homeless at the state house; runs a furniture bank; helps connect clients to shelters. Needs donations, of course, but also volunteers to help with advocacy work and to run the furniture bank. The Coalition is located in Boston, near South Station; contact them at (617) 423-9162 or on the Web at

Providing food and/or clothing

  1. Our church hosts a community supper roughly once every other month, at the Marlborough Senior Center on Main Street. This program, called “Our Father’s Table” and previously hosted at the Baptist Church in Marlborough, serves free dinners to anyone who walks in. Our next scheduled dinner is on Monday, January 26, and we need folks to cook the main dish, buy supplies, help serve the meal and clean up. If you can help, please contact Johanna Ambrosio-LaPlante or Barbara Alberts-Pirani.
  2. The Hudson Community Food Pantry, at 236 Main Street in Hudson, accepts donations of food. Hours: Tuesday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and the first Thursday of each month from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (Hudson UU church members: please note that any food donations left in the basket by the side door go to the Hudson Food Pantry.)
    Contact: 978-562-5280
  3. The Marlborough Food Pantry (located in the Walker building on Main Street) needs volunteers to help clients with food and clothing, as well as donations of food and money. Hours: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. At this time, they specifically need volunteers to help with client intake and with the adult clothing room. If you have some time, please go to the pantry and ask to talk to Carol Phipps, food pantry director.
    Contact: The main office for Marlborough Emergency Services (MES) is in the Walker Building at 255 Main Street, Suite 115. The food pantry is accessed through an outside door on the left side of the building – use the ramp up to the brown door. MES’s E-mail:, or phone 508-481-4080.

Helping children

  1. The Playspace Program of the Horizons Institute is looking for volunteers to play with children living in various shelters around the Worcester and Central Massachusetts region. They’re looking for a commitment of two hours/week for six months, and they’ll provide training. For more information, contact Whitney Riddell at 508-755-2615, or go to
  2. Promise Massachusetts Children works to help improve the lives of Massachusetts children by doing both hands-on volunteer work and advocacy at the local and national levels. The group needs donations as well as volunteers to teach reading, work as Big Brothers/Big Sisters, lead group activities, write letters and e-mails to legislators, etc.
    Contact: the group is based in Somerville, at 781-581-0432, on the Web at