Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Shelter Volunteer Opportunities

Want to support the winter homeless shelter run by Harvard students in the church basement, which has been operating since 1983? Here are seven key ways to help during the shelter season (November 1 – April 15):

  1. Cook dinner with others from UniLu. UniLu is responsible for staffing every Thursday evening dinner shift from 6:30 to 9 pm. If you would like to volunteer, please email campus and community coordinator Jayms Battaglia or sign up on the bulletin board opposite the kitchenette. Family and friends are welcome, as well as kids over the age of 7 (accompanied by an adult).
  2. Donate new or gently used and laundered blankets. Every year, the shelter hands out more than 500 blankets. Email campus and community coordinator Jayms Battaglia for more information or with questions.
  3. Help prepare Thanksgiving dinner. Volunteers from the UniLu community gather on Thanksgiving morning to prepare side dishes and desserts for the guests. In 2017, we will gather at 9:30 am on Thursday, November 23 and finish by 1 pm. If interested, use the signup sheet on the bulletin board opposite the kitchenette, or email service deacon Gail Bucher.
  4. Bring food. Donations of nonperishable food items can be brought to the church office during business hours or on Sunday mornings. The most-needed items are:
    • canned soups
    • fruit cups
    • power bars or granola bars
    • canned vegetables
    • oatmeal
    • powdered lemonade mix
    • dried fruits and nuts
    • tea

  5. Donate gift cards for shelter guests. $5 or $10 gift cards for Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks, or MBTA Metro Cards, are most useful.
  6. Cook at Home. Volunteers who can prepare and bring dinner are particularly welcome during holidays and Harvard breaks. Donations of prepared casseroles are also appreciated. Please see these guidelines for cooking for the shelter.
  7. Pray for the students who will staff and direct the shelter this year.