Updated: Ways to Give Back in Canton
If your New Year's resolutions include volunteering in your community, you could consider driving a senior to a doctor's appointment, cooking for the Medical Reserve Corps, raking at Mass Audobon, or helping the Garden Club.
If your New Year's Resolutions include donating time, talent or funds to a non-profit organization, staying local may be the way to go.
You could consider driving an elderly patient to a medical appointment through the Council on Aging, moving cots and supplies for the Medical Reserve Corps, raking leaves at Massachusetts Audubon, or helping the Garden Club maintain the town's "Welcome to Canton" flower boxes.
Carol Munson grew up in Canton, raised a family in Canton and now volunteers in the town she loves where opportunities abound for all ages and abilities.
"I was born in Canton so Canton means a lot to me…my roots are here," said Munson, who is a member of the Canton Garden Club where she works to beautify the streets of Canton for all to enjoy today.
The club's many fundraisers allow it to pay a landscaping company to maintain the town's traffic islands, and to supply flowers and greens to the students at the Massachusetts Hospital School (where the club also provides Garden Therapy.)
Munson is also a member of the Canton Historical Society where she is working to preserve the memories of the past by cataloging and registering items that are part of the society's collection.
"If you don't do something to help preserve history, it's going to go away and you'll never know how we got to where we are today," said Munson. "It's fun and it's interesting."
The Medical Reserve Corps is a volunteer medical response team affiliated with the United States Surgeon General's Office set up to respond to local or regional medical emergencies. It is part of the "Norfolk County 7 Medical Reserve Corps" which also includes Dedham, Milton, Needham, Norwood, Wellesley and Westwood.
"You don't have to have a medical background. We are currently trying to encourage non-medical volunteers, people who can set up tables, set up cots, set up tents, cook and serve food, anything you can imagine that has to be done at home, we need done during an emergency, then that releases our medical people to do medical things," said John Ciccotelli, Canton's Director of Public Health. "We have the ability to set up a field hospital if we have to but we need muscle. We have large 32 foot dome tents but they weigh 250 pounds."
The Council on Aging is always looking for volunteers to drive senior citizens into Boston for medical appointments.
"Even if it's a once-a-month occasion, that is one of our biggest needs," said COA Director Diane Tynan, noting the length of the commitment would depend on the type of appointment.
The Massachusetts Audubon Visual Arts Center is seeking volunteers for all aspects of its Washington Street facility.
"We use volunteers in the Visitor Services area, during special events, and outdoors where they can help our property manager with raking, mowing or working on trail maintenance," said Sharon Lee, the Center's office manager. "We just ask that they fill out a volunteer form, then we try to match people with things they like to do."
If you are able to donate time, talent, and maybe a little brawn, you may want to consider:
- Canton Animal Shelter
- 150R Bolivar Street (behind DPW)
- Canton Food Pantry
- 960 Washington Street, Rodman Bldg (rear entrance)
- Canton Medical Reserve Corps
- 79 Pleasant Street (Board of Health)
- Canton Council on Aging
- 660 Washington Street
- Canton Garden Club
- P.O. Box 129
- Canton Historical Society
- 1400 Washington Street
- Friends of the Canton Public Library
- 786 Washington St
- Massachusetts Audubon Visual Arts Center
- 963 Washington Street (across from Canton High School)
If you are unable to donate time but would prefer instead to donate supplies, you could consider:
- COUNCIL ON AGING – The Council on Aging is accepting any craft supplies (yarn, cloth, etc.), dishwashing detergent (to sanitize the coffee pots) and computer paper for the seniors' computer lab.
- FOOD PANTRY -- Coffee (regular and decaffeinated) instant or canned; toilet paper, canned meat (chili, ham, hash, etc.); meal makers (Hamburger Helper, etc.), canned pasta (ravioli, Spaghettios, etc.), peanut butter, cereal, spaghetti sauce, canned fruit and vegetables, evaporated milk, juice, dry pasta (spaghetti, elbow, egg noodles), cooking oil, bar soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, shampoo, laundry detergent, feminine products/napkins, reusable (cloth) bags.
Donations of food, including perishable items, can be dropped off at the Pantry on Mondays only between 7 am and 9am.
A complete list of needs is available at www.town.canton.ma.us/pantry/Default.htm Donations can also be left at the Bank of Canton, Canton Co-operative Bank, Canton Public Library, and Pratt Realtors.
Tax-deductible donations can be mailed to Canton Area Helpline (with "food" in the memo line), P.O. Box 202, Canton.
Additional Ways to Volunteer:
- Canton Library
- Canton schools
- Volunteer to read to the kids at Clark School East
- Mass Hospital School
- St. Gerard's after masses serving coffee and donuts
- Keep an eye out for blood drives
- DPW/CFD helping shovel out fire hydrants after snow storms
- Call the local scouting organizations for their on-going service project lists
- Contact civic groups – Lions often have activities planned (such as once per month doing a Saturday luncheon at the Senior Center)
- HESCO/meals on wheels
- Trailside Museum
- Observation tower on Blue Hill (clean litter, paint, landscape, etc.)
- ConCom – Pequitside Farm
- Veteran's Department (including Honor Guard)
- DPW – help with litter clean up in public ways and parks
- Canton Housing Authority – annual volunteer day to help with basic maintenance of buildings
- Various dinners at the various churches/houses of worship