Germantown: 5 Places Where You Can Serve the Community

Formerly a point of interest for indigenous Americans, a battleground in the American revolutionary war and a settling point for African-American and Italian-American communities, Germantown is one of the most historic places to live in America. Diverse waves of residents have been attracted to this Northwest Philadelphia neighborhood. In more recent times it has also become home to several not-for-profit organizations that serve the various socioeconomic needs of its ever-changing population. Here are a few organizations that need volunteer support from the greater Philadelphia community to continue serving its residents.

Germantown Historical Society
5501 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia PA 19144

“We’re all nonprofit. We really do rely on volunteers. We find at events that we just can’t pull it off without a great volunteer core,” says Pilar Yeakel, the operations manager at Historic Germantown.

 The Germantown Historical Society oversees more than 15 historic sites throughout the community. Each site offers it’s own events and resources, including just about everything from the Wyck rose gardens to the archives in the library of the historical society. There are numerous ways that volunteers can get involved in giving back and to help keep the sites alive. Some volunteer opportunities include digitizing and logging materials in the library, helping keep the Awbury Arboretum clean (featured in image above), and even helping serve beer at the yearly event, Oktoberfest at Grumblethorpe.

These volunteer opportunities are great for anyone interested in history and all ages are welcomed to help participate. Full time staff hopes to get more college-aged volunteers involved. For more information contact Library@germantownhistory.org

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Face to Face
109 East Price Street, Philadelphia, PA 19144

Face to Face is a not-for-profit organization that offers individuals and families experiencing hardship or homelessness a place to meet their basic needs and retain their dignity. In addition to their washeteria, a facility where those in need can have a meal and get refreshed, there are also health, legal, social services and children’s resources available. There are a wide variety of volunteer opportunities available for those willing to serve including computer programming, painting, electrical, general repair and cleaning, mental health counseling, social outreach, event assistance, photography, athletics, the arts, teaching and tutoring.

To become involved or learn more about volunteering with Face to Face contact Becky Messa, volunteer coordinator, at becky@facetofacegermantown.org

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Boys and Girls Clubs of Philadelphia: Germantown
25 West Penn Street, Philadelphia, PA 19144

The Boys and Girls Clubs is a place to provide a safe and friendly learning/growing environment for the children in our city. Using their own specific development strategy, the clubs provide over five different types of programs for the youth, varying from Arts and Culture, to Education and Career Development. The clubs look for volunteers to work as mentors to lead and support the children each day. Volunteering opportunities can include giving musical instrument lessons, supervising members on field trips, conducting fitness and sport classes, or helping with homework and tutoring.

To learn more and to get involved in helping the youth build a brighter future please contact the Germantown Boys and Girls Club at (215) 844-7771

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Covenant House Pennsylvania
31 East Armat Street, Philadelphia, Pa 19144

As the largest service source in the Philadelphia area to homeless and runaway youth, the Covenant House provides a place for transition into full independency. The site offers a variety of programs to help young individuals and their dependents get back onto their feet, including meals, a crisis center, job skills programs, and health services. The Covenant House accepts both monetary and hygienic product donations (in good condition), as well as volunteers for certain programming.

To learn how you can help or volunteer please contact the Covenant House at (215) 951-5411

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Joseph E. Coleman Northwest Regional Library
68 West Chelten Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19144

“For me, libraries were a haven where I could be safe,” says Audrey Roll, head librarian of the Children’s Department.

In the aftermath of several public school and library closings, Philadelphia’s youth are in dire need of havens with educational resources. The Northwest Regional Library continues to provide access to technology, homework help, and summer reading and science programs. Here, high school student volunteers are offered an opportunity to meet their community service requirements for graduation, with potential to earn a paid part-time position.

Adult and high school students interested in volunteering are welcome to visit the Northwest Regional Library and apply in person via a volunteer form. All volunteers under 18 years of age must have guardian permission and complete an interview. Please contact the Library for more information at (215)- 685- 2150.

Text and images by Kelsey Anne Dubinsky and Gabrielle S. Clark.

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