Somerville is a wonderfully altruistic community, from Tufts University with its emphasis on active citizenship to a very participatory local government. Volunteering is a great way to join in making the city a better place. I’ve listed a few specific organizations you may want to check out below.
City Government’s SomerServe program – Anyone 18 or older can apply to volunteer for the city, helping out at events, participating in youth or senior programs, or in actual departmental government work. Keep an eye on the city site’s news section too, as one-off volunteering opportunities (like the Mystery Shopper program) come up occasionally.
Somerville Arts Council – Responsible for the annual ArtBeat festival, the electrical box art program, and various tours, murals, and grants around Somerville. Great way to get connected to the local arts scene, and make our city a prettier place.
Somerville Road Runners – Organizing the many races and marathons Somerville hosts each year, as well as more frequent club runs, SRR is an active group with people of all ages dedicated to improving themselves. Volunteering is a great way to support them and make connections.
Somerville Homeless Coalition – If you use the Davis Square T stop at all regularly, you’re aware Somerville has a homeless population. The SHC is a great organization that works to improve the situation, with programs to help provide housing as well as helpful living-basics drives and events providing food. They say they’ve been “working to put ourselves out of business since 1985”. =)
Somerville Public Schools – Good with kids? Somerville Public Schools has many opportunities for people to provide one-on-one and small-group support to kids. Serve as a Literacy Tutor, Playgroup Facilitator, Story Teller, Math Tutor, Musician, or many other roles.