Three Ways To Get Involved

VOLUNTEER

Volunteer with Y2Y this winter.

Y2Y Harvard Square is run entirely by students. While our student staff stay on campus, most weekly volunteers are away for the holidays, between December 18th and January 27th. During this time, we rely on local community members to keep the shelter going. We need 150 volunteers each week to ensure our shelter operates smoothly. Sign up to be a winter break volunteer today!

To sign up, simply click the button below, which will lead you to our sign-up spreadsheet. Shifts in yellow especially need volunteers! Email volunteer.y2y@gmail.com with questions.

FINANCIAL

Support Y2Y’s
programming and growth.
Donate Online Below or
Mail a Check.

Mail offline donations made payable to 
“Y2Y” to:

Y2Y 
10 Ware St Cambridge, MA 02138

THANK YOU!

IN-KIND

Stock our shelves with food and supplies.

We are in need of the following items:

Non-perishable food items
Frozen proteins
Toiletries
Winter clothing
Socks and undergarments

 Other items listed on our Amazon Wish List

To coordinate drop off at the shelter, email us below!

Clean the Shelter | $25

$25 contributes to the shelter’s supply of bleach, dish soap, garbage bags and other essentials to keep the shelter clean.

Share Meals | $50

$50 helps buy perishables like eggs, milk and butter to provide fresh meals to those staying at Y2Y.

Do Laundry | $100

$100 ensures we can offer laundry services to guests staying at Y2Y, and that we can provide clean linens to guests during their stay.

Provide A Bed | $250

$250 covers the costs of one bed for 30 days. During this time the guest using it will have access to a safe and affirming space.

FAQs

Frequently asked questions

How Do I Sign up for Shift?

We are currently looking for volunteers to cover the shifts through January, while most students are away from campus. Click here to access the volunteer sign-up spreadsheet. Enter your name into one of the shifts that is highlighted in yellow, and be sure to also fill out the contact info form that is linked. Please reach out to volunteer.y2y@gmail.com with questions.

WHAT ARE THE DETAILS OF EACH SHIFT?

Breakfast (6:30-9:15am): Come in bright and early to greet our guests! Breakfast volunteers arrive at 6:30am (except on weekends when they arrive at 7:30am), help make breakfast and clean the shelter (an invaluable service!) after all the guests leave at 8:00am (or 9:00am on the weekends).

Dinner (6:45-9:15pm): You’ll be cooking and serving dinner, talking with guests, and perhaps picking up food from one of the many shops that donate to us.

Evening (9:00-11:15pm): On the evening shift, help is often needed in the kitchen to clean up after dinner or to complete various tasks such as laundry or organizing donations. This is also a relaxed time to visit with guests as they prepare for bed.

Overnight (11:00pm-9:00am): This is a fantastic shift because it’s a rare opportunity to have long conversations and get to know people well. Don’t worry: we do take turns sleeping — the night is typically divided into three sub-shifts and you will be asleep for two of them. There is a staff room with beds, so you’ll be able to sleep 5-6 hours when it is not your turn to be awake. 

  • Overnight Sub-Shifts (Night Owl and Morning Lark): If you are interested in an overnight shift, but can’t commit 11:00pm-9:00am, you can sign up for just three hours as a Night Owl (12:00am-3:00am) or as a Morning Lark (5:00am-8:00am).

Holiday Shifts (12/25 and 1/1): For Christmas and the New Year, Y2Y stays open 24 hours. Volunteers will still clean the shelter and prepare meals, but also have the opportunity to spend time with guests and other volunteers doing arts and crafts, watching movies, and playing board games etc. 

 

HOW MUCH TIME IS EXPECTED OF ME AS A Y2Y WEEKLY VOLUNTEER?
As a weekly volunteer, you’ll sign up for one regular, shift: breakfast, dinner, evening, or overnight. While the overnight shift is around 10 hours, the breakfast, dinner, and evening shifts are 2 – 3 hours. You’ll be responsible for staffing that shift each week, on a consistent basis.

Shifts will begin with the Sunday dinner shift on October 15th. You are responsible for filling your shift every week during this time (except for Thanksgiving break). You must either be present or find a substitute to take your place (anyone may substitute for you). If you miss three of your regular shifts, you will be removed from your weekly position. As regular volunteers, the shelter relies on your unwavering dedication and accountability!

If you are concerned that you can’t commit to a weekly shift, but are still interested in volunteering, you can sign up for our substitute volunteer list here. As a sub, you will be able to fill in shifts on an as-needed basis when you’re available.

I AM PART OF A GROUP (CHURCH, YOUTH GROUP, ETC.) THAT WOULD LIKE TO VOLUNTEER TOGETHER. DO YOU ACCOMMODATE GROUP VOLUNTEERING?
We do! Please feel free to reach out to us at volunteer.y2y@gmail.com with any questions or details specific to group volunteering.
WHY SHOULD I VOLUNTEER WITH Y2Y?
As a volunteer with Y2Y, you will have the opportunity to both change lives and experience personal change. You will have the opportunity to learn from your fellow volunteers on shift, from staff members through reflections, and from our guests through countless meaningful conversations shared in the shelter. You’ll become part of our kind, supportive, and fun community with almost 200 of your peers.

We hope that Y2Y can be a place for all of us — volunteers, staff, and guests — to rest, grow, and lead together, and we sincerely hope that you will join us!

(617) 864-0795

1 Church Street
(Middle Entrance)
Cambridge, MA 02138

info@y2yharvardsquare.org

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