Group Volunteers

Our volunteer-based model relies on contributions from the community to keep our playrooms running and bring special opportunities to children. The calendar below shows our monthly volunteer trainings, fundraisers, open group volunteer opportunities, and activities that have been booked with groups.

We always have opportunities. Please check the calendar for events labeled “Group Opportunity” – sign up by completing our group volunteer interest form.

Group Volunteer Opportunities:

  • Holiday Sponsor: Purchase gifts for groups of 10 or more children. This would include two $25 gifts per child. It’s a perfect way for co-workers, friends or family members to join together as a team and make a difference. As a Holiday Sponsor, you also have the option to purchase a gift card for any amount you want and our staff will select and buy a gift, or you can buy wrapping paper and ribbon for parents to wrap the gifts for their children. Interested? Contact Rebecca at for details.
  • Holiday Helper: Help spread the joy of the holidays by transporting donated toys and holiday gifts from our office in Columbia Heights to one of our four shelter sites. Car required. We ask that you commit to be available on an on-call basis, about once a week, between the end of November and mid-December. We are looking for 15 Holiday Helpers, so please tell a friend! Email Deborah ( to learn more and sign up.
  • Host a Holiday or Birthday Party: We look for group volunteers to bring a special birthday/holiday snack and activities that are above and beyond what our Playtime volunteers provide during our weekly programs. Your group brings extra supplies or decorations we don’t already have, as well as plans and leads appropriate holiday activities, under close supervision of our Site Manager and weekly Playtime volunteers. Parties take place during Playtime hours at predetermined times and dates. Recommended for groups of 5-15 volunteers, ages 18+ (exceptions made on a case by case basis)Thanks to so many generous groups, we are covered through the end of the year. Our next host-a-party opportunity is in January.
  • Adopt-a-Playroom: Help us maintain safe playrooms by cleaning and organizing our spaces and sanitizing toys. This opportunity involves some flexibility in scheduling a date, and the possibility of completing the cleaning on a weekend day. Recommended for groups of about 10 volunteers. Thanks to so many generous groups, we are covered through the end of the year. Our next Adopt-a-Playroom opportunity is in January.
  • Bring a Special Talent to Playtime: If you can’t make a weekly commitment, bring your special skills/talents to one of our evening programs. For example, in the past we’ve had volunteers provide a yoga, dance, or art class; we’ve featured a dentist, firefighter, and astronaut who shared about their careers. Scheduling these opportunities depends on the current interests and needs of our sites. Recommended for individuals or small groups of 1-5 people.
  • Volunteers in Motion: We need volunteers with cars who can commit once a month to move donations from our office to our program locations. Interested volunteers will serve on an on-call basis, with the exact dates/times of pick-up and drop-off flexible depending on volunteer availability and amount of donations. Volunteers in Motion will join an email list to receive notifications about needs and will sign up for about one shift per month. Please email Deborah to sign up:

Interested? Please complete our group volunteer interest form. Responses are checked on a weekly basis by Deborah, Playtime Project’s Volunteer Coordinator. Questions? Contact

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Fact – University of Michigan

Children growing up in very poor families experience levels of “toxic stress” that triggers a flood of cortisol in the brain’s hippocampus which subsequently impairs language development and memory. The anecdote to cortisol is seratonin which is released through laughter, play, and forming meaningful relationships with peers and caring adults