The following is an interview with SPUR’s Executive Director Lynne Krasker Shultz, conducted by Discover Marblehead. To learn more about volunteer opportunities and the Student Success Drive with SPUR, go to spurnorthshore.org.
Tell us about SPUR. SPUR is a nonprofit organization that exists to make volunteering easy. Our goal is to connect people on the North Shore with volunteer opportunities that meet a tangible need in our community. SPUR provides volunteer opportunities for any schedule, interest or skill set; all you need to do is sign up. We have opportunities for people of all ages to volunteer on their own, with their family or as a group. All our opportunities last less than two hours and none require a commitment. Try any of our volunteer opportunities, just once or sign up as often as you like. We know our volunteers are busy, so we provide plenty of flexible opportunities that can be fulfilled during the day, evening or weekends. No matter your interest, there are plenty of ways to give back, whether you clean a local beach with us, prepare meals at home for a local shelter or weed one of our gardens at any time that works for your schedule. Whether you’d like to volunteer from home, in our office or out in the community, you’ll find plenty of ways to make a difference every day with SPUR.
How did SPUR get started? SPUR was founded in 2014 (we’re about to turn 10) when founder Jocelyn Cook was having trouble finding meaningful volunteer opportunities for her family. All the organizations she contacted asked for longterm commitment, required extensive training or weren’t open to families with young children. Thus, the idea for an organization that removes those barriers and connects volunteers directly with ways to make the biggest impact was born.
What types of projects does SPUR have coming up? SPUR has a variety of ongoing opportunities,including at our four community gardens. These gardens grow over 1,000 pounds of delicious organic fruit and veggies for local food pantries and group homes, thanks to volunteers who weed, water, harvest or deliver.
Not into gardening? Volunteer with us to distribute food at a local food pantry, make a meal for a local shelter, serve dinner at the local shelter or pick up food from Crosby’s or Shubie’s that would otherwise be thrown away and deliver it to a local organization that fights food insecurity. We have opportunities to create pillowcases for our Holiday Cheer Drive, which provides holiday gifts for nearly 600 adults experiencing homelessness with their children. Whether you already know how or want to learn a new skill, we’ll provide you with the directions and support you need to participate in any of our activities, from gardening to sewing and so much more.
Right now, we are hosting our annual Student Success Drive. This drive provides nearly 700 backpacks and school supplies to children in our community who wouldn’t otherwise have them on the first day of school. We’re looking for sponsors to help us purchase all those necessary supplies and volunteers to fill the backpacks. We work with local social service providers, guidance counselors, case workers and other social service providers to identify backpack recipients. You can sponsor supplies or a backpack at spurnorthshore.org/student-success-drive.
How can the community of Marblehead become involved? Everyone is welcome at SPUR! We like to say that whether you’re 4 or 94, there’s a place for you here. Learn more about all our volunteer opportunities and sign up online at spurnorthshore.org. Consider donating to our mission and helping to SPUR good deeds.
The business spotlight is a weekly feature published in partnership with Discover Marblehead. Discover Marblehead is dedicated to the promotion of Marblehead. Our mission is to highlight local businesses, tourism, community events and attractions through social media, email marketing and community outreach. To learn more, visit discovermhd.com.