Volunteers have been at the heart of Abby’s House since the beginning. They come from all walks of life, volunteer on their own or as part of a group, and choose to volunteer for different reasons. Their length of stay varies as well. Some volunteer for one day, others work on a regular basis, and some stay with us for years.

Our volunteers vary in age (18-90+!) as well. Some are retirees and some are in the workforce, while others are in college. Individual volunteers provide overnight coverage at our shelter, work in the Thrift Shop, teach classes and hold workshops in our Women’s Center, serve as receptionists, and help prepare and serve meals. Corporate and community groups come to Abby’s House to prepare and serve meals and help with larger projects.

Individual Volunteer Opportunities

If you are under age 18, you can still make a difference for the women and children at Abby’s House. Here is a list of ideas of how you can help:

If you’re interested in these activities, please email or call at 508-756-5486 ext 227 to get started.

To ensure our volunteer positions are adequately staffed long-term, we do require individuals to make a 6 month volunteer commitment to Abby’s House.

If you are unable to make this commitment, consider participating in or volunteering to help with our annual fundraisers instead. Please visit our Event page to learn more.

For over 45 years, the Abby’s House Shelter has been providing a safe place for women, with and without children, who find themselves unhoused for an array of reasons including: financial and economic factors, substance use, as well as emotional, physical, and mental health factors. Although Abby’s is not an emergency domestic violence shelter, we do welcome guests who are currently experiencing domestic violence. Our newly renovated, 18-bed Shelter is opening in June of 2024. The shelter will lean on the support of volunteers who help provide a compassionate, empathetic, and respectful experience to shelter guests.


The Shelter is closed during the day. During that time guests will have access to the Women’s Empowerment Center at 52 High St. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 9:30am and 3:30pm, they may utilize our Day Resource Center at 77 Chatham St. The Day Resource Center is a space for guests to work independently, or with their advocate, to seek employment, complete housing applications, as well as attend to other personal goals and needs. The Shelter re-opens at 4:00pm and our evening shelter staff welcome returning guests. Guests can utilize common spaces for recreational purposes, utilize the kitchen, or spend time in their rooms. There is also a dedicated playroom for children to enjoy.


The evening volunteer shift is from 4:00pm to 7:00pm. Volunteers assist Shelter staff with welcoming guests back to Shelter and supporting them through dinner time. Volunteers may assist staff and guests with preparing dinner, cleaning up afterward, and/or providing childcare or homework help.


The overnight volunteer shift is from 11:30 pm to 6:30am. The overnight volunteer arrives at 11:30pm allowing a brief overlap to touch base with the evening shelter staff regarding any concerns or updates before their shift ends at 12:00am. Volunteers may sleep while guests are sleeping. Volunteers should plan to wake at 6:30 to assist shelter guests with wakeups and support the In-House Shelter Staff in closing Shelter for the day. Volunteers keep an accurate, complete log of occurrences through the evening and should contact the on-call In-House Shelter Staff if an emergency arises between the hours of 12:00am and 6:30am.

The Abby’s House Thrift Shop has three goals:

1. Provide a clean, welcoming store that is stocked with quality, affordable clothing, necessities and household goods for the community and to women who qualify for assistance through our voucher program. To learn more about obtaining a Thrift Shop voucher, please visit our advocacy page.
2. Continue to raise funds for our mission of providing safe shelter, affordable housing and advocacy services homeless, battered, and low-income women, with or without children, through the sale of items in our Thrift Store.
3. Always treat our customers with dignity and respect and assist them in every way we can.

Volunteers assist with accepting and sorting donations, stocking the shop floor, helping customers find the perfect outfit and working at the cash registers. Hours are very flexible. Some volunteers work a couple of hours a week, others a couple of days a week. Our hours have changed due to the pandemic and are now Monday through Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Saturday’s 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Thrift Shop Volunteers currently needed on:
Monday and Wednesday 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Thursday 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Our Women’s Center is open to current and former guests and residents, serving as a space where women go to find continued support, camaraderie, and services. Individuals with specialized skills and/or training are always needed to teach workshops or provide services.

Examples of activities include:

  1. Art and Music Therapy
  2. Sewing/knitting and jewelry classes
  3. Haircuts
  4. Dental Hygiene
  5. Pet Therapy
  6. Computer Classes
  7. Resume Development
  8. Interview Preparation
  9. Financial Literacy Training
  10. SNAP Benefits Counseling

The Women Center is open daily from 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM, Monday – Friday and all programming takes place during these hours.

We welcome organizations and groups to volunteer with us, whether it is for a day of service or on a regular basis, and are able to handle groups of 8 or less.

Groups can also prepare and serve meals on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

At times, we have special projects that we need help with, especially in our Maintenance department. If we review your application and determine you or your group would be a good fit to volunteer, we will contact you to discuss what project we currently need help with.

Application Process

Interested in becoming a volunteer?

  1. Please email or call at 508-756-5486 ext 227
  2. If our Volunteer Coordinator determines that your interests, skills, and availability meet our present or near term needs, you will be contacted within a week of submitting your application.

Given the mission of Abby’s House and the sensitive nature of our work, volunteer selections and roles are carefully assigned.

A criminal background check (CORI) is required of all adult volunteers. References for students and interns may be required. Training for volunteers is provided by staff or by seasoned volunteers.