Summer Servers

  • New England Center for Homeless Veterans

  • Cambridge Nursing and Rehab Center

  • Room to Grow

  • Tuesday Meals at First Parish Church


day of service flyer

Sign up here


Interested in community service? Want to meet other summer school students? Here's a chance to explore the Boston area, serve the community, and have fun meeting new people!

Summer Servers is a volunteer and community service program coordinated by the Student Activities Office for the Harvard Summer School. The program allows SSP and GP students to engage in different service projects at local organizations. 

Summer Servers has a strict cancellation policy. You must cancel at least 3 days before the trip, or you may not be allowed to attend other Harvard Summer School trips in the future. Please email our office at with any questions or cancellations.

2017 Partner Organizations and Projects

Food For Free

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Food For Free is an organization that collects fresh food that might otherwise go to waste and distributes it to people in need. Through its Family Meals Program, Food For Free packages and distributes meals from surplus food at University Dining Halls and gives it to people who may not have access to a kitchen.

Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evening, in Annenberg Hall, students will be packaging meals from Annenberg to donate to the Family Meals Program at Food For Free.

Meal packing occurs in Annenberg Hall from 7pm-8:30pm on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

Sign up here:
To learn more about Food For Free, visit its website:
Watch a video about Food For Free here:


The Greater Boston Food Bank

The Greater Boston Food Bank is the largest food bank in New England, serving 34,000 people annually. Its objective is to distribute enough food to provide one meal a day to those in need.

Students who are passionate about food service and eliminating hunger should consider joining us on this trip. Volunteers will be working in GBFB’s warehouse, inspecting, sorting, and packing food and grocery products.

Dates: Friday July 14 and Saturday July 15
Time: Friday 12:15-4:15pm, Saturday 8:45am-12:45pm (including travel time)
Qualifications: Students must be 16 or older

To learn more about GBFB:
Signup form (July 14):
Signup form (July 15):

Cambridge Rehabilitation and Nursing Center

The Cambridge Rehabilitation & Nursing Center provides residents with individually customized rehabilitation and clinical services with measurable outcomes, addressing both the physical and emotional needs of each resident through professional, compassionate, and home-like service in which each resident can enjoy the best quality of life possible, while receiving the highest standard of personal care.

Students interested in serving the elderly and rehabilitating residents have an opportunity to volunteer one (or all!) of our trips during the summer at Cambridge Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. Volunteers will spend time with residents of the center and participate in fun afternoon activities including arts and crafts projects.

Dates: Tuesday June 27, Thursday July 13, Friday July 21, Monday July 24, and Friday July 28. 
Time commitment: 1:40-4:20pm (including travel time)
Qualifications: N/A

Signup form (June 27):
Signup form (July 13):
Signup form (July 21):
Signup form (July 24):
Signup form (July 28):

New England Center for Homeless Veterans

The New England Center for Homeless Veterans (NECHV) , founded in 1989, is one of the Nation’s largest private resource providers to homeless Veterans of every era who face challenges and are at-risk of homelessness. NECHV offers an array of services that enable success, reintegration, meaningful employment and independent living.

General Program (GP) students who are passionate about food service, supporting Veterans and eliminating hunger should consider Summer Service at NECHV. Students will participate in assisting Veterans by serving meals during dinner.

Dates: Sunday July 2 and Saturday July 8

Time: Sunday (Breakfast) 7:15-10:00am, Saturday (Dinner) 3:00-6:00pm (including travel time)

Qualifications: GP students only (18+).



Statistics on veterans and homelessness:
Signup form (July 2):

Signup form (July 8):



Room to Grow

Room to Grow is dedicated to enriching the lives of babies born into poverty throughout their critical first three years of development. During their one-on-one appointments with our staff social workers, parents receive developmental information, customized support, and all of the needed baby items to ensure a healthy and secure start for their child.

Students will support programs geared to support the development, well-being and health of infants, children and their parents through volunteer work in quality control, donation sorting and organizing the Children’s Boutique so that under-resourced families are able to receive important resources they need throughout their first three years of life.

Date: Thursdays July 6 and July 20
Time: 1:30-4:30pm (including travel time)
Qualifications: N/A

Signup form (July 6):
Signup form (July 20):


Tuesday Meals Program

tuesday meals

A program of the First Parish in Cambridge, the mission of the Tuesday Meals Program is to offer warm hospitality and an evening meal in a safe, dignified environment to anyone in need of nourishment.

There’s a job for everyone in this meals program for the Cambridge community. Students interested in hunger relief, food prep and cooking should consider volunteering to prepare food for this weekly meal program. This is very rewarding experience-- one former Harvard Summer School student began volunteering here during the Secondary School Program and continued until his graduation from Harvard this year.

Dates: Monday July 10, Tuesday July 11, Monday July 17, Tuesday July 18, Monday July 24, and Tuesday July 25
Times: Mondays 10:00am-12:00pm; Tuesdays 12:00-3:00pm
Qualifications: Please alert the staff as to any food allergies.



Signup forms:

Monday, 7/10, from 10am-12pm


American Red Cross Food Pantry

The American Red Cross Boston Food Pantry provides a 5-day emergency supply of food once a month to low-income clients--about 105,000 annually--making it one of the largest emergency food pantries in New England. Their client base is ethnically and culturally diverse with many different languages spoken. The pantry is open for clients on Wednesdays and Saturdays, when clients may come monthly to receive a variety of foods including canned and dry goods, fresh meat or fish and fresh produce.

Students participating in this volunteer opportunity will be assisting with welcoming clients, assembling bags of perishable food, handing out the food and assisting clients with their food bags (25-40lbs) outside to their cars, breaking down boxes, taking out trash, and directing traffic, among other things to help the food distribution run smoothly!


Dates: Saturday July 1 and July 22
Times: 7:15am-12:45pm (including travel time)
Qualifications: Ability to carry 25lbs and stand for 3+ hours.


Signup form (July 1):
Signup form (July 22):



Harvard MIHNUET (Music in Hospitals and Nursing Homes Using Entertainment as Therapy) is a public service program that brings live music from the Harvard community into area hospitals and nursing homes. For the first time this year, Summer Servers is partnering with MIHNUET to include Harvard Summer School students on MIHNUET service trips.

These trips are run entirely through MINHUET and participating SSP and GP Harvard Summer School students will be joining up with Harvard students to perform at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and Cambridge Homes.

Dates: Saturday June 24, July 15, and July 22 
Times: 2:00pm for June 24 and July 15, 10am for July 22
Qualifications: Ability to perform a musical piece (solo or ensemble) of the type and instrument of your choice.


East End House

East End House

East End House community center uses a holistic approach to promote the well-being, academic achievement, and successful transition to adulthood of children and youth from under-resourced families in Cambridge and surrounding communities. As part of this approach, East End House provides support services to a diverse population, from infants to seniors, to strengthen family and community.

This team-building volunteer opportunity is great for students who want to support community family programming by helping prepare and organize community space for youth and families. Students will be helping arrange classrooms and pantries which supports East End House in their mission to strengthen families and communities.

Dates: Friday July 7
Time: 8:30am-12:30pm
Qualifications: Adult supervisor required for students under 16.

Link to a list of East End House’s programs and services:
Signup form:


Artbeat Festival

Artbeat Festival 2017

Artbeat Festival 2017 in Somerville is one of the area's largest and most innovative arts festivals, with over a dozen bands, dance troupes, 75 craft vendors, food and all-aged activities. The theme for this year's festival is "Voice".

Students interested in this Summer Service opportunity will support the Artbeat festival through two activities. First, students will help with the physical set-up of the festival. Then, students will enjoy a complimentary lunch from festival vendors. Finally, students will help by selling festival souvenirs at a booth. Students will have an option to experience the free festival during their lunch hour and after their service is done.

Date: Saturday July 15
Time: 8:00 AM - 1:30 PM (lunch and break provided)
Qualifications: Ability to participate in hands-on physical set-up. Note that food is provided from local vendors, so accommodations for dietary restrictions are not guaranteed.
Signup form: