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*COVID-19 Update*

In accordance with federal and state guidelines for social distancing, the Jonnycake Center of Westerly’s physical facility is temporarily closed to the public. As a result, we are halting signups for new volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering with Jonnycake, please email volunteer@jonnycake.org to be added to a waitlist. New and current volunteers will be contacted as soon as possible by the Volunteer Office for volunteer opportunities. The following information in this page is presented for reference purposes.

Are you looking for an opportunity to help your community? Do you want to assist those in need? Are you just looking for something new to do a few hours a week or to meet new people? The Jonnycake Center has a variety of volunteer opportunities—something to fit everyone! Volunteers range in age from teenagers to octogenarians. We will gladly provide reasonable accommodations to volunteers with special need requirements. Additionally, we also welcome high school students completing their volunteer graduation requirement and court-ordered community service.


We have over 65 volunteers who donate more than 1000 hours per month in support of Jonnycake programs. We could never provide the extensive support to the Westerly-Chariho community without our dedicated and hardworking volunteers. Help us make a difference!


Call or email today and find how you can help. Our Volunteer Coordinators, Adrienne or Cyndee, would love to talk with you and can be reached at (401) 377-8069 x 114 or by email at volunteer@jonnycake.org.




The Food Pantry


The Jonnycake Center manages the largest food pantry in South County and provides 17,220 equivalent meals per month.  With food purchased from the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, local vendors and community donations, the Center provides a week’s worth of food to a family once a month.  With only one full time employee, volunteers play a significant role in the Pantry.  Volunteers are relied on to process clients’ food orders using a client completed shopping list.  Additionally, volunteers stock shelves and process donated food items for distribution.


Hours of operation are:

Mondays 12 – 3
Tuesdays 9 – 12
Wednesdays 9 – 12
Thursdays 9 – 12 and 3 – 6
Fridays 9 – 12
Saturdays 9 – 12


Although not required, a commitment to a regular work schedule is preferred.

Thrift Store Associates

Thrift Store Associates


The Jonnycake Cake Center of Westerly maintains a large resale/thrift store that sells clothes, furniture, books, children’s games and toys, electronics and household items. Sales from the Thrift Store are a critical component of our ability to pay our overhead expenses and to help fund our social service programs such as emergency financial aid and food pantry operations. With a steady flow of donated items, volunteers are needed in the sorting room and the Thrift Store to assist with basic retail management operations. These include:

  • Assist the Thrift Store manager and staff with day to day operations
  • Sort and clean donated items for pricing and display
  • Stock shelves, create displays and rotate merchandise
  • Unload donated merchandise from vehicles
  • Assist customers with loading purchased items into their vehicles
  • Assist customers in locating items
  • Position furniture on sales floor
  • Organize inventory of housewares, books, dishes, electronics, glassware and furniture
  • Redisplay items handled and misplaced by customers
  • Update mannequins and other displays


Although not required, a commitment to a regular work day schedule and 2-3 hours per shift is preferred.  Hours of operations are Mon-Wed: 9 am – 4 pm, Thur: 9 am – 6:30 pm, Fri-Sat: 9 am – 4 pm, and Sun: 10 am – 2 pm.

Clothing Sale Associates

Clothing Sale Associates


Clothing sales are a significant part of the Center’s retail operation and volunteers are relied upon to manage our retail clothing sale operation.  With hundreds of pounds of clothes received weekly, volunteers are needed to receive, sort and maintain clothing sale racks. Although not required, a commitment to a regular work day schedule and 2-3 hours per shift is preferred.  Hours of operations are Mon-Wed: 9 am – 4 pm, Thur: 9 am – 6:30 pm, Fri-Sat: 9 am – 4 pm, and Sun: 10 am – 2 pm.


Office Assistance


As a large non-profit, the Jonnycake Center has limited administrative staff.  Volunteers are needed to assist in the Executive Director’s office, the Administration office, and in the Social Service office.  In assisting these departments volunteer duties will often vary from day to day, encompassing data processing, stuffing mailings, to odd jobs.  A working knowledge of MS Word and Excel is required for those tasks involving data entry. Although not required, a commitment to a regular work day schedule and 2-3 hours per shift is preferred.


Teen Opportunities


The Jonnycake is proud to support local students in the completion of their school requirement for volunteerism. Students must be at least 15 years old or accompanied by an adult if younger and can work in all areas of The Center. Additionally, Seasonal Volunteer Opportunities are available for students. Students may also opt to complete an offsite project that supports the Center’s mission. Examples are a food drive to support the Pantry, a winter coat drive, backpack/school supply drive, Christmas toy drive or a children’s new shoe drive. If you are interested in doing a drive, please start by coordinating your activity with Center staff. Student volunteer hours will be closely monitored and documentation will be provided upon completion of service.


Court Ordered Community Service


The Jonnycake Center accepts volunteers who have court-ordered community service. Certain offenses may disqualify you from doing your community service at the Jonnycake Center and must be approved in advance. As a court-ordered community service volunteer, your primary responsibility will be janitorial and maintenance tasks. Volunteering for court-ordered community service is more structured than the regular volunteer program. Your hours will be closely monitored and a letter documenting hours of service completed will be provided.


Summer Program Looking to Alleviate Student Hunger (SPLASH)



SPLASH is a supplemental meal program designed to provide school children a nutritious breakfast and lunch during school vacations when they do not receive these meals in school.  Volunteers are needed throughout the week to label bags, prepare and package the meals and sort packages for distribution.  This is an ideal volunteer activity for teenagers looking for community service hours.

Community Garden

Community Garden


The Jonnycake Center of Westerly’s Community Garden, formerly known as the Charlestown Community Garden, provides over 4,000 lbs of fresh organic vegetables to local food pantries and soup kitchens. The garden is in need of volunteers from May to October on Tuesdays and Thursdays mornings from 9am to noon.  Garden volunteers perform basic gardening functions such as planting, weeding, and harvesting.  No prior gardening experience is required.  The garden is located in Ninigret Park next to the Charlestown Senior Center.


Contact Sarah Shaw, the Jonnycake Center of Westerly’s Food Pantry Manager, at communitygarden@jonnycake.org or call (401) 377-8069 x112 for more information.

Thanksgiving Food Basket Distribution



The Saturday before Thanksgiving The Jonnycake Center prepares and distributes over 450 Thanksgiving food baskets. This assembly line process requires about 30 volunteers to prepare and pack boxes with food and hand them out, along with a turkey, to clients. This is an ideal volunteer activity for teenagers looking for community service hours.
Adopt-a-Family Christmas Program

Adopt-a-family Christmas Program


Over 350 families are adopted out to donors who shop for Christmas gifts for their children. “Santa’s Elves” are needed the week before Christmas to help prepare the gifts for distribution. This includes matching up the donated items to the caregiver’s list, ensuring sizes are correct, toys are age appropriate, etc and that each child has at least 4-5 gifts. Gifts are then packaged in bags and numbered for distribution. Twelve to 15 volunteer are needed each day to process 100 families. This is a great volunteer opportunity for businesses, church groups and civic organizations.

Holiday Program Sign-ups

Office Assistance


During the Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays The Jonnycake Center has extensive programs to support our clients and ensure they have a fulfilling holiday. This includes providing them with Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets and Christmas presents for their children. To ensure client’s specific needs are met, they must complete an extensive packet of information. Volunteers are needed to assist clients in completing these forms. Starting in the end of October, two volunteers per day are needed to sit with clients to ensure forms are thoroughly completed.


Hours are:

Mondays 12 – 3
Tuesdays 9 – 12
Wednesdays 9 – 12
Thursdays 9 – 12 and 3 – 6
Fridays 9 – 12
Saturdays 9 – 12

Ready to join us?

Please download the Volunteer Application and Release & Waiver and fill both out electronically, and email to volunteer@jonnycake.org or print, fill out the forms and return them to one of the Volunteer Coordinators, Adrienne or Cyndee at the Center.


Thank you.