Back the Bend 2024 Projects

A Rosie Place

A Rosie Place is a specialty hospital that provides respite to medically fragile children and their families.

Project Description:

We are hosting a birthday party for our Rosie Kids. Volunteers will assist with the event.

American Red Cross

VolThe American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.

Project Description:

For this event, we will be going door to door install free smoke alarms, create escape plans and share fire safety information.

In teams of 4 volunteers will do the following: 
1. Installation of smoke alarms (Drills and training provided)
2. Educating residents on Home Fire Escape plans
3. Educating residents on Home Fire Safety

Volunteer Notes: Bring good walking shoes and a water bottle. Will be going Door-to-Door and into residents homes.

Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County

Project Description:

Volunteers will be helping run a joint Futsal Tournament with MSA and Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County (Registration, scoreboards, and officiating). Volunteers will be helping with Team Registration, concessions, scoreboards and officiating if they have a soccer background.

Volunteer Notes: Tennis shoes. 

Center for Hospice Care

Project Description:

Center for Hospice Care's Milton Village Campus Clean-up: The project involves outside clean-up that includes cleaning exterior windows and window sills, cleaning our Veterans Memorial area, cleaning of trash or debris along the portion of Juday Creek that runs through our property.

Volunteer Notes: This will be an outside project. If we have volunteers available with experience power washing, we will utilize them. Appropriate attire for cleaning a creek bank is recommended. Drinking water and access to our restrooms will be available.

Dismas House of Indiana

Dismas House of Indiana is a not-for-profit organization that provides housing, services to men and women returning from incarceration. Our residents consist of returning citizens and junior/senior undergraduate or graduate college students. They live and work together to develop a supportive community. Through programs, services and a supportive & productive community returning citizens gain communication and social skills, a new respect for education, secure employment. Through interaction with returning citizens students gain skills that can be later adapted and incorporated in their studies and careers.

Project Description: 

We are planning on doing a neighborhood cleanup and yard work but if weather doesn't allow we will have indoor task for students to complete.

Volunteer Notes: Wear clothes that they don't mind getting dirty, warm cloths if weather is chilly.

Field of Dreams

Field of Dreams is a new Unity Garden satellite garden, where anyone can pick the produce for free!

Project Description: 

Volunteers will be prepping the garden for spring by laying compost and mulch and cleaning up the fence along the garden edge.

Volunteer Notes: Dress for the outdoors and wear boots!

Good Shepherd Montessori School

Good Shepherd Montessori School is a local grade school serving children in preschool through 8th grade. GSMS seeks to help all children reach their full potential and to foster their understanding of the unique gifts they have to offer the world. Our belief in and adherence to the Montessori Method of education are the foundation for our school’s design which includes multi-age classrooms, hands-on materials, and opportunities for both self-directed and collaborative learning. A unique feature of our school is our land based learning and our urban learning farm.

Project Description: 

Weather permitting outside work will include: painting sheds and fences, garden clean up, grounds clean up. Alternative inside work will include spring cleaning of classrooms and kitchen.

Volunteer Notes: Dress for the weather for outside work and possible painting; bring a water bottle.

Green Bridge Growers

Green Bridge Growers is a sustainable farm just outside South Bend that grows fresh, healthy food for the community - while providing training and jobs for autistic youth and young adults who confront an unemployment rate of 90%.

Project Description: 

Harvesting produce for food bank deliveries, preparing beds for planting, maintaining and sanitizing equipment, transplanting seedlings.

Volunteer Notes: Sturdy shoes, dress in layers.

Hannah's House of Michiana

Project Description: The volunteers will be meeting at our Business Office Location for donation sorting and organization.

Volunteer Notes: It could be cold in the back sort area. Dress accordingly and bring bottled water.

Hope Ministries 

Hope Ministries provides transitional housing for those experiencing homelessness. Our faith-based programming helps residents heal from the pain of their past. We provide for all of their basic needs and also serve lunch and dinner, not only to our residents, but to anyone in the community needing a hot meal.

Project Description: 

(1) Some volunteers will be helping with our Family Easter Event by setting up, cleaning, helping kids, etc. (2) If we have enough volunteers, we may also use some volunteers to do some deep cleaning in our building.

Volunteer Notes: All of the volunteering will be done indoors. Dress comfortably and bring a water bottle.

La Casa de Amistad

Focused on empowering the Latino/Hispanic community through education, cultural, and advocacy services.

Project Description: 

Outdoor tasks include campus and block clean up, garden/tree upkeep and watering, and other clean-up as needed. Indoor tasks include classroom clean up.

Volunteer Notes: Outdoor clothing, heavy lifting, sun exposure.


Houses ~120 and connects guests to mental health/addiction recovery resources to stabilize while trasitioning to long-term housing.

Project Description: 

Picking up trash and cleanup in the surrounding block

Volunteer Notes: Bring comfortable clothes, shoes, and gloves

Mulch Madness

Mulch Madness is a lead poisoning prevention initiative with a four-fold aim: apply mulch in neighborhoods with high soil lead levels, encasing lead in the soil to mitigate childhood lead exposure; distribute lead screening kits, testing paint, soil, dust, and water to identify hazards within the home; connect residents with resources from the City of South Bend to fund lead-related repairs and/or abatement; and provide on-site blood lead testing for children in the neighborhood. We need volunteers for mulching, handing out lead kits, and potentially CNA/STNA-certified assistance in testing children for lead contamination. 

Project Description: 

Volunteers will mulch homes in the South Bend area. Additionally, volunteers may assist in distributing lead kits to residents and testing children for lead contamination.

Volunteer Notes: Wear clothes that you are comfortable getting dirty!

Place to Be Me, Children's Dispensary Programs

Place to Be Me, Children's Dispensary Programs mission is to enhance the learning and enrich the lives of individuals with special needs. They do this by creating a place where individuals ages 6 through adulthood can enhance their social interactions, learn important life skills, and enjoy new experiences.

Project Description: 

  1. Organizing old pictures albums and creating display boards for an upcoming open house.
  2. Yard work. Picking up trash along fence, trimming some bushes. 
  3. Stuff plastic Easter eggs for client Easter egg hunt. 
  4. Various other small tasks. 

Volunteer Notes: Some task will be outside (weather permitting)

Robinson Community Learning Center

The Robinson Community Center provides educational programming for youth and adults in the SB community and is looking for your help! Volunteers are needed inside to organize and clean our makerspace, kitchen, and supply room.

Project Description: 

Volunteers will sort supplies and organize our makerspace, and clean and organize our kitchen.

Volunteer Notes: These are indoor projects

Ronald McDonald House of Michiana

We have provided a home-away-from-home for thousands of families with sick or injured children since opening in 2002. Our beautiful 15,000-square-foot Ronald McDonald House serves as a refuge for parents and siblings of children being treated at Beacon Children’s Hospital, Memorial Hospital and Memorial Epworth Center in South Bend, Indiana. It’s a place for parents and siblings to rest and rejuvenate only steps away from their loved one.

The House offers an array of amenities including freshly-prepared meals daily, snacks, shower facilities and overnight accommodations. There are 20 bedrooms, each with a private bathroom and two queen-sized beds. There is a fully-stocked pantry and large open-plan kitchen with multiple cooking and seating areas designed to bring families together in support of each other.

The House also features a children’s play area, laundry facilities, several multi-purpose rooms that can serve as private meeting or meditation areas, and a fully-furnished community living area with a large screen television – all at no cost to the families we serve.

Project Description: 

Volunteers at RMHC® Michiana will help with organization, cleaning, making lunch for the day, baking, freezer meal prep, and many other possibilities.

Volunteer Notes: Students do not need to bring anything with them. Please wear comfortable clothing that you are okay with possibly getting food on them. No special skills are required to volunteer here.

Salvation Army Kroc Center of South Bend

We provide various programs for those in need within our community such as Food Pantry, Utility Assistance, Backpack Program for Elementary School Students, Burial Assistance, Financial Classes/Assistance, Recovery Classes, Worship Services and much more!

Project Description: 

For our annual Easter Egg Dive, Volunteers will be working the prize table, relaying information during the event, and providing traffic control within our hallways. Also, several volunteers will be helping Facilities keep our facility and grounds free of trash/debris during the event. Some Volunteers may be working outside cleaning up our outer perimeter.

Volunteer Notes: It will be very busy with people and warm around the pool area where the Event will take place. Volunteers should dress for warm conditions and also, dress accordingly for weather conditions in the event that they are in the group that will be working outside.

South Bend Animal Resource Center

We're responsible for animal welfare services in the City. Our Resource Center services include animal adoption, lost and found support, owner resources, and pet education. We serve the public in matters such as picking up stray dogs, investigating cruelty or neglect, responding to animals in distress, dog licensing, animal permitting, and upholding municipal code.

Project Description: 

Volunteers will be able to bathe, socialize, and walk dogs. They can also assist with cleaning kennels and washing and replenishing the dishes. We will also have cats that would love to be socialized; volunteers can handle cats in our community cat room and assist with cleaning our stray cat area.

Volunteer Notes: Everyone should wear non slick shoes if they can, and clothes they don't mind getting wet, furry and dirty!

St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Joseph County

Founded locally in 1904, St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Joseph County serves people living in poverty through programs intended to meet basic needs, provide support and encourage self-sufficiency. Utilizing over 500 volunteers in association with 18 Catholic parishes, we provide food, clothing, rent & utility assistance, and life skills to help our neighbors in need.

Project Description: 

Spring yard work: pulling weeds, raking, trimming hedges and bushes, preparing vegetable beds, etc.

Volunteer Notes: The tasks will be outside so dress appropriately for the weather. Tennis shoes or closed toed shoes are recommended. Volunteers will have access to the building for bathrooms, water, etc.

The Unity Gardens

Unity Gardens is a local nonprofit that connects our community to fresh food, nature and one another. We provide 40+ free pick gardens through northern Indiana that are accessible to all, organize many community events and offer free classes on gardening, cooking and more!

Project Description: 

We'll be prepping the garden for the spring, laying rows of mulch, compost, and seeding. We'll also be doing general garden clean up and whatever seasonal projects arise.

Volunteer Notes: Wear closed-toed shoes and clothes that you don't mind getting dirty. Dress for outdoor weather!

South Bend Venues Parks & Arts

Venues Parks & Arts inspires a more livable South Bend for all, connecting us to emotionally engaging experiences and to one another. With over 56 parks we're striving to enhance the environment that we manage by removing invasive species and increasing the urban canopy.

Project Description: 

The volunteers will be mulching, cleaning up the landscaping, and picking up trash along the riverbank in Leeper Park.

Volunteer Notes: Volunteers will need to wear closed toe shoes. VPA will provide gloves, shovels, wheelbarrows, buckets, loppers, pickers, trash bags, rakes.

Our Lady of the Road

Our Lady of the Road is a drop-in center practicing the works of mercy through offering breakfast, laundry, and shower facilities to people on the streets of South Bend.


Project Description: 

Volunteers will help with site and surrounding neighborhood clean up.