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Announcing Enhanced Volunteer Program


Former volunteer, Taylor, carrying a calf into the Dairy Barn.

Announcing Enhanced Volunteer Program

Over the decades, the Gould Farm community has thrived thanks to the dedicated efforts of volunteers who have embraced our mission, enriching our community with diverse perspectives and talents. From the past to the present, the year-long volunteer program has been a cornerstone of our community, akin to transformative experiences like the Peace Corps, shaping the lives of many who have served.


Looking towards the future, we are excited to announce our enhanced volunteer program, forged through partnerships with three external organizations. This strategic shift not only broadens opportunities for service but also enhances the volunteer experience, particularly during a time of decreased volunteerism in the United States. While this change means Gould Farm no longer accepts direct volunteer applications, we believe collaborating with these organizations will strengthen the impact and engagement of this program within our community and beyond.


Partnerships with Three Leading Organizations

In collaboration with three well-known organizations—the Commonwealth Corps of Massachusetts (a program of the Massachusetts Service Alliance), the United Church of Christ (UCC) Ministries, and Brethren Volunteer Services (BVS)—we are proud to provide three avenues for individuals seeking to serve in our therapeutic community:


1. Commonwealth Corps Service Internship Program

Through our partnership with the Commonwealth Corps service internship program, we have the opportunity to host two full-time members as a placement site for the 2024-25 season. Commonwealth Corps Interns at Gould Farm will focus on developing our wellness program, supporting guests with educational and practical tools for fitness and nutrition.


This program not only offers volunteers valuable experiences but also fosters professional development while making a tangible difference in our community and offers a very generous stipend as well as medical insurance. 


The Commonwealth Corps applicant must be a resident of Massachusetts. The interview process has several steps, initiated by contacting Gould Farm, and then with the Commonwealth Corps. Internships begin in August 2024 and go until June 21, 2025.


How to Apply:

  • Send cover letter and resume highlighting your qualifications to Pauline Banducci, volunteer coordinator at Gould Farm

  • Email: pbanducci@gouldfarm.org


2. United Church of Christ (UCC) Ministries

For those whose dedication to volunteerism is rooted in faith and service, our collaboration with the United Church of Christ (UCC) Ministries presents a practical opportunity to become part of our community at Gould Farm or Fellside (our Boston program). Volunteers receive essential benefits such as health insurance, and a monthly stipend. Admissions is rolling (ongoing) for this volunteer program.


How to Apply:

  • Contact: Danielle Hickman, Minister of Volunteer Engagement, UCC National Ministries

  • Email: hickmand@ucc.org


3. Brethren Volunteer Services (BVS)

Through our partnership with Brethren Volunteer Services (BVS), individuals have the chance to engage in service and community living while positively impacting the lives of others. Volunteers participating in BVS receive essential benefits and support, ensuring a rewarding and fulfilling experience. 


How to Apply:


A Legacy of Service

As we open this new chapter in our volunteer program, we find inspiration in the stories of past volunteers who have enriched our community. Cara Hudson, Twyla Barkakoty, Will Britt, and Christine Rowghani—former volunteers—have written about their experiences as volunteers at Gould Farm. Below are excerpts taken from their longer written reflections (which you can find on our website):


Cara Hudson, who dedicated two years as a full-time volunteer, reflects on her journey: “My Gould Farm experience was the most challenging and rewarding job I have had. Along with the physical farm skills I gained, I also left with a better understanding of my own mental health and personal boundaries.”


Twyla Barkakoty, a volunteer in our Boston program, shares, “Being able to celebrate each other’s successes and to strive to be a compassionate and supportive presence during times of hardship has taught me a lot about kindness, joy, resilience, patience, and just what it means to be human.”


Will Britt, PhD, immersed himself in our community, finding beauty in relationships with others. He remarks, “The beautiful setting of the Farm refreshes the soul and challenges the body...the strength of the Farm is its community.”


Christine Rowghani, now a social worker, reflects on her time at the Farm: “Gould Farm was such an important place for me to gain a great personal understanding of boundaries for myself and others...I apply so much of what I learned there to my clinical work now.”



Continuing our tradition of providing year-long volunteer opportunities on the Farm, this enhanced approach aims to add to the legacy of meaningful service that has been woven into the life of Gould Farm for decades. By collaborating with the Commonwealth Corps of Massachusetts, the UCC, and BVS, we aspire to revive and sustain the opportunities for individuals who wish to contribute to our therapeutic community. Through these partnerships, we are excited to continue offering this truly unique experience for those who are called to serve.

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