Giving Back: Kid-friendly Volunteer Opportunities

"Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you." - Mother Teresa

Volunteering is a great way to spend some quality time with your children while making a difference in the world. Helping out with a cause that you are passionate about teaches children empathy, compassion and the importance of giving back to others. If everybody volunteered regularly, the world would be a much kinder, gentler and happy place to live.

Ready to get started? Great! Here are some kid-friendly activities to get started volunteering today.

Nursing Homes
Visit your local nursing home or elderly care facility. This can be a lonely place for its residents. Your children have the ability to put a smile on the face of someone in need. Talk to a volunteer coordinator to discover the right way for your children to help. Some opportunities may include bringing flowers, reading to adults, visiting with residents or helping with structured activities.

Homeless Shelters
Organize a food drive and collect non-perishable food to donate to a shelter. Or, speak with a volunteer coordinator to find out if there are opportunities to help prepare and serve food at the shelter.

Animal Shelters
Contact your local animal shelter to find out about volunteering. Some opportunities may include feeding animals, playing with animals, walking dogs or helping with adoptions.

Park Clean-ups
Cleaning up parks, beaches, roadways and other littered areas is a wonderful way to help Mother Earth. Keep America Beautiful is an organization that coordinates clean-up days across the United States.

Care for the Sick and Disabled
Helping people who cannot help themselves is a fantastic way to teach your children about the importance of giving back to the community. Meals on Wheels is an organization that coordinates food delivery to people in need.

Collect School Supplies
Many developing nations don’t have the resources to provide their children with the tools needed to succeed in school. Collect school supplies and put together care packages for children across the world. Get other families or your child’s school involved to make an even bigger impact. Develop Africa is just one organization that coordinates the delivery of these supplies that will directly improve the lives of children around the world.