24 answers

Where Can I Volunteer with My Kids?

I would like to start volunteering somewhere with my kids. I want to start them young on giving back. They are six and four. My six year old, I can take anywhere, but my four year old has a lot of energy and wants to touch everything. She isn't bad and I can tell her no, but she is a kinetic ;earner and so to see how things works, she wants to touch them. So, my questions is, does anyone know of a good place to volunteer where she would be able to help. She loves to help, but it has to be something she can do or else my entire time is spent keeping her out of things and we are no help at all. Hope someone has an idea. :)

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Thank you so much for all the responses. I got some great ideas. You all are a really cool resource. Thanks.

Featured Answers

Please consider Animal Haven, Kansas. I know Animal Haven seeks family volunteers to walk dogs, and play with puppies and kittens.

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Community gardens or parks are great places to volunteer-- lots of room to run! My son "helps" with my community garden work, and sometimes we go to the local parks and pick up trash. He's an energetic fellow as well, so that works for us.

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I would recommend contacting your local chamber of commerce and tell them what you want to do with volunteering and they could probably send you in the right direction of places you could possibly volunteer within the community, or who you would, could, or should talk to in order to find more information.

Another thing you could try is to check with the reference desk at your public library to find resources in your community that could use your help as well.

Bottom line, get creative. What kinds of things do you like to do and then check out those areas for opportunities to volunteer.

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Have you ever considered 4-H? I participated in the Wyandotte County 4-H program for over eleven years. 4-H is a wonderful program that really encourages kids and their families to get involved in their community. When most people think of 4-H they think of farms and raising animals but these days it is much more then that. My club was very involved in the community: from making cards for nursing homes, to adopting a family for the holidays, helping clean up local parks, etc... Our groups main focus was on community service. I went to a private school and we had to have a certain number of service hours a quarter and I NEVER had a problem filling my quota. From my four years of highschool I had over 500 hours of community service. Other then just helping out the community, 4-Hers get the opportunity to go to summer camp, and other trips when they get older. Sorry to keep rambling but I am just so enthusiastic about 4-H! During my years I not only made some life long friends but got some wonderful contacts which helped a TON for recommendations for jobs and college. If you have any questions of just want to hear some more you can send me a message... I am just a 4-H veteran who loves to get other involved ! :)

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I don't know any specifics about your community. However, several things come to mind. The easy community project is picking up trash in the community or a recycling project. This is a great way to teach children to be responsible for the environment.

Also, senior citizens who can't go out (in assisted living or a nursing home) love being visited by younger children. In our community there is an adult daycare in town. I took a group of attention challenged 7th graders to interact with the adults there. All the activity director wanted was for the kids to play games with the adults. There were a lot of people with Alzheimers so they really didn't mind if the rules of the games were changed. They also had a small foam basketball hoop set up for the adults. They loved it when the kids played "basketball" with them. The place where my grandmother lived had a regular balloon volleyball game to keep the residents active. This would be another game where a younger kinesthetic learning could interact with an older person. The kids could also make cards ahead of time and deliver them to residents.

Some communities have community gardens over the summer. This is an activity that young children could be involved in. If you have a garden space you could easily have your own garden and give the food or flowers to an organization or a person whom you know would give it to people who needed it. You could also work with your children to put together care baskets for people unable to get out of their homes.

If you have a church or community organization having a food drive and you think your children are capable you might be able to help sort food items. Sometimes food pantries put together bags ahead of time or sort items ahead of time. If you could find a food pantry that would let you help behind the scenes, this might be a more relaxed pace than an actual food drive.

These are just some thoughts. Good luck.

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A.,
Have you heard of MOMS Club? It is an international group that meets usually in the daytime, has lots of fun stuff to do with your kids including service projects. There are many chapters and you probably have one near you. I have been in one in Pennsylvania and in Lawrence, KS and am starting a chapter here in Baldwin City, KS. My sister in law belongs to a chapter in Tulsa, OK. The types of service project vary depending on the group. We have done things like making Mother's Day baskets for the women's shelter, park clean-up, making overnight bags for Ronald MacDonald House, having sing-a-longs at nursing homes, collecting food pantry items, stuff like that.
We have a program with our local senior center called "Friendly Visitors" where I take my kids to visit on older person at home once a week. That can be a little tricky with young kids though.
Whatever you do, whether with a group or on your own, good job! Our children learn from us and compassion and caring for others is such a great thing to teach them.
D.

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You could call the Ronald McDonald House. I think that they have groups that come in and cook food for the families. Or, you could have your kids help you bake cookies or make sandwiches at home and drop them off there. Also, you could make goody bags for children waiting at hospitals in the area.

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Probably not anything really at that age - but maybe you can make your own volunteer job. How about adopting a few "grandparents"? Go to a nursing home and see if you can be matched with some elderly people that you can go visit mabye weekly and play some games with them. Some of the elderly are back to playing games the level of 4 or 6 year olds. Also, they might be able to teach you all some things.

2 moms found this helpful

Please consider Animal Haven, Kansas. I know Animal Haven seeks family volunteers to walk dogs, and play with puppies and kittens.

2 moms found this helpful

My kids (4 & 10) and I sometimes volunteer at our local food pantry. So far, we have helped with stocking the shelves and making baskets around the holidays. I would love to help hand out the food, though (they do that on Friday mornings, so we'll be able to do that over the summer).

We also plan to volunteer at the Humane Society this summer. I am anxious to read more responses, so I can get more ideas of volunteer opportunities with kids!

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I would say the nursing home too or maybe planting flowers for the elderly.

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There is a place online that has a lot of different groups that you can get involved in. If there isn't one specifically for what you are looking for, you can make one, then others with the same interest will come to you. It is meetup.com. The girl scouts that my daughter is in donated tons of items to the local food pantry and I saw little kids helping with the boxes, maybe you could ask there. My last suggestion would be ANY local church that has donations, food pantries etc, they would not mind a call to see how you could help them. They might need help sorting clothes, school supplies, food etc. If anyone in my area needs ideas, there is T.E.A.M, Florissant Church of Christ has a wonderful clothing ministry for families getting back on their feet. There is also Hazelwood Baptist, they have a food pantry as well as a yearly car show that they would love for everyone to go to and if you would like to volunteer to help they would be happy to find you something:)

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We just did a fund raiser last weekend for Big Brothers Big Sisters. BBBS lets people sign up as a family for a little sister or little brother and as a family you do activities with the child(ren)...You and your children can do lots and lots of activities with your "little". It would teach your children how to help other people and also social skills to be sympathetic for children who don't have everything they are blessed with.

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Animal shelters are always great - not all will let you bring small kids but you can check the one in your area. They always need help.

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I saw an ad in the KC Star this week; Hospice House in KCMO is looking for volunteers. They are asking for people to bring in baked good that they can serve to volunteers, families, visitors, etc... Or for people to call and reserve a kitchen time and do the same kind of cooking there. The address is 12000 Wornall in KS, phone ####-###-####.

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My kids help me volunteer at our church. They have helped sort clothes for the Wearables for Edibles (clothing drive to raise money for the area food pantries.) They have also helped sort food. They are now 8 & 5 and enjoy doing for others very much. This past weekend my daughter expressed how much fun it was to work with her Brownie Troup collecting, sorting and delivering to TEAM the Girl Scouts annual collection of personal/toiletries items. Last weekend we volunteered to pick up all of the pieces of paper, soda cans and other trash that is blown around throughout the winter from around the church lot and grounds. Last summer their project was to plant and keep the flowers watered in the garden next to the church entrance. These are things that small kids can do without anyone worrying that they will "Be in the way" or "Break Something". It also helps them to gain a sense of community responsibility. My sister in law has taken her grandson with her almost every week for the past couple of years to sort books for the annual book fair.

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Nursing homes love visitors! Call around to some and see which ones have places that would be good for your kids' age. A lot of the residents don't get any visitors so they encourage that. Hope that helps!

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Maybe you could try volunteering at a local nursing home, where they could share crafts, songs or treats with some lonely older woman or men and while your children are still under your supervision,they can also benefit from added attention and learning new perspectives, you might compile a list of questions or tales etc, that way you can volunteer your time with a meaningful cause, sharing time is sometimes forgot about, much as we tend to forget about the seniors tucked away in nursing homes. I have never done this so I am not even certain that it is allowed but I have visited a few nursing homes both in uk and here and they always seem to enjoy visitors.
You could organizing a local toy drive for homeless well shelter kids at your local church or grocery store, asking for art supplies, and small travel toys and then call some local shelters in our area there is one at 100 2nd ave its phone is ###-###-#### and ask them how many kids there are and ask if and when your kids can deliver them maybe explain how you want to inspire in your kids the gift of giving etc.. that way you can measure the time and effort and handing out toys to other kids can surely help both,
im out of ideas and my littlest one is vying for my attention , maybe i will think of a better idea later, good luck

1 mom found this helpful

This is a little out of my field of expertise, but my daughter-in-law has 3 little ones. They are 3,2, and newborn, and she needed time to get out of the house, but needed something that the boys could be included in. She volunteers at the YMCA 2 or 3 days a week in the nursery. The boys can go with her, and yet she gets to interact with other young Moms. The boys get the experience of sharing and playing with other toddlers. It is a "win-win" situation. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Community gardens or parks are great places to volunteer-- lots of room to run! My son "helps" with my community garden work, and sometimes we go to the local parks and pick up trash. He's an energetic fellow as well, so that works for us.

1 mom found this helpful

Have you thought about your local food bank? All of ya'll would be able to pick up food and box it up. I've even had friends who have gone to birthday parties at Harversters (not sure about spelling). Good luck and have fun!

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I know the Humane Society in Columbia has a volunteer walking program where volunteers can walk the dogs. I'm not sure about the age requirements of the kids, but I'm sure as long as an adult is with them that would be acceptable. That would definitely help your 4-year old walk out some of her energy and should be a fun time for everyone!

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I would try vounteermatch.com then type in your zipcode and it comes up several available with ages as well, although I think most of them are for ages 10 and up, but it is worth a try.

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We go to the local park, put on gloves, and pick up trash.

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Have you considered nursing homes/care facility? So many peolple don't have family that will come & see about them & I'm sure they would love to have children around with all of that energy! I think it's a WONDERFUL idea to get them started early to want to help & give back. You could also try local churches with feeding ministries or just some type of outreach ministries. I wish you the best of luck & God Bless!

1 mom found this helpful

I'm kind of partial to nursing homes. Some people in the nursing homes don't get very many visitors and you know how precious children can be to the elderly. They just have small rooms, so some don't have many things to get into but others do have a lot of knick knacks. Maybe you could come after mealtime and just visit them in the cafateria area. Have them decorate cards for a certain holiday or go there weekly and they'll really get to know the people who live there. When I was single I used to volunteer at a nursing home and the people just really love to talk. It's probably not exactly what you're looking for. Maybe you could allow your daughter to bring one toy with her to play with and talk to the people about. My daughter is 3 yrs old. I need to get back into going to the nursing home. I started going because I was about 500 miles from my nearest grandma and I figured if I was home I'd visit her, so instead I visited the elderly where I was at. Good luck. I know you'll get some great ideas.

1 mom found this helpful

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