How Do You Volunteer Your Time?

Updated on August 30, 2011
J.K. asks from The Colony, TX
14 answers

I'd like to start doing some volunteer work with my kids and was wondering if any of you have any advice on which organization I should participate with. Do any of you do any volunteer work? And if yes, which type of volunteer work do you find most fulfilling?

Since my daughter (5yrs old) is amazing with the elderly and my son (7 yrs old) prays for the poor and needy every night, I wonder if there's an organization that has a combination of the two that needs help.

Thanks ladies!

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

We do meals on wheels, and they really need volunteers right now! I did it with my 5 and 3 year old, and it's been a great experience over the last year. If you don't want to commit to weekly deliveries, you could sign up to be a substitute. The clients we see are needy as well as elderly/ or ill.

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answers from Rochester on

I volunteer at my local senior center. To use my own God given gifts, I teach a painting class and I play piano for lunch once a week. My six year old daughter attends with me, and visits with the seniors and draws pictures for them, etc.

I enjoy independent volunteer work as such because if something comes up in my own family, I am not "obligated" to be somewhere, am not necessarily "needed"...this is what works for me. However, I've been doing these things weekly for about five years. :)

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answers from Wichita Falls on

We have also done Meals on Wheels, and it was a great experience!

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answers from San Francisco on

As a long time scout leader I have LOTS of experience volunteering and doing community service with children, it's SO rewarding!
You should be aware, however, that some organizations have age limits. My animal loving daughter was devastated, for example, that the animal shelter wouldn't let her volunteer until she was 16 :(
Some groups we have worked with that are a good fit for young kids:
-retirement/nursing homes: go and visit, maybe bring some treats, though be aware that kids can be frightened of the frail elderly (those hooked up to tubes and machines)
-homeless shelters: one of my Girl Scout troops earned their Bronze Award planning and hosting both a clothing and back to school drive for a local shelter specializing in homeless families with young children. They also served meals in one of the poorest, most drug ridden parts of San Francisco (with parental supervision of course) in one of the most loving, accepting churches I have EVER seen, it was an amazing experience for all of us!
-food bank: local food banks usually have opportunities for families or groups to come in and help sort and organize food
-adopt-a-family: we started this tradition through my kids' preschool. Local families (and seniors) in need create a wish list and you shop for the requested items (just google "adopt a family Christmas" in your area to find agencies that sponsor this program)
-local churches: many churches sponsor programs to help those in need, you usually don't need to be a member to reach out and help
There are MANY ways to help, I'm sure you will find something that both you and your children will enjoy very much :)

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answers from Chicago on

When I was a kid the Red Cross had a program called "Elderfriends" where they trained us to be nursing home companions. I wonder if it is still active or if something similar exists in your area. There are so many people who have been dumped into nursing homes by their families and are really starving for some human attention beyond getting their medication.

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answers from Dallas on

Most of my volunteer time is with my daughter's school, cheer booster club fundraising, real time being there to support the school, member of the cheer booster board ( part time job).

As a family, we donate to the Allen Community Outreach and support the Women's shelter.

For the upcoming season, we are interested in volunteering to serve meals during holidays. It's just the 3 of us at holidays, so we'd like to help make a difference. I love to prepare great festive holiday dinners but with 3 people there's waste at the end of all the leftovers.

I'll pay attention to ideas you get! We are looking as well!

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answers from Dallas on

You could check with one of these centers: I'm not sure the age requirement but if you are there as a family it might work. It fits your description for your kids and I think that is great that you are trying to match their gifts and interests!

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answers from Dallas on

I don't know if they have opportunities for children to volunteer, but I love DCAC - Dallas Children's Advocacy Center. I know they always need adult volunteers and it is such a good cause and well run. I think it is very cool you are showing your kids that charity is important - way to go Mom!


answers from Dallas on

I volunteer with the VNA hospice.
If McKinney isn't too far, we have a senior center that could use volunteers.
Or you might visit patients in a local nursing home. Some of the people there don't get visitors and would be thrilled so see someone.



answers from Topeka on

HOw about a nursing home? Ask around, find someone or several someones' who don't have any family nearby that visit them...and "adopt" them as grandparents? Find a group like Harvesters or a local church that gives food away on a regular could all go and help pack the boxes before the actual give away.
My oldest daughter has her 3.5 year old son help her bake brownies, cupcakes etc and they take them to the local fire station or police station to thank those brave men and women for the work they do in keeping them safe.
Look at the Samaritans' Purse is a great organization run by the son of Billy Graham...every year they have a fabulous volunteer opportunity called Operation Christmas Child...there will surely be a collection point in your can have your children pack shoe boxes full of school supplies, small toys, small clothing items and they can personalize it with a picture of themselves as well as a letter to the recipient...include your address you may hear back from them!!! One time we got a letter back from a family in CHINA who had received one of the shoe boxes that our church packs every year.



answers from Dallas on

I have a child with Autism so we volunteer with the Dallas chapter of Autism Speaks. There is always such a great energy and love that comes with helping those who are special needs. My kids are extremely non-judgemental for this experience I've put them through (not including my Autistic one, he's still learning):)


answers from Austin on

I help at the school library one afternoon a week. One year, my son would come in at the same time after lunch and shelve a few books with me before going back to class. I also help at the food bank garden one day a week. Some days my son would be in the mood to help pick vegetables, but other days he did not want to be out in the heat with me. Then he would help inside, waiting for donations, sorting cans, or putting bread on the shelf. Another project that he asks to do is to pick up trash around the creek. My town also has a volunteer day where the whole family can sign up to do a project together.



answers from Dallas on

I do meals on wheels. sometimes my kiddos come with me (if they are off school on the day I deliver). BUT I have also signed the family up for weekend projects through meals on wheels where you clean a yard up or put in an AC unit, etc.
Tis, in addition to seasonal activities like Angel Tree and food drives and regular donation of items that they have outgrown or mommy and daddy are donating (TVs, computers, clothes, shoes) have been great exposure for my kiddos.


answers from Phoenix on

feed my starving children. not sure if there is one in your area, but we love going there to serve.

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