Find Volunteer Opportunities for Kids
Although this quotation doesn’t mention education, it does make a great point about how we teach our children. In school, we encourage students to learn so they can eventually succeed on their own in the world. But do we teach them how to “make a life” by giving?
Giving help, love, kindness, and guidance are just a few ways we can give to others, and these forms of giving can result in some of the most rewarding experiences of our lives. But sometimes parents and teachers don’t spend enough time emphasizing the value of giving for its own sake. An effective way to help children learn how to give fully is through volunteering.
It’s National Volunteer Week, so take this opportunity to help your child give back to the community. Try some of these volunteer websites to find an activity near you.
Volunteermatch.org helps volunteers, business leaders, and nonprofit organizations find ways to give back to the community. On the homepage, all you have to do is type in your location and a few keywords. To find volunteer opportunities for kids, try using keywords such as “children,” “kids,” “students,” “families,” or “learning.”
Habitat for Humanity
People of all ages can join Habitat for Humanity to help build a house for a family in need. In the Habitat for Humanity Youth Program, there are different teams and opportunities for children ages 5–8, 9–13, and 14 and up. There’s also a team for teachers, parents, and youth leaders. Children can find ways to get involved locally and even join the Youth United program, which is run by kids. Another benefit of joining early on is that children can stay involved in the organization when they are adults.
Does your child love animals? Looking for opportunities at the Humane Society is an effective way to get him or her interested in volunteering. Browse the website’s resources for students to learn about free online courses and learning ideas that blend art, music, science, and more with animal advocacy.
GenerationOn is the youth division of Points of Light, a large volunteer organization. With sections for kids, teens, parents, teachers, and organizations, the website directs users to information on service clubs, project ideas, family volunteering, and service stories. Children can visit the “Pick Your Project” section to browse fun volunteering activities, such as creating thank-you art for service members or a doing trash cleanup to make parks safer for dogs.
DoSomething.org is a nonprofit organization for volunteers ages 13–25. The website has plenty of information on campaigns and causes that volunteers can get involved in, and the organization even offers internships and scholarships. The coolest feature is the Action Finder, which allows you to filter activity results by cause, location, time, and whom you want to volunteer with.
Other Ways to Volunteer
If your student wants to try a specific volunteer activity in your area, look online for websites of local organizations. Here are some community volunteering opportunities to look for.
- Work at a food bank or soup kitchen
- Tutor younger students
- Participate in community cleanups
- Visit a nursing home
- Work at an animal shelter
- Help out at the library
- Walk or run for a fundraiser
Have you had a good volunteering experience with your child in the past? Tell us about your experiences.