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The Greek philosopher Aristotle once said that the essence of life is “to serve others and do good.” What better way to do that than to get the whole family involved and participate in some volunteer opportunities in your area? Now more than ever, our world, country, and community need some helping hands. Whether that’s simple tasks like donating to your local food bank or delivering care packages to your children’s hospital, a little of your time will go a long way.

It may seem daunting to try and fit in volunteer time in your already hectic schedule, but there’s a good chance you can free up a little of your family’s time. There are so many volunteer activities that kids of all ages can participate in. This article will explore some beautiful ways to give back to your community. 

TLDR (Too Long Didn’t Read) – Here’s a quick list of kid-friendly ideas for volunteer activities. Search these topics within your zip code and go volunteer.

  1. Volunteer your time or donate items like blankets and towels to the Humane Society or a local animal shelter.
  1. Donate or join the Red Cross
  2. Join a nonprofit organization
  3. Help make nutritious meals for a homeless shelter
  4. Donate or volunteer at the Children’s Hospital
  5. Volunteer or donate to the Ronald McDonald House
  6. Senior Citizens Home
  7. Girl Scouts
  8. Community events supporting special needs programs
  9. Search for virtual volunteering options
  10. Storytime at your local library
  11. Clean up a park or help with a community garden

Please take a look below for more details on each of these topics. There are many ways to give back, and it’s a great way to show your children how joyful it feels to lend a helping hand. 

Animal Shelters

There is always a need for supplies, time, and help at our animal shelters. You can help with an adoption event or donate old towels and blankets. It’s a great place to volunteer for people of all ages, especially young kids who love animals. They can help feed the animals, walk a dog, or play with kittens. It’s also a great way to teach your children the responsibility of owning and caring for a pet.

Used towels and blankets

Red Cross

The Red Cross is one of the largest and most known volunteer organizations. They are great community partners offering volunteer work based on a community’s current needs. They provide an excellent program called the Red Cross Club for young children from high school to college. It’s a great cause and allows young people to participate in national and international opportunities.

The minimum age to get started is Kindergarten. Younger kids can stay involved all through school, and as high school students, they can transition to the National Collegiate Assembly. They also offer plenty of educational opportunities for the entire family, including CPR classes, first aid, and water safety. The Red Cross also hosts special events where you and your family can donate blood, money, and even a car.

Here is a link to help you get started: Red Cross

Non-Profit Organization & Churches

Another easy way to get involved and help make our world a better place is to join a non-profit group. Depending on where you live, you can search for community groups in your area. There are several ‘Mom’ support groups out there that not only coordinate volunteer opportunities but also host get-togethers and play dates. This is an excellent way for a new mom and their kids to make new friends.

Almost every local church has opportunities to participate in a service project. There is always a need to help support low-income families in your area by donating clothing and school supplies. Many churches offer summer volunteer programs, youth volunteers, and opportunities to give back during the holiday season. Metropolitan Ministries is a great example. Just by doing a simple internet search in your area, browsing your local news fliers, or reaching out to your children’s school, you can find a volunteer project that is a good fit for you and your family.

Homeless Shelters

There are many homeless shelters in need of help. Just about every county in the United States has a homeless shelter. They offer educational programs and resources that help move families into permanent housing. Many shelters have clubs for older kids. They have monthly meetings where members can actively participate in fundraising, advocacy, and education.

This is an excellent way for high schoolers to earn community service hours for college applications. Additionally, volunteering is a beautiful way for students to make new friends, and meeting regularly helps build their social skills. 


Children’s Hospital

Another opportunity for high school-aged children is volunteering at a children’s hospital. There are different programs and clubs that offer various tasks that teach customer service and family support. There are, of course, opportunities for adults as well. And, as always, there’s the option of donating. Your child can organize or support toy drives by checking out your local children’s hospital website or Facebook page for more information. 

Children hospital volunteer

The Ronald McDonald House Charity

The RMHC partners with children’s hospitals and provides another route for volunteering. The RMHC offers private rooms, lounges, healthy food, and mobile assistance for younger patients and their families. They provide opportunities to host a fundraiser, fulfill a wish list by donating toys, art supplies, and games, or volunteer to help cook and clean. Hosting a fundraiser is a great way to get children involved at a young age. 

Senior Citizen Support

Do you have or know someone who has a family member living in a long-term care facility? Families can volunteer in several ways, whether at a nursing facility or a retirement community. It can be something simple like yard work, reading a book, or hosting a bingo event; a small gift of our time will go a long way.

It’s essential that we build relationships with our senior citizens. They have a wealth of knowledge and many life experiences to share. They often love sitting down and playing cards; many love having young visitors.  It’s a great way to not only enrich their lives but also our children’s lives. 

Girl Scouts

Do you have a daughter that loves the outdoors? Volunteering through your local Girl Scouts is another excellent way to give back to the community. Girl Scouts partner with all types of organizations in need. Anything from a field trip to a local animal shelter to restocking the local food pantry, they contribute so many ways to their communities. Parents and family members can also volunteer.

They offer summer programs that include horseback riding, kayaking, ziplining, and survival skills classes. It’s a fun way to learn life skills and the importance of giving back. The best part is they’re growing up to be thoughtful and confident women of our future. 

Special Needs Programs

Many communities have special needs volunteer opportunities. Several of these programs offer day-time social activities like ping-pong tournaments, bingo, or a day trip on a trolley. Often, these programs need volunteers to help keep their facility up to date. Things like repaving and painting a basketball court or helping with small renovation projects are all great ways to help. There are also special seasonal events where you can help volunteer. Events like St. Patty’s or Easter brunch are all great ways to help out. Check out your local organization for more details.  

Virtual Volunteer Opportunities

Social media and digital marketing play a huge role in getting the word out about volunteer opportunities. This is an excellent way for older kids to volunteer and exercise their tech skills. It can be anything from helping create an Etsy gift shop for a local non-profit to working with the Red Cross in creating digital media for their disaster recovery program. There are also opportunities for high school students to earn volunteer hours by creating a letter drive for a local senior citizen home. Online tutoring is also an excellent way for older children to help younger children with learning challenges. 


Do you have a child who loves to read books? Is your child a little more on the shy side and enjoys doing tasks on their own? The library is an excellent place to volunteer. It’s another option for teens needing to earn volunteer hours. They can help with shelving, organization, and assisting with discarding books.

There are technology opportunities in which teens can help with basic computer processing needs. They can also help out with setting up and taking down seasonal displays. You can take a look at your local library’s website for more details on volunteer opportunities. 

Community Parks and Gardens

Another family-friendly volunteer opportunity for all ages is helping with local community parks and gardens. You can help plant trees and flowers, clean leaves, pull weeds, or feed the community chickens. It’s a fun way to get your kids involved with their community and learn new skills. There are also opportunities to help out with community gardens. Often, the food grown in these gardens is donated to the local food pantry or shelter. Kids can participate in planting seeds, pruning plants, and, of course, the fun part, harvesting. Many local community gardens also offer free classes on gardening best practices. 

Whether you have little ones or teens, there are so many fun ways to get them involved in volunteering. Whether it’s a different project like helping your elderly neighbor with yard work or joining the Red Cross, it’s a great way to teach them compassion and empathy. Through volunteering, they will learn new life skills, better understand what their community needs, and hopefully have fun.

It’s an excellent way for families to bond and make new friends. Start with a list of things your children are interested in, and then go online and search for volunteer activities that fall into those interests. So plant some trees, play with kittens at the local shelter, and enjoy giving back to your community.

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