Finding Bay Area volunteer opportunities for kids can be a challenge, especially for families who already have packed schedules. But as kids go back to school, make giving back to the community as important as soccer practice, music lessons or field trips. Below are a few volunteer opportunities for kids which will allow them to flex their compassion muscles. They’ll feel good, you’ll feel good, and most of all, the people they are helping will feel good!
Collect and donate non-perishables to your local food bank
Drop the food bank a line to see what they need. Team up with your child to raid your kitchen. Then ask friends, neighbors, and relatives for donations. Let your child do all the talking so that they really feel a sense of ownership. Finally, when you’re ready to drop the food off at the food bank, let your child take charge. They’ll be beaming with pride to know that their actions are feeding the hungry. And to up the ante, some food banks even allow kids as young as five to help out on site. Call United Way’s 211 helpline to find a food bank near you!
Collect and donate to a homeless shelter
You name it, and homeless shelters need it. In addition to adult clothing and toiletries, shelters need children’s items, including diapers, formula, bottles, kids clothing, board games, books, and toys. Start with used items in good condition and encourage your child to donate that book she has already read 30 times or those action figures he no longer plays with. Then consider shopping for new items to donate like a pack of socks or a box of crayons. Nothing will satisfy your child more than knowing they are helping someone their own age. Call United Way’s 211 helpline to find a shelter near you!
Run a lemonade stand to raise money for charity
Every child loves to run a lemonade stand. A quarter here and a quarter there can add up. Transform the old favorite by turning it into a charity affair. First, help your child pick a worthy nonprofit. Some kids love helping animals, some like helping other children, and when in doubt, give to United Way. We’ll put your child’s hard-earned money to work for our poverty-cutting programs. It will give you a chance to discuss poverty with your kids so they understand how we are all responsible for uplifting our community.
And remember, United Way is your source when it comes to Bay Area volunteering for adults too. Go to www.uwba.org/get-involved for more information.