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6 Ways for Kids of All Ages to Volunteer

Volunteer Week is April 12-18th, and with summer approaching, it's a good time to start looking at ways the child in your life can volunteer.

1. Lend Companionship at the Local Senior Center

A great way for children to get involved in the community through volunteering is at the local senior center. Reading, doing arts and crafts, and just lending a helping hand is always appreciated by the tenants of nursing homes and senior centers. Check out KidzWorld's guide to working with seniors; it includes activity ideas and instructs how to get started. 

2. Help Out at The Food Bank

Have your kids join the fight against hunger by volunteering time with you or by themselves at the local food bank. Food banks across the country typically have"kids helping kids" programs, so ask your local food bank if it has something like that in place. Check out an example of such a program here.

3. Organize a "Community Clean-Up Day"

Kids of all ages can participate in this one, as can members from all over the community. Your child and a small or large crew can designate a day to clean-up the community by clearing and disposing of trash in favorite places, like parks and schools. It's a great way to get outside! Check out this post for how to go about organizing a neighborhood or community clean-up. 

4. Spend Time at the Animal Shelter

For older children and especially those that are animal lovers, the local animal shelter is a great place to volunteer. To get started, use for lists of in-shelter youth programs and some background information on how the process works/ what your child can expect. 

5. Deliver Meals on Wheels

This works for both younger and older children. For younger children, parents can deliver Meals on Wheels with them; it's a perfect opportunity for family bonding while helping out. For older children, they can do it on their own. Sign up at Meals on Wheel's website

6. Grow and Certify a Wildlife Garden for the National Wildlife Foundation

Growing a wildlife garden is another activity that parents and younger kids can do together, or older kids by themselves. The National Wildlife Foundation has some guidelines for what makes a garden certifiable, so check them out here. But know that gardens of all shapes and sizes are certifiable, even one from an apartment balcony! By certifying your garden, you and your children will join a community of over 400,000 gardeners, which is pretty cool in itself.