Finding opportunities for volunteering with kids (especially littles) can be difficult, but including them can be an incredible experience. With winter break coming up and lots of families in need around this time of year, now is a great time to get something on the calendar for your family. Don’t forget to also spread those opportunities throughout the year as well though!
Here’s a roundup of Indianapolis and surrounding organizations that welcome various ages to volunteer.
Do your kids love The Children’s Museum? Kids ages 8-17 can volunteer in an exhibit at the museum with an adult. Visit here for more information and to submit an application.
The holidays are a great time to start a family tradition of ringing bells to raise funds for The Salvation Army. Choose a location HERE to find out where you can ring as a family.
Fair Haven provides free-of-charge housing to families with a family member staying in a nearby hospital. At Fair Haven, families with children are welcome to come and prepare a meal or a treat for guests who are staying. Families are also encouraged to make cards of support for visitors. In the warmer months, families are welcome to come and help with yard work around the properties. Find more information regarding volunteering here.
All ages are welcome to volunteer with adult supervision. My pre-schooler had a blast planting trees in our neighborhood one Saturday. Find out how you can become a block captain in your neighborhood OR check the event calendar for other tree-planting opportunities HERE.
Kids ages 6+ can volunteer on a family day reserved just for families with children 6-8 to volunteer. Otherwise, kids ages 9+ can volunteer for select other projects. You’ll find a calendar of opportunities HERE.
Kids as young as five can volunteer with their family on Tuesday evening family nights at Second Helpings. For more information or to sign up, click HERE.
HVAF of Indiana provides services to local veterans and their families who are in need. Elementary-aged children are encouraged to make cards for veterans to drop off at the Pennsylvania Street location. Teens are encouraged to work in the food pantry with adult supervision, helping veterans shop for food pantry items. Contact Mary Mauer directly for opportunities at 317-333-8976.
There are opportunities for children and families to volunteer together after attending a required orientation at Coburn Place. You’ll find the application here along with dates for the next orientation opportunity.
Book lovers have the opportunity to volunteer at most library locations. They do require that teens be at least 14 years old. Find more information here.
Allows families to adopt a park and volunteer on their own schedules! For opportunities, contact [email protected].
Through Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church. The Merciful Help Center provides help and services to those in need in Hamilton county. Children ages 8-11 may volunteer with an adult also volunteering. Youth ages 12-17 may volunteer on their own. Find opportunities HERE.
There are opportunities for children to volunteer as young as eight years old with an adult volunteer and even Junior Internships for youth ages 13-17 at the Marion County Human Society. Find more information AND summer camp information HERE.
Other ways to involve children:
Involve kids from your very own home! Create cards for a local veteran support organization, nursing home, or hospital. Collect donations in the neighborhood and donate to a local shelter, hospital, or school. Create care packages to donate to a local shelter. Adopt a block or a park to maintain as a family. Gather unused toys to donate to the library or a local daycare. And especially around this time of year, involve kids in a shopping trip for and wrap clothes and presents to contribute as a Christmas present donation to a family in need.