Volunteering isn’t just for adults; kids can join in the action, too. We’ve curated five kid- and teen-friendly ways to give back.
Giving back to the community can have a lasting effect on both the giver and the receiver. And kids and teens can offer just as much heart as a grown up! Here are five incredible ways younger generations can lean in to help our surrounding communities thrive.
01 Volunteers of America Colorado // Denver
With a mission to “identify and serve the basic needs of the most vulnerable individuals and families within the community,” Volunteers of America Colorado offers a little something for everyone. The program holds monthly Family Volunteer events open to kids of all ages, announced in each monthly newsletter. Get on the mailing list: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rake Up Colorado // Saturday, November 12th from 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
Assist limited-income seniors rake leaves throughout Adams, Arapahoe, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson counties.
To sign up: 303.297.0408 ext. 13130 or HandymanProgram@VOAColorado.org.
02 Longmont Humane Society // Longmont
Longmont Humane Society’s mission is to “protect and enhance the lives of companion animals by promoting healthy relationships between pets and people.” Anyone ages 13–18 can participate in its Teen Volunteer Program. (Currently, 300 teens are active.) RSVP and attend a Teen Orientation with a parent or guardian to learn more and then attend a training session. They ask for a three-month commitment of one shift per week with making the animals feel more comfortable at the shelter and helping distribute food, water and TLC.
Any junior 8–12 years old, may volunteer with their parent or legal guardian, however, the adult must also follow all the steps to becoming an adult volunteer, and then the junior accompanies the adult to their shift.
03 Precious Essentials // Broomfield
A Precious Child is “devoted to making a positive impact in the lives of disadvantaged and displaced children and families in Colorado by improving their quality of life.” Children can volunteer at the Resource Center or by hosting a donation drive for the organization.
Children ages 5 and up can volunteer at the Resource Center (accompanied by a guardian if under 13). Here, children will help organize, sort, inventory and hang incoming donations to prepare them for the Store Floor.
Donation drives can be hosted in schools, neighborhoods or with family and friends. Simply collect donations to raise awareness about A Precious Child in your community and help families in need.
04 Boulder Food Rescue // Boulder
Boulder Food Rescue is reshaping the face of hunger. On a mission to create a more just and less wasteful food system, it facilitates the sustainable redistribution of food “waste” to agencies that feed hungry, homeless and low-income populations while educating communities about food justice. And it’s all by bike!
Youth and families looking to contribute on a regular basis—by committing to a weekly food rescue shift (1–2 hours/week)—would be a good fit. Boulder Food Rescue relies solely on volunteers to run an average of eleven shifts per day, 365 days per year.
Volunteers sign up for shifts at specific times and locations and are free to use Boulder Food Rescue equipment or their own. (Although 1–2 adult-sized bikes and trailers are locked up near all donation sites.) Donations amp up around the holidays, so now is the perfect time to connect. Attend a New Volunteer Orientation and then shadow an on-shift volunteer to learn specifics.
05 Tinker Art Studio Food Drive // North Boulder
Bring a non-perishable canned good to Tinker Art Studio and receive a 50-percent-off coupon for one hour of Tinker Time, an opportunity for children to engage in art exploration. Individuals can make cards for those in need to go along with their contribution. All art and food items will be donated to Harvest of Hope Pantry, a place that provides healthy supplemental food to Boulder families and individuals in need of assistance. Canned tuna, canned fruit, breakfast cereal, hearty soup and peanut butter are all greatly appreciated.
Saturdays 10 a.m.–12 p.m.