In our August issue, we feature a guide to after-school activities for kids. In addition to fun and educational programs, a great way for kids to spend their spare time is to volunteer to help others. Not only is it important in developing gratitude and growing awareness about the needs of others, but volunteering can help older kids develop leadership skills and make them stand out as candidates for scholarships and college opportunities. Here are some terrific volunteer opportunities for families to do together and teens to do on their own.
3535 N. Classen Blvd., 525-8822
Why We Love It: OKC Beautiful is a non-profit working to enhance the image of Oklahoma City through outreach and community projects. The organization is currently accepting applications for their teen board. The board plans and executes service projects, helps make decisions about the direction of the organization and learns about the operations of a non-profit. The deadline to apply is Aug. 28. Find an application at here.
7127 County Line Rd., Piedmont, 302-5123
Why We Love It: White Fields Children’s Home houses local boys who have experienced multiple failed foster placements and have nowhere else to go. The facility provides them a home and family atmosphere. Volunteering here offers a unique opportunity for kids to get to know more about the foster care system and spend time with other kids who live at the facility. Volunteers accompanied by an adult can serve in a variety of capacities on-site like mentoring, being a reading buddy or planning recreation activities. Families can also volunteer to put together welcome baskets or work on campus beautification.
3355 S. Purdue, 600-3161
Why We Love It: The Regional Food Bank is a great volunteer opportunity for teens and families because they have multiple volunteer sites throughout the metro and short-term projects that accommodate busy schedules.
Their long-term project for ages 16-18 is called Hope Corps and is a volunteer internship program. The application deadline is Sept. 1. Find the application at here.
Volunteers also are encouraged to take part in distributing food with the Senior Mobile Market and Fresh Food Mobile Pantries. Volunteers meet a truck at a designated location and help bag food and pass it out to community residents.
Other opportunities are available at the Moore Food Resource Center (2635 N. Shields, Moore) and at the Volunteer Center (3355 S. Purdue Ave.).
4224 N. Lincoln Blvd., 528-3663
Why We Love It: In addition to several volunteer opportunities for families with kids ages 10 and up, Infant Crisis Services is looking to fill positions on their Teen Associate Board. Students govern their own board with an executive committee. They learn leadership skills and provide help to others by carrying out the mission of the organization: feeding and diapering Oklahoma’s neediest babies and toddlers. The deadline to apply is Aug. 9. Find an application here.
333 N. Meridian Ave., 942-0228
Why We Love It: Feed the Children is a local non-profit that aims to end childhood hunger. The organization invites kids ages 12 and up and their families to volunteer in their Teacher Store, which provides free books and school supplies for teachers from more than 80 school districts across Oklahoma. Volunteers are needed to sort and organize the supplies for teachers to use. Additional volunteers are needed to fill boxes with food and personal hygiene products to be shipped to families in need across the Midwest.
To find more volunteer opportunities for families, visit www.metrofamilymagazine.com/volunteer.