Helping Kids to Volunteer

Updated by Katie Moosbrugger

April is officially National Volunteer Month, and April 15 kicks off National Volunteer Week. That makes it the perfect time to re-run this post with updates on ways you and your family can get involved in the community.

When people think of volunteering they often think of adults giving their time, but what better way to give back to others than volunteering with your children as a family! You can do this together at the location of your favorite non profit, or collaborate with friends, neighbors and family to do a drive for these wonderful organizations. All of these ideas teach kids about helping others, appreciating all that they have, and allowing for that irreplaceable family time.

There are so many non-profits, charities and causes that simply need item and monetary donations. In today’s post we are simply highlighting a few organizations that allow kids to volunteer – or assist in some way. However there are many more non profit organizations throughout the Triad that encourage families to volunteer together. You can get several ideas from our Volunteer & Giving Directory HERE.

American Red Cross – Heart of Carolina Region

1501 Yanceyville St
Greensboro, NC 27415
Contact: Anne Vestal, Senior Volunteer Specialist, 336-332-6916, Anne.Vestal@redcross.org
Website: http://www.redcross.org/greensboro
Age requirements: The Red Cross allows for children between the ages of 13 and 17 to become to become volunteers. Getting started as a Red Cross volunteer is easy. Just enter your zip code at www.redcross.org/volunteer. Volunteers 18 and over will complete and authorize a background check. Volunteers under the age of 18 will complete a parental consent form.

BackPack Beginnings

3707D Alliance Drive
Greensboro, NC 27407
Contact:  Parker White: parker@backpackbeginnings.org; 336.709.9649
Website: www.backpackbeginnings.org
Age requirements: Kids of all ages are always welcome in the office. Mom groups, homeschoolers, school trips, youth groups, girl scouts, etc often come in to help. Here are some ideas in and outside the office:
1. Volunteer in the office or with our smaller fundraisers. Here is a link to current opportunities. Each month more dates will be posted.
2. Hold a creative fundraiser: sell handmade bracelets, hold a bake sell, car wash, collect change, etc
3. Stuff your own bags of food or comfort backpacks. See instructions here.
4. Hold a food drive for the food backpacks or pantries (any shelf stable, nutritious items are accepted)
5. Hold a supply drive for comfort backpacks. Some of the items can be gently used: stuffed animals, children’s books, toys, etc.
6. Donate your gently used children’s clothing to our Clothing Pantry.
7. Other ideas: http://www.backpackbeginnings.org/ under How to Help

Brenner Children’s Hospital

(Wake Forest: Baptist Medical Center)
Medical Center Blvd
Winston Salem, NC 27157
Contact: For questions on how to get your fundraiser started or help determining where to direct your gift at the hospital, contact Katherine Haley, Community Engagement Coordinator, khaley@wakehealth.edu, 336-713-7657
Website: www.brennerchildrens.org/
Age requirements: Encourage your child of any age to be a FUNdraising Friend, and help them set up a fundraiser at home or in school. You can turn any activity you enjoy into a fundraiser for Brenner Children’s Hospital. Organize a car wash, penny war, art show, lemonade stand, or talent show—the possibilities are endless! Click here for more information on how you and your child can help. If donations are being directed to the Child Life Department, contact Cindy Mahan, Manager, Child Life Department; 336-713-3085; cmahan@wakehealth.edu

Diaper Bank of North Carolina – Greater Triad

2599A Reynolda Road
Winston-Salem, NC 27106
Contact: Moriah Gendy, Triad Branch Coordinator
Email: greatertriad@ncdiaperbank.org
Phone: 336-830-4579
Website:  http://ncdiaperbank.org/
Description: Diaper need is an extremely pervasive issue that is often not seen or discussed. 1 in 3 American families will experience diaper need – meaning they will struggle to afford diapers for their families. With no kinds of federal assistance to access diapers (they cannot be purchased through federal aid programs like SNAP or WIC) – often families have to make tough choices about buying food for their family or buying diapers for their child. Winston – Salem and the surrounding Triad area experience some of the highest childhood poverty rates in the state and country (37% childhood poverty rate) – so this work is extremely important to our community. Each month our branch distributes 100,000 diapers in the Triad! Before diapers can go out however- our volunteers help us wrap up our diapers into packs of 25.
Age requirements: No age requirements, kids as young as 3-4 can help count diapers and babies can play in the play area while parents and siblings count and wrap diapers.

Forsyth County Public Library

660 W Fifth St
Winston Salem, NC 27101
Contact: Nan La Rosee, Children’s Library Supervisor, 336-703-3041, laroseal@forsyth.cc
Website: http://www.forsyth.cc/library/ 
Age requirements: Children must be at least 12 years old to volunteer in the Children’s Library. If a family wanted to volunteer together, staff would be willing to work with them to find a suitable task. Areas they frequently need help with are cleaning toys and instruments, crowd control during large programs, and preparing craft items for a group. Many volunteers are needed in June and July for the Summer Reading Program. Crosby Scholars welcome!

Furry Hugs Inc.

1310 Richard Street
Salisbury, NC B28144
Contact: Elaine Williams or Tina Williams (704) 638-0115
About:  Originally founded and created in 2014 to give back to our community, Furry Hugs is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that has spread furry hugs and love across the entire state of North Carolina!  Furry Hugs is just as it is named.  They purchase, package and deliver small stuffed animals to local hospitals for doctors and nurses to give to patients who are sick, scared, alone, and hurt. A Furry Hug may be handed to a child who is having stitches put in, may be given to an elderly patient while they wait for family to arrive, or may be cuddled by a toddler having an x-ray.  You never know how scary hospital situations can feel until you endure them yourself and they know firsthand, that a hug goes a long way! Furry Hugs can always use donations to purchase and deliver more in our community! Ways you can help are by fundraising for us and coming to volunteer!  Do you need to earn hours in scouts?  Come volunteer!  Do you need community service hours for school?  They can use you!!  Do you just want to become involved in something that you know would have made you feel better in a scary time?
Age Requirement: They would love to have your experience, and helping hand.  Ages 7 and up are welcome to volunteer at Furry Hugs.  A parent or guardian must be present for volunteers 7-16 years of age.
Needs: Volunteers to help package Furry Hugs to be delivered statewide to hospital patients.
Online: Website: http://www.furryhugs.org/about-us.html; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/furryhugsinc/; Instagram:  furryhugsfoundation; eBay store:  https://www.ebay.com/usr/furryhugs; Donations: donations@furryhugs.org; 

greeNest of Winston-Salem

1015 W Northwest Blvd
Winston-Salem, NC  27101
Contact: Jan Barbee & Joanna Britt Executive Directors, 336-418-1876; www.greenestws.org
About: greeNest accepts donations of gently-used furniture and household items from the community and, working with 45 partnering agencies in Forsyth County, offers access to affordable home furnishings for families moving from crisis situations into sustainable housing.
Needs: Donations of household items, from sofas to shower curtains. The main items they do not accept are mattresses, box springs, baby items and oversized items such as large armoires. Financial donations to keep their  lights on!
Volunteers: Tuesdays 10-2, Thursdays 1-5, First and Third Saturdays 10-2.
Age Requirements: Aside from special family volunteer days when younger children are welcome, volunteers should be 15 years of age unless they have adult supervision. Families and individuals can sign up to volunteer on their website or call or Facebook message to let them know your interest.  Volunteers will sort, clean and test donations as they come in, assist donors, straighten and arrange our showroom and assemble bed, bath and dining packs.  On the first day of volunteering, paperwork will be filled out including a special waiver for minor volunteers. Please wear closed-toed shoes to prevent injury.

Habitat for Humanity Greater Greensboro

1031 Summit Avenue
Suite 2W-2
Greensboro, NC 27405
Phone: (336) 275-4663
Age Requirements: Habitat welcomes 14-15 year-olds to participate in painting or landscaping on their  construction site as long as they are accompanied by a chaperone.  Sixteen to seventeen-year-olds can help with any construction task that doesn’t involve operating power tools or climbing higher than 6 ft. off the ground and they also need a chaperone. Teen volunteers love the Habitat build experience!  They love seeing the results of their work at the end of the day and knowing that they’re helping to build a home for other children who just want to enjoy the comforts of home that we all take for granted. To sign up to volunteer individually, go to their website www.Habitatgreensboro.org.  If your teen wants to get a group 6-12 friends together to volunteer, contact Chris Tippens at ctippens@hhgg.org or 336-232-0127.  It’s a great opportunity for community service by a school club, sports team, Scout group, or just a great group of friends.

Ronald McDonald House

419 S Hawthorne Rd
Winston Salem, NC 27103
Contact: Rob Lemons, Director of Volunteer Services – robl@rmhws.org or 970.5651
Website: www.rmhws.org
Age requirements: House Volunteers need to be either 15 or 18 (minimum age depends on position & duties assigned), Family Support Volunteers must be 21 or older, Family Room Volunteers minimum age is 18, Meal Volunteers & Baked with Love Volunteers must be 10 or older (ages 10-15 must be accompanied by an adult), and Tuesday Night Volunteers must be at least 12 (ages 12-15 need to be supervised by an adult).

Salvation Army of High Point

301 West Green Drive
High Point, NC 27262
Contact: 336-881-5400; https://www.salvationarmycarolinas.org/highpoint
About: Not only do they serve those in need of food, clothing, and shelter, they also have after school programs that operate in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. They operate innovative, life-saving programs like Project FIGHT (Freeing Individuals Gripped by Human Trafficking) as well as Pathway of Hope and Project CATCH, aimed a longer term, coordinated care.
Volunteer: The Salvation Army is a volunteer fueled organization with opportunities for individuals, families, and groups large and small. Gifts of time and talents go a long way toward improving the lives of those we serve. That is why volunteers serve as the foundation for The Salvation Army of High Point.

Second Harvest Food Bank

3635 Reed St
Winston Salem, NC 27107
Contact: Tammy DeCicco, Volunteer/Project Coordinator, 336-784-5770, tdecicco@secondharvest.org;
Jenny Moore: 336.784.5770 ; jmoore3@secondharvest.org
Website: www.hungernwnc.org
Age requirements: Volunteers must be at least 12 years old to help with sorting & repacking food donations at Second Harvest’s warehouses, and youth ages 12-15 must be accompanied by an adult. Younger children and teens alike can help in other ways, too: They can host lemonade stands or other fundraising events or a healthy food drive to support Second Harvest and its work to make Northwest North Carolina healthy and hunger-free. Click here to download a listing of more volunteer opportunities at Second Harvest Food Bank.

Where is your favorite place to volunteer with the kids? Leave more suggestions below!


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