Volunteering With Kids

By Suzy Fielders

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! This teaches them 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. Be sure to also reference this blog on TMoM when searching for charitable opportunities. Another great family activity would be to go through your house and collaborate with others to do a drive for these wonderful organizations.

We are lucky to have several organizations here in the Piedmont Triad that allow children to volunteer on-site or at events in various ways. Below is a listing of those organizations that allow for younger volunteers.

American Red Cross – Heart of Carolina Region

1501 Yanceyville St
Greensboro, NC 27415
Contact: Anne Vestal, Regional Director of Volunteer Services, 336-332-6916, Anne.Vestal@redcross.org
Website: http://www.redcross.org/greensboro
Age requirements: While traditional volunteer positions would not allow for children volunteers, a group of Moms can be creative with a project that would involve children. Click here for a Menu of Ideas that can be done as a project by a group, and Moms can work in how the children can be involved. Mothers and their children from all the surrounding counties can volunteer with the American Red Cross, for more information click here.

Backpack Beginnings

3714 Alliance Drive Suite 105
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 and announced on the facebook page here.
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 pantries (any shelf stable, nutritious items are accepted)
5. Hold a food or supply drive for comfort backpacks/food backpacks. Some of the items can be gently used: stuffed animals, children’s books, toys, etc. Directions here.
6. Hold a drive for hats and gloves. Backpack Beginnings is trying to collect enough for the children in the new schools to receive in December.
7. Hold a toothbrush/toothpaste drive. Goal is to hand out 1 of each to almost 1,000 children in the Food BackPack Program in February.
8. Other ideas: http://www.backpackbeginnings.org/?page/19868/volunteer

Brenner Children’s Hospital

(Wake Forest: Baptist Medical Center)
Medical Center Blvd
Winston Salem, NC 27157
Contact: Cindy Mahan, Manager, Child Life Department; 336-713-3085; cmahan@wakehealth.edu
Website: www.brennerchildrens.org/
Age requirements: For volunteering at events and fundraisers children must be at least 14 years old. To volunteer at the hospital the minimum age requirement is 18 years old and must be able to commit to a four month volunteer period. One great event to help out is the Brenner FIT Challenge which will be held again this year.

Diaper Bank of North Carolina – Greater Triad (formerly known as Piedmont Diaper Bank)

2599A Reynolda Rd
Winston-Salem
Contact:  Elizabeth Thomas: GreaterTriad@NCDiaperBank.org; Phone: 336-830-4579
Website: http://ncdiaperbank.org/
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: Ann La Rosee, Children’s Room Supervisor, 336-703-3041, laroseal@forsythlibrary.org
Website: http://www.forsyth.cc/library/
Age requirements: Children must be at least 12 to volunteer in the Children’s Room. However, if a family wanted to volunteer together they would be willing to work with them to find a suitable task. One thing they often need help with is crowd control when they host large programs or preparing craft items for a group. They also need a lot of help with the Summer Reading program.

March for Babies (part of March of Dimes)

Numerous Opportunities throughout the Triad
Contact: 336-723-4386
Website: www.marchforbabies.org/
Age requirements: Children of all ages can participate in a variety of fundraising events with March of Dimes, specifically in their March for Babies walks. There are several upcoming walks in the Triad in the next several months. They include: Winston Salem (Corpening Plaza) on April 12, 2014 with a walk of 3.1 miles; High Point (High Point University) on October 26, 2013 with a walk of 3.5 miles; Greensboro (UNCG Camus – Kaplans Commons Lawn/EUC) on April 26, 2014 with a walk of 3.1 miles; and Mount Airy (Veterans Memorial Park) on May 10, 2014 with a walk of 3.5 miles. To find more information on a walk closest to you visit http://www.marchforbabies.org/ and enter your zip code.

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). For the full listing of volunteer opportunities click here.

Salvation Army

Numerous locations throughout the Triad
Contact: Abigail Linville, Volunteer & Resource Coordinator, 336-245-2083, Abigail.linville@uss.salvationarmy.org
Website: www.salvationarmycarolinas.org
Age requirements: To work in the Christmas Center children must be at least 13 and must be with a parent/guardian. Other activities children can do with their parents to help the Salvation Army, especially those under 13, are manning Kettles & Ring the Bell or hosting a coat drive of the Give A Kid A Coat program or a food drive for the food pantry. Here is some more information on volunteer opportunities with Salvation Army in Forsyth County. Click here to choose additional counties and see volunteer opportunities.

Second Harvest Food Bank

3635 Reed St
Winston Salem, NC 27107
Contact: Debbie Clark, Volunteer/Project Coordinator, 336-784-5770, dclark@secondharvest.org; Jenny Moore: 336.784.5770 ; jmoore3@secondharvest.org
Website: www.hungernwnc.org
Age requirements: To work in the warehouse and help with sorting & packaging food volunteers must be at least 12 and ages 12-15 must be accompanied by an adult. Children under 12 can also help with their parents by hosting money, can drives or even having a hot chocolate or cider stand with the items or money that are raised benefiting the Second Harvest Food Bank. Click here to download a listing of all the volunteer options available at Second Harvest Food Bank.

YMCA of Northwest North Carolina

Forsyth, Davie, Stokes, Yadkin & Wilkes Counties
Contact: Stop by your local branch to find out what volunteer opportunities are available.
Website: www.ymcanwnc.org
Age requirements: There is no general age requirement to volunteer at the Y but depending on the volunteer activity there are age minimums. There are many ways to volunteer with your child at the way each local branch, such as helping coach a sports team or keep score at sports events – click here for some volunteer options. Another great way to volunteer with the YMCA is at special events like the YMCA Mistletoe Run.

Do you know more charities that can use the help of kids and teens? Please comment below and share!

*Image credit – kidskorps.org


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