Looking to make a difference this summer? Looking to teach your kiddos about giving back to the community? Maybe you’re just looking for some creative ways to keep your brood busy! Here are 10 ways to make a difference this summer.
Austin Pets Alive-Help place and care for Austin area pets. Families can volunteer onsite or they can foster a pet. So many wonderful opportunities! Austinpetsalive.org
Operation Gratitude-Write thank you letters or send care packages to deployed service members. Let them know they are appreciated! Operation gratitude.com
Meals on Wheels-Contribute to our local community by creating access to good food and more. Take your kiddos along while you deliver meals to homebound clients or help with small home repairs. There are also options to go grocery shopping for clients a few times a month. Mealsonwheelsandmore.org
Green Corn Project-Have a green thumb? GCP installs organic food gardens for elderly, low-income, and disabled community members as well as for elementary schools, community centers, and shelters in underserved areas of Austin. They turn unused land into garden beds that provide food, education, and a sense of accomplishment and pride for all involved in their creation and maintenance. Planting season is in September but there are plenty of ongoing volunteer opportunities. Greencornproject.org
The Salvation Army-At The Salvation Army kiddos can help sort clothes, donate some of their allowance to Operation Facelift (a facility makeover to the common areas), or they can help make a child’s birthday very special! There are 4 children living in Austin Salvation Army shelters and you can help make their day memorable. As always, the Salvation Army is in need of clothing and supplies for their clients and facilities. Salvationarmytexas.org
Ronald McDonald Family at Dell Medical Center-For 30 years, RMCH have been making children with illnesses and injuries happier and healthier by keeping their families together at the Ronald McDonald House and four Ronald McDonald Family Rooms. By providing them with a “home-away-from-home” and a place where families can rest and refresh, we help our families find strength in numbers. Take the kiddos to a group volunteer session or clean out those closets. Gather household goods and items, every simple gesture helps make “home-away-from-home” more comfortable for families. Rmch-ctx.org
Capital Area Food Bank-The Food Bank is working to eliminate barriers to healthy food so that there’s always a compassionate solution when anyone in our community is facing hunger. The kiddos can volunteer as part of the mobile food pantry or at the warehouse. Austinfoodbank.org
Local Nursing Home-Regularly visit a “grandfriend” at a nursing home, assisted living facility, or in the neighborhood. Play card games, do crafts together, teach each other new skills, make up stories, exchange advice, and build a real connection.
Red Cross-Community Outreach is a fun way to volunteer with a friend, a sibling, or even a parent, and make a difference in your community. Youths may be certified in First Aid, CPR, Babysitter preparedness and much more. Redcross.org/tx/austin
Community Appreciation-Bake some chocolate chip cookies and drop them by your local police or fire station. Another option is to offer cold bottles of water or popsicles to garbage collectors. Everyone loves feeling appreciated!
Wonderful reference web sites are for more opportunities are: Volunteer match.org and Little helping hands.org