Kick off summer the right way: Volunteer opportunities for kids and teens
With school out of session, summer days can seem to drag on, especially when your child is just sitting around watching TV or on the computer all day. So why not get your kid out of the house with a fun activity that benefits a non-profit organization?
Pick a cause and even make it a family outing. Every little bit helps whether it's one day of volunteer work or a regular commitment over the next three months. Here are some suggestions:
Anyone for Lemonaid?
What’s better than a refreshing glass of lemonade during the hot summer months? Open your own lemonade stand and help raise awareness about breast cancer. Order your free Drink Pink! lemonade stand kit (which includes lemonade mix, cups, pink ribbons to pass out with each glass and other breast cancer awareness materials) on the Pink Ribbons Project website. Because this project centers on the education aspects of spreading the word on breast health, the proceeds are yours to keep or you can donate them to Pink Ribbons Project.
Recommended for all ages.
Trade in summer lovin’ for some puppy lovin’
Animal shelters need help. Grooming, walking and playing with the pets are just some of the ways you can help out as a volunteer at the Houston Humane Society. If technology is right up your alley, help snap some photographs or record a video for YouTube as part of the organization's photo/YouTube Team. The Humane Society requires volunteers to be 12 or older and volunteers between the ages of 12-15 must be accompanied by an adult.
The Houston SPCA is also another great local shelter to get involved with. The SPCA requires volunteers to be 16 or older and they must make a commitment for the entire summer. Another option is to attend the Houston SPCA Critter Camp, a week-long session where kids have the chance to play with shelter dogs and cats every day, and also learn about a variety of animals, participate in activities and crafts and hear from guest speakers from the SPCA Cruelty Investigations Team, the Wildlife Center of Texas and more.
Camp hours are Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Registration is $295 per week and includes all craft materials, a camp T-shirt, and an afternoon snack and drink.
Who wants a snack?
Teens can help dish out food instead of sass at the Houston Food Bank. Joining in this cause helps the food bank support its mission to fight hunger. Volunteers help fill pantries and provide food to soup kitchens across the city. It’s a great project to take on as a group,
Recommended for 'tweens and teenagers.
Getting down and dirty
Get your outdoor adventurist to the Hermann Park Conservancy volunteer program. Having fun in the sun while helping make the park more beautiful is what this volunteer opportunity is all about. Enjoy the fresh air while planting trees, pruning plants, mulching plant beds, repairing trails and much more.
For those young adults (13-17) looking for valuable job experience, check out Hermann Park Conservancy's job shadowing program. Participants will shadow a person who works at Hermann Park and learn about what needs to be done to keep it beautiful and sparkling clean. The program is three months long and anyone involved will earn 100 service hours.
All children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult unless they are part of the job shadowing program.