Giving back to your community nurtures the soul of both young and old, and it teaches valuable lifelong lessons of empathy and kindness. Volunteering as a family is an invaluable experience to share with your kids once they are old enough. However, not every volunteer organization works well with pint-sized volunteers. Here are a few of the best kid-friendly places to volunteer and continue the family journey towards kindness.
Big Sunday began as a charity activity at a Jewish temple in Los Angeles in 1999. It has since expanded into a vast secular nonprofit organization which includes participants of every age, religion, and group.
Their organization focuses on channeling volunteer opportunities across many causes, including assisting the less fortunate, planting trees, and more. Their list of programs is vast, but their Month of Big Sundays is their signature event, and their Youth in Action section is perfect for motivated and conscious kids.
As one of the most well-known places to volunteer in Los Angeles, L.A. Works provides aid to the homeless, disadvantaged youth, senior citizens, abused women, and other people in need.
The organization encourages parents to volunteer with kids through the L.A. Works Families Active in Volunteer Enrichment (FAVE) program, creating a meaningful bonding experience while providing for the community. In addition to providing places to volunteer in the community, the FAVE program features at-home kits that include ideas for service and advocacy for families.
Food On Foot
Food on Foot is a program dedicated to “rebuilding lives one at a time,” providing food, clothes, skills training, employment, and permanent housing to those in need and low-income neighborhoods.
If you live in the Mid-City or Hollywood areas, Food on Foot provides an outstanding volunteer opportunity near you that’s kid-friendly. The organization allows kids over six years old to participate alongside an adult.
Aiming to fight food insecurity across Southern California, Food Forward is a nonprofit organization that distributes fresh fruits and vegetables to people in need throughout the area.
What makes Food Forward one of the best places to volunteer with kids is that you get to help someone enjoy the benefits of healthy food while teaching your kids the importance of making healthy choices and the privilege that comes with access to healthy foods.
Kids (and adults!) benefit from environmental consciousness and understanding the importance of trees and nature for the wellbeing of the city and the planet. TreePeople exists to provide knowledge, inspiration, and concrete action towards sustainability, making it an excellent option for families seeking volunteering activities together that teach kids important environmental lessons.
TreePeople offers opportunities across Los Angeles to participate in clean-up and rehabilitation projects. You can also volunteer for work days at the 45-acre park headquarters at the top of Mulholland, where there are also guided tours and presentations available to teach kids about the importance of conservation.
Color A Smile
Plenty of volunteer organizations deliver food and necessities to people in need, but small acts of kindness can also go a long way to changing someone’s day. Color A Smile, focus on distributing happiness through art. The best part is, you can volunteer to color drawings from the comfort of your own, providing a safe and easy opportunity to give back.
Let your kids unleash their creativity and explore the joy of discovering their artistic side, and deliver it to someone in need—troops overseas, senior citizens, patients in hospitals, and more folks on their mailing list. Odds are your projects will make them smile.
Found your perfect volunteer organization?
Volunteering with your kids should be about causes you believe in and want them to feel passionate about too. Let us know which organizations are your top picks in our Local Anchor Facebook group.