What Kids Can Learn From Volunteering
- A sense of responsibility. Kids and teens learn what it means to make and keep a commitment. They learn how to be on time for a job, do their best, and be proud of the results. But they also learn that, ultimately, we’re all responsible for the well-being of our communities.
- That one person can make a difference. A wonderful, empowering message for kids is that they’re important enough to have an impact on someone or something else.
- Tolerance. Working in community service can bring kids and teens in touch with people of different backgrounds, abilities, ethnicities, ages, and education and income levels. They’ll learn that even the most diverse individuals can be united by common values.
7 Kid-Friendly Volunteer Opportunities in Toledo
Beach House Family Shelter
Address: 915 N Erie St, Toledo, OH 43604
Phone: (419) 241-9277
About: Beach House Family Shelter provides refuge to those who have nowhere else to go. They offer clean beds, meals, showers, washers and dryers, and personal hygiene items. The residents also receive training and one-on-one case management. I’d encourage you to set up a tour and get a behind-the-scenes peek at how they transform lives daily.
Volunteer Opportunities: Some great kid- friendly opportunities that we have enjoyed are, cleaning up the shelter (painting) and serving meals. We have invited our playgroup to join us in serving meals, past meals include, hosting sloppy-joe & Christmas cookie decorating night and pizza and movie nights. Each mom contributed either a monetary gift or an item for the meal (juice, pop, buns, paper plates, frosting, cookies, sprinkles, etc.) Call today and serve or host a meal with your family, playgroup, scouts, etc.
Address: 669 Indiana Ave, Toledo, OH 43604
Phone: (419) 242-5505
About: Family House is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing homeless families in crisis with professional, comprehensive housing and social services in a safe, caring environment. The goal at Family House is to help families in their time of crisis find permanent housing, help them regain control over their lives, and reclaim their independence through education, community resources and compassion. They keep families together when it matters most. Family House offers a hand up, not a hand out.
Volunteer Opportunities: They are always looking for volunteers to help serve meals, sort donations, paint walls or bring their unique talent to residents. (Do you have a skill to share with the residents of Family House? They have had musicians, carpenters, artists and beauticians share their skills and passions with residents) Whether you’re looking for an individual opportunity or have a group you’d like to bring along – scouts, church group, friends and family – they are looking for your help. Click on link to get started http://familyhousetoledo.org/volunteer/
Food for Thought
Address: 316 Adams Street, *Please see website for food service locations, Toledo, OH 43604
Phone: (419) 972-0022
About: Every month, Food For Thought mobile pantries provide food assistance at multiple partner sites throughout greater Toledo. They help people who face the realities of food insecurity, offering a choice of nutritious meal options, including shelf-stable items and fresh produce. Maintaining patrons’ dignity — and serving them thoughtfully — is their utmost priority.
Volunteer Opportunity: Friday Night Lunch Packing-Every Friday night at 6 p.m., Food For Thought volunteers meet at Trinity Episcopal Church (316 Adams St. in downtown Toledo) to pack lunches for their Saturday picnics. This is one of their most popular volunteer opportunities, mainly because it’s a lot of fun!
They welcome groups and people of all ages and abilities to help with packing lunches for Saturday distribution. Click on link to learn more, http://feedtoledo.org/how-you-can-help
Address: 2505 Franklin Ave. Toledo, Ohio 43610
About: “Mom’s House strives to break the cycles of poverty and welfare. It is our mission to guide at-risk single parents through the process of achieving educational goals and provide tools and resources needed to become effective parents.”
Volunteer Opportunities: I know families are crazy busy this time of year and perhaps you can’t commit to volunteering your time; Moms House offers a great solution via their Wish List. Share with your children what Moms House is and how it is run on donations. Explain that they can help buy grabbing a few items from the Wish List the next time you go grocery shopping. Teaching young children how to contribute to their community through simple acts of kindness helps cultivate teens & adults who positively impact their community through service. Some items on their list include, Snacks: pretzels, cereal (Multigrain Cheerios, Kix, Rice Krispies), graham crackers, tortilla chips, pita chips, chex mix, Diapers (sizes 4, 5, & 6), Baby Wipes, Paper towels (rolls and tri-fold),Toilet Paper…click on link for full list, http://www.momshousetoledo.org/donate/wish-list/
Ronald McDonald House
Address: 3883 Monroe St, Toledo, OH 43606
Phone: (419) 471-4663
About: The Ronald McDonald House, Toledo’s home-away-from-home, offers families who travel to Toledo for their children’s specialized medical care a warm, safe, clean, and friendly environment. The newly constructed Ronald McDonald House has twenty-two private bedrooms and bathrooms, a spacious kitchen with well-stocked pantries, family-friendly dining and living rooms, children’s play area, laundry facilities, playground, and secure parking. They serve over 500 families each year, with the average length of stay being 8 days.
Volunteer Opportunities: Help Decorate for the Holidays, Help with Daily Chores, and /or, Dinner on the House-Individuals and/or groups are welcome to participate in the Dinner on the House program. Dinner on the House includes all areas of the Kitchen. You may choose to cook a meal or bake desserts for the families. All meals and baking must be done on the premises. This program does not have to be an evening meal only… one of the most popular meals enjoyed by the families is breakfast. The meals prepared for the families provide a comfort that cannot be matched by a hospital cafeteria. To download the criteria for this program, click link, http://rmhctoledo.org/WordPress/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Dinner-on-the-House-guidelines-2016.pdf The kiddos and I also dropped off care packages filled with fun things to keep little ones busy (but do call ahead of time and inquire if they are accepting kids activities).
Toledo Humane Society
Address: 827 Illinois Ave, Maumee, OH 43537
Phone: (419) 891-0705
About: The Toledo Area Humane Society is a charitable 501(c) 3 animal welfare organization and is one of the oldest organizations in the U.S., caring for more than 4,000 animals each year. Their mission is to lead the community in efforts focused on relieving the suffering of, preventing cruelty to, and providing for humane treatment of animals.
Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteers must be at least 10 years old and be accompanied by a parent at all times, if under age 16. They request that volunteers commit to at least 10 hours per month for a minimum of 6 months. All prospective volunteers must attend a 2 hour orientation. Orientations are offered once a month and include important information about the organization. You will learn about their 4 Paw System and start your hands on training. They ask that you be ready to jump right in at orientation; you will learn to clean a kennel, a cat room, the pocket pet room, and learn how to do laundry and dishes. All volunteers should be current on tetanus vaccinations and carry health insurance. https://www.toledohumane.org/volunteering
Address: Varies….there are so many amazing parks to choose from
Phone: (419) 407-9700
About: Get out and enjoy some quality family time at one of our awesome Metroparks and help maintain it at the same time!
Volunteer Opportunities: Maintenance Aide- Help keep Metroparks clean and green by participating in the care and preservation of the parks. Projects include trail maintenance, playground upkeep, painting, and general park cleanup. Feel free to volunteer on your own as your schedule permits. Individuals and groups welcome! Year round: Various parks
Know of additional Volunteer Opportunities for Kids that didn’t make the list? Please share.