10 Volunteering Opportunities for LA Kids

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If the phrase “I want” is becoming more common than “please” or “thank you” in your house, it might be time for a healthy dose of giving back. Whether your little one would be more into cleaning up the beach or making get-well cards for Children’s Hospital, there are plenty of ways to volunteer in their community. Keep reading for 11 LA-based volunteer opportunities for every kind of kid.

Volunteer Activities for Nature Lovers

photo: Creative Commons

Heal The Bay
Kids of all ages are welcome to Heal the Bay’s monthly Nothin’ But Sand Beach Cleanups. BYOB (bring your own buckets), snag some gardening gloves and get ready to have some serious family fulfillment oceanside. Be sure to register ahead of time as events tend to fill up fast!

Surfrider Foundation
The Los Angeles chapter of this national nonprofit hosts regular beach cleanups as well. Keep an eye out on their event calendar for upcoming opportunities.

TreePeople
Have a kid that doesn’t mind getting dirty? Nearly every weekend, this LA organization hosts local, mountain and forest restoration events open to all ages—check the volunteer event calendar for upcoming dates. Registration is required.

Westside Food Bank
For food drives and donations check out Westside Food Bank. If you want to help seniors and the immunocompromised during COVID-19, visit alltogether.la for volunteer opportunities.

Baby2Baby
Teaching your children a lesson in philanthropy could be as simple as an overdue closet clean out! Get the kiddos to thin out those toy-stuffed cabinets or have little ones fill bags with brand new clothing that was barely worn. Baby2Baby also hosts outdoor volunteer opportunities during which participants can sort and organize donations or help assemble gift bundle bags for low-income kids and families in Los Angeles.

Volunteer Activities for the Pet Obsessed

photo: Steffen L. via Pixabay

PAWS/LA
Have a kid desperate for a dog? Get them involved with this nonprofit organization, which helps low-income and ailing pet owners take care of their beloved animals. Insurance liability limits volunteer ages at shelters and kennels to those 18 and up, but kids (with grownups in tow) can assist by organizing and delivering needed supplies and food to homebound clients, fostering an animal for a short time, or even walking the dogs of people who are too sick to do so themselves. Find out more about the ways your little pet enthusiasts can help by contacting volunteer coordinator to set up an orientation.

Volunteer Activities for Creative Kiddos

photo: Creative Commons

Best Buddies
Have a kid with a knack for writing? This group pairs children age 10 and up with intellectually and developmentally disabled counterparts (sharing like-minded interests). The goal? To create online pen pals in the attempts to decrease feelings of isolation. The long-distance friendships grow through weekly, private (anonymized) email communications, bridging differences and building understanding.

Volunteer Activities for Future Entrepreneurs

photo: istock

Big Sunday Lemonade Stand
Kids can set up a lemonade stand for a good cause with help from Big Sunday. The organization offers  downloadable signs and suggestions for how to make your stand a success. The money kids make will go to the Big Sunday Emergency Fund, which has helped displaced vets, families and more.

Volunteer Activities for Little Bookworms

Access Books
This group focuses on the redistribution of books, benefiting inner-city classrooms and school libraries. Little ones can go through their own shelves and select the gently used books they’ve outgrown to donate to others. Kids can also volunteer to help spruce up library spaces, as well as to organize book donations, librarian-style.

photo: One on One Outreach

Volunteer Activities for Social Butterflies

One-On-One Outreach
Have a kid who likes meeting new people? Once a month, volunteers (age 7 & up) gather to pack and deliver groceries to low-income families in South Central LA. Organized by a local businessman and an area resident, One-on-One Outreach also provides laptops to families so students can compete and succeed. Prepare for your kids to be inspired.

—Jenifer Scott

RELATED STORIES:

Volunteer Vacations to Take With Kids

5 Easy Ways to Volunteer as a Family

12 Ways Kids Can Give Back without Leaving the House

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