How Your Child Can Volunteer During Volunteer Appreciation Week

By Niki Taylor
Child picking up trash in park

Volunteer Appreciation Week, taking place April 21-27, is a fantastic opportunity to instill the spirit of giving in your child. It’s a chance for them to experience helping others while making a positive impact on their community. 

Not sure where to start to get your child involved with service? Here are some key opportunities for every age that your child can embrace during Volunteer Appreciation Week and beyond!

Sparking the Flame: Ages 5-8

For younger children, the focus should be on introducing the concept of volunteering in a fun and engaging way. Here are some ideas:

  • Animal Care: Organize a family visit to a local animal shelter. Your child can help create enrichment toys for the animals or read stories to help calm the dogs.
  • Park Cleanup: Pack a picnic lunch and head to a local park. Together, collect any litter you find, leaving the park sparkling clean.
  • Donation Drive: Choose a cause your child feels passionate about like collecting gently used books for a local library. They can decorate a donation box and collect items from neighbors.

Empowering Action: Ages 9-12

As your child matures, volunteer opportunities can become more involved. Here are some ways you can get your tween involved in volunteering: 

  • Food Bank Fun: Assist your local food bank by sorting donations or packing food boxes. Your child can learn about food insecurity and the importance of helping people in their community.
  • Helping Hands at Senior Centers: Organize a family visit to a senior center. Your child can play games, read to or simply chat with the residents, which gives them important social interaction – and brings a smile to their face.  
  • Arts & Crafts With a Cause: Organize a crafting session with friends and family. Create colorful cards for hospitalized children or decorate plant pots to donate to nursing homes.

Teens Take Charge: Ages 13 and Up

Teenagers can leverage their skills and interests to make a significant contribution.  Here are some options:

  • Mentorship Magic: Consider volunteering as a peer mentor at a local after-school program. Your child can use their academic abilities to help younger students.
  • Tech for Good: Offer tech support to seniors at a community center. Help them learn basic computer skills or navigate social media platforms.
  • Environmental Champions: Participate in a local park clean-up or volunteer at a community garden. Your child can contribute to a cleaner and greener environment.

Important Things to Remember When Volunteering

Be sure to contact the volunteer organization beforehand to inquire about age restrictions and available opportunities. Accompany younger children on their volunteer adventures, ensuring a safe and positive experience.

Talk to your child often about the importance of volunteering and how their actions can make a difference.

Volunteer Appreciation Week is a springboard for a lifelong commitment to making a positive impact on the world. Let your child be a shining star in their community, fostering a sense of responsibility and compassion that will stay with them long after the week is over.

National Volunteer Week (April 21-27), established in 1974, allows us to celebrate PTA volunteers all week long who have made strides to improve the future of children all over the country. PTA leaders have always been the backbones of their communities and have worked to create positive change in the lives of children. PTA families have gone above and beyond working to make every child’s potential a reality. 

Niki Taylor is a communications consultant with Niki Taylor PR.

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