Summer Volunteer Opportunities for Kids in Charlotte
17 ways kids can give back this summer.
Children can help support Loaves and Fishes by organizing a summer food drive.
Loaves and Fishes
Now that kids are out for summer, there's time to fill the summer bucket list teaching children to give back. Hands on Charlotte and Share Charlotte are two great databases to look for age-appropriate volunteer opportunities in the area. Here are some of our favorites sorted by age.
Volunteer From Home — All Ages
If you’ve got a hectic schedule or little ones that would like to help out you can always help from home. Have a kid with a summer birthday? At their party ask for others to bring goods for a drive of your choice instead of birthday presents. Want to clean out your house? Host a yard sale to benefit one of your favorite charities. Encourage your kids to host bake sales, car washes or lemonade stands for any of their favorite causes.
Here is a list of organizations that can benefit from at-home contributions.
If you’ve got a family of pet-lovers consider helping out this local animal shelter. You can hold a fundraiser or host a shelter drive to provide items from the nonprofit’s wish list to help animals in need. You can also learn to make fleece recovery blankets for animals that just had surgery.
This organization helps families going through a short-term crisis to meet their basic hunger needs. Many families rely on free or reduced breakfast and lunch plans during the school year and food shortages and hunger peak during the summer. To help out, your family can organize a food drive in your neighborhood, church, congregation, at the pool or through a sports team. The organization’s website even offers cute themes for the drive including “Moo-la,” raising money to buy the needed dairy products, or “Meat Hunger Head On,” collecting canned tuna, chicken and ham.
PHOTO COURTESY OF LOAVES AND FISHES
Kids raise money for Loaves & Fishes at their own lemonade stand.
Get your toddlers or teens to help you make sandwiches at home for the homeless. Then schedule a delivery to the center.
This nonprofit helps connect refugees to the Charlotte community. Organize a fundraising event with the family or offer to make snacks for 50-60 refugee kids for the organization to give out during children’s programs.
Encourage your children to hold a lemonade stand and participate in this national movement to fight childhood cancer. Find guidelines for your lemonade stand here.
Get your children to host a bake sale as part of this organization’s fundraiser to find new treatments for pediatric cancer. Find guidelines for your bake sale here.
When you go back-to-school shopping buy extra school supplies and donate them to Classroom Central to help other students in the area. You can also host a local drive for supplies as well.
For Elementary School Children or Older
Help throw birthday parties for homeless children through Bright Blessings’ Adopt-a-Party program. You and your young ones can help coordinate, decorate, sponsor and run the parties. Check their website to see which of their locations provide youth volunteer opportunities.
The King’s Kitchen, a restaurant located uptown, serves a meal each Sunday following a church service at the Dream Center. About 70 percent of the congregation is homeless and goes to the Kitchen for food afterwards. You and your kids ages 5 and up can help serve the meal at noon.
The Ronald McDonald House, located on Morehead Street, provides a temporary home for families who have a child in the hospital. Kids ages 6-11 can get together to create seasonal gifts for guests at The Ronald McDonald House. Crafts include door decorations and table centerpieces to brighten up the house. The Kids Helping Kids event takes place the third Saturday of each month and space is limited to 25 kids. Sign up here.
Preteens (or Older)
Every second Saturday of the month — that is July 8 and Aug. 12, 2017 — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services hosts a clean-up for our city’s waterways. No need to register if you’re a small group — just show up at the designated clean-up spot at 9 a.m. Your family can also choose a part of the stream to adopt on your own and agree to clean the stream twice a year for two years.
This house is a place of recuperative care for the homeless after a hospital or emergency room visit. Bring your family on a Saturday or Sunday to help with the outdoor landscaping or sign up to cook/serve a meal to the residents.
Children ages 10 and older can come with the family pet (with vaccine record) to socialize with the residents of White Oak Manor. Dogs do not have to be registered therapy dogs but should be friendly and comfortable with a lot of attention.
If your son or daughter is a sophomore, junior or senior, encourage them to participate in this tutoring program that helps students from first to 12th grade with homework. Tutoring sessions are every Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Leah’s Hopes and Dreams Headquarters uptown.
Sign up to bake cookies or make dinner for this house that provides a temporary home for families who have a child in the hospital. All baking and cooking must be done on the premises and children must be 12 or older and accompanied by an adult.
Kids 16 and older can help build houses for Habitat for Humanity. No previous construction experience is needed and they can help as little or as often as they like.
This organization helps people with disabilities by providing them with therapeutic services on horseback. Kids 13 and older can help in the hippotherapy program, work in the stables or provide assistance with special events.