Kids of all ages can make a difference in the community – locally and around the world. Performing service and volunteer projects for kids strengthens a family and teaches empathy. Here are 12 ideas service projects for kids that can jump start a new tradition in your family. I encourage you to continue service after the holiday, too. February and March are slower times for many places that depend on volunteers. Consider adding a regular service project to your New Year Resolution list, too.
Nicholas House – This awesome organization assists homeless families and helps them get back on their feet. Their Christmas program is filled now, but they are still looking for help in other ways. For almost 30 years volunteers have cooked and served dinner to the families of Nicholas House. Your family can sign up to be part of the process…cook from scratch or order pizza. There are after school programs that need teachers and volunteers to watch the kiddos. And if you don’t have the time then consider a donation of supplies…toothbrushes, sheets, socks, etc.
El Refugio – This is a hospitality house outside Stewart Detention Center. Its purpose is to serve the family and friends of men under immigration detention and, thus, separated from their loved ones. There are a number of ways to assist these families, including visitations, clothing, and food. Our family regularly makes meals for El Refugio, so this is organization is close to our heart. Please take the time to read just one story of many represented by El Refugio.
Project Linus – Do you know how to crochet or knit? Time to teach the kids! I learned to crochet from my Grandma, but I learned to knit from YouTube videos online. Create a blanket together for an ill or traumatized child. Here are the blanket drop off locations in Georgia. Don’t know what to make? Patterns are available online.
Meals by Grace – This Cumming-based organization makes meals for families in need with limited transportation. Volunteers are need for meal prep, delivery, and clean up. All “in kitchen” jobs must be performed by children 13 yrs and up, but on the first Saturday of each month they have a special “Kids in the Kitchen” program for younger kiddos.
Trees Atlanta – It’s tree planting time! Saturdays from 9am – noon, there are volunteer opportunities in multiple Atlanta neighborhoods. Volunteers of any age are welcome, but kids under 18 need an adult with them who must sign a liability waiver. Too busy on Saturdays? Call about weekday needs, or consider a Holiday Tree Greeting.
Hands On Atlanta – HOA recently added volunteer programs for kids 5-12. Opportunities include service on the Atlanta Beltline and Urban Sprouts Farms. Plug in the age of your kiddo and see what’s available.
Lemons To Aid – LTA allows kids to help other kids via organizations such as Soles4Souls, Meals on Wheels, and more. There are a number of ideas on the site, but we love the Hot Chocolate Stand. Set up a stand and take shoe donations for Soles4Souls. Put together a Pediatric Kit, Stuff a Stocking for a soldier, and more.
Random Acts of Kindness – I love this blog for the simplicity of the suggestions. Sometimes we just need a jumpstart to get the juices flowing. Some ideas include adopting a highway, bring in your neighbors trashcans, leave quarters at a laundromat (I know a family that hid dollar bills all over a Dollar Tree,) take someone to the movies, or pet sit for someone going on holiday vacation.
Volunteer Match – This program matches volunteers with organizations in need. We found hundreds of opportunities for children and youth in Atlanta. You’ll find ideas like Toys for Tots, Starry Night Atlanta, Christmas Food Baskets, and more.
PebbleTossers – This organization alerts youth to new opportunities each month. Families can join fo free, and work with other families on select service projects around the city.
Big Hearted Families – This collection of resources to “help big families grow big hearts.” Join the community, prepare the family, and pick a project. There are also great articles here about the value of volunteering, teaching kindness, and telling your story.
FurKids – Meet Georgia’s largest cage-free, no-kill animal shelter! There are several locations where you can adopt or donate. Special about FurKids is their youth volunteer program. There are needs for Santa Helpers, Fosters, Caretakers, and more.
As always, if you know of other opportunities, please share them in the comments!
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After 18 years in software development, Lesli bailed on the corporate scene. When she’s not traveling, she’s hiking in the mountains or checking out Atlanta’s culinary scene, whiskey in hand.
Lesli has two kiddos -Cooper and Elliot- plus two bonus kids currently at UGA, and she’s happily married to her soul mate.