Written by: Morgan Lennon
Volunteerism has always been an important part of my family culture. From my mom volunteering to teach computers at my elementary school (I'm talking way back when we had floppy discs) to family trips to build houses, my childhood is full of memories of service. My parents always tried to instill in me that we were part of a community and we had a responsibility to care for that community and the people in it. They also taught me how rewarding and joyful giving back can be.
I am lucky enough to have a work family that is equally as passionate about service as I am. As a staff we have worked hard to try and develop this same love of volunteering and community stewardship in the kids we teach. Here are some great opportunities for you to cultivate a culture of service in your family:
Play with puppies at the Sean Casey Animal Rescue!
This family friendly animal shelter provides a great way for kids to help animals in need and learn more about responsible pet ownership. Volunteers help to feed, clean, and walk the animals and volunteer hours can be flexibly scheduled. Children aged 4-12 can volunteer with a parent and children 13+ can volunteer separately with parental permission.
Location: 153 East 3rd Street, Brooklyn, New York 11218
Hours: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm/7 days a week
Develop your green thumb with the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy!
LIC is know for its breath taking views and amazing parks. Volunteer with this awesome organization to help teach your children about community stewardship. Help keep the parks beautiful through one of the many family volunteering dates offered on the LIC Waterfront. Join them every second and fourth Saturday from 10am - 12pm in Gantry Plaza State Park during the Spring and Summer for the community volunteer sessions.
Sign up to volunteer here: https://www.hunterspointparks.org/participate
Location: 2-17 51st Ave #903, Long Island City, NY 11101
Drives are a great way to get your kids involved and develop a spirit of giving. Whether it's donating their old books and toys or picking out new items, participating in drives is a very tangible way to teach kindness.
Here's some local places that hold donation drives:
That’s right you can drop off your donations right here at LIC Kids during one of our many community drives. Here's some of our upcoming donation drives:
October - collect spare change for Trick or Treat for Unicef
November - drop off your donations for our City Harvest Food Drive
December - bring a new unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots
This awesome group of LIC locals sponsors a variety of drives throughout the year to benefit the community. Past drives include Mother’s Day baskets filled with toiletries and cosmetics for mother's in need and collecting holiday gifts for children in need. They often accept families as volunteers to help sort and package the items.
With 115,000 school kids experiencing homelessness in NYC last year, this drive is crucial to making sure these children have the supplies they need to learn. Use the list below and take your child back to school shopping for a kid in need. Let them pick out the supplies for a child in their same grade and then drop it off at one of their convenient drive locations between July – August 26th.
Back to School Wishlist: https://www.coalitionforthehomeless.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/FY19-PBTS_FlyerWishlist.pdf
While opportunities for kids to volunteer can sometimes be limited, these great organizations let you stay involved by organizing your own event. This is a great way for kids to connect with their friends and have a fun time while also giving back.
Handmade Greeting Cards for CityMeals on Wheels
Host a greeting card party! Create and decorate holiday, birthday, or “just because” cards to be delivered with the meals. After you finish simply drop the cards in an envelope and mail them to CityMeals on Wheels. Then, your special cards will be distributed to their patrons and brighten their day. We've done this with our team kids and they had a great time creating these personalized cards.
Organize a Beach Clean-up Party:
Enjoy those summer rays and help the environment with a beach clean-up party! Your kid and their friends will love this interactive and fun activity. Do your part to help the environment while enjoying a great day at the beach.
Check out the Ocean Conservancy’s Beach Clean up How to Guide: https://oceanconservancy.org/trash-free-seas/international-coastal-cleanup/start-a-cleanup/before-the-cleanup/
Share your progress and earn fun badges with their Clean Swell App: https://oceanconservancy.org/trash-free-seas/international-coastal-cleanup/cleanswell/