Whether your kids want to give back to the community somehow or you just need to fulfill a social studies requirement, these service projects can be done quickly and cheaply. Most are good for year-round service, too. Pick one and spend your next day off teaching your kiddo how good it feels to volunteer.
Cookies for Service People. Our 4H Club just made two batches of cookies for the local firemen and police officers last night and we will be delivering them this afternoon. The kids made two batches plus a few cards to go with them, which are pretty darn cute. The older girls even drew firemen and police officer “chibi” people.
Blankets for People in Need. Whether it’s a crisis nursery or for homeless people, a blanket and other warmth-producing items are very valuable. You can collect them as a group or even make them. If you make fleece blankets to give to homeless people, be sure that they are dark in color so they don’t stick out. Fleece is a great choice because it doesn’t fray.
Litter Pick-Up. What city couldn’t use that? You can clean up your local park, your neighborhood, or even adopt a highway. This last option also gives your group free advertising if you choose to be recognized with a sign, so if your church group, 4H club, or other organization wants to get involved, that’s a great way to do it.
Tutoring. Middle, junior high, and high school students can tutor younger kids in the school subjects they are comfortable with. They also might want to teach children to read, help them with their soccer movies, or otherwise serve as a mentor.
Local Volunteering. Check with the library, hospital, nursing center, or anywhere else in town to see who might have some volunteer jobs for kids and teens to do. Some teens may find a really cool zoo internship that doesn’t pay but provides lots of great experience. Others may be able to put in a couple of hours at the library each week to help stock books or even read to kids.
Animal Care. Animal shelters are often so crowded that they don’t have space for enough animals—or enough volunteers to help out. You can come in and offer to walk dogs, play with animals, feed and brush them, and clean out cages. You can also volunteer as a foster family for an animal until he or she finds a forever home—or you can always adopt one as a family.