Finding ways to volunteer as a family can be challenging because some organizations have stringent policies that require a long-term commitment and only allow adults 18 and older to volunteer. However, these four family-friendly volunteer opportunities have flexible guidelines that allow kids and parents to come together and support a worthy cause.
Shop for the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas
4707 Bengal Street
Phone: (214) 631-7354
The Ronald McDonald House hosts families who travel to Dallas because one of their children is undergoing intense medical treatments at a local hospital. Instead of napping at a hospital or staying in motels, these families can relax in the Ronald McDonald House’s comfortable home-like atmosphere.
To help achieve this goal, rmhdallas.org maintains a donation wish list. Families can shop for and donate basic supplies, such as paper towels, snacks and toiletries.
Watch the Wild
For this flexible, educational opportunity, volunteers agree to watch a designated area outdoors and periodically send their observations to Nature Abounds via e-mail. The observation site can be a spot in your yard, your favorite playground or any area you choose. Visit natureabounds.org for additional information.
Support the North Texas Food Bank
4500 S. Cockrell Hill Road
Phone: (214) 330-1396
The North Texas Food Bank distributes meals and food donations through various community programs. Volunteers can help sort food donations at the warehouse. This family-friendly charity allows children ages 10 to 14 to volunteer when accompanied by an adult. Teens ages 15 and older can volunteer without supervision if they act appropriately. The food bank does not require an ongoing commitment, but volunteers must schedule a shift in advance. Visit ntfb.org for a list of available dates and the volunteer coordinator’s contact information.
Make Positive Placemats for Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels
ATTN: Betsy Cox
1440 W. Mockingbird Lane
Dallas, Texas 75247
Here is another flexible way to let kids show their philanthropic side. Kids write a positive message in the middle of a 12×18-inch sheet of construction paper. They use art supplies and stickers to decorate the paper and transform it into a colorful placemat. Mail in the hand-decorated placemats and Meals on Wheels will laminate them. Volunteers deliver meals with the homemade works of art. Visit lemonstoaid.org for complete details and an educational fact sheet.
Check with your school PTA, neighborhood churches, animal shelters and community centers for more ways to volunteer as a family.