One of the tasks with which we parents are charged is instilling in our children a sense of responsibility. We want them to learn how to take care of themselves, and we want them to help others when the opportunity arises. If you live in the Sacramento area, there are dozens of volunteer organizations that can provide volunteer opportunities for the whole family.
Guide Dogs for the Blind
Many children love animals, and Guide Dogs for the Blind is looking for puppy raisers who can look after their dogs until they are ready to be trained and placed with people who have visual disabilities. This is one of the most attractive family volunteer opportunities in Sacramento because it is an ongoing commitment and because it makes a direct impact on the lives of those who use guide dogs.
Keep in mind that some children may have difficulty with being puppy raisers because they don’t actually get to keep the dog. If you feel your child might get too attached to the puppy, you might want to go with other volunteer opportunities.
Sacramento area parks and nature centers are often in need of families willing to pull weeds, plant flowers, pick up litter, and attend to myriad other horticulture-related projects. Parents and children who are interested in working with their hands (and maybe getting a little dirty) should explore some of the family volunteer opportunities offered by the city of Sacramento.
When working outside, remember to bring plenty of water to drink and wear a layer of sunscreen for those hot Sacramento days. You might also want to call in advance to find out if you need to bring any tools or other supplies to assist with the effort. Training is offered for most opportunities and volunteers of all ages are welcome.
Parents and children age 14 years and older might enjoy family volunteer opportunities with ECO Station, an organization that rescues and rehabilitates exotic animals. Volunteers feed animals, clean habitats, and even give public tours.
Orientation is offered on the second Sunday of each month from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. If you think you might be interested in this family volunteer opportunity, you might consider taking a tour of their Sacramento location to get a feel for the environment.
Ride to Walk
I have worked for several therapeutic riding programs, and these are amazing organizations. They help people with disabilities enjoy the use of four legs rather than two, and there are always sidewalkers, leaders, and gophers needed to facilitate these organizations. Ride to Walk is just one example in the Sacramento area.
This is a good opportunity for kids age 14 years and older and their parents who are comfortable around horses. You will receive training so you know exactly how to do your job, and volunteer days are typically just a couple hours.