Here are a few ideas on ways kids can volunteer or help out in their own community:
Michigan Humane Society
Kids are not old enough to assist with animals, but there are a lot of other ways for them to help support the Michigan Humane Society!
* kitty forts are an easy project for kids of all ages. This project can easily be geared for ages 3-16. All you need is a smallish cardboard box (or boxes). For directions from the Humane Society, check here.
*bandanas for dogs. All sizes are needed! Older kids could cut them out, younger kids could fringe them. A great use for fabric or old shirts you have laying around. We made the ones below in my PreK class. Adults cut out the triangles and the kids fringed them. older kids could easily do both! A great way to practice scissor skills while also giving back.
* shoeboxes or cardboard tubes. Put a bin in your house for these items, when full drop them off at the Humane Society. They use them for the rodents and small furry creatures.
Collecting items and dropping them off at our local Humane Society is an easy, tangible way to involve your kids in volunteering and donating!
Here is a list of Michigan Humane Societies to help you find one near you:
Michigan Humane Society Locations
There are many ways kids can help build care packages for our Veterans, Active Duty Military, and First Responders! This is a fantastic way to involve a group, individual families, or organization in giving back to our troops! It can easily be adapted to all ages from preschool to adults.
* write letters or pictures Each care packages includes letters. Letters can easily be done across all ages. For prewriting children, have them dictate their thoughts and illustrate it! Older children can handwrite or type their own letter. Here are some letter guidelines
*donate candy or dental hygiene products this fall. Details on what they accept are here. What a great way to pay it forward for all the Halloween Candy you may have after Trick or Treating is done!
Ronald McDonald House
Locally, there are several Ronald McDonald Houses in Michigan. The closest to this area are located in Detroit near Detroit Children's Hospital and Ann Arbor near Mott Children's Hospitals. Ronald McDonald Houses serve as a home away from home when families have children that are hospitalized.
*Collect pop-tabs to donate. Set up a specific location so kids can take a large part in gathering them. Here are guidelines for collecting them.
* Go shopping for toys, food, or items from their wish lists and deliver or mail them! This is could be done as a group of kids/families. Here are wish lists from our local chapters:
Ann Arbor Ronald McDonald House
Ronald McDonald House of Detroit
This is a local group that creates, tends, harvests, donates, and sells fresh produce! They send much of their produce directly to the local Food Pantry. The rest is sold at the Rochester Farmers Market, with profits going directly back to the program. You & your family can really get hands-on with this group. Here are a variety of volunteer opportunities for families from weeding & watering to selling produce.
School Supplies Drives
Look locally for these! They benefit a variety of charities that impact school districts and individual families. We often gather 'extra' supplies when shopping for my own family and make sure the kids select items they would drop them off. I have seen them recently at our library, grocery stores, and Barnes & Noble.