If you’re interested in getting your child a head start on giving back to their community (or perhaps they approached you with the idea), here are 12 metro Phoenix organizations to look into.
They provide help to kittens, other kids, older adults and more.
HandsOn Greater Phoenix
Youth can read to children at a shelter, maintain the Japanese Friendship Garden or help puppies get fresh air and exercise at Maricopa County Animal Care and Control. At the website, click Find an Opportunity and Opportunity Calendar to browse dates, activities and age requirements. Register online to save searches that match your family’s interests. Completing a new volunteer orientation online or in person is required before participating. Age 16 or older can volunteer on their own.
Details: 602-973-2212, handsonphoenix.org.
Tempe Municipal Volunteer Program
Students enrolled in grades 6-12 can volunteer in Tempe. Assignments may include opportunities at the Tempe Public Library as a shelving assistant, working special events or with youth at holiday themed activities, as a junior lifeguard or assisting those with special needs. Completing an application and interview is required, and students will receive on-the-job training. One-time or ongoing activities also are available to complete school assignments requiring community service.
Details: 3500 S. Rural Road. Free. 480-350-5190, tempe.gov/volunteer.
Families Giving Back
#azhelpinghands #ahh #helpinghands #standup #fostercare #makeadifference #birthdaydreams #dreamkit #foster #fosterparent #fosterchild #lendahand #fostercareawareness #fostercareawarenessaz #fostercaremonth #scottsdalefostercare #danshufelt #kathleendonaldson #mikewogan #fostercareawarenessaz #fostercareawareness
Families Giving Back partners with Valley nonprofits to host volunteer events for families with kids of any age. Weekend events are approximately one hour and involve rewarding hands-on activities such as assembling heat relief kits for St. Vincent de Paul, putting together art project bags for Phoenix Children’s Hospital patients, and cleaning up parks with Keep Phoenix Beautiful. Great at-home projects families can do anytime also are available. A liability waiver is required for event participation.
Details: 602-421-7909, familiesgivingback.org.
Arizona Helping Hands, Inc.
This organization supplies beds, clothing, diapers and other essential needs to more than 19,000 foster kids in Arizona. Sign up as a family and work alongside your kids age 7 or older to decorate birthday bags for children in foster care, as part of the birthday dreams program. Families are encouraged to donate a new toy or book. Other opportunities may include sorting and folding donated clothing or assisting with the annual holiday toy drive, depending on the age of the young volunteer.
Details: 7850 E. Gelding Drive, Scottsdale. 480-889-0604, azhelpinghands.org/volunteer.
Arizona Humane Society
Teens at least age 16 can volunteer for a variety of roles, including administrative support, animal adoption and socialization, working at Petique offsite retail and adoption locations, at thrift stores, in the kitten nursery and for special events and projects. Telling Tails Story Time, held one Saturday a month, lets children age 6 or older read to a furry friend while the animal waits to be adopted. Attending a volunteer orientation and training session is required, as is committing to volunteer at least eight hours a month for at least eight months.
St. Vincent de Paul
AZ Girl Scouts (@gsacpc) and @shamrockfarmsmilk partnered this year to support St. Vincent de Paul through the Milk and Cookie- #CookiesfortheCommunity Program! Girl Scouts across the council donated 5,000 boxes of cookies and Shamrock Farms matched this donation by providing 5,000 8 oz half pints! This morning, @3tvphoenix visited our campus to share about this generous donation and filmed Girl Scouts from Troop 2791 volunteering in our kitchen. Thanks to all who made this special donation possible! #AllinThisTogether #FeedClotheHouseHeal #SVdP #Phoenix #CookiesandMilk
Hearts and Hands Days let kids of all ages and their parents create greeting cards, dining-room centerpieces and hygiene packs and work in the food warehouse. Volunteers 9 or older can serve meals in the Family Dining Room. Young volunteers ages 14-17 have additional options to choose from such as bike repair, tutoring, working at a thrift store or community garden, or learning how to make handmade pizza.
Details: 602-261-6886, stvincentdepaul.net/volunteer.
Valley of the Sun United Way
Families can help assemble weekend hunger backpacks containing seven meals and snacks for kids who rely on schools for two out of their three meals Mondays-Fridays. Kids must be at least age 5 to participate, and adult supervision is required. Families with kids older than 13 can help assemble school readiness kits for children ages 3 to 5. Encouragement cards or United Way Book-In-A-Bag creations for elementary school-age students in need also can be created and dropped off at the VSUW office.
Details: 3200 E. Camelback Road, Suite 375, Phoenix. 602-631-4800, vsuw.org/volunteer.
Keep America Beautiful
Parents may recall iconic commercials of the ’70s and learning the words “Pollution hurts all of us.” More than three decades later being environmentally conscious is a concept more important than ever for children to learn. Keep Arizona Beautiful and Keep Phoenix Beautiful are affiliates that offer such volunteer events as graffiti removal, litter cleanup and community-improvement projects. Garbage bags and supplemental supplies can be provided for kids looking to organize a group to clean up a park or an abandoned lot. Parents will need to accompany children younger than 18.
United Food Bank
We are so thankful to @dutchbroscoffee, @dutchbrosarizona and @dutchbroswestvalley for all their support throughout the years. #DutchLuv day on Valentine's Day last month brought in more than $29,000 and will help us create more than 116,000 meals! That's a true partnership. We are so thankful to #DutchBros and the #DutchMafia loyals for all their support!
Families can pack dry goods, sort food and build emergency boxes of food. Volunteers are always in need, but must be at least age 12, except on monthly Family Nights when kids can be as young as 8. An adult must participate with youth ages 12-15; ages 16-17 can volunteer on their own. An application and registration must be completed in advance.
Details: 358 E. Javelina Ave., Mesa. 480-398-4470, unitedfoodbank.org/get-involved/volunteer.
Child Crisis Arizona
Younger kids can help put together caring kits from school starters and birthday boxes to family-support baskets and good-night bags. To provide care for children at one of three Mesa facilities, volunteers must be at least 16 (22 in some cases) and are asked to make a one-year commitment and work one shift per week. The process involves completing an application and attending an orientation, in-person interview and training. A new requirement as of July 1 requires that volunteers also obtain a Level 1 Fingerprint Clearance Card ($67).
Details: Orientations are held at the Child Crisis Arizona, 604 W. Ninth St., Mesa. 480-969-2308, childcrisisaz.org/how-to-help/volunteer.
ICAN is an East Valley after-school program that relies heavily on volunteers, including youth who are at least 15. Teens may assist kids with homework or in the computer lab, with arts and crafts, sports and recreation, and during special events. An application, interview and orientation are required. Volunteer opportunities are available for age 10 or older to volunteer with an adult.
Details: 650 E. Morelos St., Chandler. 480-821-4207, icanaz.org/volunteer.
St. Mary’s Food Bank
Did you know one hour of volunteer service can provide 100 meals to those in need? Imagine what donating a few hours of time could mean when a family, group or scout troop join efforts for an afternoon to pack, sort or distribute emergency food boxes at locations in Phoenix or Surprise. Children ages 12-13 must be accompanied by an adult, but teens 14-17 can volunteer on their own. Exceptions for ages 8-11 can be made for groups. A waiver must be completed in advance.
Details: 602-343-3134, volunteer.firstfoodbank.org.