Houston Area Volunteer Opportunities for Kids

I love the start of a new year. Something about a fresh slate, so full of promise, gets me so excited. I always make a long list of the things I hope to accomplish and then I dutifully check them off throughout the year. It’s a total geek-out for me. But this year, I’m hoping to try something new by including my 10-year-old son in my volunteering efforts. He’s becoming more aware of how some people have more than others, particularly how much he has and how much he can share. I love his giving spirit and I want to be sure I do what I can to nurture it. And in a city as large as ours there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer in Houston with kids.

We already know that the best way to influence our children is to include them as we live out our personal values. They learn so much just by watching us and the good news is that there are so many ways that you can include them in the causes you care about. Make this year your most community minded year yet with these fun and easy ways to volunteer with your kids.

A Cause with Cuddles

Did you know that you can volunteer to read to animals or assist in the puppy nursery at an adoption event? Both activities, and many others, are available to BARC Animal Shelter volunteers. Volunteers must be 13+ years old. Helping local animals while getting covered in puppy kisses? Win-win!

Help End Child Hunger in Houston

kids packing food in sacksHelp combat food insecurity in our city by volunteering with Kids Meals Houston. Every day, thousands of children in Harris County wake up unsure of where their next meal will come from. Kids Meals Houston offers so many ways for your family to get involved, whether you work in their facilities preparing and packing lunches (ages 8+), organize a summer juice box drive or decorate some of the thousands of paper bags used to deliver meals.

Use Your Birthday for a Good Cause

children gathered around birthday cakeAnother way to volunteer in Houston with kids is to consider fundraising for a cause during their birthday month. Many local organizations make it easy to set up an online fundraiser that you can share with your loved ones, including Kids Meals Houston, the Houston Food Bank and Texas Children’s Hospital.

Show Your Support for Women and Girls

Help homeless and low-income girls and women to stay focused on their goals by supporting access to period-related products through Helping Women Period. These necessary products are not covered by SNAP or other assistance programs, which means many women and girls go without addressing their basic needs every month.

Neighborhood Clean-up

kids cleaning up trash on the beachHere’s an easy way to volunteer in Houston with kids that doesn’t require anything other than stepping out your front door with a bag and a pair of gloves; taking a weekly walk around the neighborhood to pick up litter. You can keep it small with your family or organize a neighborhood-wide beautification day!

Run for Fun and Funds

family wanting to volunteer in Houston with kids running a 5K togetherThere are many ways to help at or participate in a local 5K that supports a cause important to your family. The RunGuides website allows you to find a perfect match.

Support Readers in Becoming Leaders

woman reading to childrenBecome a Big Book Buddy – Teens in 7th through 12th grade help younger children improve their reading skills through this 10-week literacy program sponsored by the Harris County Public Library

Making a Difference for the Whole Family

Make the holiday season a little brighter for a family in need by participating in the Adopt-A-Family Program through Houston Children’s Charity. Sponsors are matched with families in the community who are in need during the holiday season. Sponsored items may include toys, clothing and household items.

Houston Children’s Charity also operates a no-charge resource closet for families. Your family could consider HCC when purging gently used adult and children’s clothing, shoes, books, toys and games. 

Answer a Child’s Birthday Wish

Create a birthday-in-a-box for a child who might otherwise not have a party. Box of Balloons is a national organization with a Houston branch that works with community social workers and advocates to identify children in need. Let your child choose their favorite theme and then go wild filling a box with paper products, decorations, goodie bags, games, cake mix and frosting, a gift… the sky’s the limit! This one could easily become a favorite activity during family birthday months.

Support Children in Foster Care

Put together hygiene packs for children in foster care through Be A Resource (BEAR). These packs contain products that help kids retain a daily routine and are very easy to put together. 

Bring a Smile to a Senior’s Face

girl holding up sealed envelopShare a happy birthday wish with a senior citizen living in your area. Contact a local assisted living home to ask if they would accept birthday cards for their residents. Bring a smile to someone’s face on their special day by including drawings, jokes and riddles. You could even include printed crossword and sudoku puzzles for a little extra fun.

Save Three Lives in 30 Minutes

Parents and minors 16 and older can donate blood and save lives in the process through the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center. It’s also easy to organize a mobile blood drive through your workplace, church, school or non-profit organization.

When looking for places in Houston to volunteer with your kids, it’s important to choose an activity and/or cause that you both care about. Spend time talking with your children about your shared interests, then use this guide as a jumping off point! And please, add your ideas and thoughts in the comments. We’d love to recognize ideas and organizations that aren’t on this list.

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Bambi is a Kingwood transplant by way of Fairbanks, Alaska. Her Houstonian status was fast-tracked by her family’s disastrous Hurricane Harvey experience just 2 months after arriving… but she’s never looked back! She spent 14 years doing meaningful work for the University of Alaska Fairbanks before landing her dream job as a children's library worker for the Harris County Public Library. She has been happily married to Richard since 2004 and is an extremely proud mom to Miles {April 2012}. When she’s not scouring Pinterest for story time craft ideas, she enjoys reading, blogging and vegging out to British TV while eating pasta. Her family loves Disney cruises and will sail any chance they get! Bambi's goals are to create a Little Free Library in her front yard and to volunteer with local child-centric services. She a bit obsessed with personal development and would be happy to suggest several books and podcasts if you dare mention a similar interest! She can't wait to connect with Houston families through her writing and Houston Moms events.


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