The holidays are upon us, and opportunities to volunteer are plentiful! Volunteering is valuable for countless reasons, both for the beneficiaries and for those giving their time and energy to causes. First, people in need are receiving help they otherwise may not have had. Second, people who give experience community bonding and togetherness. Third—and this one is particularly relevant for children with long winter breaks from school—it’s a wonderful, productive pastime that can teach us all about the value of community engagement!
From a big list of volunteer opportunities in New York, we have highlighted a couple ones that are especially good for kids—those with little helping hands to teenagers:
The Bowery Mission: this group serves the hungry and homeless. Volunteers can aid in preparing and serving meals, and teens and adults can even mentor youth!
Greenpoint Church Dinner and Food Pantry: at Greenpoint, community dinners are held every Wednesday. Volunteers are need for a variety of roles, including cooking—a great activity for kids! Children over 5 are welcome.
City Meals on Wheels: this organization prepares and serves meals to the elderly of NYC. In addition to providing food, City Meals on Wheels also has holiday card program where volunteers can make and send cards to the elderly, which can double as a great craft for kids!
Note that there are many other places to volunteer in the coming month, and most places have year-round volunteer programming, too! If you’re not local to NYC, most opportunities are easy to find online or in your local newspaper. They often include activity details, so you can easily pick out which ones are best for bringing kids along, or for teenagers to try on their own.
Community engagement benefits everyone—help yourself and your children by helping others this holiday season!