How children can volunteer in your community

Giving back to the community and learning the importance of being a helpful part of our community are areas that are easiest taught to children when they’re young by leading by example and by jumping in and doing. Making volunteerism a habit, and a regular part of life will help children to become natural volunteers within the community. Finding service projects that young children can participate in is often a stumbling block, making it more difficult for families to jump right in.

how kids can volunteer in the community -- with info about MLK Day of Service and September 11 Day of Service and Remembrance


Volunteer activities for kids

Visit a Senior Center

Senior centers invite children and children’s groups to visit for happy smiles, playful visits and entertainment. Parent groups can sign up their children to sing or visit and play simple board games, cards and, for older children, read stories. This is a great way to not just teach children about volunteering, but also about appreciating and feeling comfortable around, elders.

Help a neighbor

Children with older neighbors simply need to ask how they can help, though more stubborn neighbors may need to be reminded of what they need. Perhaps the neighbor needs help taking the trash out each week, or could use a hand weeding or gardening in the spring and summer. It may be as simple as collecting the mail for a neighbor who struggles to get outside or offering to shovel on a snowy day.

Create a gardent at school, your community center or your place of worship

Gardens bring smiles, warmth and life to a variety of areas, but, sadly, they’re easily overlooked and frequently cut from budgets. Families can contact building directors to learn how they can establish, plan, create and keep-up community gardens—this is a great group activity.

Help with a clean-up day

Another easy activity to do with kids is to clean up parks and local community areas. Contact your local park-board, community center or favorite sports league to ask about their park clean-up days. And don’t forget your rubber gloves!

Help stock soup kitchens

While some soup kitchens may have rules about the minimum ages of volunteers who may interact within the actual kitchens, they often accept help behind the scenes. Bring your child in to help sort and organize foods, or work with your child to run a collection through a your neighborhood or school.

ideas for ways your kids can volunteer in your community and information about MLK Day of Service and September 11 Day of Service and Remembrance

National Days of Service

MLK Day of Service

Traditionally held on Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Day (the third Monday of January), the MLK Day of Service is celebrated across the country as a day to follow King’s idea:  “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?'”

Families can: 

Visit Volunteer Match or the official day of service website to be matched with local activities that are of interest and in need of volunteers. MLK Day of Service webpage also lists lesson plans which include suggestions for children and a toolkit to help you plan your day of service.

September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance

While the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance began in 2002, it was official established by Congress as a recognized national event day in 2009 and is supported by organizations such as MyGoodDeed. More information, tool kits ideas and lessons for children can be found on the Serve website.


mom of 3 and wife living in the Philadelphia suburbs, Julie is a former elementary school teacher and a Public Relations manager. She is the owner/editor of Julieverse, a merchandiser with Chloe + Isabel ( and founder VlogMom and Splash Creative Media. A marketing strategist and freelance education and parenting writer by trade, Julie attempts to carve out time to enjoy playing with her kids, PTO, cooking and exercise.

© 2015, Julie Meyers Pron. All rights reserved.


  1. says

    however action is the prime thing, with a small action and just do, do, do, not just in mind or mindset.. learn how build the child empaty in social live

  2. says

    These are great ideas, Julie! I especially love how your first activity is to visit a senior center. To visit with the elderly is a wonderful activity for kids to do. At Unbound, elders are not forgotten. We appreciate and support them, too.


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