No one is too young to start making a difference! For children who volunteer with their families, benefits go beyond developing compassion and caring. Kids who volunteer develop a sense of responsibility for their communities, greater “attitudes of gratitude” and learn how to work with others to reach a common goal. Atlanta boasts plenty of ways for all ages of kids to lend a hand, alongside their parents. Choose an area of interest, and jump in!

Stop Hunger & Homelessness

Atlanta Community Food Bank: Working with food pantries, shelters, community kitchens and other nonprofits, the ACFB feeds the hungry around metro Atlanta. All ages are welcome to come with parents to sort or distribute food.

North Fulton Community Charities: Teens 13 and older can volunteer at this organization (and parents, too!) that assists families with basic needs such as food and clothing through a food pantry and thrift shop. At-home options for all ages include organizing a food drive or creating toiletry bags.

Blessings in a Backpack: Multiple programs in the metro Atlanta area provide food on weekends for elementary school children who might otherwise go hungry when they’re not in school. Check for a program in your area to participate in food drives or packing efforts, or your family can start a new chapter!

Meals By Grace: Providing prepared meals to food-insecure families. Children younger than 13 can participate in “Kids in the Kitchen” dates once a month. All kids can get placed in age-appropriate activities by team during regular packing days.

Help Animals

Furkids: As one of the only animal shelters in Georgia with opportunities for kids of all ages, Furkids invites participation in many ways. Kids of all ages can organize supply drives, help with cat care and read to cats. Older kids can become dog handlers or thrift store volunteers.

Special Equestrians of Georgia: Offering therapeutic horseback riding for individuals with special needs, this organization welcomes teens ages 14 and older to help with the horses and related tasks.

Help the Sick and Caretakers

Ronald McDonald House: Volunteers ages 9 and older, plus their parents, can prepare meals, bake sweet treats, or organize fun activity nights for families of sick kids  who are staying at one of the Ronald McDonald Houses in Atlanta. 

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta: The hospital system offers multiple ways for families to support patients. These include Family Volunteer Days, open to all ages (application required).

Project Open Hand: Kids 9 and older can help package nutritionally sound meals for individuals who are critically ill and/or homebound.

MedShare: Help sort surplus medical supplies and equipment that will go to communities in need around the world. Kids ages 8 and up can volunteer with a parent; teens 14 and older can volunteer on their own.

General Opportunities

Hands On Atlanta: Volunteer as a family team to tackle some of Atlanta’s most urgent needs, like painting buildings or beautifying parks or gardens. Or find volunteer opportunities for teens only.

Little Helpers of Atlanta: Families can volunteer together at monthly service projects. Activities include food distribution, visiting the elderly, helping refugees and collecting items for the homeless. Find the schedule on their Facebook page.

Pebble Tossers: Search an age-appropriate directory of free, current volunteer opportunities for kids. The site also includes suggestions for projects kids can do themselves. Also, kids can create a civic transcript to track good works.

Ready to Volunteer?

When you’re ready to make a difference, avoid disappointment by making sure to:

  • Check on age requirements for volunteers. They can’t make exceptions!
  • Confirm address of where you plan to volunteer. Some organizations host events in different locations than their administrative offices.
  • Know what to wear or bring for the activity you’re participating in. Some food-based activities require long pants and closed toe shoes, for example.

These organizations are doing good! Learn about the people – and the inspiration – behind three successful Atlanta initiatives.

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