It is the beginning of the year and a perfect time to set new goals for learning, engaging, and creating family expectations around giving back and practicing gratitude. Volunteering in your local community is a great way to accomplish all of that. Community engagement offers an opportunity to learn outside of the classroom, enhances development, encourages lifelong service, and promotes healthy choices. Below are seven opportunities in and around Indianapolis that are perfect for families.
1. Families First
Since 1835, volunteers have been an integral part of Families First, helping us grow from a small society of “Friendly Neighbors,” to an organization that serves individuals and families across Central Indiana. Families are more than welcome to volunteer in our Older & Challenged Adults program, visiting older and challenged adults, who could use more friendly faces in their lives.
Call 317-644-7237 or visit www.familiesfirstindiana.org
2. School on Wheels
School on Wheels’ mission is to provide one-on-one tutoring and educational advocacy for school-aged children impacted by homelessness. after school tutors provide one-on-one homework assistance to school-aged children experiencing homeless in Indianapolis through Tutors in Action. Youth can be 11 and up to volunteer with a family or 14 to volunteer on their own.
Call 317-202-9100 or visit www.indyschoolonwheels.org
3. Keep Indianapolis Beautiful
Volunteers with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB) work all over the Indianapolis area transforming vacant lots into pocket parks, planting trees, and picking up litter. KIB provides the tools, so all your family needs to bring is your desire for community improvement! There is no age limit for youth volunteers if they are present with their adult guardians.
Call 317- 264-7555 or visit www.kibi.org
4. Conner Prairie History Park
Youth volunteer opportunities are open for students ages 10-18 including dressing up in costume for character portrayal, working with behind-the-scenes operations, assisting in the museum shop or helping with special events.
Call 317-776-6000 or visit www.connerprairie.org
5. Humane Society of Indianapolis
The Humane Society offers several different ways for families to get involved: Parents and kids ages eight and older can work onsite directly with the animals in the Parent & Me program. The Paws & Claws Club gives students ages 10-15 the opportunity to meet animals and learn more about the care they need. Families are needed to foster animals as they wait for a permanent home as well.
Call 317-872-5650 or visit www.indyhumane.org
6. Hamilton County Harvest Food Bank
Hamilton County Harvest Food Bank staff will help families organize neighborhood food drives by delivering barrels and materials, and will pick up all donated items. Other opportunities available as outlined on their website.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.hchfoodbank.org
7.Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
The world’s largest children’s museum has volunteers for families and children ages 8-17. Opportunities include enhancing community initiatives and greeting visitors. Families always work together as a team, a great opportunity to spend quality time.
Call 317-344-4000 or visit www.childrensmuseum.org