Giving back to my community through volunteering is something my parents instilled in me from a young age. Through the years, volunteering has become an essential part of my life. Now, as a mother, I have enjoyed passing this tradition of giving back to our community on to my own children.
When most people think of volunteering, they assume it’s an activity only for teens and adults—but volunteering with children as young as preschool holds its own positive benefits. Instilling the value of a spirit of giving at a young age is the perfect opportunity for teachable moments of empathy, the value of hard work, and tangible examples of how helping others matters.
If you’re interested in introducing your family to volunteering but aren’t sure how to start, don’t become discouraged. I’ve rounded up a list of opportunities perfect for children and families to get involved in volunteering and give back around Fishers!
1. Volunteer during Keep Fishers Beautiful happening this week! Learn more.
2. Ask your child to go through their toys and clothing they’ve outgrown to donate to a child in need.
3. Create cards for children in hospitals through Cards for Hospitalized Kids
4. Help clean up litter around your neighborhood.
5. Sign up to volunteer through Good Samaritan Network.
6. Offer to walk a neighbor’s dog.
7. Donate blood.
8. Gather items to donate to Hamilton County Humane Society.
9. Create cards and posters, then take them to a nursing home such as Allisonville Meadows, The Reserve, or Hamilton Trace. If COVID restrictions allow, offer to visit and hand-deliver the cards.
10. Learn and volunteer at Connor Prairie!
11. Make cookies or baked goods, then deliver to neighbors.
12. Create care packages for servicemen and women overseas.
13. Gather friends to Adopt-a-Road or join together to clean up your neighborhood through which you’ll provide trash and litter pickup.
14. Complete a Project Tie-Dye kit. This is a kit-based, at-home volunteer project. Each kit includes a narrative with details about the recipient of the service project.
15. Start a canned food drive for a local food pantry such as the Come-To-Me Food Pantry and Sally Burton Food Pantry.
16. Fishers’ neighborhoods can beautify their common spaces and facades through the Neighborhood Cleanup Kit program, which includes a small supply of gloves, garbage bags, and the use of a 30-yard dumpster free of charge. Supplies are limited, and kits are available on a first-come, first-served basis. HOA representatives can complete an application here.
17. Create a lemonade stand, then donate the profits.
18. Chalk a neighbor’s driveway or sidewalk with a positive message and pictures.
Helpful reminders about volunteering with kids:
- Make volunteering a family activity.
- Find volunteer activities that interest your children, which will encourage, excite, and have them looking forward to the event.
- Build volunteering into your family’s schedule. Life is busy, so remember volunteering isn’t always an all-day long-term commitment. Volunteering can be a short one-time activity like serving meals on Thanksgiving or spending 10 minutes a week to help a neighbor.
- Think outside the volunteering box. With younger children, it can be hard to find opportunities for them to participate but by creating your own, they can still get the benefits of volunteering. Activities such as cleaning up around your neighborhood, creating cards for a neighbor, or sorting through old toys to donate are perfect for little ones.
- Reinforce the impact being made. After volunteering, discuss how it made your children feel and share the impact they made.
Take the #VolunteerFishers pledge, and learn more about this and other Keep Fishers Beautiful month-long celebration resources at ThisIsFishers.com/KFB. Follow along on social media at #KeepFishersBeautiful.
Megan Gamble was raised in Fishers and has lived here for over 20 years. She lives in the Geist area with her husband, Zane, and two active boys, Miles (4) and Nolan (1). A former teacher and child developmental therapist, she loves finding new adventures with her family in Fishers Parks, as well as attending the city’s family-friendly (and date night perfect) events throughout the year. Her hobbies include photography, coffee, DIY projects, wine, traveling, helping others, and fashion. She loves Fishers’ small town feel though it’s a growing, thriving city and being able to visit and attend festivals, events, and activities with her family that she also attended as a child. Follow her on Instagram at @MilesofAdventures.