Every summer my family and I like to add special volunteering to our “Pay it Forward” list. Since this season means being outdoors more often, I look forward to finding some new ways to give back and new charities to help. I hope this list of summer volunteer opportunities helps you too.
Summer Volunteer Suggestions:
- Summer Carnivals – Use your creativity and get your family involved with a summer carnival. First, choose a nonprofit that you want to raise money from the carnival’s profits. You can be frugal and still make it fun for others to take part. Select a theme, create or borrow games and promote. Promotion is one of the most important parts or this activity. You need people to attend to earn money for your chosen charity.
- Choose a charity – The MDA is one of the most familiar nonprofits that use carnivals for fundraising. In fact, they have a website specifically for carnivals.
- Games- Make your own games (affiliate link) or ask churches or schools to borrow ready made games. Ring toss, fish for a prize or horseshoes are all easy games you and your family can make on your own. Prizes can be donated by local businesses, found in your home (think unopened fast food toys, stuffed animals, used books) or bought in bulk.
- Food – Think snacks that are quick and easy to make, or those you can prepare and serve – popcorn, caramel apples, hot dogs, cupcakes and snow cones are some suggestions.
- Promotion – Make up banners and ask local businesses to put them in their windows. Use free ads on local news, newspapers and local radio shows. Don’t forget how important word-of-mouth marketing is as well.
- Library Book Fundraiser –Ask if your local library, school, hospital, homeless shelter, etc. will accept donated books. Schedule a time for your book drive and choose a location. Decide if you need help from other people and set up a system for people who drop off their books. Label boxes by categories, such as biographies, history, baby books, etc.
- Volunteer Travel – Organizations offer families the ability to volunteer both abroad and in the US, especially during the summer. You can travel abroad (affiliate link) with a pre-arranged trip or make a private trip for your family. Projects Abroad has a long list of trips and causes to choose from. The Sierra Club offers volunteer vacations where you and your family can learn about the environment and take part in projects in the US
- Volunteer at a Zoo – Many zoos need volunteers to help with animal care, preparing food for the animals and special event programs. Docent programs are usually for adults, but parents can share their skills with the children.
- Adopt a Highway – Join an Adopt A Highway group or make your own. You’ll clean up roads, learn about road safety and get to know the group members. There are also beach clean ups during the summer.
Volunteering as a family brings together the best of the summer season and valuable bonding time. Choose an activity you enjoy and see if it becomes a yearly event. There are so many summer volunteer opportunities to choose from. What have you done to give back?