Children learn quickly about Christmas and Santa Claus, the gift giving and receiving. But what they don’t learn soon enough is that the giving doesn’t always come wrapped up with a bow. Giving is about caring for others, human and animals. It is a great time to teach them about compassion and empathy for others.
Fortunately, there are many organizations that can benefit from your teaching them. Here are a just a few where the children (and you) can come in, roll up their sleeves, put on a smile, and get to work and learn a lesson too.
St. Mary’s Food Bank
In just one hour, 100 meals can be provided to those who would otherwise go hungry by you and your children volunteering at St. Mary’s Food Bank. A great way for a church group, scout troop or a family to learn while they help. The team at St. Mary’s can use help in packing, sorting, and distributing boxes of emergency food Phoenix or Surprise.
They ask that children be between the ages 12 to 13 with an adult, and teens between the ages of 14 to 17 are welcomed without an adult. Kids between the ages of 8 to 11 are welcome in groups with an adult leader and pre-arranged. For more information call 602-343-3134 or visit volunteer.firstfoodbank.org.
Tempe Municipal Volunteer Program
For children in grades 6 through 12, the Tempe Public Library needs volunteers for several areas. From shelving returned books to assisting with holiday and other special events throughout the year. There is also a program for junior lifeguards and anyone that wants to assist with special needs children is always needed.
Children must complete an application and will be interviewed. Training is done on the job for either one-time service or activities that go on all year long. A perfect way to complete community service or a school assignment. Call 480-350-5190 for more information or visit the website at tempe.gov/volunteer, or drop by 3500 S. Rural Road.
Families Giving Back
Nonprofit groups partner with Families Giving Back to host volunteer events for kids of all ages and their families. One hour each weekend, children get hands-on experience with activities like putting heat relief kits together for St. Vincent de Paul or putting art project bags together for Phoenix Children’s Hospital patients. There is also groups organized that clean Phoenix city parks and there are projects that you can do at home with the whole family too. Contact the group at 602-421-7909 or visit their website at familiesgivingback.org for details.
Child Crisis Arizona
This is a great opportunity for the younger kids in your family. They will assemble caring kits that range from birthday boxes to school starter kits. They will build family-support baskets as well as good-night bags. Older kids, from ages 16 to 22 can be trained to provide child care at 3 Mesa facilities. They are required to commit to working one weekly shift for a full year.
An application must be completed, then an interview and orientation are required, then the applicant will go through a training session. Volunteers are required to obtain a Level 1 Fingerprint Clearance Card. For more information, call 480-969-2308, visit their website at childcrisisaz.org/how-to-help/volunteer or drop by the Child Crisis Arizona, 604 W. Ninth St., Mesa.