The Commission seeks to foster civic engagement and leadership development in youth and families and increase the number of young people serving in their communities. Youth service is a proven strategy that promotes positive social behaviors, prepares youth for the workplace, and provides them with lifelong habits of leadership, problem-solving, empathy, and self-reliance. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, “a child who has a parent who volunteers is nearly three times more likely to volunteer on a regular basis.” Children of all ages can benefit from volunteering and giving back to the community. Not only have studies shown that kids that serve have strengthened academic learning and gained civic skills, but they also tend to be happier.
Organizations and Project Ideas:
- Local Food Pantries and Homeless Shelters
- Plant fruits and vegetables to donate to a food pantry.
- Shop together for toiletries and sort them into bags for residents at a homeless shelter.
- Serve a meal together as a family at a local soup kitchen.
- Senior Centers
- Visit a senior center together and entertain the residents playing games or telling stories.
- Animal Shelters
- Bake dog treats or make dogs and cat toys and donate them to the shelter.
- Foster animals when the shelter is at capacity.
- Invite the whole family. Use your volunteer activities as an opportunity to spend time with family members you don’t see every day. Strengthen your entire family by including grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in your volunteering activities.
The Utah Conservation Corps, housed in Logan, Utah, has AmeriCorps members which work in partnership with state and federal land management agencies. AmeriCorps Members complete needed statewide conservation projects often working alongside community volunteers. The Utah Conservation Corps holds events on some national days of service such as Earth Day, National Trails Day and Public Lands Day. These events offer great opportunities to volunteer as a family to maintain trails, restore habitat, and plant trees. Find out more about The Utah Conservation Corps and how to get involved on their website.
Volunteers of America is a human services nonprofit organization that serves more than 10,000 people across the state each year through a dozen programs addressing homelessness, substance abuse, mental illness, and domestic violence. In Utah families can volunteer to do many activities, such as cooking and serving meals to clients, collecting items to donate, and sorting donations. Volunteers of America invites people to visit Candy Cane Corner, an annual collaboration between The Road Home, Volunteers of America, Utah and YWCA Utah. Each year, these three organizations engage the community in providing a holiday shopping experience for the families they serve. Visit the website to donate new gifts, volunteer, or make a monetary donation. Please visit Volunteers of America online to volunteer and learn more about how they serve the community.
The Children’s Center is a nonprofit agency that provides comprehensive mental health care to enhance the emotional well-being of infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and their families. Because of The Children’s Center, over 2,000 families annually receive mental health treatment for their children, regardless of their ability to pay. A great family activity is washing toys for the centers kids. Families could also organize a drive for school supplies, toys, or non-perishable food items. The Children’s Center is excited to host their first annual Santa and Friends Holiday variety show and carnival on November 15th at The Rail Events Center. This would be a great opportunity for families to volunteer together at a fun event! Visit The Children’s Center online to learn more about how you and your family can get involved.
Best Friends invites you to join the thousands of volunteers who come to beautiful Angel Canyon in Kanab, Utah every year to work with our roughly 1,700 Sanctuary animals. Giving the animals the gift of your personal attention and love truly makes a difference in their lives and helps prepare them for their forever homes. Whether you volunteer for a day, a week, or longer, you and your family will enjoy a unique and rewarding time together. Volunteer activities include socializing with our animals, walking, feeding, grooming and cleaning. From walking an enthusiastic dog, to cleaning a rabbit run, to just sitting and talking to a shy cat, there are always plenty of fun things for families to do. For an even bigger volunteer experience you can take animals on outings—like a hike in the canyon or lunch in town. You can also take animals on sleepovers if you have pet-friendly lodging. There are also special projects you can work on as a family. Best Friends has mostly cats and dogs, but also potbellied pigs, horses, rabbits, and parrots. Sanctuary volunteers must be at least six years of age and there are specific age minimums for each of the animal areas. For more information or to get started on your volunteer adventure visit us online. Planning a summer trip? Best Friends welcome all kids ages six to nine for Kids Camp! Each day of the week features a different fun and potentially furry educational activity. Sign up for as many or as few days as you like. Morning sessions run June through August and all children will need a parent or guardian on the Sanctuary premises during camp hours. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Big Hearted Families- Books, games and inspiration for families who want to volunteer together.
- Youth Service America- Ideas to get kids excited about volunteering.
- Parent Further- Ideas for parents to engage the whole family in volunteering.
- Service Project Tool Kit- Step by step instructions on planning a service project with your family, neighbors and friends.