From time to time, everyone needs a helping hand, and opportunities abound in Philadelphia to reach out to those in need and make a difference. Make giving back a family affair while the kids are still young, and reap the rewards of paying it forward.
Greater Philadelphia Cares
This organization offers up to 100 volunteering opportunities every month in partnership with schools, social service agencies, environmental groups and non-profits in such categories as hunger relief, education, community development and the environment. As the organization says, “You want to make a difference. You want a way to volunteer that works. You have the power to create positive change. With Greater Philadelphia Cares, you make a real difference, one project at a time.” Opportunities abound, so be sure to visit the site for daily postings.
This is the area’s largest food bank and hunger relief organization and helps to serve the nearly one million people in the Delaware Valley who face hunger every day. With its mission to fight hunger and malnutrition, Philabundance needs volunteers at its Hunger Relief Center sorting and packing food items, at its Community Food Center stocking shelves and unloading deliveries, and at its Fresh for All Program, which distributes fresh produce weekly.
This non-profit encourages young people to do volunteer work, empowering them to be better citizens. The organization works to directly involve children in its charitable acts, as well as in its money-lending projects world wide. The brain-child of 11-year-old Shaniah St. Catherine of Philadelphia, Kids-4Change is made up of kids as young as five, all working together to make a difference. Kids-4Change provides its partner schools with programs to meet their needs, including tutoring, clothing donation and toy drives.
This not-for-profit is a 5.5-acre public landscape and historic house open all year-round at no cost to visitors and offers a variety of volunteer opportunities such as gardening, hosting events and leading tours. The arboretum partners with public institutions and private organizations focusing on watershed protection, urban agriculture, horticulture and food systems education.
Cradles to Crayons//The Giving Factory
This organization’s mission is to provide low-income and homeless children, from birth to preteen, with what they need “to feel safe, warm, and ready to learn.” It offers numerous volunteer opportunities for adults and kids alike. All this is in keeping with its vision that, “one day every child will have the essentials they need,” and so provides donated clothing, shoes, books, and school supplies to youngsters in need.
Related: Thanksgiving Day of Service
Carol Josel, a Blue Bell, PA resident, is a learning specialist, author of three books, and examiner.com contributor. Her work can be found here