It’s a brand new year and the perfect time to find a worthy organization that is looking for new volunteers. For 2012, spread the love and involve your children too. Below are five great places to volunteer with your kids in Atlanta. Be advised that all require a parent to accompany children ages 16 and younger.
This nonprofit volunteer-based organization has saved the lives of 2,400 animals in the last two years. Angels Among Us rescues cats and dogs from high-kill shelters, places them in foster homes, and then matches them with new loving owners. Families can help out by fostering animals or organizing fundraisers. In 2011, a local Brownie troop collected coats, leashes and toys for every animal at Angels Among Us. For more information about volunteering with your child at Angels Among Us, contact Lisa Zambacca at (404) 895-3999. For a heart-warming story about an Angels Among Us rescue, check out this CBS article.
Hours: Mon to Fri – 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The Atlanta Community Food Bank relies on more than 15,000 volunteers to distribute two million pounds of food to 700 nonprofits in 38 counties in Atlanta and North Georgia each year. The ACFB supports people who need a helping hand, including children and the growing number of working poor. Today, the Food Bank operates out of a 129,600 sq. ft. facility. Kids ages 8 and up can volunteer (with a parent) to inspect and pack food, work in community gardens, sort school supplies or help out at special events.
Hours: Mon to Fri – 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The Chattahoochee Nature Center is a hidden gem in Roswell that sits on 127 acres along the Chattahoochee River. The nonprofit organization provides unique learning experiences to adults and kids of all ages through public events, educational classes, outdoor hikes and much more. In fact, CNC is a an escape to nature that’s beyond compare in such an urban setting. Because it’s a nonprofit organization, The Chattahoochee Nature Center relies a great deal on its volunteers. Children age 12 and older are welcome to volunteer with parental supervision. Volunteer activities include planting and harvesting the Unity Garden and maintaining the trails.
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Hours: Mon – 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Tues – 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Wed to Fri 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
NFCC is a nonprofit organization that strives to prevent homelessness by assisting families with basic needs like food, rent, utilities and clothing during short-term emergencies. With the unemployment rate high in Atlanta, the need is great. NFCC depends upon volunteers and welcomes children ages 13 and older to help with sorting and stacking food on shelves, handing out food to families in need and sorting and hanging up clothes in the thrift shop.
Project Mail Call delivers customized care packages to soldiers stationed overseas. Since its founding in 2005, the organization has delivered 3,879 packages to thankful service men and women. Nearly 50 percent of items sent are donated through collection drives by churches and local groups. The items are packed up at Project Mail Call packing sessions and sent along with a photo and personalized letter. Children age 10 and older are welcome to participate in monthly open packing sessions.
Jackie Kass is a freelance writer from Atlanta with more than twenty years of writing experience. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.