Your kids may be happy that school is out for the summer in Miami, but how do you fill up all those extra free hours? Volunteering is one way to have fun while you help others in our local area. Here are 6 of our favorite places for kids and families to volunteer.
Since its early days as a small soup kitchen, Camillus House has blossomed into a full-service center for the poor and homeless in our city. Their comprehensive system of care now provides a wide range of services to over 12,000 men, women, and children each year. On-site volunteers must be 14 or older, but younger children can participate in other activities like organizing collection drives for food, clothing, toiletries, and other essential items. All individual volunteers must also register and attend an orientation. Depending on your schedule and interests, you can help out once with a special event or volunteer each week. Opportunities include preparing and serving food, assisting staff with administrative work, and helping in the garden or warehouse. You can feel good about donating to them too. Camillus House has a 77% success rate for persons completing substance abuse treatment, and they manage to feed and shelter 3 people a night for just $25. (Miami)
Paws 4 You Rescue:
You can adopt a dog at this animal rescue and stick around to help the homeless pets waiting for a family of their own. Their open house adoption events are scheduled the first and third Saturday of every month. Youth volunteers 14 and older are needed to show, exercise, and socialize the dogs for this program. They can also help with other special events to publicize Paws 4 You and its important work. Meanwhile, parents and other adult volunteers can pitch in too with Buddies 4 Paws (dog socialization and exercise), transportation, events and fundraising, and office and labor support. All volunteers must attend an orientation session with a required donation of $20. While animal rescue is a national concern, the need is especially great in Miami Dade County where Paws 4 You is one of only two guarantee shelters where animals are free from the threat of euthanasia. Plus, what’s more fun than playing with puppies? (Miami)
If you want to volunteer, but you’re not sure where to start, HandsOn Miami may be the best place to get started, and learn about all kinds of interesting opportunities. All you have to do is have one adult family member sign up and form a team. Then, you check out their monthly calendar to find projects that have space available and are looking for volunteers who can match their minimum age requirements. In fact, you don’t even need to leave home. They also offer a monthly Do It Yourself project where you are provided with all the supplies and instructions you need to complete your project at home, and you get information about the agency that will benefit. However, leaving the house can be a lot of fun so watch for their large scale days of service scheduled several times each year and their annual Family Volunteer Day. Each volunteer must also sign a waiver, and you must keep your children’s profiles updated. (Miami)
Shake a Leg Miami:
Founded almost 30 years ago, this nonprofit helps children and adults with disabilities to enjoy the wonderful world of sailing and watersports. It was founded by Harry Horgan, who was paralyzed at 22 in a car accident. Today, Shake a Leg partners with the City of Miami to serve almost 10,000 people annually. You’ll find them in a former Coast Guard hangar in Coconut Grove with their own dock area and 20 sailboats, 60 kayaks, and more, which are all inclusively designed. Volunteers of all ages are welcome and appreciated. Contact them to discuss helping out on a single occasion or as a long term commitment. You can volunteer as an individual or as a family. Explore their youth programs too including summer camps, outings, mentoring, and workforce transitioning. (Miami)
Miami Dade County Parks:
With all the family-friendly events here, you could visit almost every day to bond together with your kids and beautify our local parks. The Miami Dade Parks Leadership and Community Engagement Program offers a wide range of service opportunities for all ages. That includes Park Site Volunteers for high school students and others trying to fulfill their community service requirements. Then again, maybe your family wants to adopt their very own park site or another natural area through the Adopt-A-Park Group Volunteers. Watch the calendar for Park Service Days and Conservation Volunteer Events too. Park Service Days are community service events throughout the year that require only a few hours of commitment on a single day. Conservation Volunteer Events include monthly ECO Action Days held at nature centers, natural areas and park beaches. For more fun, join the Critical Splash Bay Cleanup at Pelican Harbor Island on the third Saturday morning of every month. You can bring your own vessel or rent a Single or Double Kayak for discount prices starting at just $10. (Miami)
Miami Dade Public Library System:
If your kids are 16 or older, they can volunteer at any of the 49 local branches of our Miami Dade Public Library System. Service opportunities include such tasks as shelving and organizing materials, sorting donated books and other media, helping to prepare for children’s activities including arts and crafts events, and general office work. You can also visit their Library for Teens site to find out more about their programs for youths in this age group, such as museum passes that provide free admission to partner museums for a family of 4, and Youmedia Miami where teens can use technology blended with creativity. (Miami)While you and your kids are helping our local community, we’re happy to provide superior repair services for all your home appliances. Contact us at Flamingo Appliance Service to book your repair online 24/7. Our expert team fixes your appliances right the first time in Florida and Georgia.