Ring in the New Year with a great Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, this January 16, 2017. KC Kids Fun is excited to share some family-friendly volunteering opportunities so each of us can give back to our fantastic community. The experience of working alongside your children is truly a joyful one…we hope you enjoy the day together!
- KindCraft KC: This is an incredible family service group whose goal is to provide families with monthly service opportunities. KindCraft’s next event, January 12, will help keep KC Warm by creating Bare Necessities Bags to help the homeless in Kansas City. Be sure to get on their newsletter list or follow them on Facebook to stay up-to-date on their monthly projects.
- KC Pet Project: Thanks to KC Kids Fun reader Julie Poland for sharing this great idea in 2014! KC Pet Project allows children under 16 to volunteer with a parent or guardian. There are 3 locations around the metro area, and opportunities to help include socializing dogs and cats, fostering a pet, making toys and treats for animals, or hosting a bake sale or donate drive to help support KC Pet Project and its animals.
- Olathe Public Library MLK, Jr. Day of Service: Families can join the Olathe Downtown Library on Jan. 16, from 10am-5pm to work with a number of visiting nonprofit agencies for hands-on projects throughout the day.
- Ronald McDonald House: You bring the food and a small group to volunteer at any Ronald McDonald House location to prepare meals or snack time. Your family benefits from knowing you’ve nourished families who are going through a stressful time in their lives.
- 2017 MLK Nature Walk: The Heartland Conservation Alliance is looking for walkers to join them on the 2017 MLK Nature Walk. The 1.5-mile (paved) nature walk will begin at 1pm at the Brush Creek Community Center, 3801 Emanuel Cleaver II Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. It’s a great way to start a conversation with your younger ones about the meaning of this special day.
- Harvesters: Once again, the city’s largest food bank is hosting its MLK Day of Service on January 16 (kids must be 8+ to volunteer there). If your kids aren’t old enough, consider start your own neighborhood or classroom food drive for Harvesters or another local food pantry in the KC Area, many of which receive help directly from Harvesters.
- If you have older kids (ages 11-18), check out the Youth Volunteer Corps of Greater KC, which organizes youth and family helpers at a variety of local charities. Currently, they are taking reservations for their MLK Day of Service at Harvesters on January 16, 2017. There are family opportunities to serve there as well.
- Check out www.VolunteerMatch.org. The site features loads of volunteer opportunities, and you can organize your results by Distance, Event Date and even Date Posted. While not all are kid-specific opportunities, you might find something suitable for the whole family or just for you!
Like to get creative? Come up with a service project on your own! Here are some ideas to get you started:
Buy Groceries: Put together a list and go to the grocery store to purchase food for Harvesters or another local food pantry. Kids can see where the food goes when you deliver it together.
Donate Clothes & Toys: Work with your kids to sort through clothing, toys and books. Then donate the gently used items to Safehome, Rose Brooks Center, another shelter, or the library (for books). My kids love knowing that their favorite pants or toy is going to someone who truly needs it.
Surprise Your Neighbors: Our neighbor and her kids delivered cookies to everyone in our cul-de-sac last year. We still remember the sweet surprise!
Whatever you choose, we’d love to hear about it in the comments section below, or on our Facebook page! We also invite you to list any additional kid and family-friendly volunteer opportunities below!
Images courtesy of KindCraft KC, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City and Harvesters Community Food Network.