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Where to Volunteer with Your Kids in Fairfield County, CT

Where to Volunteer with Your Kids in Fairfield County, CT

UPDATED NOVEMBER 2019: Lend a little hand in your community, and make it a family affair! We've put together a guide to some places around Fairfield, CT, that need your help, including non-profit organizations, nursing homes, animal shelters, food pantries, and many more. Volunteer opportunities are available for children and adults alike. And remember - big or small, everyone has the power to make a difference!

Befriend a Furball

Lessons in responsibility can come while serving as a foster family for a pet from the Connecticut Humane Society. By taking in pets for a short period of time, children will learn to care for others and ultimately learn to take care of themselves. But be wary—some may become attached to the animal and want to adopt it! Most volunteer opportunities at the humane society have an age requirement of 18 or older, but children are always encouraged to support CHS by arranging a supply collection or a fundraiser to benefit the animals. Families may foster pets in their own homes or donate time to the shelter instead. For a complete list of accepted supplies and ways kids can help, visit online.

Donate Books

Donate gently loved books, magazines, and non-violent toys to the Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital. For more information on donating, contact volunteer services at 203-688-2297. The Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital also needs and welcomes energetic volunteers 15 and older. Volunteers generally give a minimum of four hours a week for at least six months. There are a variety of volunteer roles to fit individual time schedules, abilities, and interests. Volunteers may work directly with patients or choose to work behind the scenes. For more on these opportunities, visit ynhh.org. 20 York St., New Haven.

Feed the Hungry

At the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County, families are encouraged to help inspect and sort food donations that will in turn be distributed to direct feeding agencies like The Salvation Army, New Covenant House, and Norwalk Emergency Shelter. The Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County provides food to more than 90 nonprofit agencies and programs that serve low-income people in its six-town service area through bags of groceries and congregate meals. These include soup kitchens, food pantries, childcare programs, homeless shelters, senior centers, domestic violence safe houses, and rehabilitation programs. Opportunities are available to get involved as an individual or a group. Volunteers are needed to drive, sort food, and assist with delivery of food. If you want to step it up a notch, consider organizing a food drive at your child’s school. For details, contact Kathleen Lombardo at 203-358-8898 or klombardo@foodbanklfc.org. 461 Glenbrook Road, Stamford.

Foster a Love of Learning

The Westport Library Association is supported by the public/private partnership between the town and individual donors. Volunteering opportunities include helping the library maintain its collection, facilitating poetry groups, creative writing workshops, and book clubs, helping with youth programs, and participating in events such as the holiday book sale and silent book auction. Call 203-291-4800 or visit westportlibrary.org for more information and to fill out a volunteer form. 20 Jesup Road, Westport.

Live Healthy

The Westport/Weston Family Y enriches the community by promoting youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. A charitable nonprofit organization, the Y endeavors to serve all, regardless of financial capacity or physical capability. To learn how you can become a supporting role in this organization, visit online or call 203-226-8981. 14 Allen Raymond Lane, Westport.

Make a Wish Come True

The Make-A-Wish Foundation Connecticut Chapter grants the wishes of children diagnosed with life threatening medical conditions. Children in kindergarten through 12th grade can participate in Kids for Wish Kids, a program that develops project ideas to fundraise for the organization. Create your own event and/or recruit others to help. Volunteers don’t need to raise enough to sponsor a whole wish; every little bit helps a wish come true. A bake sale, pajama days, car wash, read-a-thon, or penny drives are all great ways to start raise money. The foundation is also always looking for adult volunteers to help out in several different roles from administrative support to wish granting. To apply for a volunteer position, go to ct.wish.org and look under the “Ways to Help” tab. For more information, call 203-261-9044, or contact Nancy Diehl, office manager, at nancydiehl@ct.wish.org. 126 Monroe Turnpike, Trumbull.

Start Your Own Project

DoSomething.org is one of the largest organizations in the United States that helps young people rock causes they care about. Kids ages 12 and older take action all year through Do Something’s campaigns and their own projects (apply here). For more information, call 212-254-2390 or visit online.

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