Make a Wish Come True
The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Metro New York grants the wishes of children 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 Make-A-Wish. Take part on your own or recruit others to help. Volunteers don’t need to raise enough to sponsor a whole wish, but 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 raising money. Make-A-Wish will provide balloons, buttons, banners, and other MAW items to sell. For Kids for Wish Kids, contact Kathie Lombardi at 516-944-6212 x141. For other volunteer opportunities, contact volunteer services coordinator Heather Joseph at 516-944-6212 x114, or [email protected].
Serve Your Community
March is Red Cross Month. The American Red Cross provides relief to individuals affected by disasters and helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. Parents and kids age 14 and older can help with mailings, hand out flyers at fundraising walks, help with fundraising events, or come up with their own projects to raise money for the Red Cross. Teens ages 14-18 can start or join a Red Cross Club at their high school. For more information or to fill out the online volunteer application, visit online. 877-733-2767.
Spring Clean Your Closet
Enlist your kids in the process of cleaning out their closets. It can even turn into a fashion show to see what still fits. Take your kids with you when you donate the clothes so they can see the good their efforts are doing. Check with your local Salvation Army thrift store for instructions on donating clothes:
• 148-15 Archer Ave., Jamaica; 718-523-4648
• 34-02 Steinway St., Astoria; 718-472-2414
• 462 Hempstead Turnpike, Elmont; 516-354-9498
• 39-11 61st St., Woodside; 718-458-1526
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.
Use Common Cents
Students in schools across the five boroughs can participate in Penny Harvest, the largest children’s philanthropy in the US, to raise money for different causes, including animal rescue and homelessness. Children ages 4-14 have collected pennies and turned them into grants for community organizations. Volunteers can also complete neighborhood service projects through Penny Harvest. For more information on Penny Harvest, visit pennyharvest.org or contact Teddy Gross at 212-579-0579, or by emailing [email protected].
Walk for the Cause
Head to nymetroparents.com/walks to find fundraising walks in your community. Walking together for a cause can bring your family closer together while supporting a worthy organization. It’s also a great way to get outdoors, add exercise, and make new friends. Most charity walks in the Connecticut and the New York metro area take place in the spring and fall. Be sure to plan ahead, because the sooner you register, the longer you have to raise money for the cause. Coming up: March for Babies in April and May, Bark for Life in May, AIDS Walk New York in May, Walk Now for Autism Speaks, Great Strides: Taking Steps to Cure Cystic Fibrosis in May.
Work for Water
The UNICEF Tap Project is a nationwide campaign that affords everyone the opportunity to help provide the world’s children with access to safe, clean water and basic sanitation. We don’t usually think twice about the quality of our water, but more than 748 million people around the globe do not have access to clean drinking water and approximately 1,400 children younger than age five perish from diseases linked to unsafe water or a lack of basic sanitation facilities. A one-dollar donation can provide a child with clean water for 40 days, or 40 children with access to safe water for one day. Kids can support UNICEF by organizing a lemonade stand, bake sale, car wash, or similar fundraising event and donating their proceeds. Visit online to sign up and find a list of ways to get involved.
Do Your Kids Volunteer?
See the Queens recipients of the 2016 NYMetroParents Caring Kids Awards and read their inspiring stories of community service and volunteer work.