Crayon Collection is just one of the organizations that allows kids to volunteer. #losangeles #summer #volunteer

When school is out for the summer, your family may be wondering what to do with all that extra time. How about volunteering? There are so many ways for Los Angeles families to help out our community whether you’re looking to volunteer on a regular basis, once-in-a-while, at home, or outdoors. Here is our list of 10 family-friendly volunteer opportunities all around Los Angeles.

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Crayon Collection is just one of the organizations that allows kids to volunteer. #losangeles #summer #volunteer

Heal the Bay – Nothin’ But Sand Beach Cleanups
a different L.A. County beach each month

Families can get outside, enjoy the beach, and help our environment all at the same time by participating in Heal the Bay’s monthly Nothin’ But Sand Beach Cleanups. These activities are appropriate for all ages and happen on the third Saturday of each month (except December) from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Check the website for details and a list of upcoming beach locations (June’s cleanup is at Venice Beach, in July it’s Redondo Beach, and August is Playa del Rey).

Baby2Baby
6435 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048

Baby2Baby works year-round to ensure that no child is without the basic necessities of childhood. They accept donations all year long for items that will benefit children (infants to age 12) including but not limited to car seats, clothing (children’s and maternity), hygiene items (toothpaste, soap, sunscreen), coats, and more. So when you’re out purchasing new school clothes, families can purchase a few extra to donate and/or donate the gently used, but no-longer-fitting school clothes to Baby2Baby. Families can also get involved by hosting a donation drive (monetary or by collecting items) or by volunteering (children must be at least 7 years old to volunteer). Check the website for details. (Click here to read our post Baby2Baby’s Important Work For Kids).

Crayon Collection

“The Crayon Collection mission is to inspire a commitment to environmental consciousness and the infusion of art education in underfunded schools.” They collect gently used crayons (the ones that hotels and restaurants freely distribute to children) and stop them from ending up in a landfill and instead redirect them to local schools in need across our nation. And it’s super easy for families to help! You can start by collecting your own gently used crayons, spreading the word among your family and friends, and then donating those crayons. You can even talk to your local library and favorite restaurant about setting up a collection bin.

Kitten Rescue

Cat-loving families will want to check out the many volunteer opportunities available at Kitten Rescue. This special organization was founded in 1997 and is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization “devoted to finding loving homes for unwanted, homeless cats and kittens.” They have many ways for families to help out including fostering a kitten, helping with office duties, assisting with socializing kittens, transporting kittens, and much more. Check the website for details.

Big Sunday
6111 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038

At Big Sunday, they operate under the belief that “everyone has some way that they can help somebody else.” They offer multiple ways to donate, pitch in, and help. You can participate in a community activity, donate (new or used items or cash), and check their online calendar for upcoming special events because volunteering and helping our community is something that families can do year-round. Whether you’re looking to make volunteering a regular part of your family’s schedule or you’re looking for a short-term way to pitch in and help out, you can find a way to help through Big Sunday. (Click here to read our post about Big Sunday).

Donate Food

It’s easy to donate food — every time your family does its regular grocery shopping, simply purchase a few extra items to donate. The Westside Food Bank accepts donations of non-perishable food items as well as fresh fruit from your family’s tree if you have one. The SOVA Food Pantry also welcomes donations (and are most frequently in need of tuna, canned meat, and peanut butter. (Click here to read our post about the JFS { SOVA Community Food and Resource Program). Big Sunday also has its End of the Month Club program, a food drive to collect food for a local food pantry.

TreePeople

“TreePeople inspires and supports the people of LA to come together to plant and care for trees, harvest the rain, and renew depleted landscapes.” Families can join TreePeople at one of their regularly scheduled volunteer events. Volunteer events include planting trees, restoring local mountain forests, and “serving under resourced communities lacking protection from heat and climate impact.” Check the website for details so you and your family can find a volunteer activity that best fits your schedule.

Operation Gratitude Letter Writing Program

Children of all ages can practice their penmanship and letter-writing skills this summer by participating in Operation Gratitude’s Letter Writing Program. (Children who aren’t yet able to write can still participate by drawing pictures). Letters may be addressed to a veteran, a deployed troop member, a new recruit, or a first responder. Check the website for suggestions on what to include in letters, what to leave out (such as children’s last names), and more.

Friends of Ballona Wetlands Volunteer Restoration Program
303 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey, CA 90293

If you’re looking to volunteer once-in-a-while, then helping out with the Friends of Ballona Wetlands Volunteer restoration Program may be a good fit for your family. Volunteers “get hands-on experience while learning about wetlands and wildlife.” Volunteers must be at least seven years old and will help with trash clean-ups, trail maintenance, and habitat restoration. Check the website for upcoming dates and times.

Milk + Bookies

Milk + Bookies is a “non-profit organization that exposes young children to how great it feels to give back while celebrating the love of a good book.” Milk + Bookies helps to spread the love of reading to children who sadly may not have books of their own. Children can host their own “book-raiser,” and Milk + Bookies makes it super easy to do. You can transform your child’s next sleepover, birthday party, or group get-together into an experience that is meaningful to them and the recipients of the books. 

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