a gift to the community
If you’re reading this article, you already know that Austin is awesome. We’ve got music. We’ve got art. We’ve got culture and nature and theatre. You can ride a bike, ride a train or ride the water. There’s a whole lot to love about life here.
The people in Austin are pretty awesome, too. According to the government website Volunteering in America, Austin and the surrounding area contribute almost 30 hours of service per person each year. Impressive! Many people consider giving back a family affair; teaching kids the importance of community service is a value they’ll carry with them their entire lives, and in this year’s Awesome Austin feature, we’re going to point you in the right direction for kid-friendly volunteer opportunities.
Discover Green – Young Environmental Leaders, Inc
Founded in 2008 by five local teens, Discover Green seeks to empower young people in community, environmental and global volunteer initiatives. With an impressive list of commercial sponsors including REI, JC Penney, Disney and State Farm, the group hosts a multitude of service projects such as Storm Drain Marking, Tree Distribution and Neighborwoods. What makes this group cool? It’s Parties with a Purpose – teens get together to volunteer or raise supplies and funds in a more social, party atmosphere. Great for families with kids four years and up.
Micah 6 of Austin
A coalition of local faith groups, Micah 6 operates a twice-weekly food pantry and offers limited financial assistance with basic needs such as rent, utilities and medical and employment needs. Volunteers are staffed to work the food pantry and pick up donated food from local grocery stores. The group seeks to serve homeless and impoverished citizens in the University of Texas area with kindness and compassion, making a positive outlook and spirit crucial to the job. This organization would be best for families with kids in their teens.
Keep Austin Beautiful
One of the best known volunteer groups in Austin, Keep Austin Beautiful’s (KAB) mission is to clean, protect and beautify the Austin environment. One of the perks to volunteering with this organization is that the activities take place outdoors in some truly lovely locations! With an impressive turnout of about 20,000 volunteers, KAB is well-organized and very family friendly. Clean Sweep and Lady Bird Lake clean-ups as well as the Seed Savers and Tool Shack projects are among it’s many efforts. Several events are kid-friendly and involve a celebration at the end of the day. KAB is great for families with kids about four years and up.
Little Helping Hands
Little Helping Hands seeks to not only bring volunteerism to families with young children, but hopes to instill a foundation of volunteering that kids will carry with them their whole lives. Because their mission is to include the youngest children in efforts to give back and support our community, Little Helping Hands hosts events that cater to the littlest helpers.