Service Projects for Any Age
The Foundation is pleased to offer this list of service projects.
Donating to a Food Pantry
Check YOUR local food pantry website for current needs and shop for those items. This teaches kids that there are people in their own neighborhoods who need help. The Foundation donates to these pantries:
www.solvehungertoday.org (Northern Illinois Food Bank);
http://www.foodpantries.org/st/illinois (Illinois Food Pantry listing)
https://www.centraltexasfoodbank.org/get-involved/volunteer (Central Texas Food Bank)
Helping After a Natural Disaster
Kids may see reports of hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes on the news and feel frightened. By helping those affected, kids may feel like they have helped other kids and families just like theirs. Check with the local authorities to see what is needed most or donate proceeds from a lemonade stand or a garage sale to a charity organization helping communities recover from natural disasters:
http://www.redcross.org/ (American Red Cross)
https://teamrubiconusa.org/ (Team Rubicon)
Cleaning up the Environment
Picking up litter at a local park, along the route to school or on the school grounds as they pass by teaches kids that they are always part of the community and that every little bit helps.
http://www.dupageforest.com/ (Forest Preserve District of DuPage)
Organize a Food and Toy Drive for the Local Animal Shelter
Animal shelters like the Humane Society are always needing supplies like food for the animals and bedding. You can help purchase bags of dog or cat food for the shelter or collect items from around the house (like old towels or bedding) to donate to the shelter. Be careful on this one though -- it's easy to fall in love with a pet!
http://www.arf-il.org (Animal Rescue Foundation, Wheaton)
http://www.wshs-dg.org (West Suburban Humane Society)
https://www.thedogalliance.org/ (The Dog Alliance - Austin)
Volunteer - Anderson Humane (ahconnects.org) (Andersen Animal Shelter, Elgin)
Community First Village! Austin, TX
Community First! Village is a 51-acre master planned community that provides affordable, permanent housing and a supportive community for the chronically homeless in Central Texas. Since 2005, this transformative residential program has been a staple of Mobile Loaves & Fishes and has become the largest community-based model in the country - lifting homeless men and women up and off the streets into community and home. There are several ways to volunteer at Community First Village!
Send a Smile Today
Send cards to patients undergoing cancer treatments through Send A Smile Today. Kids can make handmade cards, hold a card-making event and get involved in other ways to provide hope and support to cancer patients.
Send A Smile Today | Every.org
Operation Support Our Troops
OSOT’s mission is to support the morale and well-being of American forces by providing comfort, resources and education to them and their families while they are deployed in harm’s way and also after their return. OSOT provides the opportunity for community members to express their appreciation and offer support for our troops. The organization is committed to showing our men and women in uniform that “We Have NOT Forgotten.” There are several ways to volunteer.
The Ronald McDonald Houses and Family Rooms
Ronald McDonald Houses and Ronald McDonald Family Rooms provide support to families while their children are being treated at nearby hospitals. They offer comfortable, private rooms where families can get a good night’s rest knowing their child is close by. Volunteers make the difference in the lives of the children and families served by cooking, greeting, listening, cleaning, or simply being there and helping out in any way they can.
The Ronald McDonald House Central Texas
The Ronald McDonald House and Ronald McDonald Family Rooms provide a comforting “home-away-from-home” for families to stay so they can fight their child’s illness or injury together. Its "Happy Wheels Carts" stroll the hospital hallways bringing complimentary items to families waiting by their child’s hospital bedside. RMHC CTX also supports families who have lost a child through the Healing Hearts program, which provides burial assistance and bereavement support.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity can put multiple household items to good use. For the homes it builds or renovates, it is always looking for (gently used) furniture, cabinets, plumbing fixtures, windows, hardware (like knobs or hinges), doors, carpet, tools, countertops, working appliances, new paint and landscaping materials. Collecting these items helps to teach kids about the needs of neighbors and the value of a neighborhood.
The Old Town School of Folk Music
This organization takes all types of used and vintage musical instruments. If your donation can't be used, the staff will help figure out where it could be reused. This is a great way to demonstrate the value of music and the arts.
Stuffed Animal Drive for SAFE
SAFE (Stuffed Animals For Emergencies) redistributes new and gently used stuffed animals to police, fire & rescue, ambulance services and other emergency organizations who then give them to children who are in traumatic, emotional and transitional situations. This is an easy way for kids to let some of their "cherished" friends go to help other kids.
SCARCE is an environmental education non-profit dedicated to creating sustainable communities. It accomplishes this through innovative and hands-on education programs for schools and organizations, demonstrating care for people and our natural resources through its Reuse Center, and engaging the broader public through community-wide events and programs. See the list of accepted items for a collection drive including books, holiday lights, keys, glasses, musical instruments, school and office supplies here:
Dress for Success
Donate business clothing to women who are looking to enter the workforce. Find out where to donate and other ways to volunteer here: