Young Giving

Age-appropriate volunteering is the perfect way for the young to explore their talents and feel — perhaps for the first time — that they are a part of something larger than themselves.
Text by Sandy Lindsey | April 20, 2018 | Lifestyle

Real Opportunities
The local heroes at Camillus House serve the homeless community by offering a wide range of ongoing and project-related assignments for volunteers — whether they are interested in helping out every week or for just a special project. Children are always invited to participate in the Guardian Angels Program with parental supervision by making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and creating homemade greeting cards for Camillus House beneficiaries. Volunteers 14 years old and older may work with an adult to help distribute food;

Animal Therapy
Horse & Petting Pal Interaction, Inc., a.k.a. HAPPI Farm seeks to better the lives of others through interaction with a wide variety of animals. They reach out to many diverse groups of people including disadvantaged children, at-risk youths, seniors and military veterans, among many others. Volunteers generally assist instructors with feeding, saddling and walking horses, etc. It’s required that volunteers are able to lift 30 pounds and they must be informed of any medical conditions. Volunteers under 13 years old require adult supervision;

Helping Pets
Giving sick, injured, homeless, surrendered and lost animals a safe environment in their shelter, Paws For You Rescue offers much-needed medical care, lots of love and hope of a new home. Youth volunteers are an integral part of their weekend adoption events and special activations. They also helping show, exercise and socialize dogs as well as help create a positive public impression of the organization. Must be 14 and attend an orientation with at least one parent. To quality for service hours, one must commit to a minimum of 40 hours;

Eco Volunteering
Serving to protect and fund sea-animal, ocean and water conservation projects, The Dolphin Foundation heavily tackles issues dealing with our ecosystem under the environmental umbrella. This includes recycling and pollution. They especially need volunteers to help protect life by clearing debris in Miami Beach canals. There is no minimum age requirement, so kids of all ages may participate with parental supervision. There is a 3-hour time commitment, and high school students are eligible for a college credit for participating;