Welcome, Volunteer.

We´re so glad you´re here. Thank you for considering making a life-giving and life-changing investment in kids! Whether you have just one day every few months or a few hours every week, your talents and life experiences can help produce a kid that is whole and healthy.

We know that some of you will want to work directly with a child or teen, and others of you sense your best contribution will be made by filling the organizational needs of one of Houston's stellar service providers. The members of the For Houston's Kids network have listed both types of volunteer opportunities on the pages that follow. The following arenas in which volunteers are needed are based on the Search Institute's 40 Developmental Assets. The Assets are widely embraced as descriptions of the necessary building blocks of healthy development for every kid. (See The 40 Developmental Assets here.) Below are descriptions of these Assets which kids need access to if they are to become whole and healthy. Each category description suggests one or more kinds of things service providers focus on and which volunteers can do to help ensure that kids experience the benefits of that asset. Please click on each category to learn more, and then explore the existing opportunities to serve in providing those kinds of assets you are most qualified to give or are most passionate about seeing kids experience.

HELPING HOUSTON´S KIDS

Adventure & Discovery

Do you enjoy exploring the great outdoors, or pondering the fascinating and intricate relationships of the various parts of nature? Then you know that not all learning takes place in the classroom. You can help introduce kids to these same sources of delight and intrigue. Volunteer at the Houston Zoo. Become a docent at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Or take a group of children on a tour of the Arboretum or to see the bats along Buffalo Bayou.

Volunteer Opportunities

Positive Values/Community Support

Kids enjoy helping others … and they need opportunities to develop the lifelong habit of serving in ways that benefit others. Kids need to learn the universally affirmed values that will help them … and help them help others … in the various challenges of life. Maybe you could organize a service group to work with you on a Habitat for Humanity home or sort garments at a clothing drive. Take a child to work with you at an animal rescue shelter. Bring a young friend to a kid-friendly service project event sponsored by your community of faith. Or organize a gathering of young people to hear autobiographical stories told well by someone who has overcome adversities with integrity, honesty and perseverance.

Volunteer Opportunities

Creativity & Self Expression

Kids are naturally expressive. Not all kids, though, have or have had opportunities to experience a variety of the creative arts. Help a child attend a concert, the ballet or a performance at Miller Outdoor Theatre. Teach a class in photography, or Photoshop, stagecraft or Garage Band. Help a middle-schooler learn to craft and tell their own story in words and pictures.

Volunteer Opportunities

Educational Assistance

A strong academic foundation is one of the highest indicators of future success. And as the saying goes, "Readers become leaders." Even good students find some subjects particularly challenging, though. Tutors are great gifts to frustrated kids who may feel discouraged, or defeated. Volunteer to read at a neighborhood elementary school. Organize a Saturday morning book club for neighborhood children. Or dust up on your algebra, your chemistry or physics, and become a homework helper or tutor at a local school or community center.

Volunteer Opportunities

Family Support & Life Skills

The African proverb states that "it takes a village to raise a child." It also takes a village to help a family system raise a child. Teach a class on parenting or financial management. Organize a Mother's Day Out at your community of faith or a family picnic at your local school. Volunteer to provide care and recreational activities for kids at a women's shelter so their mothers can learn new skills or prep for a job interview. Or become part of the team at a lower income apartment unit that provides life-skill enrichment or transportation to needed services to kids and their families.

Volunteer Opportunities

Health & Nutrition

Inadequate or imbalanced nutrition impacts a child's mind as well as their body. Access to mental and physical/medical health services is crucial for social and emotional and academic well-being. Organize an outing to the Health Museum. Teach a cooking class or an experiential nutrition class for kids. Volunteer to help build and maintain a school garden. Take a group to an urban farm so children can see where their food comes from. Or assist one of the local hospitals or clinics in welcoming and caring for kids.

Volunteer Opportunities

Mentors

Every kid needs the security and safety that comes from the consistent presence of an adult who loves and believes in them. Mentors are caring adults who regularly and repeatedly invest their time and interest in a kid over a sustained period of time. Unlike tutors, the primary focus of a mentor is not academic performance, but genuine interest in communicating to the whole, complex, beautiful, still-developing person that they matter … and they can succeed! Organize an internship program at your place of business. Meet weekly with a student at a school near your home or workplace.

Volunteer Opportunities

Physical & Sports Activities

Many kids lack access to activities that cultivate discipline, determination, perseverance and a sense of accomplishment … and still are fun! Provide transportation for children to get to dance lessons or little league practices. Take a kid to the skate park or to the local swimming pool. Teach a class in yoga, tennis, golf, or the martial arts. Coach a team at an underserved school or in an underserved neighborhood.

Volunteer Opportunities

 

Helping those Working for Kids

Organizational Needs

Perhaps you don't feel comfortable working directly with kids, but have some talents that would help the organizations that help them. Or you want to do both – work with kids and help the organizations that serve them. Maybe you have professional or personal talents and experience in bookkeeping, data entry, project management, graphic arts or web design. We promise: there are service providers who need what you have to offer, and strengthening organizations means better use of their time and resources in helping kids!

Volunteer Opportunities