Volunteering as a family is a fun way to spend quality time together and to help others at the same time! Whether you want to teach your children about kindness and compassion, learn a new skill, or simply spend time reconnecting, volunteering with your children offers benefits to your own family, while helping out the community.
Austin is filled with amazing organizations doing great work for those in need, many of which offer opportunities for families to work together. Check out our list and find one that’s right for your family.
Family-Friendly Volunteer Opportunities in Austin
- Little Helping Hands – This local non-profit organizes volunteer opportunities just for families. Their website features a monthly calendar listing a number of hands-on opportunities for children as young as 3 years of age. Opportunities fill up quickly, so make sure to join their mailing list to get emails when new opportunities are posted each month. Kids receive a tracking card and earn Amy’s ice cream as an incentive.
- The City of Austin – Want to help make Austin a better place to live? The city has a number of volunteer opportunities listed with by category including: leadership, service, environmental, and public safety. Many of the opportunities are suitable for families.
- GivePulse – The official volunteer and service portal for the City of Austin, Texas. Find all kinds of volunteer opportunities from planting trees at local parks to walking dogs at the animal shelter. There are unique activities throughout the year for individuals, families and groups.
- Society of St. Vincent de Paul – The Society of St. Vincent de Paul offers basic needs assistance. High school and adult volunteers are needed in the thrift store and to serve as greeters. Opportunities are also available to help with client intake, the Tuesday food pantry, the Saturday food pantry, and the computer lab.
- Mobile Loaves and Fishes – 365 days a year, Mobile Loaves & Fishes’ volunteers serve food, clothing, hygiene items, and other life-sustaining necessities where needed most. Families can participate in a number of activities including: preparing meals, going on deliveries, donating socks, hosting food drives, and washing trucks. Children must be accompanied by an adult; families and groups are welcome to volunteer together. Check out the list of local programs.
- Meals on Wheels – Help deliver hot, delicious, lunchtime meals to seniors and other homebound clients throughout the greater Austin area. Children are welcome to participate as long as they are accompanied by an adult.
- Central Texas Food Bank – Children ages 8 and up are welcome to volunteer with a parent or guardian at the Central Texas Food Bank. Volunteers can use the online registration form to schedule shifts up to 6 months in advance for groups of 5 or fewer. Volunteer tasks include: working in the warehouse to inspect and sort food, helping with the mobile food pantry, or administrative tasks. There are volunteer mornings and afternoons available for youth groups and families, as well as a special evening on the first Tuesday of the month.
- Austin Creative Reuse – Austin Creative Reuse is a non-profit organization that collects, sells, and distributes donated reusable materials. Volunteer opportunities include: making business cards, assembling bow-making kits (cut strips of magazines and put in bag), creating instruction sheets for craft kits (for example, the bow-making kit), putting together kits for educators, and more. Sign up for their volunteer newsletter for updates on opportunities.
- Austin Public Library – Children ages 13 and up are welcome to apply the Austin Public Library Fall and Spring Youth Volunteer Program. Most youth volunteers traditionally assist the Youth Services librarians with programs and/or program preparation. Duties may include lesson planning, preparing craft and program material, program set-up and take down, supervising and assisting participants during programs, re-shelving books, and light clean up. Prospective volunteers must fill out a youth volunteer application and return it before the end of November in order to be eligible to volunteer in the spring.
- The Contemporary Austin – Volunteers ages 13 and up are actively recruited for all Art School classes with particular emphasis on children’s classes. Volunteers will help in the classroom by assisting with instruction, helping students, as well as set-up and clean-up.
- Austin Parks Foundation – The Austin Parks Foundation offers a number of fun events throughout the year. From movie nights to park clean up days, there are ample opportunities to help the parks and have a great time. Check the upcoming events calendar for RVSP required events. Follow the links to register as a volunteer and help keep the Austin parks beautiful and a better place for everyone.
- Urban Roots – Looking to get outside and learn about sustainable urban farming? Urban Roots needs volunteers ages 10 and up. Children ages 10 – 13 are welcome to volunteer with an adult present, older children can volunteer alone with a signed parental consent form. Volunteers will be working outside (rain our shine!) and need to dress for the weather.
- Austin Humane Society – Have an older child that loves animals? The Austin Humane Society is in need of volunteers to help with animal care, dog walking, fundraising and more. Volunteers are required to make a three-month commitment of at least two hours per week. All volunteers must be at least 14 years of age. 14 and 15 year olds must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times when volunteering. 16 and 17 year olds may volunteer independently with parental consent.
- The Austin Animal Center – Older children are also welcome at the Austin Animal Center. Some of the volunteer opportunities include: assisting with animal care, photography, customer service, dog walking, and more. Volunteers must be at least 13 years of age and accompanied by an adult, or 15 years of age to volunteer alone. Volunteers must contribute at least six hours monthly.
- Austin Pets Alive – Children 12 and up are invited to volunteer with Austin Pets Alive. Volunteers aged 12 – 15 must have a guardian present, those aged 16-17 can volunteer alone with a parental waiver. Volunteers must commit to a minimum of 6 hours monthly and must attend an orientation. The orientation fee is $30.
This list is just a tiny sampling of the groups available. Austin is filled with organizations serving the community. No matter what your family’s interests are, there is sure to be an organization that could use a hand. Sign your family up to help out today and have fun doing good together.