Getting Kids into the Volunteer Spirit!
Cultivating altruism in our children can start at any age, and with so many deserving nonprofits serving the Wasatch Back and Salt Lake Valley, opportunities suitable for kids of all ages abound. And while many in-person volunteer opportunities have a minimum age requirement of 14-to-16 years old, there are other ways for kids of all ages to give back, including those listed below!
Operation Hope Holiday Cheer for Local Families
The Christian Center of Park City (CCPC) helps to provide a happy holiday each year for families in Summit and Wasatch counties through their Operation Hope event. In Summit County, Operation Hope takes the form of a toy store for families to “shop” for gifts for their kids, while in Summit County, $75 gift cards are given to parents to use for gifts. Families in need register in advance, and 2,000 children in Wasatch and Summit counties were served through the program last year. For the Park City toy store, donations needed include new toys, books and winter clothing, which kids can help gather items by visiting their neighbors or putting up flyers in centralized neighborhood locations inviting friends, fellow residents and family members to drop off items or gift cards at your house or business. These items can then be dropped off at CCPCs offices in Park City or at Center Stage in Heber City during the week up until December 8th to give them plenty of time to distribute to the families. For more information, click here.
Kids can also gather the makings of Birthday Boxes for kids in-need throughout the year, which include a boxed cake mix, frosting, small container of sprinkles, cupcake liners/papers, party paper plates, balloons and party favors. The boxes can be dropped off at either CCPC in Park City or Center Stage in Heber City.
Creating Food/Snack Bags for Fellow Students
For many students, breakfast and lunch at school are the only nutritious meals they receive each day. That’s why the Wasatch Community Foundation in Heber City is creating 1,600 food bags to provide to 800 children in Wasatch County to assist with food scarcity over the Christmas Break. Volunteers of all ages can help assemble the bags on Dec. 10 and 11 by signing up here.
Intermountain Park City and Heber Valley Hospital Volunteers
Kids ages 14 and older can volunteer at the Park City or Heber City hospital locations, with duties including delivering flowers and letters to patients, greeting and directing patients and visitors, and serving as liaison in the Emergency Room and Same Day Surgery waiting rooms. Volunteers much commit to working two hours per week for a minimum of six months, ad must comply with health requirements for vaccinations and immunizations. Click on the links above for each location to learn more.
Welcome Kits for Refugees
Utah has long been a safe haven for refugees from other countries, with an estimated 60,000 displaced individuals currently residing here, including nearly 800 recently welcomed from Afghanistan who were granted “humanitarian parole” due to threats to their safety. Kids can collect items and package Baby Kits for Refugees through Lifting Hands International, with each essentials kit comprised of baby wipes, a baby bottle, baby spoons and a thermometer (a baby toy or blanket is also welcomed). To donate to the Heber City location, click here, or call Jamie at 480-516-3237. Other types of kits needed include cooking/utensil kits, cleaning kits, winter kids and women’s hygiene kits.
Helping the Homeless
In the Salt Lake Valley, the Road Home, which provides emergency shelter and other services, has in-person volunteer opportunities for kids ages 12 and older, including helping to serve meals, and at the warehouse sorting donations and organizing clothing. For more information and to sign up to volunteer, click here.
Primary Children’s Volunteers
Volunteers ages 16 and older can help at Primary Children’s Hospital in areas like the Gift Shop, Information Desk, Kids Crew and Children’s Outpatient Rehabilitation Services. Volunteers must commit to one 3-hour shift per week, pass a background check and be current on immunizations (among other requirements), and can learn more by clicking here, or by calling Volunteer Services at 801-662-6560.
The community dedication to volunteerism and charity is one of the many reasons so many people Choose Park City. Connect with Christine Grenney at 435-640-4238, or visiting her website by clicking here to learn about the many ways locals and visitors engage in charitable endeavors.