Helping Community Kids: Here's How

You don't have to be a parent to make a true difference in the lives of your community's children. Consider these kid-helping options as you look for possible ways to help area kids.

Contacting Children's Charities

Your first calls are likely to be to various kids' charities in your own area. Volunteer opportunities are often available whether you can only pop in a few times a month or want to be an ongoing support person. Before calling around, know how much time you can devote to any activities and be able to list any special skill sets which could be needed. For example, if you tinker with cars or trucks, that could be helpful to a charity that uses a van to pick up kids for different programs. If you're a great soccer player, you may be able to teach kids.

Being a Court Advocate

A public affairs charity for kids, the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association has chapters throughout the country. They train volunteers to be special court advocates for children who appear in family court; sometimes the children are neglected or abused. Volunteers receive hours of training that enables them to communicate with and act on behalf of the kids. Court advocates are typically assigned a child when they first appear in court and remain involved until the case is closed.

If you're interested in court advocacy, ensure that you can pass background checks, which you'll have to do as part of the application process. You'll also need enough hours for training and an ability to see each of your cases through until the end.

Trying Scouts

Scouting clubs can be a great way to interact with community kids. Even if you don't want to lead a troop or group personally, those groups can also use adults who can help them earn specific badges or complete certain projects. Here your skills can help again; your woodworking or fire-making skills can help kids when they're working on those things or related issues.

Running Afterschool Programs

If you have a passion for theater, music, sports, or arts and crafts, you may be able to link up with local schools to run an afterschool program. You can try a program for a few months or a school quarter to gauge its popularity before continuing on.

With these ideas, helping your community's children is possible. Work with groups, child public affair charities, and schools to find the place where you can do the most assistance.