Volunteer opportunities for kids and families in San Antonio

We’re well into 2012 now, but it’s not too late to add some activities to your New Year’s resolutions. Like showing some love for your community.

All ages

Become a part of the tradition of San Antonio’s Basura Bash, the largest single-day waterway clean-up in Texas! The 18th Annual Basura Bash is coming up on Saturday, February 25th – you and your family can help clean the banks of waterways at various parks and creeks around the city. Registration starts at 8 am with free breakfast and snacks and the clean-up runs from 9am –Noon. Volunteer as a team or individually here.

The second Saturday of every month, the Family Service Association hosts Family Volunteer Days. With a different activity on the second Saturday of each month (usually), these family-friendly activities help to teach your children the value of giving back.  Allowing you and your family to do something new and different, these projects help to grow and learn together as a family. All ages are welcome. March’s event includes making ribbons, April includes literacy activities and May is Khaki’s for Kids box assembly.

This volunteer activity appeals to my nerdy side! And it gets you and your kids outdoors (one of my passions!). Become a Watch the Wild(tm) volunteer by observing and reporting the “wild” in your community, from trees and plants to creeks and streams to weather and wildlife activity. All you do is sign up to volunteer, pick a route (could be your backyard, a nature trail nearby, a park, a creekbed), observe it regularly for as little as ten minutes, record and report your observations. Details and register at Nature Abounds.

Elementary School and Up

San Antonio Parks & Recreation also has volunteer opportunities for your family. Geared towards kids ages 5-10 (along with their parents), these Volunteer Family Day events feature a hands-on activity, children’s book reading, and a stewardship activity. Call 210-207-8603 or email meredith.ruiz@sanantonio.gov for more information. The next event coming up is March 31st.

How old were you when you made and poured your first glass of lemonade? Four, five? How about getting involved in San Antonio’s 2012 Lemonade Day? It’s an amazing event, where children are encouraged to set up their own lemonade stands to teach entrepreneurship and community responsibility and a whole host of other good life skills. Started in Houston with 2,700 kids, the movement has grown to 120,000 kids in 31 cities across America and Canada in 2011!

If you feel the call, why not fight hunger with the San Antonio Food Bank? With Volunteer Opportunities for kids ages 8 and up, you could be working in the community garden, helping sort food donations, or distributing food to those in need.  Apply as a family and see how you can help others in your community.

Children ages 8 and older can volunteer at the San Antonio Food Bank in a variety of different jobs, from the Community Garden, planting, caring for and gleaning of fruits, vegetables and other edible plants to the warehouse, sorting and packing donated food. Kids can also help in the kitchen at Kids Cafe. There are even more opportunities for teens at Haven for Hope and on the nutrition team. Application is required, and you can volunteer as a family.

Middle School and Up

Want to get more proactive in building the community around you? Habitat for Humanity has some excellent opportunities coming up for you and your older kids. And yes, construction can be a dangerous business, so there are rules to ensure everyone’s safety. For your kids ages 14 and up, there are a variety of activities to contribute to the work site. Check out the Orientation Dates coming up.

If your teen loves animals, how about signing up to volunteer at the zoo on the ZooTEAM or as part of the summer camp team? There are deadlines to apply, so be sure to check on dates. Details on the San Antonio Zoo website.

Even more resources

There are endless ways to give back and show others you care. Doing Good Together compiles family-focused volunteer and service activities that you can do right in your home, as well as projects to take into your schools and communities. A non-profit that works to inspire and help families volunteer, they offer a little bit of everything.  From kitchen table activities to volunteer vacations, Doing Good Together is an excellent resource for your family.

So get out there and get active! Inspire your kids to get involved in the community – after all, we are the people that make the community what it is. By giving to the city, you can see what the city has to give!

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  1. what can a 15 year old volunteer in

    • Esmeralda – a great place for that age to volunteer is the local Food Bank, Animal Defense League, the City of San Antonio’s Animal Care facility, at the San Antonio Zoo, American Red Cross…in fact, almost all the nonprofits I looked up take volunteers at 15. Some of them do require a parent to stay while volunteering, however. So check with which ever organization you decide to go to. Is there something your child is passionate about? I bet there’s a volunteer organization that would match up.

  2. I would love to hear about any opportunities for a mom to bring a baby with her. I have a 6 month old and would LOVE to be able to volunteer with him because I am a stay at home mom. I can do anything from record keeping to answering phones to counseling women.

    If anyone has any ideas please email me! Nilius@gmail.com

    • I’ll check around and see if I can find anything for you :-)

    • I saw your post and I am in the same situation. I am wondering if you found any volunteer opportunities where you can take your baby. I have a 16 month old. I am a former elementary school teacher and school librarian. Reading aloud to kids and parents or something along those lines would be fantastic! Thank you for any advice!

  3. Interested in volunteering, but looking for an opportunity that would allow me to bring my 6 year old daughter. Any suggestions?

  4. Hi. I have a teen that is 12 going on 13 next month. She wants to volunteer but also needs the volunteer work for school. Is there an organization that will allow her to volunteer without a parent.?

    • Great question! Has she looked at opportunities at her elementary school? Maybe she could tutor someone? She could set up a lemonade stand and give the proceeds to charity. Can she help a senior neighbor with a project? Have you looked at opportunities through a nearby faith organization?

  5. I am looking for volunteer work for kids age range from 4-15. I am a coach of a cheerleading squad and we have both cheer and football that would like to give back to the community. what would be good for children of that age?

    • hi there! i’m a cheer coach too, looking for something for the squad to do as well as my classroom btw ages of thru 9-15. did u ever find anything?

      • There are lots of opportunities. They can participate with you in delivering meals to the elderly through Meals on Wheels. The San Antonio Food Bank, Animal Shelter, Habitat for Humanity, Humane Society, San Antonio Botanical Garden, Family Service Association and Guide Dogs of Texas all take young volunteers. San Antonio Parks & Rec has family volunteer days and they can help clean up a park. Keep in mind that most require an adult to stay with the child.

  6. We are very interested in joining a volunteer group that will allow our 15 year old boy to work with us or with his group age.



  1. Special volunteer opportunities for teens in San Antonio | San Antonio Busy Kids - [...] you want to explore other volunteer options for your family, check out our previous post on volunteering, or visit …

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