When students volunteer, they not only help their communities, they develop a richer perspective of the world they live in and connect what they’re learning in school to the real world. They become better problem solvers, gain a greater sense of responsibility and learn that their actions can make a difference.
Just a few hours spent volunteering can make a major impact. Not just on the community, but also on the child who gives their time to help others. That’s why we believe in offering opportunities for community service at Whitby starting at age 10.
If you’re looking for ideas for your kids to get involved in community service, here’s a list of some of our favorite organizations that offer volunteer opportunities in and around Greenwich.
14 Opportunities for Community Service for Teens and Preteens:
A dog and cat sanctuary located just off the Merritt Parkway, Adopt-A-Dog is perfect for students who love animals. Volunteers start off helping with the dogs and cats and have opportunities to help with marketing, community education, fundraising and event planning.
Get involved: http://adopt-a-dog.org
2. American Red Cross - Greenwich
The largest humanitarian organization in the world, the American Red Cross offers many opportunities for kids to help others. Students 17 years old and younger can apply to join a Red Cross Club, where they can volunteer at blood drives, fundraising campaigns and emergency preparedness fairs. As students gain experience, they’re encouraged to take on leadership positions at their Red Cross Club and asked to organize local events.
Get involved: http://www.redcross.org/ct/greenwich
3. Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich
The BGCG encourages 10 - 13 year olds to join their Torch Club, a leadership and service group that gives kids an opportunity to help younger children. In the past couple years, Torch Club members have run a Haunted House fundraiser, hosted movie nights at the BGCG, sold and delivered flowers on Valentine’s Day, and written letters for the troops.
Get involved: http://bgcg.org/
4. Backyard Sports Cares
Backyard Sports Cares was founded to help kids with limited access to youth sports programs develop a lifelong love of sports. Students can volunteer as peer mentors to help teach skills to younger children and children with special needs. Backyard Sports Cares is always looking for youth volunteers who want to teach others soccer, baseball, basketball, tennis, lacrosse, flag football, fitness and martial arts.
Get involved: http://byardsportscares.org/
5. Bruce Museum
Frequently named the “Best Museum” in the Greenwich area, the Bruce Museum is a world-class institution that highlights art, science and natural history. Youth volunteers can get involved as museum ambassadors, arts and crafts assistants, or office assistants. They can also serve on the Youth Committee and assist with digital media by helping film and edit events and exhibition projects.
Get Involved: https://brucemuseum.org/
Founded in 1972, Domus offers support for at-risk youth in the form of educational, residential and community programs, as well as a Work and Learn training program that assists with the transition from high school to paid employment or college. Domus offers students a variety of volunteer opportunities, such as helping with the meal program, community beautification, or even making handmade cards to celebrate kids' success in the program.
Get Involved: http://domuskids.org/
7. Family Centers
Serving 23,500 families in lower Fairfield County, Family Centers focuses on providing services such as behavioral health counseling, senior outreach, vocational education and English literacy programs. Students can volunteer to take part in the Family Centers’ Friendly Caller or Friendly Visitor program, which provide socialization for senior citizens who are isolated or homebound.
Get Involved: http://www.familycenters.org/
8. Greenwich Green and Clean
kids can make a difference in the environment with Greenwich Green and Clean, an organization that sponsors projects for community beautification and recycling programs. kids between the ages of 10 and 14 can take part in the town clean-up days, plant shrubs and flowers, hang baskets in Central Greenwich, and remove invasive vines and graffiti.
Get Involved: http://www.greenwichgreenandclean.org/
9. Head Start
A federally-funded program, Head Start focuses on helping prepare disadvantaged children, ages three through five, for school. Many childcare facilities with Head Start programs offer kids opportunities to volunteer by reading and singing to younger children, helping with seasonal planting and leading arts and crafts.
Get Involved: http://www.headstartprogram.us/city/ny-port_chester
One of the largest organizations offering programs for the homeless, Inspirica provides shelters and transitional housing and helps people in need obtain permanent housing. Students can volunteer to babysit, help with homework, and engage with students in fun activities and Game Nights.
Get Involved: Inspirica http://inspiricact.org/
11. Nathaniel Witherell
A nursing facility and short-term rehabilitation center, Nathaniel Witherell is ranked as one of the best in Connecticut by US News and World Report. kids can get involved by visiting residents to talk or read a book, bringing their pet, playing a musical instrument or providing pet care.
Get Involved: http://www.thenathanielwitherell.org/
12. Neighbors Link
Approximately 37 percent of Stamford’s residents are immigrants and Neighbors Link provides assistance to help them integrate into the community. kids between the ages of 10 and 14 can volunteer to assist teachers in Neighbors Link’s after-school program. Other opportunities are available to volunteer for special events such as holiday festivals and clothing and food drives.
Get Involved: http://neighborslink.org/
13. New Covenant Center
kids looking to help community members in need can volunteer at the New Covenant Center in Stamford, Connecticut. The New Covenant Center provides a food pantry, hot meals, medical services, life coaching and personal hygiene assistance. Volunteers can help serve lunch or dinner, work in the food pantry, or organize a food drive. Children as young as seven may work alongside an adult. Families are welcome!
Get Involved: http://www.newcovenantcenter.org/
14. Special Olympics
Special Olympics Connecticut provides training and competitive events for athletes with mental disabilities. In 2015, more than 2,800 volunteers supported the Summer Games. kids can help train athletes and organize fundraising events. They can also volunteer to play alongside the athletes.
Get Involved: http://www.soct.org/
At Whitby, we believe that taking the time to help others is an important part of becoming a global citizen. There’s no better way for students to develop empathy and humility, practice their leadership skills and learn that it’s possible for them to make a difference. That’s why we require all our students in our Upper School to spend time serving the local community.