Portland Volunteering Ideas for Young Children (w/Parents) - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 6 Old 02-06-2011, 12:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello:

 

I have a five-year-old son and live in Portland.  I have been wanting to do some volunteer work as a family (my son and I), but I am having trouble finding opportunities for a child that age. 

 

I am hoping to find something that he might enjoy while also feeling like he is really helping others.  I looked into the Humane Society, but he is too young for that.  I know some people take kids to help at soup kitchens, but I feel he's too young to be around people with serious drug, alcohol, or mental health issues.  It's too unpredictable of an environment for me to take a young child into, in my opinion.

 

Does anyone have any suggestions?

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#2 of 6 Old 02-07-2011, 04:06 AM
 
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This page is a great resource for finding community organizations that need volunteers.  These organizations would probably be lower liability activities than the two you mentioned.  Not that they're not great activities, but I can't see taking my 5 year old to a soup kitchen either...

 

http://www.pcc.edu/servlearnopps/

 

I know that Habitat for Humanity of NE Portland is on there, which might be a great thing for your son.  Building a home for someone is a powerful thing, and what little kid doesn't love to play with tools!?

 

Anyhow, that would be a great start for getting ideas and contact info for a bunch of different things in the community.  Also, with a lot of those organizations, if you don't hear back, CALL BACK!  Most are pretty understaffed and overworked, and a lot of times returned phone calls get lost when there is so much to do.


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#3 of 6 Old 02-08-2011, 04:31 PM
 
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I think the Oregon food bank lets kids sort cans with a grownup. Wouldn't hurt to call.

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#4 of 6 Old 02-08-2011, 08:26 PM
 
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The Hands on Portland website has tons of volunteer opportunities in Portland listed on the calendar and you can search for projects where kids can volunteer: http://www.handsonportland.org

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#5 of 6 Old 03-02-2011, 01:00 PM
 
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You can volunteer for Habitat for Humanity at age 5... it's more fundraising and support (like providing snacks) than actual construction until age 16.

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#6 of 6 Old 03-02-2011, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the great suggestions!

 

The Hands on Portland site is awesome as you can specifically search for volunteer projects that allow (or even are tailored to) children!  GREAT.  Exactly what I needed!
 

Now I only need to find the time!  winky.gif

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