Do you want to make a difference in your community? Sometimes it can seem hard to make big changes when you’re just a little kid … but even small acts of kindness can make a huge impact in the lives of others. There are a ton of ways that you can volunteer as a kid in the Hancock County community, no matter how old you are or what you enjoy doing!
Host your own fundraiser with a lemonade stand
Raising money as a kid can sometimes seem intimidating, but it can be as easy as setting up a lemonade stand or bake sale! People in your neighborhood would probably love to buy a cold cup of lemonade on a hot summer’s day, and even better if they know that the money you earn is going to a good cause. Layla and Ian DeWitt, the kids of one of our community’s Healthy365 Support Navigators, recently held a lemonade stand in Greenfield to support Hancock Health Foundation’s Mental Health Campaign, raising $120 for mental health services. Pick a local cause to raise money for with your next lemonade stand, and you and your parents can even bring the money directly to the organization, just like Layla and Ian got to do!
Hancock Regional Hospital: Teen volunteers & knitting donations
If you would like to start volunteering with Hancock Health, you only have to be 15 years old to add a personal touch to someone’s next stay in the hospital. If you are younger than 15, there are still a few ways you can volunteer. If you know how to knit (or would like to learn), the hospital accepts donations of crochet and/or knit baby hats and blankets for newborns, as well as adult hats and lap blankets for people going through cancer treatments. Your parent or guardian call 317-468-4252 to help you get started as a volunteer.
Hancock Co Public Library: Teen volunteers & book donations
Students aged 16-17 can volunteer to provide services like book sorting at the Hancock County Public Library, but younger book lovers can get in on the action too! If you have gently used kids’ books that you no longer read, you can donate them to the library for their “Friends of the Library” book sale! The big sale takes place every few months, plus there are some items always for sale right inside the main entrance.
When you donate your gently used books to the “Friends of the Library” sale, the money goes toward special events and concerts for families and kids like you. Be sure to ask your parents to help you decide which books to donate, and to look up the donation day, usually on the third Monday of each month.
Hancock Co Humane Society: Teen & family volunteers
Do you love spending time with animals? Our local Hancock County Humane Society is run entirely by volunteers, and you can start serving as early as 13 years old with your parent’s permission. Teen volunteers usually work as cat care cleaners on Tuesday evenings or Saturdays, and adults can bring in younger kids to work together in a small family group too! Ask your parent to submit an online application or contact the Humane Society at 317-462-5404 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
United Way: Youth volunteers & family events
The United Way is an international organization that supports communities with programming and events that are operated primarily by volunteers taking place all the time. The Youth Volunteers program is specifically designed to provide service opportunities for students in middle school through college, or you and your family can search for volunteer opportunities in the Central Indiana area using their online lookup tool. For example, the Changing Footprints organization operates through United Way to invite volunteers aged 5-100 to sort shoes for those in need every Thursday!
The Hope House: Youth board & thrift store donations
Also connected to the United Way is the Hancock Hope House. This is a homeless shelter where adults and families can stay in times of need. The Hope House also hosts a thrift store consisting entirely of donations from the community with the proceeds of these resold items going to support the homeless shelter. Young kids can work with their parents to collect gently used clothes, shoes, household goods and even toys to donate to the thrift store. The Hope House Youth Board is another way for older students to get involved, with projects such as fundraisers and community-based events.
Now that you’ve got some ideas for volunteering, how do you plan to make a difference in your community?