Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Helping Out: Kids can start up neighborhood collection for agencies in need

Posted June 25, 2013

As our summer fun guide reflects, there are lots of opportunities to have a lot of fun this summer. 

It's easy for kids especially to forget that there are other kids and families out there in serious need. I always write about volunteer opportunities for kids during the holidays, but I thought I'd share some ideas for the summer months too. 

To find out the need, I contacted the United Way of the Greater Triangle, which offers a great online database of volunteer opportunities. You can search for half day or full day options, categories, age and more. To search the list, go to the United Way's website and click on the blue "Volunteer" button. 

But one great way for kids to help out is by organizing a neighborhood collection for a specific agency. Kids can identify a need or agency, work together to collect items and drop it all off when it's over.

My older daughter's Y Princess tribe collected items for kids about a month ago. We dropped them off at Interact, giving my daughter an opportunity to learn more about the great work they do and about how kids don't always have everything they need. It was a great learning experience for her. 

Jennifer Bosk, vice president for marketing and communications at the United Way, tells me that many agencies are in desperate need of supplies, from diapers to vacuum cleaners to school supplies. A group of neighborhood kids, a youth group or Scout troop could get together to adopt an agency 

Bosk shared some agencies in need and some specific examples of what they'd like. 

PLM Families Together in Raleigh needs items for homeless families. They include diapers and Pull-ups in all sizes; baby wipes; sheets and blankets; air mattresses; bath mats; pillows (new or washed) and pillowcases; kitchen utensils and other common kitchen things like potholders. For details, contact Beth Bordeaux at 919-212-4181 or

Communities in Schools of Durham is collecting items for students and families. They could use non-perishable food for breakfasts and snacks; rewards and incentives for good behavior such as treats or candy and gift cards to restaurants, gas stations and retail stores; self-care items including body wash, toiletries, lotion, body spray, socks, hair ties, brushes and combs; uniforms including khakis, sweatshirts, sweatpants, ties in burgundy and gold, and polo shirts in white, black and forest green; educational supplies including notebooks, stickers, pens, pencils, crayons, rulers and calculators. To help, contact Tracie Miller at 919-403-1936, ext. 24, and

And Hospice of Wake County could use a couple of microwaves; blank scrap books; bean bags for the children's art room; baby monitors; and gift cards to or a craft store. To help, contact 919-828-0890 or email

The United Way has wish lists for more nonprofits in the region. To see the list, click here

I'll have more about other volunteer opportunities for kids later this week.


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