Volunteering teaches children the value of self-efficacy, helps foster empathy, and aides them in developing new skills and exploring new interests. Service activities also encourage civic responsibility and teach the importance of investing in our community and the people who live in it. Research has shown that volunteering even has physical and mental rewards. Those who consistently act altruistically have been found to have reduced stress levels, more feelings of empowerment, and even strengthened immune systems.
There are a variety of organizations that serve our Cincinnati community and welcome children as volunteers. Here are a few that can use your family’s help to make a difference!
Matthew 25 Ministries
11060 Kenwood Rd., Blue Ash, Ohio 45242 (513) 793-6256
Matthew 25 is an international humanitarian aid and disaster relief organization. Volunteers will have the opportunity to sort and package donated goods. Kids 16 and under are welcome as long as they have an adult to child ratio match.
Ronald McDonald House Charities
350 Erkenbrecher Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45229 (513) 636-7642
The Ronald McDonald House houses families of children receiving life-saving medical care in Cincinnati. Families can help prepare and serve a meal to house guests or help with day to day operations.
332 Dayton St., Hamilton, OH 45011 (513) 7733-4018
Cincinnati Nature Center
4949 Tealtown Rd, Milford, OH 45150 (513) 831-1711
Teens age 13-17 can participate in activities such as planting a native garden or helping with a river clean up, all while learning about conservation.
3400 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45220 (513) 281-4700
Opportunities for families to participate in hands-on wildlife conservation efforts spearheaded by the zoo and their community partners. ZooTeens program also available.
The American Red Cross
2111 Dana Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45207 (513) 579-3000
Help take action to be prepared for a disaster or raise funds to the support the Red Cross mission. Youth can start a Red Cross Club or join an existing organization. Per the website, they equip volunteers with materials, training, and support. Youth will need to fill out an application and then will be paired will local volunteer opportunities.
Hands Against Hunger
A Child’s Hope International, 2430 E. Kemper Rd., Cincinnati OH 45241 (513) 771-2244
This organization packages food, water and supplies for needy children around the globe. Saturday “packing sessions” are a great way to get the whole family involved in this worthwhile service organization.
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
2111 Dana Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45207 (513) 579-3000
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital is always looking for teen volunteers (9th grade and above). Medical requirements will need to be verified prior to volunteering.
Your Local Assisted Living Facility
Volunteer your time reading to seniors, playing board games, create crafts, painting nails, etc. When my daughter was younger, she loved to go to our local senior center and performing magic tricks and playing musical instruments for the residents.
Your Local Animal Shelter
Bake homemade dog treats to donate to the shelter, make and donate dog or cat toys, or volunteer to walk dogs alongside a responsible adult.
It’s a good idea to contact the organizations before planning to volunteer to verify age requirements, complete paperwork, and get days/times approved.
No matter which organization you choose, we know it will be a rewarding experience.
What are your favorite places in Cincinnati to volunteer with kids?