how to give back

Summer may be all about fun, but with a little extra time on your hands, it's also the perfect opportunity to give back to your community with your tween. The suggestion to volunteer may elicit groans and sighs, but encouraging participation can promote critical thinking skills, empathy, social awareness and self-confidence in your tween. Finding fun ways to get involved is possible by browsing VolunteerMatch.org or visiting local non-profits to learn about opportunities for youth. Many will require parental participation as well, so make it a family affair and show your tween that giving to those in need is a lifetime endeavor! To learn more about how volunteering positively impacts young people, visit Psychology Today.

Here are a few of our favorite spots to get you started. Enlisting your tween's help in selecting a location and activity will help ensure that the experience is rewarding for the whole family!

  • Volunteers 8 years and older are welcome at the Capital Area Food Bank
  • Austin Habitat for Humanity often needs youth to provide lunches to volunteer sites
  • Planning a beach trip this fall? September 22 is Texas Adopt-a-Beach Day and there are many ways you can help!
  • Caritas encourages families to host their own food drive to help stock their pantries
  • At the Ronald McDonald House, warm meals are always welcome
  • Befriend a neighbor in need and deliver meals, spruce up the front yard, walk the dog or offer to pitch in around the house
  • Host a lemonade stand or garage sale and donate the proceeds to your tween's favorite non-profit
  • Clean out the closets and take gently used clothes to the Austin Children's Shelter