If your kid or teen is looking for things to do this summer and has an interest in giving back, here are seven volunteer opportunities perfect for youth in Metro Detroit.
By Arianna Smith
21800 Greenfield Rd, Oak Park
Forgotten Harvest believes that “good food shouldn’t be wasted while good people go hungry.” The nonprofit aims to eliminate waste and hunger by having hundreds of surplus-conscious volunteers service the Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. They rescue millions of pounds of food a year to deliver to emergency food providers, who then help struggling families across the region. Forgotten Harvest is in need of volunteers in all areas, from warehouse workers and farm teams, to fundraisers and survey takers. Start helping out by making a volunteer profile here.
14027 W. Outer Drive, Detroit
Volunteer weekends are back at D-Town Farm, an agricultural organization located in Detroit that strives for healthy people and a healthy planet, through healthy food. They cultivate and support urban farming initiatives and partner with organizations like the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network to increase awareness about food security and put the power of planting in the spotlight. Links to sign up to volunteer on specific days and times can be found at dtownfarm.com.
Michigan Humane Society
3600 Auburn Road, Rochester Hills
If you’re an animal lover and a compassionate person, then volunteering with the Michigan Humane Society is for you. They are a national nonprofit, no-kill, foster-based canine rescue that accepts every kind of dog breed from all situations, then commits to helping them heal and find their forever homes with caring owners. You can volunteer either as part of the rescue team or foster a recovering dog at michiganhumane.org.
Cass Community Social Services
3901 Cass Ave., Detroit
Cass Community Social Services is truly a jack of all trades when it comes to helping the community. The agency deploys volunteers to assist Metro Detroit in areas and services, ranging from providing housing, food, health care and job education, to residents in need. They have opportunities for people of all skill levels to volunteer in a variety of ways, whether that be building Tiny Homes or building solar panels to help power Puerto Rico. The process to become a volunteer can be started at casscommunity.org.
Boys and Girls Club of America
26777 Halsted Road, suite 100, Farmington Hills
Nearly every Michigan region has a branch of the Boys and Girls Club, for good reason. The organization has been providing positive mentorship and a sense of family to children since 1860. They work toward making sure every child has a safe place to learn and grow, fostered by an ongoing relationship with caring, adult professionals. Volunteers go through a stringent application process and once cleared can become activity leaders, tutors and confidants for kids. Younger volunteers can become junior staff members as well! Those interested in volunteering can start the process at boysandgirlsclubs.us/volunteer/.
Arts and Scraps
16135 Harper Ave., Detroit
At Arts and Scraps, everything has value, especially artistic value. The Detroit-based nonprofit annually recycles over 28 tons of discarded and reusable material and repurposes that material into arts and crafts projects as an effort to build teamwork skills and creativity in children. Arts and Scraps uses hands-on learning to engage kids, then sells their unique products to fund and spread their mission. Volunteers are always needed and can begin the signup process at artsandscraps.org/.
180 N. Saginaw St., Pontiac
Humble Design needs volunteers to help with their initiative of providing furnishings and home décor, both practical and aesthetic, to families transitioning out of homeless shelters and into houses of their own. All goods are collected through donations, repaired and refurbished, then used to transform empty houses into clean, dignified, cozy spaces. Think “Extreme Makeover,” but completely nonprofit. Sign up to be a volunteer at humbledesign.org.