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Local Volunteering

Image+courtesy+of+Friend+of+Grand+Rapids.
Image courtesy of Friend of Grand Rapids.

Are you interested in volunteering in the community? Whether it’s for your family, personal enjoyment, or NHS hours, a plethora of places and local organizations are looking for teen volunteers. Although some of them are well-known and popular, there remain many groups that you may not have heard of. Ranging from helping cook in the kitchen, packing meals for families, playing with animals, or cleaning up parks, here are a few local organizations you can volunteer at!

Kids Food Basket

KFB is a well-known organization within the Kent community. Their objective is to ensure no kid goes hungry by providing fresh and nutritious meals to kids around the county every day. Within the past six months alone, Kids Foods Basket has prepared and distributed more than 631,000 meals. Volunteering there is a good way to get involved with both helping prevent and learn more about food scarcity right here within our community.

Revive and Thrive

Another food-centered organization, Revive and Thrive aims to provide meals to people who struggle with health issues. Many receivers of these meals battle cancer or other illnesses. While there are a variety of volunteering positions you can sign up for, including, meal prepping, cooking, packaging, and delivering, a three-hour block is designated specifically for teenagers every Tuesday and Wednesday. By signing up for a Teen Cooking session, you can help prepare meals while also learning new skills in the kitchen!

Red Cross

While many people associate the Red Cross with donating blood, many other opportunities are available for teens. Although blood donation is certainly an option, you can also sign up for front-desk help or humanitarian responses. The Red Cross is a wonderful organization that is dedicated to helping members of the community thrive and survive.

Humane Society

Interested in helping care for sheltered animals while racking up some volunteer hours? Well, the Humane Society is a wonderful place to start. Volunteering positions include walking dogs, socializing with cats and small animals, admitting new animals, cleaning up rooms, and more! There are numerous ways to become involved with this organization, however, many of the volunteering opportunities the Humane Society offers do require interested volunteers to be regular volunteers, not simply a one-time deal. Please make sure to check whether you are signing up to be a regular volunteer or a non-regular volunteer.

Family Promise

With a goal of raising awareness and those struggling with homelessness, Family Promise of West Michigan is a great way to get involved and help your community. You can choose to volunteer with groups, families, friends, or individually; there’s a spot for everyone. Ranging from entertaining kids staying at host congregations to preparing meals for families, Family Promise does it all.

Storehouse

Focused on helping provide new products to both individuals and families struggling financially, as well as underfunded public education services, the Storehouse is a unique way to help match products to non-profit organizations. During your shift, you can expect to help organize, clean, and support the warehouse. It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and help out others.

Friends of GR

Interested in helping maintain a clean and healthy outdoor space around the city? Friends of GR aims to clean up local parks and recreational areas to ensure our Earth and public areas are kept in top shape. Depending on the time of year, a variety of volunteering opportunities are available. Ranging from cleaning parks, planting trees, gardening, or raising awareness about health habits, Friends of GR has availabilities for everyone.

School Events

School events are another easy way to get involved within the community. Different sports require volunteers at the concession stand, helping to serve food and drinks to spectators. If you’re interested in watching a game, volunteers have a nice view during the fall and spring seasons, as many sports take place on the football field or track. Enjoy some time with your friends at the concession stand while demonstrating school spirit!

While these are only a few organizations, there are many more around the Grand Rapids area. Make sure to check out the links below to visit the websites of these groups and learn more about their mission and available volunteering opportunities!

Links

KFB: https://kidsfoodbasket.org/volunteer/

Revive and Thrive: https://reviveandthriveproject.org/volunteer

Red Cross: https://www.redcross.org/

Humane Society: https://www.hswestmi.org/support-845024.html

Family Promise: https://www.familypromisewm.org/get-involved/volunteer/

Storehouse: https://www.storehousemi.org/volunteer

Friends of GR: https://friendsofgrparks.org/get-involved/volunteer/

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About the Contributor
Anna Alt, Editor
Anna Alt is a senior at Forest Hills Eastern. This is her second year on the Hawk Herald staff and first year as the Editor-In-Chief. In school you can find her in National Honors Society, Kids Food Basket, Volunteer Club, and most commonly, struggling over her AP Chemistry notes. Outside school, however, you’ll often see her on (hopefully not in) the Grand River rowing with her team. If she’s not spotted there, then she’s at home with her favorite chocolate chip cookies on the couch watching the wondrous show “Bluey.” After graduating, Anna hopes to pursue a career in either Pediatrics or Neuroscience.
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