Once you find a niche, look for ways to get your kids involved in volunteering, too. It’s never too early to serve the community, and the holidays are a good time to start.
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, which combats hunger throughout the state, has a very well-organized volunteer program that offers opportunities for groups. All you do is sign up for certain times, and you might find yourself sorting and packing food or distributing it. Volunteers as young as 8 can sign up, so it’s a great opportunity for families to do together. Also, the Salvation Army, Central Oklahoma Area Command, has an “Adopt an Angel” program to provide gifts for specific families, and groups can also sign up to accept donations and ring bells in front of the familiar Red Kettles outside high-traffic areas.
Specific to the holidays, the Red Andrews Christmas Dinner has been a Christmas Day tradition since 1947 by providing warm meals and toys to around 5,000 or 6,000 people at the Cox Convention Center.
If you have a teen, there are opportunities for them to get involved all on their own. Here are just a few organizations that have teen boards and opportunities, most which require applications. The links go directly to the teen programs.
- Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden.
- OKC Beautiful
- Arts Council of Oklahoma City
- The Central Oklahoma Humane Society
- Leadership Oklahoma City’s Youth Leadership Exchange.
- Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
- Infant Crisis Services
- Oklahoma Heritage Association
- Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
- Several local museums also have their own programs.