Volunteer Opportunities: Emergency Aid

Below, I have listed links to different organizations that allow children to volunteer. Most places that take adults will also take teens, but many times they won't take younger volunteers. I have tried to find as many places as I can that let children help out in some way or another. I hope you find my links helpful. And if you know of a place not listed here yet, please let me know by going to my Submit A New Site page.

Youth Programs for Red Cross

American Red CrossSince 1881, the American Red Cross has been the nation's premier emergency response organization.Today, in addition to domestic disaster relief, the American Red Cross offers compassionate services in five other areas: community services that help the needy; support and comfort for military members and their families; the collection, processing and distribution of lifesaving blood and blood products; educational programs that promote health and safety; and international relief and development programs.

Most states have their own Red Cross websites and their own youth programs. Do a search for your state and check your local website for youth opportunities or give them a call to find out what your local Red Cross offers for kids.

I really like to do fundraising for Red Cross. Something easy to do is a penny drive. You can use a can or jar or big water jug and decorate it with a poster that explains what the money is for. You can set it on a table at a garage sale or sit in front of a grocery store exit (get permission from the manager first!), or even go door to door with a parent. I managed to raise $100 for the tsunami survivors in Japan this way and then Living Social met my donation and doubled it!

Age Requirement: Red Cross does not list an age requirement as it is different for every activity. Most of their "regular" volunteer activities do require you to be 16, however. Make sure to call your local chapter to find out what opportunites will be available to you for sure.

Find Your Local Red Cross | Oregon Red Cross | Oregon Youth | Volunteer Form

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Binky Patrol

Binky PatrolBinky Patrol's volunteers as well as chapter leaders make blankets which can be crocheted, sewn, knitted, tied, and even quilted for ill and traumatized children.

Mission Statement
Binky Patrol is devoted to reaching out to needy children, including HIV-positive, drug-addicted, neglected, abused, or children experiencing trauma in any way. Binky Patrol volunteers bring a caring, loving touch by creating and delivering handmade blankets, "binkies", to enrich the children's lives and to meet their most basic needs of warmth, security and comfort.

Binky Patrol's unique way of touching a child's life includes many mediums. To reach them, "binkies" are distributed through hospitals, shelters, and social service agencies. "Binkies" are to be given as gifts and are not recycled in the agencies.

Binky Patrol
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Food Bank

Feeding AmericaFeeding America's mission is to feed America's hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger

The Oregon Food Bank believes no one should be hungry. With sufficient public will and the support of the entire community, they believe it is possible to eliminate hunger and its root causes.

Since 1982, Oregon Food Bank has been leading the fight against hunger in Oregon and southwest Washington by collecting and distributing food through a network of four OFB branches and 16 independent regional food banks. The OFB Network helps nearly 1 in 5 households fend off hunger. OFB also leads statewide efforts to increase resources for hungry families and to eliminate the root causes of hunger through advocacy, nutrition education, garden education and by helping communities strengthen local food systems.

I did this service with my dad. We packed up foods into boxes... I also met other kids my age that were there. It was so much fun! The Oregon Food Bank website even has photos of kids volunteering.

Age requirements: Some opportunities at the Oregon Food Bank only require that you be 6 years old, but you do need to have your parents with you. Others require that you be at least 12 or 16.

Oregon Food Bank | Find YOUR Local Foodbank at Feeding America
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Sunshine Division

Sunshine DivisionThe Sunshine Division offers food assistance six days a week at their North Portland warehouse as well as 24/7 through their partnership with the Portland Police Bureau who store food boxes at each police precinct that can be dispatched to people in need at any time. In addition to food relief, they also offer new and gently used clothing.

They encourage individuals and families to volunteer with the Sunshine Division.  From volunteering at an event to packing emergency food boxes in their warehouse, volunteers play a vital role in the success of the organization.

Volunteer Opportunities for The Sunshine Division
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