Tag: local volunteering

10 Fun Ways to Celebrate Earth Month With Your Kids

Comments (11) April 5, 2013

It’s Earth Month, and we have some great ways to get kids involved! Earth Month is the perfect time to get kids into appreciating the natural world and taking care of their planet. Here are some ways to celebrate!

1. Take a hike, and clean up!

Get outside and get moving–hikes are an easy way to show kids the wonders of their own backyard and with spring here, you might get to take in blooming flowers and wildlife. Many local nonprofits hold programs in parks and natural areas. Local nonprofits are also responsible for stepping up and helping out state parks during budget cuts. Find a local environmental nonprofit near you.

If you live near a beach, river or lake, chances are, a local nonprofit needs your help for its next cleanup! Many organizations ramp up their cleanup efforts for April. Don’t live near water? You can still pitch in to clean up in your own backyard at your local park, school or playground!

2. Visit an Animal Rehab Center

Get access to some amazing wildlife while learning about how humans affect wild animals and their habitats near you. Visit a raptor center, like Cascades and witness eagles and owls up close. Live near the water? Find a marine mammal center, like the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, CA,  to see how trash can entangle sea creatures, and how to help.

3. Go to a Car Wash

What kid doesn’t love being inside the car as it goes through a car wash? Why is it good for the environment? Car washes recycle their water, so much less water is used than when you run your hose at home to wash. And while your working on the car, check your tires, under-inflated tires can negatively affect your MPG, making your car less fuel efficient.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Start a Garden or Visit a Farm

Gardening is a fun, hands-on way to teach kids about the Earth and about healthy food. Grow your own veggies, or create a garden full of flowers to attract hummingbirds and butterflies! If your kids are into critters, start a compost bin and be sure to add lots of worms! Many nonprofits hold programs to educate urban farmers, like the Seattle Tilth Association. You could visit your local community garden for more inspiration. Many working farms give tours geared toward kids that show the effort and care that goes into growing healthy, local and fresh food while kids can engage with the farmers and animals.

5. Feed the Birds

Make your yard or balcony a haven for hungry wild birds. Set up a bird feeder and keep track of your visitors. There are many local Audubon Societies that give local birding walks as well and can help you identify the birds at your feeder. Take a walk around your neighborhood one morning and try to see how many birds you can identify. Believe it or not, the local dump is actually a favored birding spot as well. Some dumps and recycling centers offer tours. (Also a great place for kids to see how waste adds up.)

6. Recycle Your Clothes and Toys

Now is a great time to do some spring cleaning. If you end up with a mountain of clothes that no longer fit your kids, or toys that they have outgrown, consider donating them to those in need. It’s easy to have kids help out. Gather all of your donations in a recycling bin and head to your local Goodwill together. Many local groups also accept clothing and toy donations for those in need.

7. Ride a Bike

Instead of driving to run errands, try riding bikes together to local shops. You’ll save gas, get exercise and help the environment. Many bicycle nonprofits advocate for bikers’ rights and/or offer safety courses for riders, like The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

8. Read a Book–or Write One!

Take a trip to your local library and check out some books about your local flora and fauna. (After all, the library puts ‘reduce reuse recycle’ into action every day!) Have a writing session with your kids and create some art about the Earth. Nonprofits like River of Words in Berkeley, CA work to foster both literacy and environmental stewardship through poetry.

9. Go to a Farmers’ Market

Get some tasty local fruits and veggies at your farmers’ market. Most markets will let kids sample lots of different foods. Talk with the farmers and ask about how they grow their produce. Bring your reusable bags and ask for recipes too! Then have the kids help out with preparing a meal with the fruits and veggies you buy.

10. Make a Reusable Bag

Don’t have bags for the market? Use an old t-shirt and make a reusable bag! Kids can have fun decorating it.

Know of a great environmental nonprofit doing work near you? Write a review and let other folks know about it!

 

 

 

Help Out Your Neighbors; It’s Good For You

Leave a Comment March 18, 2013

When was the last time you checked in on a neighbor? Been awhile? According to a new survey published in Atlantic Monthly, you aren’t alone.

The survey showed that, regardless of income level, the one community resource that most people felt they lacked was “kind, supportive neighbors.”

And community and environment can actually play a role in overall health and happiness.

How connected are you to your local community? Can you name a local nonprofit helping your community? See what happened when we asked some locals to name a nonprofit near them.

Find an organization in your community using our thousands of city pages. Start here with our zip code search. If you’ve spent time at a local nonprofit, share your story here by writing a review.

 

Giving Time Gives You Time Also

Leave a Comment March 15, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feel like you don’t have the time to volunteer? A study published in Psychological Science revealed that doing something nice for others can actually give you a sense of having more time to spend.

When folks take the time to help someone else, they know it’s time well-spent. The study showed that when people feel like they’ve done something worthwhile with their time, however busy they may be, they also feel like they have more time.

Spending time on others actually gave subjects in the study more feelings of “time affluence” than actually having more free time. The study also compared feelings of time affluence after subjects simply wasted time or spent time on themselves. Doing for others won out.

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by your schedule, one of the most effective ways to feel like you have more time is to spend it helping others. Why not find a new place to volunteer near you?

Find a nonprofit that needs help near you. (We make it easy with our zip code search.)

Giving your time may just help you as much as your community.


Take the Local Nonprofit Challenge!

Comments (2) March 5, 2013

Can you think of a local nonprofit in your city? Can you guess how many nonprofits are near you?  We decided to do an experiment: we walked around our San Francisco Bay Area offices to find a few long-time locals. Could they name a single Bay Area nonprofit? Did they have an idea of how many nonprofits were in the area?

The results? Check them out below:
YouTube Preview Image

 

So, can you name a local nonprofit in your town? Use GreatNonprofits to find a local nonprofit!

If you’ve volunteered or donated to a nonprofit near you, have you written a review about that nonprofit to help others learn about it?

Top 5 Romantic Ways to Give Back

Comments (5) February 8, 2013


With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, there’s no better time to show your local nonprofits some love. Want to make it a date? We’ve got some great, romantic ways to give back:

Go for a romantic walk–with a shelter dog: Many homeless puppies and dogs in animal shelters spend the bulk of their time in cages. Sign up to spend some time walking dogs together at a shelter.

Donate to your valentine’s favorite charity: Can’t volunteer together? Give your partner a gift card with money to put toward any charity he/she likes, or, make a donation in your partner’s name to a favorite cause. Find charity gift cards at JustGive.

Cook for those in need: Not into the packed restaurant scene on Valentine’s Day? What about cooking a wholesome, hot meal for those in need in your neighborhood instead? Sign up together to cook or distribute food to the needy for a night.

Get the kids involved, or volunteer to help kids in need:  Do your kids love making valentines? Why not deliver some to an elderly home? Or, do you both love working with kids? Volunteer together to mentor children in need.

Build something together: Work on a project together; it could be helping out at a Habitat for Humanity site, getting your hands in the dirt planting trees or helping school kids make art projects. Get creative!

Do you plan on volunteering this Valentines Day? Let us know how in the comments.

Huffington Post Highlights Top-Rated Charities Helping Kids

Comments (4) November 19, 2012

Earlier this month The Huffington Post highlighted some of the nonprofits that have already qualified for our 2012 Top-Rated List.  The HuffPo slideshow focused on charities dedicated to providing support and education for children and families. The nonprofits featured were:

Congrats to these outstanding small charities! These nonprofits are located all around the country and are providing aid and opportunities for children in need. Some are dedicated to educating low-income children by providing the resources necessary to succeed academically. Others provide support and treatment to children facing severe medical conditions.

Check out The Huffington Post article hereand stay tuned for more featured winners of the Top-Rated Awards.

Are you a nonprofit? There’s still time to win a spot on the 2012 Top-Rated List!

Be an Ambassador for Local Nonprofits in Your City!

Comments (4) October 19, 2012

Want to help get your local charities some well-deserved extra attention? Interested in promoting local giving in your own community? Join our national team of Local Ambassadors!

GreatNonprofits has launched our Get Local campaign for 2012 to encourage local giving this season. Sign up to be a Local Ambassador with us and you’ll get to spread the word in your city about the best charities around. It’s a volunteer position (we’re a nonprofit too!) with a 2-5 hour a week commitment. We’ll give you all the tools you’ll need. Here’s what you’ll do:

Tell others about amazing nonprofits in your city!

  • Highlight outstanding nonprofits via the GreatNonprofits microsite for your city
  • Use email and social media to spread the word
  • Reach out to local newspapers and blogs and let them know about exemplary local nonprofits

Why do it?

  • Get great experience reaching out to local media
  • Manage the GreatNonprofits microsite for your city.  People will see your name and photo!
  • Be a major help to your local nonprofit community, enabling it to do more good
  • Be part of a nationwide grassroots effort to showcase small, local nonprofits

Check out our available cities.

Sound good to you? Contact Jessica@greatnonprofits.org

 

What Your Kids Get Out of Giving Back

Comments (3) October 3, 2012

The concepts of sharing time and giving to those in need are a part of the learning curve in a child’s life, but why are these ideas so important for kids to learn?

In his book, Giving back: A guide to Volunteering and Donation for Families and Individuals, Stephen P. Ketchpel tells us:

  • Giving back empowers a child, making them more independent.
  • Volunteering as a family, together as a group, leads to stronger family ties.
  • And, the earlier a child participates in this experience, the more he/she enjoys and makes it a part of his/her whole life.

(more…)

Top 5 Volunteer Opportunities in Pittsburgh

Leave a Comment September 12, 2012

Want to volunteer or intern at a great Pittsburgh non-profit? Whether you’re new to Pittsburgh and want to learn about the city’s charities, trying to change up your routine with some local charity work, or just want to volunteer or intern at a neighborhood non-profit, everyone knows that the best way to find the right place for you is from the people who’ve been there!

Here’s a list of volunteers’ and interns’ favorite Pittsburgh charities. Every non-profit on this list earned has an overall score of 4 or greater out of 5 on GreatNonprofits.org, and must have been reviewed by at least 10 volunteers. If your favorite Pittsburgh non-profit or volunteer gig is missing, find it on GreatNonprofits.org, write a positive review, and show your co-volunteers how to start adding reviews and get it on the list! (more…)

Top 10 Volunteer Opportunities in Chicago

Leave a Comment August 27, 2012

Want to volunteer or intern at a great Chicago non-profit? Whether you’re new to Chicago and want to learn about the city’s charities, trying to change up your routine with some local charity work, or just want to volunteer or intern at a neighborhood non-profit, everyone knows that the best way to find the right place for you is from the people who’ve been there!

Here’s a list of volunteers’ and interns’ favorite Chicago charities. Every non-profit on this list earned has an overall score of 4 or greater out of 5 on GreatNonprofits.org, and must have been reviewed by at least 10 volunteers. If your favorite Chicago non-profit or volunteer gig is missing, find it on GreatNonprofits.org, write a positive review, and show your co-volunteers how to start adding reviews and get it on the list! (more…)

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