It can be tough to find local volunteer opportunities for kids, so we've compiled a list of places around Indianapolis that allow families with younger children to participate.

Volunteering at home is a wonderful solution for families who want to make a difference, though there is nothing quite like helping out in your own community.

Has your family tried any kids volunteer opportunities around Indianapolis? Share your experience below by adding a review or suggesting another favorite organization for the list!

    Girls on the Run of Central Indiana

     (587.6 mi)

    10+ years with an accompanying adult

    Dawn Denning:  Girls on the Run is a school-based organization that wants every girl to know her power is limitless. Their values include learning to embrace others, learning to stand up for yourself and more. Volunteers are needed to set up the races, run food/water stations, help with the silent auction and more.

    Little Angel Gowns

     (592.1 mi)

    contact for age information

    Dawn Denning:  If your child has a talent for sewing, Little Angel Gowns can use their help. The organization uses donated wedding and prom gowns to create beautiful gowns and tuxedos to donate to hospitals. The gowns and tuxedos are used by families when their babies pass away. It takes hundreds of volunteers to create the beautiful and special mementos for families to keep. If you don't have a talent for sewing, the organization can use additional help. There is always a need to organize, pack and sort donations and creations.

    Good Samaritan Network (GSN)

     (592.8 mi)

    all ages, 16 years & under must be accompanied by an adult

    Dawn Denning:  GSN provides services for the underserved and at-risk families in Central Indiana. These services involve emergency or crisis intervention for housing, utility assistance, food help, car repairs and more. There is also a Holiday Assistance Program that provides holiday meals and toys for individuals and families. Volunteers can help in the warehouse, with food distribution, in the office, with the holidays and on various projects.

    Indy Urban Acres

     (593.8 mi)

    contact for age information, families welcome

    Beth Wood:  Four organic farms make up Indy Urban Acres, run by the Indianapolis Parks Foundation. Indy Urban Acres provides low-income families and local food pantries access to free, high quality produce that is grown on their farms. They also offer youth tours, farm-to-plate workshops and educational opportunities for the surrounding community. Volunteers are needed for weeding, planting, harvesting and other farm improvements.

    Third Phase Christian Center in Noblesville

     (594.0 mi)

    5+ years

    Peggy Fulton:  Families can work together stocking the food pantry as well as our “bread barn”. There is also a thrift store to work. We will take all ages from 5 and up. We believe there are things even the young can do and learn about helping others. Families can also be involved in doing food drives. You can learn more on our Facebook page.

    Hamilton County Harvest Food Bank

     (594.1 mi)

    best for middle school+, all kids under 16 must be accompanied by an adult

    Dawn Denning:  The Hamilton County Food Harvest Bank collects and distributes over 275,000 lbs. of food for local pantries. A majority of the food comes from food drives at local schools and churches. They need volunteers to help collect, sort food as well as data entry and group shopping. The holiday season is an especially busy time for the food bank due to the large intake of food and needs in the community.

    Conner Prairie Interactive History Park

     (594.8 mi)

    10-18 years

    Dawn Denning:  Conner Prairie is an interactive outdoor museum that has a long history of innovation that spans the fields of science, history, art and nature. It is a great place for kids to learn about science, technology, history while having a great time. With the youth volunteer program, your kids have the opportunity to participate in the interactive museum as a fictional character from the 1800s, lead hands-on activities, learn responsibility or work with animals.

    Million Meal Movement

     (594.9 mi)

    6+ years with an accompanying adult

    Dawn Denning:  With a mission to feed the hungry while families volunteer together, the Million Meal Movement was born. Your family can work with other volunteers to stock local food banks. Your family members over 6 can participate in Third Saturday Packs with the goal of packing 400 meals in 2 hours. The annual Million Meal Marathon has a goal of packing a million meals in one day that the whole family, regardless of age, can contribute!

    Best Buddies Indiana

     (597.6 mi)

    middle school+

    Dawn Denning:  Best Buddies is an International organization that pairs people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities for one-on-one friendships. Volunteer to be partnered with a child from the program. The program has events you can attend like an annual gala, Pacer's game, Best Buddies Friendship Walk and much more! Opportunities are based on age from middle school to high school. Click here to choose your activity based on age and interest.

    Shepherd Community Center

     (598.2 mi)

    either 12+ or 16+ depending on the activity, all volunteers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult

    Dawn Denning:  Shepherd Community is a faith-based, inner-city ministry that operates on the near Eastside of Indianapolis. Their mission is "to break the cycle of poverty in the inner city by empowering communities to create vibrant neighborhoods, strong families and healthy children." They need help in their holiday stores, to serve Saturday breakfasts, Christmas stores and more. See website for more great opportunities to lend a hand or two!

    Keep Indianapolis Beautiful

     (601.1 mi)

    contact for age information, families welcome

    Dawn Denning:  Keep Indianapolis Beautiful makes local neighborhoods great places for families. They help plant trees, clean up graffiti, pick up trash and encourage kids to take part in their communities. Each year, they support an average of 500 community improvement projects with more than 30,000 volunteers. Volunteers can plant trees, plant flowers or pick up litter. Pick the perfect opportunity for your family from their upcoming projects.

    Hamilton County Kids Coats

     (601.5 mi)

    all ages, kids under 14 years must be accompanied by an adult

    Dawn Denning:  Hamilton County Kids Coats helps kids in need throughout Hamilton County by collecting hats, gloves, mittens, boots, scarves, snow pants, and coats. Last year, the organization handed out over 9,000 coats to kids. To collect, sort and distribute that many items, takes a ton of volunteers! You can help by printing, handing out flyers, loading and unloading trucks or sorting coats and other winter wear. See site for current opportunities.

    Meals on Wheels Indy

     (602.1 mi)

    contact for age information

    Dawn Denning:  Meals on Wheels does more than just deliver food to those in need. They also spend time talking with the recipients. The program delivers nutritious food to kids, seniors, the homebound and disabled people in the community that can't feed themselves independently. They generally delver food before 1 pm Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. You can also work to organize the food at their centers.

    Mid-North Food Pantry

     (602.5 mi)

    Dawn Denning:  Mid-North Food Pantry serves the mid-north neighborhoods of Indianapolis by providing food and basic necessities to people in need. They collect food at food drives through schools, churches and Scout groups. If your family is interested in volunteering, you'll help feed area kids and their families. Specific jobs include helping people shop the pantry, stocking shelves, weighing/sorting food and more. No experience is necessary, but if you have a particular job in mind, you can request a specific task.

    Salvation Army of Indiana

     (602.6 mi)

    all ages, 14 years & under must be accompanied by an adult

    Dawn Denning:  The Salvation Army of Indiana helps those in need in the community. They work to collect coats for the winter, feed the hungry year and collect gifts for the holidays. Because they help so many people, they have a long list of opportunities for your family including food sorting, meal cooking, helping kids pick out a winter coat or shop for their holiday gifts.

    The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

     (602.6 mi)

    8-17 years with an accompanying adult

    Beth Wood:  Families can have fun volunteering on the same team throughout the award-winning Children's Museum of Indianapolis. Together, you might help explain certain exhibits or guide guests through large or busy exhibits. Flexible volunteer shifts are available including weekly, bi-weekly, weekend, evening, occasional and special events. Museum staff will use your family's talents and interests to find the best volunteer opportunity for your group throughout their volunteer application process.

    Circle City Relief

     (604.7 mi)

    All ages with an accompanying adult

    Dawn Denning:  My sons and I have worked with and love Circle City Relief. This is a Christian-based organization that provides food, clothing, supplies and hope on Sundays to homeless in Downtown Indy. The goal is to provide relief from hunger and give hope to those involved. You can help by cooking, sorting clothing, interacting with recipients, serving food or helping to pick out clothing.

    Humane Society of Indianapolis

     (607.2 mi)

    8+ years for the Parent and Me program, 13+ for most other opportunities

    Beth Wood:  Does your family love animals? Spend time volunteering for the Humane Society of Indianapolis where you can help take care of the homeless dogs and cats living in the Humane Society's shelter. Their Parent and Me program is the perfect way to spend time together caring for the animals being held in the IHS's adoption kennels. There are also volunteer options for older teens in the shelters. Simply visit their site to get started volunteering.

    Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana

     (609.2 mi)

    contact for age information, families welcome

    Dawn Denning:  Gleaner's mission is to lead the fight against hunger. They help kids, families and seniors gain access to food. If you'd like to help, you can sort, scan or pack food in the warehouse. Or you can help seniors shop, stock shelves in the pantry or help visitors carry food to their cars. After viewing the opportunities, fill out an application to apply.

    Morning Dove Therapeutic Riding

     (612.7 mi)

    14+ years

    Dawn Denning:  Morning Dove helps people with emotional/physical disabilities and children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder through therapeutic horseback riding. The soothing rhythm of a horse increases the riders strength, balance and agility while providing comfort and building confidence. Volunteers are needed to sidewalk/lead walk the horses during class, care for the barns and for the horses. If you are an inside person, there are opportunities with fundraising for events and also office work.

Primary photo:   Upparent

Upparent collects community-submitted recommendations and reviews, and any ideas that are shared reflect the opinions of individual contributors.

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