Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Giving Back

This is a big one in our family and there are so many ways to volunteer close to home. One of my favorites is trail work parties since we use the parks a lot but there are plenty of others choices depending on interests, ages and time.

So here's another one of my lists collected over the years. We've done about half the items below, especially now that we have a high schooler exploring different interests through service learning opportunities. I'm sure there are other ideas out there so please email me via my Contact Page to let me know.

Images above: Scooping mulch for new plantings at Camp Long, helping build a trail at Puget Park, stenciling storm drains around our neighborhood and donating books to Little Free Library.

Who doesn't love animals! Some of these require a parent/guardian to be involved if the kiddo is on the younger side. 
  • Beach Naturalist / Seattle Aquarium
    Training required and you volunteer over the summer during low-tides. Last I looked (a few years ago) you could do it as a parent and tween/teen team.
  • Seal Sitters
    Training required and children are welcome to participate with a parent/guardian. 
    Friends of ours who lived on Alki did this as a family. 
  • Young Birders / Seattle Audubon
    Upcoming volunteer event in Lincoln Park. Sign up before 10/20. For more info go here
Food banks/Gardens
Work in a food bank, build or give to a Little Free Pantry or grow food to give to food banks.
If you enjoy books and reading these are good choices. First one works for all ages but other two are teen focused.
  • Little Free Library
    Donate books to one or build your own. 
  • Seattle Public Library Teen Program 
    Program currently suspended but website has other ideas.
  • Team Read
    Students grades 9-12 can earn service-learning credit or earn hourly pay reading one-on-one with elementary students. Deadline to apply is mid-September. 
Neighborhood cleanups
These are good options for most ages and two can be done on your own time.
  • Adopt-A-Drain (added 10/25)
    Learned about this one when returning our Storm Drain kit. It's another on-your-own-time option and a good choice as the weather gets a lot wetter and keeping drains clear of leaves and other debris is even more important. 
  • Adopt-A-Street
    Do it on your own, as a family or organize neighborhood cleanups. Materials provided by the city. 
  • CleanSEA
    A new website that is working to collect a list of WS community cleanup events.
  • Stencil a Storm Drain (July-October)
    Do on your own time and materials provided by the city. We did this summer and printed out a map of drains near by
Parks/Green spaces/Duwamish River
Work outside doing everything from removing invasive species and planting native ones to building trails in parks and river cleanups. Most events work for all ages. 
Working with/for kids
Working with Seniors