The New Kid in Town: Project Giving Kids

By Ronna Mandel

Positive Parenting : Project Giving Kids

A young volunteer celebrates lending a helping hand at Project Giving Kids’ inaugural Los Angeles service event, a beach clean-up with Heal the Bay March 21. PHOTO COURTESY PROJECT GIVING KIDS

Have your children considered volunteering, then hesitated, not knowing where to begin?

Project Giving Kids (www.projectgivingkids.org) makes positive parenting easier with age-appropriate volunteer opportunities around Los Angeles. Founded in Boston in 2013 and newly launched in L.A., the service is designed specifically for kids. “Kids can drive the whole process by learning about causes they relate to and choosing fun, rewarding ways to help support those causes,” says founder Molly Yuska.

Whether they prefer to pitch in for one month or one hour, head to the beach or stay indoors, kids can find a fit through Project Giving Kids’ network of organizations. The L.A.-based arm of the organization opened with 10 charter members of the local nonprofit community, including Access Books, Big Sunday, Grades of Green, Heal the Bay, Karma Rescue and Mending Kids.

Project Giving Kids in L.A. is also looking for suggestions for additional nonprofits, and volunteers to join its new marketing/outreach group. Email info@projectgivingkids.org if you want to pitch in.

Project Giving Kids is mainly targeted to kids in elementary and middle school. But since the site includes volunteer activities that can be done at home as well as in the community, there are projects suitable for very young kids to do, as well as some geared toward the teenage crowd. Minimum age requirements are noted in activity descriptions.

Yuska says she is inspired seeing kids give of themselves with no expected return. “I think it’s important to remember that kids are hard-wired for empathy,” she says. “We just need to tap into that. And the earlier we do that, the bigger the impact.”

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