The Hudson Valley needs kid volunteers

Here’s how to get them started

This seems to be a magical time of year. We're all filled with a thankful spirit and looking for ways to make a difference whether it be for one person, the community, or the world. Volunteering is a great way for kids to get involved in their community and make a difference.

Check out the tips below for getting started on your volunteering journey:

1. Check out our online calendar for upcoming service projects in your community.

2. Ask you local church, hospital, library or school for community service project information.

3. Match your child personality and interests to the organization's volunteer requirements.

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4. Young people don’t have to join an organization or church to do something good for the community. They can also do something on their own for example:
    - Raise funds to donate to a good cause
    - Clean up an elderly neighbor’s house
    - Clear snow for a busy neighbor
    - Clear trash from a local park
    - Visit elderly at a local nursing home

If you're ready to start volunteering today, check out these great organizations:

Humane Society of Walden
2489 Albany Rd., Walden. 845-778-5115.
Must complete application online. Children under 16 can participate with a parent/guardian.

Hudson Valley SPCA
940 Little Britain Rd., Newburgh. 845-564-6810.
Parents and children can help by walking dogs, caring for cats, and even raising funds.

Newburgh Free Library
124 Grand St., Newburgh. 845-563-3601.
Teens can sign up as a book buddy and assist with summer reading programs and children programs.

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Orange County Land Trust
50 Ogden Dr., New Windsor. 845-534-3690.
Children ages 10 and up may volunteer with adult supervision to help clean up nature preserves and trails.

Orange County Arts Council
23 White Oak Dr., Chester. 845-469-9168.
If your child loves art, they'll love being a youth ambassador for the Orange County Arts Council. No special skills required.

Locust Grove
2683 South Rd., Poughkeepsie. 845-454-4500.
Individual and group volunteer project available including managing hiking trails and painting fences.

Adriance Memorial Library

93 Market St., Poughkeepsie. 845-485-3445.
Teens ages 13-18 can volunteer as Tech Buddies. Buddies help children on computers and act as reading mentors.

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Lucky Orphan Horse Rescue
2699 NY-22, Dover Plains. 845-416-8583.
Children ages 12 and up work with horses, goats, sheep, and more. Work independently and in groups.

Happy to Help Food Pantry
35 Pearl St., Kingston. 845-331-3030.
Volunteers ages 12 and older can volunteer for several opportunities including: food deliveries, farmers market pick-ups, pantry set-up, and more.

Special Olympics of the Hudson Valley
1207 Rte. 9, Ste. 1C, Wappingers Falls. 845-765-2497.
Individuals, groups or families can volunteer to help out at the Summer, Fall or Winter games.

Catskill Animal Sanctuary
316 Old Stage Rd., Saugerties. 845-336-8447.

Children ages 12-15 are welcome with adult supervision. If your kids love animals, this is the perfect place to volunteer.