Families are busier than ever, but taking time to model kindness and generosity through active volunteerism is well worth the effort. Along with the local, family friendly volunteer opportunities listed, websites at the bottom of the guide will lead families to hundreds of additional ways to lend a hand.
Keep in mind organizations have year-round opportunities, so if your place of employment, scout troop or community service organization is looking for a project, save this page as a future resource.
Create a legacy of service…volunteer as a family!
Art With A Heart
Art With A Heart provides a hands-on visual arts experience to educate and inspire at-risk children. High school students can assist the organization by prepping art materials, setting up classrooms, photographing art, setting up student exhibits, working with children and serving on the Junior Board of Directors.
2605 East 25th Street
Best Buddies pairs students with intellectual disabilities with middle and high school peers to form on-to-one friendships. A variety of activities are scheduled throughout the year. The new e-Buddies program provides a secure online setting where student peers can connect with students with disabilities in other communities.
8604 Allisonville Road
Youth volunteer opportunities include; costume character portrayal, greeting guests, assisting in the museum shop and helping with special events and school programming. During Symphony on the Prairie, Conner Prairie also partners with local Scout organizations to help patrons transport gear to and from the seating area.
13400 Allisonville Road
Gleaner’s Food Bank of Indiana
Individuals, community groups, and families with children ages nine and up are invited to combat hunger in Central Indiana. Volunteers are needed to inspect and assemble food baskets, perform clerical duties, and help with stocking and organizing items.
3737 Waldemere Avenue
Good Samaritan Network
During the holidays, families can volunteer on-site at the food warehouse helping underprivileged families choose toys and clothes for their children. Volunteers are also needed year-round to help sort food and other goods.
12933 Parkside Drive
Hamilton County Harvest Food Bank
Assistance sorting and distributing food is needed especially during the busy holiday season. The staff also helps families organize neighborhood food drives, and will pick up the donated items.
Humane Society of Indianapolis
Parents and teens can work directly with the animals. Children ages 12 and above can provide assistance doing laundry, washing dishes and cleaning windows. Families are needed to foster animals as they wait for a permanent home as well.
7929 Michigan Road
Volunteer activities for children 14 and over include; assisting with special events, gardening and groundskeeping, animal care, serving as a naturalist, and serving on the zoo’s associate council. The 2015 volunteer listing will be available in December, so be sure to contact [email protected] or contact the zoo via phone.
1200 West Washington Street
Indy Honor Flight
This nonprofit organization honors Indiana’s veterans by flying heroes from all branches of service to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their respective memorials. Families can organize personal fundraisers to sponsor a veteran, and can participate in the “homecoming” celebration by making signs, singing patriotic songs and serving snacks when veterans return to the airport.
9093 South State Road 39
Indy Urban Acres
This 8 acre, organic farm donates 100% of the fresh fruits and vegetables harvested to local food pantries. Volunteers of all ages are needed for weeding, planting, harvesting and cleaning produce. Families can set a time to work or participate in the open volunteering events held on the first Saturday of each month from 9 am – noon.
7700 East 21st Street
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful
KIB hosts volunteer opportunities for every age. Examples include, planting trees, park clean up, adopt a block, and public art creation and installation. Visit the online project calendar as volunteer events are added each week.
1029 Fletcher Avenue
Meals on Wheels
Families can spend as little as one lunch hour a month delivering two weekday meals to Hoosier seniors who are homebound and in need of good nutrition. For some seniors, this quick interaction is the only interaction they receive that day.
708 E. Michigan Street
Second helpings relies on over 700 regular volunteers to fight hunger. There are kitchen and onsite tasks for teens ages 16 and above. Family opportunities include: organizing collection drives, working at farmers’ markets, washing and cleaning the vehicle fleet, and working in the onsite garden. Ask to be placed on the volunteer call list to be contacted when new projects are added.
1121 Southeastern Avenue
Special Olympics of Indianapolis
Assisting with the Young Athletes program is a great way for families to volunteer together. The program prepares special athletes ages two to seven for traditional participation in Special Olympics events. Volunteers are needed to peer model and assist athletes during a variety of sports practices and events.
6100 West 96th Street
Volunteer support for Indiana foster families is vital. Collecting new books for children of all ages, creating personal care kits and conducting gift card drives for families caring for foster children are just a few ways families can help.
3833 North Meridian Street
(317) 775-6500 or 1-800-874-6880
Youth Philanthropy Initiative of Indiana
YPIN partners with over 40 Indiana organizations representing a wide variety of service, training and leadership opportunities. Visit the website below to learn about Phil’s Giving Circle gift box, a great kid-friendly resource for individuals, families, scout troops, and schools.
32 East Washington Street
Zionsville Food Pantry
Zionsville Food Pantry is the largest in the state. Families are invited to sort and distribute food on Thursdays from 10 am – noon and Fridays from 11 am – 2 pm. Help is also needed shopping, organizing and unloading.
4775 West 116th Street