As worldwide events continue to unravel, children from a young age are starting to create change for their communities. There are various organizations and fundraisers that kids have started right here in our NYC community and beyond. This list of different projects is available for you and your child to be a part of to help the community and other global issues at large. Be sure to check them out below!
Looking for more ways to give back the New York community? Check out New York City Volunteering With Your Family: Opportunities to Give Back (check first to see if open during COVID-19)
How Kids Are Changing the World
Petopia Pet Drawing Squad: Pet Portraits by Kids for Charity
Driven to make a difference in their community, 8-year-olds Elle and Enzi have been inspired by the events of the global pandemic and the battle against systemic racism to create Petopia Pet Drawing Squad. Looking for a hand-drawn replica of a favorite pet photo? Make sure to check them out with a suggested $20 donation. All collected proceeds will be donated to No Kid Hungry and D.R.E.A.M. With the support of both of their families, Elle and Enzi are able to keep the energy going in helping other children in need. You can follow them on Instagram at Petopia_PetDrawingSquad (DM to order) or email a picture to PetopiaPetDrawingSquad@gmail.com
Inspired by her own experience in September 2011, Leanne Joyce founded Positive Impact for Kids. She was born with Aortic Valve Stenosis, a heart condition that prevents proper blood flow. She knew she wanted to give back. It has further expanded into a non-profit that strives “to improve the hospital experience for children and teenagers receiving inpatient medical care in the United States.” By donating to this foundation, you are raising funds to provide hospitals with appropriate tools and distractions for socialization and education.
Founder Alexandra “Alex” Scott was just only four years old when she held her first childhood cancer fundraiser and raised over $2000. This has expanded into a wider mission of finding cures for all children battling cancer. When she passed away at the age of eight in August of 2004, she had raised over $1 million to go towards the development of finding a cure. To help contribute to the organization as a kid, you can hold your own lemonade stand just as Alex did. At school or with friends, you can collect spare change, or even get crafty and sell them to benefit the cause.
Children’s Black Lives Matter March
As all of us begin to challenge the existence of systemic racism, kids are starting to grapple with the subject too. Nolan Davis, an 8-year-old of Missouri, was driven to organize and lead a Black Lives Matter march that children and their families could attend. “Even though I’m a kid, it’s important to speak my voice so people can hear me and know they can share their voice too, just like me,” Davis said. With the help of his parents, they were able to make posters and spread the word for families to meet at Kirkwood Park. They expected at least 50 people, but over 700 people were in attendance.
Both you and your kids are able to help out this organization aimed at reducing hunger and food insecurity right in the city. Their mission is to “reduce hunger and promote dignity, health and self-sufficiency.” With their wide array of programs, there is definitely something you can do to help them out. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, some of the different ways to help have been adjusted. Their Food Rescue program is encouraging drop-offs of donations and will only be able to pick up donations on a case by case basis.
No Kid Hungry is another great organization you and your child can take part in. Their primary goal is to end childhood hunger. There are many ways you can be involved such as donating, holding a fundraiser, or attending one of their online events. Primarily for younger ones to help, your kid can become a No Kid Hungry Youth Ambassador to help fight against child hunger with community partners.
A food campaign based in the city, you and your family can join in helping feed hungry New Yorkers. Started in 1982, City Harvest has become the city’s largest food rescue organization. With getting involved, your kids can get creative by participating in their Draw Hope to Drive Hope campaign. By submitting their own drawings, they will be able to spread awareness and further drive the cause. In addition to this, you are able to become a food donor to the organization. Some of their programs have an age requirement, but the minimum for Greenmarket Rescues are ages 14 and up.
Started by Jane Goodall Institute that aims to promote a global movement of youth “who are empowered to use their voice and actions to make compassionate decisions, influencing and leading change in their communities.” On their website, your child is able to take a Compassionate Traits Quiz in order to find out their strongest qualities when it comes to making a change in the world. You can also find youth started projects that have made impacts across the world and even right here at home. Feeling inspired already? You and your child can start your own project in your own community.
“YES! connects, inspires and collaborates with change-makers to build thriving, just & balanced ways of life for all.” Their website offers many resources to deepen your knowledge about different habits you can do in your own community to create a better environment for all. To go even further, there are various awards and activities that inspire student activism. There are even youth camps your child can be a part of. These camps will provide various opportunities to learn more about outdoor living, what other kids are doing to help their community and gain new perspectives.