Where to Volunteer in Kansas City? 19 Places to Volunteer with Kids in KC
During the colder months and holidays volunteering in Kansas City is important. There are so many people that will need warm food, clothes, and a place to feel welcomed.
So, while you have the extra time, why not donate your time to local Kansas City charities to help those in the metro area during the holidays.
As you look to make plans for the holidays & your child’s break from school, take a moment to remember the many people in need right here in Kansas City.
The winter months can be tremendously difficult for people who are in need of warm food, clothing, or simply a place where they feel welcome.
While you have the time, why not use it to give back to others?! Not sure where to start? No problem!
Places to Volunteer in Kansas City with Your Family
We’ve done the research for you and have compiled a list of wonderful places you and your family can give back this year. Take a look…
Wayside Waifs Volunteering
Since its inception in 1940, Wayside Waifs has become the area’s leading privately funded, independent not for profit charity serving homeless animals in Kansas City. What began as an organization to prevent cruelty to animals has grown into a no-kill shelter committed to finding homes for all adoptable pets. Additionally, they have an on-site dog park and pet cemetery available to KC area pet owners.
How to Support Wayside Waifs:
- Have your child become a “kid in action”.
- Collect wish list items for the shelter.
- Foster an animal in your home.
- Become a dog or cat socializer (ages 13+).
- Donate funds.
Want to get involved? Connect with Wayside Waifs online for more details.
Volunteer for Happy Bottoms
Christmastime can be very difficult for parents of young children trying to make ends meet (read more on page 13 here). Would you believe that social programs and assistance does not include access to diapers for babies and toddlers? Happy Bottoms, located in Lenexa, distributes more than 200,000 diapers to families in need every single year and you can help them in their efforts this holiday season.
How to support Happy Bottoms:
- Host a diaper drive with your family for your neighborhood or group.
- Volunteer at Happy Bottoms (Ages 12+)
- Donate personally to Happy Bottoms
Want to get involved? Connect with Happy Bottoms online for more details.
Kansas Hospice Care
The final weeks and months of life can be tremendously difficult for patients under hospice care and you’ll never know how amazing and uplifting it can feel for them to have a stranger reach out with kindness. Volunteering with Kansas Hospice Care is an incredible way to give back this holiday season. Your family can work together to create a beautiful memory for an elderly or terminally ill patient this year.
How to support Kansas Hospice Care:
- Assist patients with games and activities in the hospital.
- Provide music through playing or singing to entertain patients.
Want to get involved? Connect with Kansas Hospice Care online for more details.
Phoenix Family Volunteer
Phoenix Family, located in the downtown Kansas City area, works to support low-income families and senior citizens all around the metro area. With dozens of opportunities to get involved, you’re sure to find a way to give back to other families struggling with situational poverty this holiday season.
How to support Phoenix Family:
- Provide Thanksgiving dinner to the elderly.
- Help a young child learn how to read.
- Unload, sort, and deliver food to seniors.
- Hold a fund drive.
Want to get involved? Connect with Phoenix Family online for more details.
Harvesters – Community Food Network
Food insecurity is, unfortunately, a major issue for many of our fellow citizens here in the Kansas City metro area. People who live in urban deserts often struggle to get access to healthy foods leaving them hungry during the holidays. Harvesters – (the) Community Food Network – aims to combat this growing issue in our community. Harvester’s is one of the largest outreach programs in the metro area.
How to support Harvesters – Community Food Network:
- Create handmade greetings.
- Make a holiday tribute for Recipes of Hope.
- Participate in a family service day.
Want to get involved? Connect with Harvesters online for more details.
They help so many people throughout the year. If you would like to take part with them this season, you can register HERE for any location any time.
Kansas City Rescue Mission
The Kansas City Rescue Mission is a Christian organization that provides services to homeless men and women right here in Kansas City. Their mission is to empower people to reach their full potential and they do that in a variety of ways throughout the year.
How to support Kansas City Rescue Mission:
- Serve dinner to the community.
- Become a prayer partner for KCRM.
- Consider an on-going contribution to their Community of Hope program.
City Union Mission
Since 1924, City Union Mission has offered safety, food, and warm beds for displaced men, women, and children. As a private organization, they do not receive any government support and rely exclusively on the charitable donations provided by members of our community. They are a Christian run organization that welcomes volunteers who are willing to serve with providing meals, offering time, and supporting in other high impact areas here in Kansas City.
How to support City Union Mission:
- Host a drive with your neighborhood.
- Cook (or purchase) and serve a meal to homeless families.
- Become a one time or recurring impact volunteer.
Want to get involved? Connect with City Union Mission online for details. If you would like to donate time to help the homeless and those from low income families, you can fill out a volunteer form for volunteering opportunities HERE.
Great Plains SPCA
With two metro area locations (in Independence, MO and Merriam, KS), the Great Plains SPCA is a wonderful places for families to volunteer. They are committed to helping families with children of all ages volunteer in the community and have several different options for you to get involved with their animal shelter.
How to support Great Plains SPCA:
- Become a member of the shelter’s Sparkle Crew
- Assist with their flyering efforts or help with administrative tasks.
- Host a donation drive.
Want to get involved? Connect with Great Plains SPCA online for details.
Jewish Family Services
Volunteering with Jewish Family Services means lending a helping hand and improving the lives of the thousands of people that they serve each year. Their organization assists people in all walks of life and all religions. Started in 1901, the Jewish Family Services program aids our community members who are struggling with crisis situations or challenges in everyday life in a variety of ways.
How to support Jewish Family Services:
- Volunteer at the food pantry.
- Become a Help @ Home volunteer.
- Provide spiritual care.
- Become a community partner for a refugee family.
Simply put, the United Way of Greater Kansas City connects community members with organizations that need help. It’s similar to a dating service for volunteerism. If your family is looking for for a variety of opportunities across the metro area, the United Way is a great place to get started for one-off projects around town.
How to support United Way:
- Serve ice cream at the John Knox Village.
- Stuff food bags for people in need.
- Organize and sort donations for the United Way.
Metro Lutheran Ministry
Since 1971, Metro Lutheran Ministry has been actively serving the Kansas City area. Their goal is to provide employment services, food, housing, education, and healthcare with the goal that it will help to nurture hope, healthy, opportunity, and peace for our community.
How to support Metro Lutheran Ministry:
- Serve a Saturday breakfast.
- Volunteer at the Christmas store.
- Participate in a family serve event.
Want to get involved? Connect with Metro Lutheran Ministry online for details.
Boys Hope Girls Hope of Kansas City
One of 16 in the world, Boys Hope Girls Hope works with motivated junior high and high school children to rise above generational poverty so that they can have success in postsecondary education and beyond.
Their goal is to graduate students who are physically, emotionally, and academically prepared for life in college and to be productive as adults. They do this with the belief that young people hold the power to realize their potential, overcome adversity, and change the world.
How to support Boys Hope Girls Hope:
- Serve a family dinner for students.
- Become a carpool driver.
- Volunteer as an academic success coach.
Want to get involved? Connect with Boys Hope Girls Hope Kansas City online for details.
Servicing children in the Independence School District, Tabitha’s Closet provides shoes and clothing to underprivileged children each season so that they can go to school in seasonally appropriate clothing. They collect donations throughout the year for families and children battling poverty right here in our own backyard.
How to support Tabitha’s Closet:
- Volunteer at their clothing ‘store’.
- Host a clothing drive.
- Donate your gently used clothing.
Want to get involved? Connect with Tabitha’s Closet online for details.
Volunteer at Coldwater Lee’s Summit
Coldwater in Lee’s Summit is a nonprofit center that works with a mission of building friendships to foster hope in our community. They work with local volunteers to provide food and clothing to local families in need. Throughout the month, they host Friends Days to pass out food supplies and needed clothing items to more than 120 families in the area.
How to support Coldwater:
- Make a $25 donation to provide a full Thanksgiving dinner.
- Participate in a clothes closet work day.
- Join in on a Friends Day.
Want to get involved? Connect with Coldwater Lee’s Summit online for details.
NourishKC is an organization that does tremendous work here in the Kansas City area. Oftentimes it’s hard for people who find themselves in situations of poverty or homelessness to reach out to get help because, quite frankly, that can feel embarrassing.
NourishKC provides meals for displaced people or those battling food insecurities in a restaurant setting where they are given choices on where to sit, what meal they want to eat, and more. The “Dining with Dignity” program gives them a sense of normalcy while they deal with what can feel like a chaotic situation.
How to support NourishKC:
- Assist in meal preparations in the morning.
- Serve as wait staff, bussers, or dishwashers during mealtime.
- Work in their food pantry.
- Help unload donation items.
Want to get involved? Connect with NourishKC online for details.
Catholic Charities serves their community in a wide variety of ways. Through events, food, community outreach & more, you can make a difference in the lives of other Kansas Citians.
How to support Catholic Charities:
- Package meals
- Volunteer your time
- Donate money or food
- Volunteer at special events
There are a variety of different volunteer opportunities. You can sign up HERE to donate time, packaging meals or serving through special events. If you need to speak with an office assistant for more information, contact them locally at (816) 221-4377
St. Mary’s Food Kitchen
Each month St. Mary’s serves provides hot meals on the 1st Sunday and 3rd Saturday. Volunteers ages 7+ can assist with serving a hot meal to those in need.
How to support St. Mary’s Food Kitchen
- Volunteer at the food kitchen to serve food
- Donate money to buy more meals
- Work at the on-site location to prep food
Episcopal Community Services
This KC charity is open Monday-Saturday each week. They welcome volunteers to help the community in a variety of ways, mainly special events.
How to support Episcopal Community Services:
- Donate money or have a membership
- Volunteer at special events
You can sign up for volunteer shifts through their website. If you have difficulties with the sign up matrix, you can call the main office for assistance at 816-561-8920 and a team member will gladly help you.
Project Warmth is dedicated to helping those during the coldest time of year.
How to support Project Warmth:
On Saturday November 3rd 9 am – 3 pm, The locations below will be collecting gently used blankets and coats for the homeless and those in need. If you can’t make it to one of the locations listed below on the 4th, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more upcoming locations. They are looking for all sizes including children.
Oak Barry Shopping Center:
600 NE Barry Road Kansas City, MO 64155
2035 Independence Center Independence, MO 64057
KCTV5 / KSMO:
4500 Shawnee Mission Pkwy Fairway, KS 66205
The Kansas City Star / Crossroads District
1601 McGee St. Kansas City, MO 64108
Nebraska Furniture Mart
1601 Village West Pkwy Kansas City, KS 66111
Oak Park Mall:
11159 W. 95th St. Overland Park, KS 66214
Town Center Plaza:
5000 W. 119 St. Leawood, KS 66209
Ward Parkway Shopping Center:
8600 Ward Parkway Kansas City, MO 64114
Structured volunteerism not your jam? Struggling to find the time to commit to something you see here? That’s okay!
There are many ways and opportunities for your family to give back to others this holiday season that require little time investment on your part.
Here are a few out of the box ideas that your family can incorporate into your normal routine that will make a difference for others right here in Kansas City.
Out of the box ideas for giving back this holiday season:
As you head out to see the holiday lights (check back with iFamilyKC for a list of where you can catch them this year) you will inevitably come across people sleeping on benches or out asking for a little extra help.
One of my family’s favorite things to do is create care kits in a gallon size Ziploc bag that have protein bars, a bottle of water, a pair of gloves, hand sanitizer, and a couple of dollars in them. We keep several of these in our car during the holiday season and pass them out whenever we feel called to help someone in need.
Again, while you’re out, you will see people who are asking for food on the side of the street. When you’re able, buy them a meal. It doesn’t take a lot to make someone’s night and provide a much needed meal. If you don’t have the time to swing by and grab a meal, keep a few $5 gift cards to readily available spots (like McDonalds or Sonic) to pass out when you’re able to help.
No matter what your family does this holiday season, we’d like to encourage you to give back to others in need.
Volunteering and giving back teaches incredible life lessons and helps our children (and us, too) to be more compassionate, empathetic members of our community.
Know of other ways to give back that should be included in our next article? Send us an email and let us know of quality organizations you’d like to encourage others to support. Holli@iFamilyKC.com
Most of these charities are open to families of all ages, however, they do require adult supervision for younger kids.
We spoke with many of these organizations and they would LOVE to have you come out and lend a helping hand. Especially during the colder and holiday months. See you out there volunteering!
From iFamily to Yours,