One of our core values at Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry is making our community and the world a better place. As Englewood and Central Park pediatric dentists, Dr. Paddy and Dr. Castro try their very best to bring smiles to the areas where they work and live (though Dr. Paddy has been known to take his efforts around the globe by leading outreach missions in Central America). They’re both active in helping the underserved in Denver and Dr. Paddy donates his time and teeth skills to Give Kids a Smile and KIND (Kids in Need of Dentistry) as well. You’re never too young to discover the importance of helping those in need, which is why we think teaching kids about giving back by involving them in some summer volunteering experiences is an amazing idea. Not sure where to start? We’ve rounded up a few Englewood and Denver charities and volunteer opportunities for kids and teens.
Denver Metro Area – Phamaly Theatre Company is amazing. They produce professional level live plays and musicals featuring only performers with disabilities. To continue to do their work, they rely on hundreds of volunteers each season who do everything from working as ushers to helping backstage. This could be an excellent summer volunteer opportunity for kids in Denver and the surrounding metro area as they accept volunteers of all ages who want to promote inclusion and disability awareness. Fill out a volunteer application or check out the details of their volunteer program.
Central Park, Denver – The Urban Farm at Central Park (10200 Smith Road) is a Denver non-profit organization dedicated to educating people on horses, caring for farm animals and horticulture in a farm setting. It’s such a cool place to get a country vibe in the city. It’s also a source of some fun opportunities for volunteering in Central Park for kids and teens (it’s not too far for our Englewood patients either!). Minors will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian but that just means it’s a great excuse for the whole family to get involved. Water the animals, clean up around the playhouse, muck out animal pens, weed flower beds or do some general farm chores. To complete a volunteer application, learn more about your options and check the schedule for volunteer orientations, visit the Urban Farm site.
Metro Denver – Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver is among the most well-known Denver charities and it’s an awesome place to volunteer as a family in Denver and the surrounding area. They have a whole page dedicated to youth and student volunteer opportunities. Older teens can participate in the actual construction of a house for a family in need, while kids under 14 can do all sorts of things like bring lunch to the volunteers, organize a tool or donation drive, make a welcome gift for a Habitat family or build planters to give to the family during the dedication ceremony (they can tour the finished home too!). Check out the details.
Englewood – While it’s not technically on the list of charities in Englewood, Colorado, the City of Englewood offers plenty of volunteer opportunities for kids and teens, including assisting at community events and things like park cleanups. Fill out a volunteer application and email it to [email protected], fax it to (303) 762-2688 or mail it or drop it off at the Englewood Recreation Center, Attn: Debby Severa, 1115 W. Oxford Avenue, Englewood, CO 80110. The City also participates in the Neighborhood Rehab Project (also known as Be a Tool) where participants help neighbors in need with home improvement projects during a day of service, which is scheduled in early September this year. Find out more and sign-up at beatool.org.
Denver – Volunteers of America is a national, non-profit organization with more than 30 human services programs around the state of Colorado, running the gamut from housing to healthcare, that help upward of 200,000 members of Colorado’s most vulnerable populations. For Denver charity work for kids and teens this summer, look no further than the Youth Volunteer Program geared towards ages 11 through 17. Kids can help at Head Start schools or work with the homeless, homebound seniors and more. Fill out a volunteer form to get started.
Englewood – Freedom Service Dogs is an organization that transforms shelter dogs into trained assistance dogs for people with disabilities, including children, veterans and active duty military with autism, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and post traumatic stress disorder. They have opportunities for Englewood summer charity work for teens after they go through the Dog Care and Enrichment Training. Kids between 12- and 15-years-old can volunteer on-site (7193 S. Dillon Street) with an adult. The grown-up has to control the leash but the kiddo can play with the dog in the play yard. Teenagers ages 16 and up can volunteer on their own. While volunteers don’t get to train the dogs, there’s kennel work and cleaning to be done, as well as interacting with pooches. After gaining experience and taking dog walking classes, there are dog walking opportunities too. Find out more and sign-up for volunteer orientation here.
For more Central Park volunteer opportunities for kids and families, consider Mercy Housing, an organization that offers safe, affordable housing to moderate-income families, people with disabilities and seniors. There are two Mercy Housing communities in Central Park: Bluff Lake Apartments and Parkside Apartments. Property projects like landscaping, community gardening, beautification efforts and building playgrounds or helping at community events would work well for families and younger volunteers. To learn about current opportunities, contact Mercy Housing Colorado at [email protected] or (303) 830-3300.