15 ways to give back as a family in Dallas-Fort Worth this summer
North Texas is hot with charitable events and volunteer opportunities that will answer the family's burning question bound to be uttered more than once this summer: "What are we going to do today?"
There are tons of events and causes for family members of all ages to support during summer vacation. Let's get you started with 15 activities all around Fort Worth and Dallas — they're a great way to explore new parts of the Metroplex, too. Some events come with set dates, while others offer flexibility and the opportunity to volunteer multiple times or causes.
City of Fort Worth volunteer opportunities, various dates
Fort Worth residents can adopt a park, street, or median, work with animals, assist at their local public library. There are plenty of options through the city to get involved as a family this summer. Check with the city for more information about those volunteer opportunities and plenty of others. Various locations, Fort Worth.
Help out at the Tarrant Area Food Bank, various dates
There are plenty of ways to pitch in, whether it's helping out at a mobile pantry, community garden, or with distribution of goods. For some projects, volunteers can be as young as 8 years old, while others are for adults only. Check with the food bank for more information. Tarrant Area Food Bank, Fort Worth.
Pitch in with Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County, various dates
Food insecurity is serious business, and organizations dedicated to ending it need a lot of help. Meals on Wheels is no different. Volunteers transport meals to some of the community's most vulnerable populations, homebound elderly individuals, and people with disabilities. The help doesn't stop there. Meals on Wheels also fights isolation and the loneliness these clients risk experiencing. Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County, Fort Worth.
Fort Worth Botanic Garden, various dates
Spend the day surrounded by some of the most beautiful plant life at one of the most popular attractions in the city. The garden accepts volunteers as young as 14. Check the garden's website for more information and an application. Fort Worth Botanic Garden, Fort Worth.
Brighter Biters at Wesley Rankin, June 11
Learn and teach the value of a meal by helping sort, pack (1-2:30 pm), and deliver (2:30-3:30 pm) fresh produce for families in West Dallas this summer. Volunteers come in all shapes in sizes — from ages 4 and up, to be exact. Wesley Rankin Community Center, Dallas.
Coffee with the Kids — Vogel Alcove Info Session and Tour, June 13
Learn about the work Vogel Alcove does to help children recover from the impact of homelessness. This event is free and open to the public, with RSVP required. Vogel Alcove, Dallas.
Wag, Walk & Roll, June 15
Support homeless pups by walking this one-mile track with or withour a pet. You can even "rent a pup" for this event. After the walk, enjoy Pet Pawlooza, a pet-friendly celebration with vendors, music, food, and more. Registration costs $10. Irving Animal Care Campus, Irving.
Project PB&J at Salvation Army, June 19
Build some mean peanut butter and jelly 'wiches as a family to feed homeless men, women, and children. Not a long commitment (1:30-3 pm). Volunteers should be 6 and older, and organizers ask for a donation of at least $10 to cover supplies. Salvation Army Christmas & Disaster Center, Dallas.
Shawnee Trail Demonstration Garden Work Day, June 26
Here's an event that'll have you going green. Learn about native plants and work with your hands at this event scheduled just before it gets too hot (9-11 am) and leaving plenty of time to stack your calendar for the rest of the day. This event is geared toward teens, but family and friends are welcome, too. Shawnee Trail Elementary, Frisco.
Trinity River Volunteer Day: June Cleanup & Seedball Workshop, June 29
Another eco-friendly event. The Trinity is a beautiful nature spot, but it doesn't stay that way on its own. This family-friendly morning (9-11 am) event features a trash cleanup, followed by a seedball workshop. Visit the event listing for more details on what to where, bring, and how to get to the location. Trinity Overlook Park, Dallas.
Family Compass presents The Great DFW Lip Sync Battle, July 18
This one's pretty self explanatory. Here's what else you need to know: this event raises awareness and works to prevent child abuse. Tickets range from $15 to $50, and it's open to all ages. Texas Theatre, Dallas.
8th Annual Rock & Bowl Memorial 9-Pin Tournament, July 27
Tap into your competitive nature for a good cause. This event benefits the Rock Joseph Memorial Scholarship, Inc. Adults are eligible for cash prizes, and younger contestants can win scholarships. Tournament tickets start at $10 for bumper youth. Forum Bowling Lanes, Grand Prairie.
Carter's House, various dates
This nonprofit helps build children's confidence by providing them with clothes for school. Carter's House needs volunteers throughout the summer to help plan and distribute items ahead of the coming school year. Multiple dates through early August are available. Park South YMCA, Dallas.
Doggie Daycation: Four Legged Best Friend for a Day, various dates
Dallas Animal Services offers its new Doggie Daycation Program, which gives pooches a day off from the shelter and some much-needed love and attention for the day. Organizers say the program is a great opportunity to enrich dogs' lives with a fun outing, meeting new people, and enjoying new experiences. Volunteers must be 18 and older, but the kids could join in the fun with that special guest. Dallas Animal Services (Volunteering), Dallas.
Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls, various dates
This nonprofit offers rolling dates for volunteers to help organize clothing, hygiene kits, school supplies, and more for people in need. The opportunity is open to "anyone with a willingness to serve," the organization says. Buckner Center for Humanitarian Aid, Mesquite.