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Year-round volunteer opportunities to serve fellow Fort Worthians

The holidays are behind us, andgone are the Red Kettles and coatdrives. But worthy causes in thearea need volunteers year-round.There are numerous volunteer opportunitiesin the Fort Worth area. Sign up your family fora year-round opportunity to help fellow FortWorthians who are hungry, vulnerable, sick orhomebound. Begin here and find a local causethat tugs on your family’s heartstrings.

Help Hungry Families

Rise and shine to pulling weeds,raking beds and harvesting thefruits of your labor at Tarrant Area Food Bank'sLearning Garden in Fort Worth.Every Tuesday morning (andsecond and fourth Saturdays),volunteers age 8 and olderlearn the different ways to growfood and build raised beds andwatering systems. They alsohelp feed hungry families bydonating crops to WestAid Food
Pantry down the road, and littlestewards tend the Kindred SpiritsKitchen Garden, growing foodfor the Community Kitchen andCooking Matters cooking programfor low-income families.Sign up online or email volunteercoordinator Kayla Davis atkayla.davis@tafb.org.

Dig into the spirit of serviceevery third Saturday at 6Stones' urban farmpilot project. Theirgoal is to donate
half of thesustainable garden’sproduceto New HopeCenter foodpantry, whichprovides food andclothes to familiesin need in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford area.During these garden workdays,you and the kids can help plant,weed and harvest, as well aslearn sustainable practices frommaster gardeners. Additionally,the New Hope Center is alwaysin need of volunteers to stock,organize and tidy the free clothingcloset. Sign up online formonthly Family Serve Days inthe garden or warehouse.

Tarrant Area Food Bank,2600 Cullen St., Fort Worth,817/857-7101; tafb.org //6 Stones, 209 N. Industrial Blvd.,Suite 241, Bedford, 817/868-7400; 6stones.org

Help Rescued Animals

Animal Hope Adoptions gives animals that are sick orhave behavioral issues a secondchance. Before finding
these pets a forever home,Animal Hope volunteers help
them recuperate from medicaltreatment and offer therapythey couldn’t get in a regularshelter. As volunteers, you andyour animal-loving kiddos canattend two-hour weekdayshifts to cleanrooms and catcondos, do laundry,wash andrefill food andwater dishes,scoop the yard,walk the animalsand (the bestpart) cuddle with
a free-roaming felinein the cat room. Walk in tosubmit a volunteer applicationand sign a release waiver.

Animal Hope Adoptions,6708 S. Hulen St., Fort Worth,
817/984-1129; animalhope.org

Help the Environment

For now, only teens can help beautify the Fort Worth Botanic Gardenon a regular basis, but youryounger kids can lend agreen thumb on freeFamily Exploration
Saturdays startingin March. Thebrand-new program,a collaborationwiththe BotanicalResearchInstitute ofTexas (akaBRIT), welcomesfamilieswith budding environmentalstewardsof all ages to help plantseeds, compost, tend thepollinator garden, restore thevegetable plot and learn sustainable gardeningpractices from master gardeners. Stopby early afternoon on select Saturdays topitch in; don’t forget a water bottle.Visit the botanic garden’s website formore information.

Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 BotanicGarden Blvd., Fort Worth, 817/392-5510;fwbg.org

Help Refugees

Through World Relief Fort Worth,your family can help refugee families fromAfrica, Iran, Iraq, Burma and other countriesassimilate to life in Tarrant County. Sign
your bunch up to be a Family Friend andfellowship with refugees for at least onehour a week for three months. Or go on ayard sale scavenger hunt for furniture, decorand small household appliances that willfurnish a new apartment for one of thesepeace-seeking families. To sign up,first fill out a volunteer applicationonline.

World Relief Fort Worth,4059 Bryan Ave., Fort Worth,817/924-0748;worldrelieffortworth.org

Help Senior Citizens

Kids show respect for their elderswhen they adopt a lawn through thevolunteer programs of Mid-Cities Care Corpsin Hurst. Children old enough tohandle yard equipment (with a parent’ssupervision) spend at least three hours amonth mowing, weeding, raking and edging.
Other service opportunities include drivingclients to and from medical appointmentson weekdays and to the grocery store, bank,pharmacy and even hair appointments onSaturdays. Or sign up to be a Visiting
Friend, and you and the kids willmeet with a senior once or twicea month for 1–2 hours to playgames, read books, talk or goon a walk. Fill out a volunteerapplication online.

Mid-Cities Care Corps, 745W. Pipeline Road, Hurst,817/282-0531; midcitiescarecorps.org

Help Kids inthe Hospital

There are a few ways to brighten achild’s day at Cook Children's hospitalsin Tarrant County. One is to have kids makesympathy cards for patients. Instead of generic
messages like “Get well soon,” encourage kidsto find other ways to express sympathy likedrawing happy, uplifting pictures or writingknock-knock jokes. You can also drop off Legosets, Uno decks, plastic animals, travel-sizetoiletries, light-up toys, Play-Doh and othermuch-needed items to the volunteer servicesdepartment (find the wish list online). Andwhen your child’s birthday nears, she can participatein the Peter Pan Birthday Club by askingfor new games, dolls, books and even Mr.Potato Head toys for the patients instead ofpresents for herself. Drop the goods off at theinformation desk Monday–Friday 8am–8pm orSaturday and Sunday 10am–4pm.

Cook Children’s, 801 Seventh Ave., FortWorth, 682/885-4590; cookchildrens.org

Help Vulnerable Families

Each year, Safehavenprovidesemergency shelter to nearly athousand women and childrenfleeing domestic violence.Local families have an opportunityto meet their needsby donating pillows andpillowcases, bath towels,
cough drops and pajamapants for adults and medicine
syringes, diapers and bottlesfor infants. Contact CristieKing to sign up and for drop-offlocations cking@safehaventc.org.

SafeHaven, 1100 Hemphill St.,Suite 303, Fort Worth, 817/502-7154;safehaventc.org