7 ways to combine love of children with a desire to serve Charleston

If you have a heart for serving your local community – or at least some community service hours to complete – in addition to a love for children, this list is for you.

Whether you are an education major with a passion for teaching kids to read and write, an artist with a knack for teaching skills like design and photography or an athlete who wants to hit the courts with local kids, there are plenty of opportunities for you.

Check out the list below to find the perfect opportunity for you.


Garden with local kiddos through the Green Heart Project

The Green Heart Project is a local organization that builds garden-based experiential learning projects and school garden programs to educate students about nutrition, gardening and important life lessons.

As a Green Heart Buddy you will work alongside students during in-school and after-school lessons once a week – connecting, encouraging and supporting.

If you don’t think you have much of a green thumb, don’t fret – no gardening experience or prior knowledge is required!


Fight hunger at Lowcountry Food Bank

Lowcountry Food Bank in North Charleston feeds, advocates and empowers families, children and seniors in the South Carolina Lowcountry.

LCFB has multiple programs to help end child hunger, including Backpack Buddies, which is designed to fight weekend hunger for local children.

Sign up to volunteer and visit LCFB on Tuesday afternoons from 4 – 6 p.m. to help fill bags with nutritious food to eat during the weekends throughout the school year.


Hit the squash court with Kids on Point

Kids on Point, formerly “Chucktown Squash,” introduces young people to the world of opportunity outside of their under-resourced neighborhoods through year-round academic, athletic and enrichment support.

You can volunteer in the classroom, on the squash court and in the community.

Tutor a local student and help develop their life skills, instruct and play with students on the squash courts, teach them about healthy lifestyles and join KOP on volunteer and service-learning projects in the community.


Mentor a student with Yo Art!

Yo Art! enhances everyday classroom curriculum with media arts programs designed to spark students’ curiosity and teach real-world skills.

Programs include lessons and skill-building in photography, coding, design and film making.

If you have an interest in technology-driven arts in addition to your love for children, consider volunteering with Yo Art and becoming a one-on-one mentor for a student enrolled in their programs.

Share your gifts of “time, energy, enthusiasm, talent, skill and commitment” with local students!


Become a classroom mentor with Charleston Hope

Charleston Hope is a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring hope in the next generation by promoting positive and intentional living in local Title I schools.

The Classroom Mentor Program pairs community members with Title I classrooms to build positive relationships and help local, disadvantaged students reach their math goals.

Become a Classroom Mentor to provide weekly support in CD – 12 classrooms, working directly with a teacher to do whatever is needed in the classroom and to support the teacher’s work.


Serve Charleston with the Rotaract Club

Across the world, Rotaract clubs, in partnership with Rotary, to bring together people ages 18-30 to exchange ideas with leaders in the community, develop leadership and professional skills and have fun through service.

The Rotaract Club at CofC organizes, promotes and participates in numerous community service projects in the greater Charleston area, many of which focus on helping local children.

A favorite Rotaract Club tradition is participating in Happy Feet – a program that allows local volunteers/Rotaractors to help underprivileged children pick out a new pair of shoes to wear on the first day of school and beyond.

For the Spring semester of 2019, CofC’s Rotaract Club meets bi-weekly on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and participates in numerous community service opportunities each month.


Join Charleston Miracle and dance #ForTheKids

Charleston Miracle at CofC is raising funds and awareness for Charleston’s new Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, which treats children from the area and provides life-saving care to sick and injured kids in need.

To celebrate its year-long fundraising efforts for the campaign for the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital, the club is hosting their most anticipated event of the year – the 2019 CougarThon.

Join students and community members in TD Arena on March 9 to eat food, dance for 13 hours and meet the children and families who are supported by this effort.

Make sure to fundraise and raise awareness for the cause too.

Remember, it’s #ForTheKids!


by Abbie Kline

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