A plethora of civic and humanitarian activities are available to Philadelphians year-round, and there is no better time than summer to become immersed in them. As summer reaches its peak, OMAAT celebrates the season by sharing some of our favorite spots to engage in some invigorating and fulfilling volunteer work.
Northern Children's Services
A truly vital part of Philadelphia's history, this dynamic group was established in 1853 to aid in the lives of children and families torn by the American Civil War.
Today, Northern Children's Services continues its 160 year mission to "[support] the healthy development of children, while stabilizing their families to build stronger communities."
Get involved by signing up for one of NCS's "Day of Service Projects," in which participants can work on-site in landscaping/gardening activities and home improvement projects, or go off-site, taking field trips to museums and amusement parks, among many other activities.
General hours for the Day of Service Projects are from 9am to 2pm, Monday to Friday.
Students Run Philly Style
A fresh organization with an exciting edge, Students Run Philly Style is focused on positively shaping the lives of Philadelphia kids age 12 to 18, helping them to improve in mind, body and spirit.
Students are placed in teams with mentor-trainers, or "Running Leaders," to prepare for and complete either a full or half marathon.
Through this transformative process, students learn endurance, discipline, and the fulfillment of attaining a challenging goal.
Readers are encouraged to become involved as event volunteers, working at water stations, at start-finish lines or biking a course. For all the details, visit the organization website.
The Bicycle Coalition promotes cycling awareness and shows Philadelphians how to get healthier through the most convenient and environmentally sound mode of transportation.
The Coalition works on the private, community and governmental levels to ensure greater bike-friendliness and safety in the Greater Philadelphia area.
Biking enthusiasts are able to get involved by volunteering for events, outreach, and data management. The Coalition hosts volunteer nights on the first Wednesday of each month, where newcomers can learn about the exciting work they can do while meeting like-minded individuals to talk about their passion. Volunteer nights run from 6 to 7:30 pm at the Center City office at 1500
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity is a staple of nonprofit community development organizations. They build affordable, livable housing for all those in need, regardless of background or circumstances.
Here in our own city, Habitat sets out to build and repair homes "in partnership with families in need, and [unite] all Philadelphians around the cause of affordable housing."
Habitat takes this mission to the global level as well, advocating the vision of "a world where everyone has a decent place to live."
Families who qualify for Habitat's home ownership and repair programs will simply need to show their need for comfortable housing, and their willingness to participate in the work to build one. Families will become empowered by actively giving themselves their right to safe, livable, and affordable housing.
To volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, click here.
Last but certainly not least, Philadelphians can become involved in volunteer activities by visiting the city's official location for civic engagement and volunteer service, established by Mayor Michael A. Nutter.
SERVE Philadelphia is the city's one-stop shop for finding organizations, contacting individuals willing to volunteer, or finding the activities best suited to your own skills and passions.
Every day numerous opportunities are announced on the office's online posting board, where Philadelphians are able to find the volunteer spots they seek, as well as learn about new avenues for community participation.
By Bessam Idani
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