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Volunteering as a family can be a great way to spend quality time together while helping the community. It is also a great way to develop skills, teach children responsibility and give some true meaning to your summer vacation. From animal rescue to growing food, there are some great volunteer opportunities in Pittsburgh that can also be a lot of fun for your family. Here are some great local organizations that could use your help this summer.

Grow Pittsburgh
6587 Hamilton Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(412) 362-4769

Grow Pittsburgh is an organization that educates and helps communities to grow urban gardens and grow healthy and fresh fruits and vegetables. Grow Pittsburgh grows and maintains several urban gardens as well as many schoolyard gardens in the area. Help is needed to keep school gardens maintained in the summer as well as help with maintenance and harvesting of other area gardens. If your family enjoys working outdoors this could be the perfect volunteer opportunity for you. Take a look at Grow Pittsburgh’s volunteer calendar for volunteer locations and dates.

Pittsburgh Cares
3505 Butler St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
(412) 471-2114

If your family would enjoy a variety of volunteer projects, Pittsburgh Cares can help. Pittsburgh Cares helps to match volunteers with opportunities. You can take a look at volunteer opportunities on the Pittsburgh Cares website and find some that match with your family’s availability and skills. Many youth and family projects are available at organizations throughout the area.

Animal Rescue League
6620 Hamilton Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA15206
(412) 345-7300

If your family loves animals, fostering an animal in need from the Animal Rescue League could be a great summer project. The Animal Rescue League needs foster homes for dogs, cats, puppies, kittens, and small animals that aren’t quite ready to be adopted yet. Some of these animals are fragile or very young and require special care, so make sure your whole family is up for the challenge and responsibility. The Animal Rescue League will help you with the necessary information and equipment to care for your foster pet and an application process is required to be considered.

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412 Food Rescue
6022 Broad St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Each day as much as 40 percent of food that is prepared is wasted. This includes an overabundance of produce at stores, too much food cooked for a catered event and food overstock in restaurants and stores. With your help, this food can be given to the many food insecure families in Pittsburgh. 412 Food Rescue works to get food that is about to be wasted to organizations that can use it immediately to feed those in need. You and your family can volunteer to transport this food from restaurants, stores, and events to the organizations that will distribute it. Simply choose some days to be on call to help redistribute food supply from those who have too much to those who have too little.

Beverly’s Birthdays
31 Robins Station Road
North Huntingdon, PA 15642
(412) 970-9734

Beverly’s Birthdays helps to make sure that children in need, such as those living in shelters, are able to celebrate their birthdays with a party. Your family can help to children in need to enjoy a happy, special day on their birthday by volunteering for Beverly’s Birthdays. The organization is regularly in need of birthday treats such as cakes and cupcakes for parties. If your family enjoys baking, you can spend a day baking treats for kids to enjoy. Beverly’s Birthdays is also in need of party treat bags. Let your kids choose party treats and assemble bags an upcoming monthly shelter birthday party.

Related: Ask A Pittsburgh Expert: 5 Fun & Easy Science Projects To Do At Home

Jennifer Stockdale is a native of the greater Pittsburgh, PA area. She is a restaurant marketer and wine enthusiast and one of the hosts of the East Coast Wine Geeks Podcast. Her work can be found at