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Family & Pets

Top Outdoor Volunteer Opportunities For Families In Connecticut

July 19, 2013 8:00 AM

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(Credit: Jessica Hill/

(Credit: Jessica Hill/

Your time is the most precious thing you have to give. Teaching your children about volunteering and leading by example is a great way to share family time together. There are many opportunities to give of yourself in Connecticut and there’s no time like the present to get started.

Photo Credit: Community Farm of Simsbury

Photo Credit: Community Farm of Simsbury

Photo Gallery: Best After School Activities For Kids

Go Dog Days
101 N. Main St.
Essex, CT 06426
(800) 653-3134
www.godogdays.orgWith adoption events and fundraisers held on a year-round basis, there is always an opportunity to work with homeless animals through Go Dog Days. Help support local animal shelters care for and find homes for pets who are down on their luck. Families are encouraged to participate and children as young as eight years old are welcome to get involved. Whether assisting with a scheduled event or initiating one of your own, it’s never too late or too soon to get on board with promoting saving lives and responsible pet ownership.

Adopt-A-Home Program
100 Sebethe Drive., Suite A2
Cromwell, CT 06416
(860) 632-2814
www.mosaicinfo.org/cromwellSomewhere in your own neighborhood, there is probably a Mosaic home for persons with disabilities that could use help taking care of chores around the property. The Adopt-A-Home program offered by Mosaic Allied Voices, an advocacy group for the disabled, pairs a family with a location and allows the volunteers to initiate the projects they would like to complete. Choose to maintain the yard, do some gardening and painting or miscellaneous projects on the outside. The opportunity also exists to spread some cheer by visiting inside with the residents to play a game, read aloud or share an interest.

The Meriden Humane Society
311 Murdock Ave.
Meriden, CT 06450
(203) 238-3650
www.members.petfinder.comThe Meriden Humane Society has been a safe haven for homeless animals since 1893. Volunteers of all ages, including those under the age of 14 when accompanied by a parent, can easily find plenty to do. Whether working on beautifying the grounds, giving a lonely dog some much needed outdoor play time, offering your lap for a cat to sleep on or helping with an event, the rewards are great for all involved. Here is the chance to teach your children about compassion, responsibility and commitment while brightening the day for some new furry friends while they wait to find a home of their own.

Related:  Top Summer Camps or Workshops For Teens In Connecticut

Community Farm of Simsbury
73 Wolcott Road
Simsbury, CT 06070
(860) 217-0453
www.communityfarmofsimsbury.orgThe Community Farm of Simsbury is an organic, educational farm that offers many resources to the public. There are youth learning programs all year long, special events and the chance for those who would like to lend a hand to do so. In addition to general farm duties, which would be suitable for older members of the family, a number of resident animals require feeding and attention and would be most welcoming to younger children. Giving of yourself here is a perfect way to make a difference to both the farm itself as well as the community.

Adopt A Park
79 Elm St.
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 424-3000
www.ct.govChoose a park in or near your neighborhood and get the whole family involved in an environmentally conscious effort to keep things in order. Litter cleanup, gardening, weeding and general groundskeeping will keep everyone busy and create a sense of pride and accomplishment. Many parks in the state participate in the program and welcome the efforts of volunteers of all ages. Whether you decide to adopt your favorite park or the one nearest you, make the most of some spare time and spend some quality time together, enjoy the outdoors and make a visible difference that others can appreciate.

Related: Ask A Carpenter: Tips For Building A Kids’ Play Area In Connecticut

Theodora DeBarbieri is an animal advocate, columnist and local TV show host residing in Connecticut. She is owned by a number of dogs, cats and birds. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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