With summer having arrived and another school year over, families across Connecticut are looking forward to beach outings, picnics, cookouts and pool parties. But there is another way they can spend their time together this season, and that is by volunteering. It is a perfect way for families to bond while giving something back to their community. Here are some of the top organizations in the state that could always use volunteers.
Manes & Motions Therapeutic Riding Center
2150 Corbin Ave.
New Britain, CT 06053
(860) 223-2761

Part of New Britain’s Hospital For Special Care, Manes & Motions uses horses to help patients to recover from traumatic injuries. Families that have experience riding are encouraged to join its team of volunteers. The most important duties include walking alongside riders to ensure their safety and offering support and encouragement, and grooming and tacking horses before leading them to pasture. Other volunteer slots at Manes & Motions solicit talents from fundraiser planning to shooting video.

Riverfront Recapture
50 Columbus Blvd.
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 713-3131

Hartford’s Riverfront is the site of fun public events every summer, including Riverfest, the city’s annual Fourth of July celebration. Many volunteers from the city and beyond are necessary for them to be carried out successfully. So gather the family to help keep Riverfront’s four parks clean by planting, raking or pulling weeds or removing trash. There are also plenty of opportunities to volunteer on event days whether it’s to assist in setting up and breaking down stations or offering information and guidance to festival-goers.

Connecticut Humane Society
701 Russell Road
Newington, CT 06111
(860) 452-0114

If you are part of a family of animal lovers, then fostering a pet at home this summer may be the ideal way to volunteer. The Connecticut Humane Society is looking for people to care for sick, injured and abandoned dogs and cats so they can later be adopted. Applicants must have previous pet-owning experience and be willing to make a six-month commitment. Fostering an animal can also be a great way to see if your kids are up to the responsibility of having their own pets in the future.

Related: Ask a Connecticut Expert: How To Keep Your Pet Cool This Summer

River House Adult Day Center
125 River Road Extension
Cos Cob, CT 06807
(203) 622-0079

You and your family can help brighten the days of seniors in southwestern Connecticut this summer by visiting them at River House Adult Day Center. There are a number of things you can do for them there including singing and performing music, joining them in card or board games, serving them lunch or presenting them with homemade treats. Even something as simple as just talking with them and asking about their lives is sure to be greatly appreciated. The people you meet there may well become like members of your own family.

Elizabeth Park Conservancy
1561 Asylum Ave.
West Hartford, CT 06117
(860) 231-9443

The 100-acre Elizabeth Park is one of the most attractive in the state, thanks to the volunteers who help maintain it. Its multiple gardens require attention from hundreds of workers, and all ages are encouraged to pitch in. Summertime duties include upkeep on the Perennial Garden, weeding in the Shade Garden, and pruning its main attraction, the large Heritage Rose Garden. Elizabeth Park is open to the public year-round, so if your family enjoys volunteering over the next few months also consider doing the same during the other seasons.

Related: Top Family Activities In Connecticut To Do Before The Summer Ends

Joshua Palmes is a freelance writer covering all things Connecticut. His work can be found on Examiner.com.