There is something positive and motivating about giving back to the community through volunteer work. Volunteering can range in a variety of different disciplines, from environmental cleanup to animal care, and everything in between. It is even more fun when you volunteer as a family—doing something you all enjoy, while spending quality time together doing it. Whatever your family’s specific interests, if you live in or around the surrounding D.C. area you’ll find a wide range of volunteer opportunities available to you and your bunch this summer. Consider these great suggestions.
Manna Food Center
9311 Gaither Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
(301) 424-1130

Based in Gaithersburg, MD the core mission of the Manna Food Center is to put an end to hunger in Montgomery County. The organization works toward this goal by serving the community through food distribution, establishing advocacy programs and performing other generous acts. Families will find many different volunteer opportunities with Manna, both onsite in the center’s warehouse as well as within the outreach, working directly within the community. Such opportunities include assisting in food drive special events, Family Box Packing days and even helping local farmers with harvesting.

Little Falls Watershed Alliance
4920 Dorset Ave.
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

Get outdoors this summer and make a positive impact in nature with Little Falls Watershed Alliance. This entirely volunteer organization works hard to protect the natural environment and watershed around the greater D.C. community and nearby Montgomery County through myriad organized events. Volunteers are always needed for ongoing projects, such as invasive weed control, storm drain stenciling, trash abatement and other maintenance and cleanup efforts. Volunteering with the Little Falls Watershed Alliance can be a fun family-friendly endeavor that serves a very vital cause.

Washington DC Humane Society
7319 Georgia Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20012
(202) 273-5730

Working with and for animals can be a calming, feel-good activity for the entire family to share in. When you volunteer with the Washington Humane Society you’ll find plenty of opportunities for doing just that. Take part in offerings available to all ages and interests, from administrative assistance, animal cleanup, animal caretaking and bonding, dog walking, and plenty of other tasks. With the recent merger of the Humane Society and the Washington Animal Rescue League there are even more opportunities available—perfect for pursuing during the summer months.

Related: Best Places to Volunteer With Your Kids In D.C.

Montgomery Parks Trails
Montgomery County Department of Parks
9500 Brunett Ave.
Silver Spring, MD 20901
(301) 650-4395

Maintaining and improving park trails around the area calls for many helping hands. If you’d like to get outdoors as a family while lending a helping hand to your local park, you may want to consider volunteering with Montgomery Parks Trails. Take part in available weekend work project opportunities offered seasonally, or check into some of the long-term, ongoing needs involving trail cleaning and upkeep. Tasks vary based on a group’s experience level and commitments, but many projects include building new trails, repairing existing ones, assisting in drainage-related needs and even joining Trail Ranger programs (for those 18 years or older). Volunteering is open to ages 15 and older, but youths under the age of 15 may volunteer if accompanied by an adult.

Black Hill Nature Center
20926 Lake Ridge Drive
Boyds, MD 20926
(301) 528-3492

If you love learning about nature and history you may enjoy volunteering at Black Hill Nature Center. With plenty of opportunities available, this educational endeavor is perfect for the whole family to partake of. Volunteer duties come in many forms, including event setup and cleanup, program presentation assistance and interacting with the public through greeting visitors or assisting them. Other opportunities include researching, setting up displays, and hands-on interactive projects like gardening.

Related: Green Volunteer Opportunities In Washington DC

Laura Catherine Hermoza has a lifelong love for writing. In addition to serving as a contributor to various media publications, she is also a published novelist of several books and works as a proofreader/editor. LC resides in Baltimore County.