For Students and Families

Student, Family and Youth Volunteers

Getting Started

Volunteering with your family or as a group is a great way to gain a shared sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. To get the most out of your experience, discuss these topics before volunteering; why do you volunteer, what issues are important to your group, and what type of work your group wants to participate in.

How to Get Involved as a Group or a Family

Because of the nature of the volunteer assignments that are performed at Second Helpings, many onsite tasks aren’t safe for children under the age of 16. To accommodate families who are interested in serving this mission, we have scheduled a family-friendly volunteer shift on the third Thursday of each month. The tasks listed below are student or family-friendly activities for volunteers of all ages.  To schedule your visit, contact our  Volunteer Services Manager

We ask that all family activities be supervised by a parent or guardian.



Second Helpings uses hundreds of pounds of rice in a single week and a rice drive is an easy and affordable way for everyone to help fight hunger in our community. It’s a great activity for children to learn how to get large groups, such as an entire class or school, involved in giving.

If you’d like to do a food drive for Second Helpings, please download our FOOD DRIVE TOOL KIT

There are also many ways of raising money to purchase pasta or other wish list items for Second Helpings. For example, you can host a penny war.

How to get the whole family involved:
Start off with a brainstorming session. Think of the best places to have the collection drive, what would be the best items to collect, and decide who you need to contact to get the proper permission to do the drive. Have everyone help sort and collect. When the collection drive is finished, contact Second Helpings to schedule a time to bring in your donations, weigh them on our scales and stay for lunch and a tour.

Landscaping and Herb Garden

Come help us keep the outside of our building in perfect shape.These are great activities for families that like working outside.

We rely greatly on volunteers to help us with these two very important tasks. The Herb Garden provides the Hunger Relief Kitchen with fresh herbs and aids the Culinary Job Training students in learning how to use these fresh ingredients. Landscaping helps keeps our community beautiful.

How to get the group or family involved:
Discuss as a group what the mission of Second Helpings is and what we are trying to achieve. Please contact Adrian Rios, Manager of Volunteer Services at to find out when we need gardeners and landscapers. We also welcome you to join us for lunch to thank you and so you can share your experience.

Van Wash and Cleaning

Come spend a half day at Second Helpings and assist with the upkeep of our food rescue vans and building.

These two volunteer tasks are vital in aiding us in maintaining clean and sanitary facilities and equipment. Van Washing is a perfect outdoor activity for families with kids of all ages. If you like cleaning inside come join us for a day of vaccuming, window cleaning, and other general spring cleaning type activities.

How to get the group or family involved:
Discuss as a family what the mission of Second Helpings is and what we are trying to achieve. Please contact Adriane Rios, Manager of Volunteer Services to find out when we need van washers and cleaners. We also welcome you to join us for lunch after your volunteer shift and to share your experience.

Car Wash

Save, Donate, Invest, Spend

Save as a family for Second Helpings (or charity of choice) or teach your child about personal finance.

How to get the whole family involved:
-Collect Pocket Change: Collect loose change in a jar and, when it is full, have a family discussion on where to donate the money. Remember, it takes only about $1 for Second Helpings to prepare and deliver a meal — every little bit helps.
-Matching Gifts: This would be a great time to teach about matching gifts. If your child has an allowance or other spending money, encourage him or her to donate a portion to a charity of choice and offer to match the amount donated.

If you donate as a family to Second Helpings, please contact us to set up a time to take a tour and have lunch.

Family Volunteer On-Call List

Sign up for our Family Volunteer On-Call List and you will be contacted as activities and volunteer opportunities become available for families.

Many times throughout the year, opportunities will arise where we will need families to help us accomplish certain tasks. These opportunities will usually give us a few days to a week to find families to help us. The activities can range from shucking corn, to helping with a booth, to helping us set up for an event.

How to get the whole family involved:

If you would like Second Helpings to contact you for these on-call activities please click here to fill out a very short form. We know that families are busy; we will try to give you as much notice as possible so you and your family can choose what you would like to participate in.


Other Family and Youth Activities

There are many other ways to get involved around Indy or even globally. Be creative and focus on what your family’s interests are.

Teaching Children about Hunger and Nutrition:
Sesame Street’s Hope Against Hunger and other resources on nutrition.

United Way:
Take a look at the United Way of Central Indiana website to find even more age-appropriate opportunities.

Plant a Garden:
Grow vegetables for Second Helpings or a local food pantry. (Be sure to check with pantries first, as not all can handle fresh produce. Visit Ample Harvest to connect with pantries able to collect fresh produce.)

Share your Celebration:
Scale back your holiday celebration and donate the extra to an organization that your children select or adopt a family through one of the many organizations that sponsor families during the holidays.

Even more websites, books and fact sheets