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Best Outdoor Volunteer Opportunities For Families In Pittsburgh

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Giving back to the community and helping people and animals in need may be a positive learning experience for all members of the family. Helping others foster hope, confidence and responsibility will provide a sense of accomplishment. At the same time, the family may develop and learn skills, meet new friends and even get some exercise.

Photo Gallery: Best After School Activities For Kids

Depreciation Lands Museum
4743 S. Pioneer Road
Allison Park, PA 15101
(412) 486- 0563

Families that are passionate about American history may need to take a short jaunt just off Route 8 and the turnpike to engage in a host of opportunities and help with the scheduled events. If you are handy with gardening and outside maintenance, then get your hands in the mix, meet new people and share with the staff. Preparations for the events are a vital part in the success and history surrounding the museum. Family members may also try their hand at working with displays or even become part of the history of the museum by becoming a participant in the cast of historical characters for program events.

Western Pennsylvania Conservatory
800 Waterfront Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 288-2777

Taking pride in the Pittsburgh region and volunteering to preserve its beauty in the environment, all family members may be involved in planting trees and maintaining gardens throughout the summer. The work stretches beyond Pittsburgh at Fallingwater for help with weeding, removing plants and cleaning up waste sites. The Western Pennsylvania Conservatory is involved in conservation and preservation projects and families may use their expertise in photography, ecology and educational experiences to share a common bond of friendship and explore outdoor activities. The workload extends throughout the year and volunteers make preparations for each planting season and garden project to help make Pittsburgh and surrounding communities a wonderful and proud place to live.

Related: Family Guide To Holiday Volunteering

Habitat For Humanity Of Greater Pittsburgh
1500 Yost Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15221
(412) 351-0512

Grab a hammer, saw, screwdriver, garden tool or any construction implement and help build, rebuild or restore a home in the communities and neighborhoods of Pittsburgh. What's better than to lend a hand and make a dream come true to provide shelter for families who need help? Volunteers may have a hands-on experience and learn from construction professionals to build a home from the ground up or develop skills inside and outside the house. All of this hard work will pay dividends in the community and give hope and pride to families. Volunteers are responsible for assigned tasks and don't need the skills of a construction worker, but the finished product will be a priceless memory of sharing with others.

Related: Ask A Carpenter: Tips For Building A Kids' Play Area In Pittsburgh

Animal Rescue League Shelter & Wildlife Center
6620 Hamilton Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(412) 345-7300

The Animal Rescue League provides temporary shelter to animals and wildlife that have been abandoned or injured, and this gives opportunities for volunteers to learn the craft of caring for animals. Families that have pets will learn the nuances of the training procedures and carry over that experience for animals that need care and love. The animals will need training and volunteers can provide exercise walks and encourage socialization that will enhance that training. Volunteers who have a photography or writing background can help with public relations and scheduled events to help find a perspective owner. Spending time in the sunshine after a long walk, the pets can be pampered with a soothing bath or a grooming delight.

American Red Cross, Southwestern Pennsylvania Chapter
225 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15230
(412) 263-3146

There is no better time to become a volunteer with the Red Cross, a name that is synonymous with volunteering. There have been tumultuous weather patterns that have decimated many homes and passionate volunteers have provided relief efforts. Families may play a vital part during these times of emergencies to provide food and shelter to those who have been affected. The Red Cross will train the families for catastrophic awareness, life-saving techniques and support for the elderly and veterans. Families can help maintain an emergency plan in the communities and aid families in the event of fires, flooding or weather-related problems. It seems anytime there is a disaster, a Red Cross volunteer is on the scene, and families may assist to meet those demands.

Gerry Cernicky is a retired health and physical education teacher with 36 years of experience. He is a former teacher of the year and a sports writer for the Vandergrift News. He delivers podcasts, and maintains a website and blog. He currently resides in Pittsburgh. His work can be found at

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