“Can my child volunteer for you?” We get this question aaaaalllllllll the time.

The answer is YES! Well, sort of.

For health and safety reasons, we are unable to allow children volunteers on site or interacting directly with animals. Handling and caring for live animals that are going through a somewhat (or sometimes very) stressful period is a grownup’s job. However, there are a bunch of ways that kids of just about any age can help our rescue in a BIG way!

1. Host a donation drive. That’s when your kid sets up a collection box in her school, a local community center, your office, etc. and collects the supplies we need most to keep this place running — like cat food and cleaning products. You can find our wish list HERE.

2. Host a FUNdraiser! In the past, we’ve had children set up lemonade stands and bake sales to raise money for our rescues. Your child might think out of the box and come up with his own event, like an iced coffee stand, a video game competition, a scavenger hunt… the possibilities are endless!

3. Donate your birthday. Not the whole thing, of course — just part of it. Or rather, part of the goods your kid would receive from adoring party guests and family members. Through ECHOage, you can create a party invitation, send it out to guests, and they make a donation — half goes to presents for your kid, half goes to our shelter. You could also just collect monetary and material donations the good old fashioned way (at the door when guests arrive) and then deliver the donation in person so we can thank your child for her generosity! (Please email contact@socialteesnyc.org to set that up.)

4. Earn some allowance... and give it to our critters! Your kid can set a goal — let’s say $20 — and work with you to do some odd jobs around the house. Once he’s raised the donation dough, email contact@socialteesnyc.org to set up a time for him to bring it to us in person so that we can be ready with a big thank you. If you don’t live close enough to visit, your child can send in his donation with a super sweet note, which we’ll post on our Facebook and Instagram accounts. Or, he can use his earnings to purchase something from our Amazon Wish List, which is full of super essential supplies like the stuff our young volunteers collect via donation drives (above). (If you go this route, send an email to contact@socialteesnyc.org with the wish list donation info so that we can send your kid a special message to show our gratitude.)

5. Hand out fliers. Design an informational handout that you can print and distribute to raise awareness about animal rescue. (Please email contact@socialteesnyc.org for our approval before you start handing it out.) Kids must always be accompanied by a parent/guardian, of course. You’d be surprised at how many people who live just a block or two away from us don’t know about what we do.

6. Go door to door. First, email us at contact@socialteesnyc.org so we can send you a donation form to print up. Then take a stroll around your apartment building or neighborhood knocking on doors, explaining the cause you're supporting, and asking for donations. Once you're done collecting, come to our shelter to deliver the dough. Let us know in advance that you're coming so we can have a thank you prepared.