Good Family: Text-Message Volunteering
If your kid wants to give back this summer but doesn't know where to start, let her thumbs do the walking. Do Something (dosomething.org) - a youth community-service non-profit - now connects teens with volunteering opportunities near them via text.
When a child age 13 to 18 sends "Do Something" to 30644, she's prompted to reply with her zip code (screened for safety and legitimacy) on her cell phone every two weeks. These standard-rate texts range from broad requests ("Donate school supplies at a Staples store near you") to specific ("Your local SPCA needs a volunteer from 6/20 to 6/25"), and they include URLs so youngsters can go online for more info.
"More than ever, teens want to get involved, so our goal is to make it easy for them," explains Aria Finger, Do Something's chief marketing officer. Since it launched last year, 21,000 kids have signed up nationwide and contributed thousands of hours to charities in need. If your teen's not yet a subscriber, encourage her to join their ranks. -- Laura Hahn