About

Many active volunteers and donors used to ask, “when can we bring our children to volunteer?”  We heard their request and, in 2014, Common Kids was born.  Our events allow children to serve alongside a parent or caregiver, and we pair an age-appropriate volunteer opportunity with activities that help kids better understand food insecurity and root causes of poverty.  

Our Vision:  Create the next generation of civic-minded citizens in our community.

Our Mission:  We provide opportunities for families to GROW in their understanding of poverty, SHOW empathy toward others and GO serve our neighbors.

Testimonial: “I grew up volunteering at Common Pantry with my mom. It’s taught me a lot about caring for other people. Volunteering has shown me that I can make a difference and enjoy helping.”   –Jackson, high schooler

Most events are targeted at ages 6-12; teenagers often participate to assist younger children. Teens are also welcome to volunteer on their own outside of Common Kids activities.  

Adults and teens (age 13+) can volunteer in our regular opportunities.  Select Get Involved/Volunteer from the drop-down above to sign up. 

Looking to plan a service project with your school/scout troop/house of worship or similar?  We may be able to help!  Please contact our Community and Operations Coordinator at: sheal@commonpantry.org

Still have questions?  Reach out to our Common Kids volunteers at: commonkids@commonpantry.org


Suggested Activities

It’s easy for families, classrooms and groups of all kinds to support the Common Pantry.  With prior arrangements, we may be able to accommodate your group with a tour when you deliver your donations.

Some “tried and true” activities include: 

    • Food Drives:  Click here for suggestions:  https://www.commonpantry.org/2021/02/02/host-a-food-drive/ 
    • Themed Kits:  Invite kids to get creative as they collect donations and assemble kits for our clients. Popular themes from the past include: 
      • Wake Up Kits—coffee, packaged breakfast pastry or bar, mouthwash, toothbrush & paste  
      • Winter Warmth—Lip balm, small hand cream, toasty toes/hands, gloves or mittens
      • Spring Cleaning—full-sized cleaning spray, Windex, cleaning cloth, vinegar
      • Hygiene Kits—full-size soap, shampoo and conditioner, shaving cream and razor
      • Travel-size Kits—hotel toiletries packaged in a small ziplock for our unhoused guests 
      • Birthday bags—cake mix, frosting, small box of candles, blank card
      • Meal kits—think “Taco Tuesday” or “Pasta Night,” including all the non-perishable ingredients to make a meal
    • Cards and crafts: Our clients love anything made by children!  Kindness cards can be added to homebound delivery…decorate brown paper bags for your kits…
    • Lemonade Stands: Kids can host their own stand, with proceeds going to the Pantry.  Share your photos on social media with #CommonKids. 
    • Rally your group to support our Holiday Drive (December) or School Supply Drive (July/August).

OR reach out to commonkids@commonpantry.org — we can brainstorm with you!

Our Activities

Common Kids has several recurring efforts that each reach over 400 pantry children:

  • School Supply Drive – Common Kids volunteers host backpack drives, assemble kits of required school supplies, and distribute to our clients in July/August for back-to-school.
  • Holiday Toy Drive – We collect $25 gift cards (to Walmart and Target) as well as books for 400+ children. Volunteers are needed to collect, organize and distribute gifts in late November/early December.

Upcoming Activities

  • Lemonade Challenge Kick Off: May 18th, 10am-1pm
  • Back-to-School: July/August 
  • Thanksgiving: November 
  • Holiday gift card and book drive: November/December