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.  

Interested in getting involved or have any other questions? Please reach out to commonkids@commonpantry.org

Our Activities

  • Annual Open House – we open our doors to children and their parents for a morning of service.  We offer pantry tours and family-friendly activities, such as meal kit creation, toiletry bag assembly, prepping silverware and napkins for lunches, dessert-making and more.    
  • Lemonade Stand Challenge – From Memorial Day to Labor Day, kids can host lemonade stands to help raise money for the Pantry. Since 2019, everyone got in on the fun, from scout troops and school groups to neighbors and block parties.
  • School Supply Drive – Common Kids volunteers host backpack drives, assemble kits of required school supplies, and distribute to our clients in time for August back-to-school. We serve 250+ children. 
  •  Holiday Toy Drive – We collect gift cards and books and solicit donations at local stores (such as The Book Cellar, Timeless Toys and Roscoe Books). Volunteers distribute gifts to our clients every December, reaching 400+ children.
  •  Common Kids Quarterly Events – Once we’re in the new space, we will return to hosting activities appropriate for children and a parent/caregiver.  Past events have included preparing the pantry for holiday meals, making “winter warmth” kits to help clients stay healthy in the cold, “greening the pantry,” to help us be more sustainable, refugee support, hearing the stories of a former client, and more.
  • Get your School Involved! – We have a robust program of liaisons to many local schools.  Schools support the pantry by participating in our holiday drive, collecting food, toiletries or cleaning supplies, baking bread or cookies, making meal kits or hygiene kits and more. Ask us if your school is involved – if the answer is no, let’s work together to make it happen!