At Hawley Orthodontics, we believe in giving back — not just to our Papillion orthodontic patients, but to the entire Omaha-area community. We live by three simple rules: smile, be kind, do good. These statements guide everything we do both in our Omaha orthodontist clinic and outside the office.
This summer, we invite you and your family to smile, be kind and do some good by volunteering in your community. Not only will you be helping people in need; your kids will learn the value of supporting those who are less fortunate. Not to mention that warm, fuzzy feeling you’ll get about making a positive difference in someone’s life. Volunteering really is beneficial for everyone involved.
There are so many ways to get active in the community as a volunteer. Charities, non-profits, hospitals, schools and more all need the support of kind, generous, thoughtful people (like you!) to keep their doors open to the people who need them. Want to give back to those in need but not sure where to start? Read on for a list of volunteer opportunities in Omaha for the whole family and discover how to change the world, one smile at a time.
VOLUNTEERING FOR TEENS IN OMAHA
Children’s Hospital & Medical Center
When you volunteer at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, you know you’re having a direct impact on a child’s life. There are many opportunities to get involved, such as offering support to patients’ family members, working at the gift shop or helping out at the information desk. The hospital accepts adult and teen volunteers, and they take the application process very seriously. All volunteer applicants can expect to submit a letter of recommendation, undergo a health screening, and attend required orientation and training sessions. It’s all worth it to know you’re helping kids and their families get through a very difficult time.
Nebraska Humane Society
The Nebraska Humane Society is dedicated to improving the lives of animals without forever homes. The society provides education for potential pet owners, gives shelter to animals, encourages ethical adoption and advocates for responsible pet ownership. Founded in 1875, the Nebraska Humane Society is the fifth oldest humane society in the country, and as one of the largest, it facilitates the adoption of over 10,000 pets every year. None of this would be possible without the support of the society’s volunteers. Open to anyone 19 and over, volunteer opportunities at the Nebraska Humane Society are a feel-good way to help give a voice to the furry members of our community.
CHI Health, a regional health network in Nebraska and southwestern Iowa, has a mission to create healthier communities through the healing power of the church. With a focus on supporting human dignity and social justice, CHI Health believes optimal health is a right. The organization relies on the help of its volunteers, who donate their time, knowledge and skill in every area. Volunteer opportunities are open to adults and teens at least 14 years of age. All volunteers must commit to at least one year of service.
Nebraska Medicine provides superior medical and health care to the Omaha community and beyond. With two hospitals, over 1,000 doctors and more than 8,000 employees, Nebraska Medicine lives up to its mission to provide “Serious Medicine, Extraordinary Care.” Volunteers at Nebraska Medicine benefit from more than the joy of giving back; they gain lifelong friends, develop new and existing skills, and have the opportunity to explore career options. To get involved, you must be at least 16 years old, be willing to commit to a term of at least six months, and volunteer for at least two to four hours a week.
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium
Everyone loves taking a trip to the zoo to see the exotic wildlife — but wouldn’t it be better to get involved in caring for and educating the public on the animals? Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium accepts youth volunteers for a variety of programs, giving kids and teens the opportunity to learn about the animals while offering their time, energy and skills. Check out the website to learn more about the different volunteer programs for each age group. Volunteering at the Omaha Zoo is sure to make this a summer your teens won’t soon forget.
VOLUNTEERING FOR FAMILIES AND KIDS IN OMAHA
Siena/Francis House Homeless Shelter
Siena/Francis House is the largest homeless shelter in Nebraska, providing emergency overnight shelter, meals, clothing and support for individuals experiencing homelessness. The shelter offers volunteer opportunities for groups and holds all-ages events every month. Whether it’s putting together candy bags or creating holiday decorations, volunteering at Siena/Francis House is the perfect way to show your little ones how uplifting and appreciated giving back can be.
Open Door Mission
You’re never too young (or too old) to volunteer at Open Door Mission. As a Gospel Rescue Mission, Open Door Mission aims to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty by providing a safe place for individuals to get the support they need. The mission provides shelter, food, hope and healing for anyone experiencing poverty or homelessness. With volunteering opportunities for individuals and families, you and your kids can share the fulfilling experience of giving back together. Visit Open Door Mission’s website for upcoming volunteering events.
Keep Omaha Beautiful
What better way to give back to your community than by cleaning up the beautiful neighborhoods we all call home? Keep Omaha Beautiful and its incredible volunteers are leaders in environmental stewardship and are committed to keeping Omaha clean, beautiful and safe for now and for the future. The organization accepts volunteers of all ages for all types of environmentally minded initiatives — from litter clean-ups and recycling, to education and community beautification. If you’re looking to volunteer on a more regular basis, your family can “Adopt-A-Spot” (such as a park, trail, stream or neighborhood) to maintain throughout the year. All of Keep Omaha Beautiful’s volunteer opportunities are kid-friendly, so grab a bag and teach your little ones how caring for the planet benefits us all.
Omaha Public Library
One of the best volunteer opportunities for kids in Omaha is helping out at the Omaha Public Library. Kids as young as 11 are allowed to volunteer, supporting library services and assisting with special events. Volunteering at Omaha Public Library also gives kids a chance to give back on their own, without their parents holding their hands. Above and beyond the incredible value of donating their time to the community, they’ll gain valuable skills, meet new friends and learn the importance of teamwork. Visit the library’s website to apply.
Heartland Hope Mission
Heartland Hope Mission’s goal is to help people in need achieve a better future, gain access to education and improve their quality of life. Through its values of faith, love, honesty, integrity and respect, the mission is building a community of hope where everyone feels validated and supported. Volunteers are at the heart of Heartland Hope Mission, helping give out food, clothing and hygiene items to people in need. Volunteers must be at least 12 years old, and kids 12 to 15 years old must be accompanied by an adult.