Some of the most valuable work you can do comes without a paycheck. Volunteering in your community is a great way to help others less fortunate, share interests, and meet your neighbors. Involving your kids can make volunteering a wonderful bonding experience, too. It is also the antidote to that delightful little whine, “I’m bored.” Here are five-plus ways for Dads and their children to help Hampton Roads.

Horizon Hampton Roads

Horizons Hampton Roads, an academic, recreational and cultural program, encourages students from low-income families in Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach to reach their potential.  A program meant to help local students can benefit from your own student, and you.

Whether you volunteer to help with summer programs, year-round programs, or Horizon’s innovative STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program, you and your child could be helping a child learn to swim, build a computer, or learn valuable social skills.

This could be a great way for your own child to expand her or his circle of friends, learn about other cultures, and help Hampton Roads. An email to can get you started, or you can visit Horizons Hampton Roads’ website.

Girls on The Run

Hampton Roads Girls on The Run (GOTR) can always use your help. While you could be a volunteer coach spending 10 weeks transforming girls’ lives, your child can help with 5K runs, chatting with the girls, and helping out at each training session.

Girls on The Run is extremely well organized, from a standard curriculum any adult can implement to fun races for every ability, race, and ethnicity.

Unlike some charitable organizations, GOTR does not discriminate against volunteers across a very wide array of descriptors: age, economic circumstance, ethnicity, gender identity, philosophy, physical and mental abilities and characteristics, race, religion, or sexual orientation.

You and your child can find a place to help a young Hampton Roads girl find her footing. To sign up, contact Lauren Logan at 757-965-9040 or visit their site.

Wild Times

In Hampton Roads is the Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve, in Portsmouth, VA. Though it is in the area, it is a world apart. The Preserve needs a steady stream of volunteers to maintain the trails, remove invasive plant species, and help preserve the natural wonders.

Minors as young as eight are welcome but must be accompanied by a responsible adult or guardian (that’s you, Dad!). Everyone needs long sleeve shirts and pants, sturdy boots, and bug spray. Bringing your own pruning shears, lopping shears and even a wheelbarrow is a great way to help out.

The next volunteer day is Saturday, July 14, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve, 4510 Twin Pines Road in Portsmouth, VA. Other Saturday dates (all 10 to 1) after July:

  • August 11
  • September 8
  • October 13
  • November 10
  • December 8

In the Running

Yorktown (20 miles northwest of Hampton Roads) celebrates Independence Day with the Yorktown Independence Day 8k & 5k Run/Walk, for which volunteers of all ages are needed to help with parking, registration, the course, and keeping runners refreshed.

Event volunteers receive appreciation and thanks from Yorktown, all the athletes, and the York County Historical Museum. They also get a goodie bag, official T-Shirt, and free admission to the party after the race. You and your child can also get a personalized letter recognizing your community service hours.

This year’s local charity benefiting from the event is the York County Historical Museum. Volunteers should check in at York High School, 9300 George Washington Memorial Hwy (US 17), Yorktown.

Riddick’s Folly

In Suffolk, VA is the Greek Revival home and museum, Riddick’s Folly. This historical building needs volunteers to provide tours, assist visitors, and provide a human element to the history.

The job is called a docent, meaning a knowledgeable tour guide. Anyone 16 or older can be volunteer, get training, and help visitors understand the mansion’s various rooms.

If your child enjoys working with (and talking to) people, can climb stairs several times a day, and can learn from original source materials, this could be a great opportunity. In return, volunteers get 10 percent off in the gift shop, free admission for their family members, and a quarterly newsletter. The docent will be expected to complete a minimum of three hours per month of service, on a regular shift.

An excellent resource for finding opportunities to give back to the Hampton Roads community is Volunteer Hampton Roads. At the site, you can filter for opportunities for adults and children as young as 12. Some of the positions mentioned here are also described at the site.

We’re Family Lawyers for Fathers

Feel free to call The Firm For Men at 757-383-9184, or contact us online, to learn more about ways Dads and kids can build good relationships after separation or divorce. Our Virginia attorneys are experienced in all aspects of family law, including child custody, parenting time, spousal support and more. We also volunteer in our community; perhaps we will see you and your kids at an event soon!