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By Thea Theresa English

Outreach ideas for those seeking to help children in low-income areas

If you're a nonprofit organization and you are interested in serving children in low-income areas, the ideas are endless. You should develop a detailed plan and, if necessary, look for diverse funding sources that will help you with outreach. One idea is to open an afterschool community center where kids can have a safe place to go if their parents work in the afternoon or early evening hours. You can offer art classes, computer lessons, financial literacy classes and meals for the kids.

Summer job fair

If you're doing outreach for teens in low-income areas, you can hold a summer job fair during the months of March, April or May. Contact local businesses and express your desire to provide an event where teens can find work for the summer and be productive during their time away from school. Before the fair starts, you can meet with the teens who registered and give them pointers on how to prepare for the fair.

Food bank

If there are not many food banks in the city you live in, you can help low-income families by opening one. Contact local supermarkets and seek pantry donations from them. Your friends and relatives can also donate some food staples during the initial stages of the bank's operation. Make sure that you have mostly nonperishable foods in storage and seek out a location where low-income families will have easy access.

Weekly field trips

One of the best ways to inspire and educate children is through field trips and your organization can hold weekly field trips. Some nice field trip ideas include museums, hospitals, state parks, local cultural centers, and tours of local food companies. Some children might be inspired to learn more about certain careers after going on a field trip.

Discounted day camps

If your organization has day camps throughout the year, set aside some discounted camps for low-income children in your area. For example, you can offer discounts on the basketball and swimming day camps in the summer. Or during the winter you can have discounts on cooking day camps. This gives children a neat opportunity to learn life skills and meet new friends.

Grandparent mentoring

In some cases, children do not have their grandparents around anymore and could benefit from the wisdom of older persons in the community. Your organization can start a grandparent mentoring program where older persons will be paired with children whose grandparents passed away. The older persons will mentor the children and spend quality time with them during the week.

Free health screenings

Low-income children could benefit from free health screenings and this will also help the parents who might have no health insurance or inadequate insurance through their employers. The health screenings can include dental checkups, eye exams, and hearing tests. You can have the screenings a few times a year. With these ideas, children in low income communities can thrive and be the best they can be.

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