by Jason Luthor

Many times, people only think about volunteering to help others when the holidays roll around. There’s no reason to wait until Thanksgiving if you want to get involved in the community though. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities that are open throughout the year. The Fort Bend Junior Service League connects residents to the community through one of several volunteer opportunities. These opportunities range from helping serve food to supporting the education of kids living in the area.

If you’re interested in helping children who have had it hard growing up, the FBJSL can connect you with the Child Advocates of Fort Bend. This agency helps children on their way to permanent homes while escaping from abusive ones. Volunteers help put together a variety of activities for kids waiting for a home. They also help the main office in its work to investigate and advocate for victims of child abuse.

For residents interested in supporting the education of local kids, the FBJSL can link them with the Sugar Land branch of the Houston Museum of Natural Science. HMNS helps to advance knowledge of natural science among both kids and adults. The museum hosts numerous exhibits throughout the year and often needs help with some of the events it hosts. Volunteers get a chance to learn about science as they’re helping to put together museum presentations in topics from chemistry to Texas wildlife.

Another museum the FBJSL partners with is the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center. A project hosted by the Children’s Museum of Houston, the Discovery Center features six major exhibits in 12,000 square feet of exhibition space. Volunteers take part in several projects meant to support the education of children living around Fort Bend.

Anyone who’s ever gone hungry might want to help with Lunches of Love instead. The FBJSL connects residents with Lunches of Love in an effort to provide a nutritious, delicious sack lunch to children. Many kids go hungry during the holidays and weekends, and Lunches of Love helps to put together meals for them when they’re not in school. Volunteers can help either during the week or on the weekend. Foods prepared on the weekend are delivered to school counselors, who distribute them to kids on Friday so they can eat on Saturday and Sunday.