Your act of kindness for a child can help show them the way to a brighter future.
Help Children Create Great Memories
Bradley Center children work hard every day to learn and heal. Our volunteer activities help them understand why all their hard work is worth the effort.
But our volunteers do much more than just incentivize the children to practice good behavior and meet their daily and weekly goals. They also provide a special opportunity: by learning, sharing, playing, and laughing with our volunteers, the children of Bradley get to feel like kids again.
When our volunteers are helping the children learn, exercise, or play, they don’t see them as “children with challenges.” They simply see the kids as kids. It’s the kind of wonderful normalcy that children who have experienced trauma, mental health issues, or behavioral challenges rarely get to experience. And that’s what makes our volunteer activities so fun and fulfilling, for the kids and volunteers alike.
Individual Volunteer Opportunities
Do you have a special skill or talent that you would like to share?
Do you enjoy teaching, coaching, or mentoring?
Do you just like spending time with children?
All of these and more are great reasons for you to get involved with volunteer activities at The Bradley Center!
Individuals or volunteer groups can work with the kids one-on-one or in small groups. Or, if you love to help but you would rather not interact with children directly, many Bradley Center volunteers enjoy helping with gardening, maintenance, and keeping our fleet of vans looking fresh and clean.
To get started as a Bradley Center volunteer, please contact Pat Hargest at 412-788-8219 for more information.
Large Group & Organizational Volunteer Opportunities
It’s amazing how much a team of energetic volunteers can accomplish together!
With over 15 days of caring scheduled with local organizations each year, there are plenty of opportunities for your company, church, nonprofit, or school to schedule their own team volunteer project with The Bradley Center. (For example, a 100-person team from Eaton recently contributed 800 hours of work to a campus beautification project, all in one day!)
To discuss large-scale group volunteer projects at The Bradley Center, please email us or call 412-788-8219 for more information.
What Can Volunteers Do to Help the Kids at Bradley?
Art activities — Drawing classes, guided painting classes, or any type of art project is a unique and fun activity that results in a work of art, which helps the children enjoy the power of creation and self-expression
Campus beautification — Help create a cheery environment by landscaping, painting or making small repairs, or even detailing the Bradley vans
Crafts — Making something with their hands is a great creative outlet for kids. Some popular activities include macaroni art, homemade jewelry, making slime, origami, holiday crafts, or hundreds of other ideas you might see on Pinterest
Day of Caring — Bring your friends or coworkers to The Bradley Center for a group volunteer activity! Spend part of your day doing campus beautification projects, and then spend an hour doing a fun activity with the kids. Your group make a difference in the lives of the youth at Bradley, and they’ll improve their own teamworking skills along the way!
Exercise “classes” — Help the kids work off their excess energy, or practice relaxation techniques through yoga, Zumba, Pilates, etc.
Games — The kids love to play board games, card games, LEGO, bingo, cornhole, and “minute to win it” games that reward their creativity, knowledge, and skill!
Holiday-related activities — Many kids at Bradley do not have the chance to celebrate the holidays at home, so we love to see volunteers bring the holidays to them! Holidays also provide a year-round opportunity for themed art, craft, music, and food projects, including:
- Valentine’s Day crafts
- Easter crafts, Easter egg dyeing, or Easter egg hunts
- 4th of July crafts
- Halloween crafts, Halloween parties
- Thanksgiving crafts
- Winter holiday crafts, decorating, singing, creating ornaments, making holiday-themed cookies and hot chocolate, holiday parties
For a very special volunteer opportunity each winter, learn more about our Holiday Gift Drive!
Mentoring — If you are interested in working with a child one-on-one and fostering a long-term connection, a mentoring program is available through Family Guidance
Office help — Keeping things running efficiently behind the scenes takes a lot of extra effort! Volunteers are always welcome to help stuff envelopes, making holiday wish tags, and more
Pet therapy — Bradley Center kids love to receive visits from certified therapy pets, like Moe the Therapy Dog!
School — Learning activities and lessons (for example, anything related to finances, hygiene, health and wellness, life skills, etc.)
Sports — Playing team games such as basketball, kickball, volleyball, king pin, etc.
Miscellaneous activities — Anything fun! This includes balloon animals, birthday parties, cookie decorating, cupcake decorating, food lessons, karaoke, making ice cream sundaes, making picture books, reading, water balloons, teaching the kids how to make something, and much more
Be creative! Your volunteer spirit is not limited to only these options. If you have a unique idea for an activity to do with the Bradley Center kids, please contact us and make a suggestion!
Volunteer Participation Requirements — Volunteers who have direct contact with children at The Bradley Center, whether face-to-face or remote, must meet certain requirements:
- Must be 21 years of age or older.
- Must be free of communicable disease (volunteers must take a TB test, which can be performed at The Bradley Center).
- Must obtain safety clearances: Act 33 and 34, and FBI clearance.
- Must attend an orientation/training program that includes the volunteer’s specific duties and responsibilities, the policies and procedures of the facility, including reportable incident reporting, discipline, care and management of children, medication administration, and the use of restrictive procedures prior to the commencement of the volunteer’s first volunteer activity.
- Must be assessed on competence.
- Must be qualified to work with our children.