Help Animals at Any Age!
Community service and volunteerism are a great way to teach students and families the importance of investing in our community and the animals and people who live in it. Below are the ways for families, schools, scouts and other youth groups to get involved and help the animals at BARCS. Once you have selected the program that is the best fit for you, please fill out our online form. All student/youth requests will be reviewed by BARCS. We do our best to support the students in our community, but please understand that we have limited resources, staffing and availability.
Quick Links on This Page
- Youth Volunteering (Individual + Groups)
- Virtual Field Trips to BARCS
- High School Service Hours
- More Opportunities
- Age Guide for Animal Handling in Shelter
- How to Drop Off Donations
- Youth Volunteering Form
BARCS has several volunteer projects for children, teens, classrooms or extracurricular youth groups who are interested in donating their time and talents to help the animals at our shelter. The following activities are the most impactful way that they can make a difference at BARCS:
- Hold a Wish List Drive: Check out BARCS’ wish list to find out what supplies we need and hold a wish list drive to collect those items. Advertise at your school (with permission) or in your neighborhood and find a designated area to collect items. Get a few representatives to bring the supplies to our shelter and see the animals who will benefit from your hard work. You can also do specific drives such as a used towel drive, toy drive or food drive.
- Organize a BARCStoberfest Team:Get a team together at your school (with advance permission) or organize a group of friends to participate in the annual BARCStoberfest. To create a team, register on BARCStoberfest.org and simply invite others to participate in collecting donations from friends and family.
- Lemonade Stand or Bake Sale: Set up a lemonade stand in your neighborhood. Let your customers know that all the money you collect from lemonade sales is being donated to your favorite animal shelter. Don’t forget to put a “tip jar” out for extra donations!
- Make Hand-Knotted Fleece Blankets: Lay the two pieces of fleece wrong sides together. With the fabric on top of each other, trim off any ends as necessary to make them the same size. Cut out a square about three to four inches from each corner. This will prevent bunching of the material in the corners and help to make tieing easier. Next cut out slits, almost like a fringe, about three inches deep all the way around the fabric. Just make sure you cut deep enough so that you can tie the pieces together. Tie the matching top and bottom slits together into double knots (helps them to stay together after washing).
Visit BARCS on a virtual field trip through our shelter. Learn about how our shelter operates and meet our adoptable animals virtually. BARCS can also provide materials to teachers/leaders for follow-up activities in the classroom. Virtual field trips are available Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. We ask that teachers and/or group leaders request field trips at least two weeks in advance. Please note we will do our best to accommodate these requests but are limited due to staffing, the size of the class, etc.
BARCS provides opportunities to high school students who need to earn their required community service hours for graduation. We are able to provide signatures and/or official communication to the school to confirm service hours. These projects include:
Community collection of cardboard litter boxes from partnering restaurants in the Baltimore metro area.
Distribution of BARCS informational flyers and other paper goods throughout the community.
Holding a Wish List donation drive to collect items we need in our shelter, such as used towels, toys and food, to help us take care of the animals.
- Classroom Visits: At this time, BARCS is reviewing requests for visits to classrooms on a case-by-case basis.
- Tales With Tails Reading Program: Our Tales With Tails in-shelter reading program for students is back! Children in grades 1st through 8th can visit BARCS and read to our shelter cats. Available for classrooms/youth programs only; maximum of twenty children at once; teachers/helpers required. Email volunteer@BARCS.org to schedule; the program is only available on Thursdays at 1 p.m. and must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance.
- Celebrate a Birthday: Ask friends and family to bring pet food, toys and other pet supply donations instead of gifts.
Volunteer opportunities listed above are available to children and students of all ages. For families interested in volunteering at the shelter with the animals, the following age restrictions apply:
- 18+ years old: No baseline restrictions
- 16-17 years old: No dog handling
- 13-15 years old: Must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian at all times while at the shelter. Can socialize cats, no dog handling
- 13 and under: Please choose from the opportunities listed above on this page
Families that choose to volunteer in our shelter must attend an upcoming volunteer open house.
Please deliver crafts, wish list (in-kind) items or monetary donations to our shelter. At this time, due to limited resources, BARCS is not able to pick up in-kind donations.
Items can be dropped off during the following hours:
- Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
If these times do not work for you or your group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org If available, we will work to schedule an alternative time for drop off.