Toddlers volunteering their time make us Proud to be from Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH — This Halloween, there are some new kids on the block bringing smiles to people’s faces. They’re tots volunteering their time.

They’re part of VolunTOTS of Southwestern Pennsylvania. It’s a volunteer group for kids age three through kindergarten.

“I grew up volunteering. It was something I enjoyed doing,” said Cami Teacoach, Founder of VolunTOTS. “I was able to feel that community pride at a young age.”

When she couldn’t find volunteer opportunities for her and her three and a half year old son, Teacoach decided to create her own. She founded VolunTOTS in February 2021. In a matter of days, the group had 500 people interested.

“This was a need we didn’t know existed,” said Teacoach.

One of the first thing the toddlers did was pack bags for healthcare super heroes.

“On drop day I remember him (her son) actually saying, ‘I cant wait to give them to the doctors and nurses!’” said Teacoach.

VolunTOTS has since packed and donated comfort backpacks for Jeremiah’s Place, a crisis nursery in Pittsburgh.

Most recently, the kids marched in a Halloween parade for nursing home residents.

“They are so excited to see the children,” said Jody Wole, activities director for Highland Park Care Center where some of the children volunteered.

“If this can bring a little brightness for Halloween for the residents here, all the better,” said mom Bridget Coyne, who brought her 2-year-old daughter Bernadette to volunteer with her.

The group hosts monthly events for parents and their kids looking to get involved. You can find information on their Facebook page.

“Everybody is a helper. You’re never too young to help somebody,” said Teacoach.