Volunteer Ideas for Preteens and Teens
Volunteering within the local community offers many benefits to preteens and teens. It can be a great way to connect them with other young people their age, coordinating together on large projects. And it can also be a great way to broaden their perspective. This is because when you volunteer, you come face to face with the way that life truly is for many people. This stands in stark contrast to the life that tv and celebrities make it seem like we’re all supposed to have and can be great experience to prepare teens for adulthood.
There are a lot of great ways that teens can give back to their community. Volunteer opportunities are varied and diverse, so no matter what their interests there are volunteer options available for them. Of course, they can always help support a variety of causes and groups. The only thing to keep in mind is the availability of their time. As a parent, you should encourage them to try something that doesn’t quite match their interests; they just may find the perfect volunteer opportunity that helps them grow as a person in an unexpected way.
Here are some ideas you might suggest to them:
Join a local environmental or conservation group and help clean up parks, repair boardwalks, and groom trails. If they’re not the outdoorsy type, these organizations may need help in office locations or coordinating other volunteers. They can also organize groups of friends for a weekend to help clean up locations.
Working with Animals
Animal shelters are always in need of volunteers to help walk dogs, take care of the animals, and help with fundraising events.
Become a Mentor
If there’s a Boys and Girls Club in your city, they can volunteer as part of their after school program, playing with younger kids and organizing activities. If they want something short term but more intensive, they could volunteer to be a camp counselor and spend the summer working with younger kids outdoors.
Help out with a Health Related Cause
Various health related organizations frequently have fundraising and volunteer events to help support research and increase awareness. You could participate in a run/walk for cancer, help out with the Special Olympics, for example. There is also a regular, ongoing need for volunteers to help with preparing and delivering meals to seniors and adults with disabilities or health challenges.
Getting involved in local government can be a great way to learn how politics work from the inside, as well as to learn more about your community. While you may be too young to run for office, you can always help with campaigning and doing things like making phone calls and printing and handing out flyers.
Make a Difference During the Holidays
The holiday season presents many unique volunteering possibilities. You could help collect toys and winter clothing for kids, assist with food drives, or help out at a local food pantry or soup kitchen.