Volunteer or Community Service Ideas for Teenagers
If a child in Middle School or High School wants to get involved in community service or volunteering, where does he or she start?
Are there any homeless shelters that need volunteer to serve meals? What about senior centers? They could visit nursing homes, hospitals, go visit the children's ward, play games with the kids, read stories, tutor, ect ...
We're in the D.C. area. My sons both began volunteering the first weekend in December as teens at Gifts for the Homeless, which collects used clothes, sorts and distributes them to area homeless shelters. My youngest son did more community service hours at a Saturday children's developmental clinic at a local community college. We still volunteer, tho now we are paid for being in studies! So, my oldest son with autism has done studies @ NIH, Georgetown, etc. Volunteering is fun, kept them busy and still does. When I volunteer to lecture, both sons help. Thank you. Marie A. Sherrett.
This is a great question! I'd say there are lots of opportunities. One place to start is with a Church/Worship place as many have volunteer opportunities available through their youth groups. YMCAs and Jewish Community Centers will often have similar service programs as part of their youth/teen programs.
For high school aged students, I would recommend seeing if there is a service club at their high school. This might include the Interact (Junior Rotary) Club or a Key Club (affiliated with Kiwanis).
If none of these service groups are available (or appealing) there are some other opportunities -- they could simply contact an elderly or infirm neighbor/friend and offer to help them, but they could also contact a local soup kitchen, food pantry, Church, nursing home, community center, or pre-school and offer to volunteer there.
Hope this helps! And they should definitely make sure to document their hours! Looks great on a college resume someday
Thanks all! My son is in the National Honor Society and must complete 15 hours of service before May. He helps at our church and has volunteered with a local non-profit organization putting up posters around town for an event. Still needs about 5 more hours and we're fishing for ideas.
Really appreciate the input. Best, Steph
You might try a local Habitat for Humanity or see if he can volunteer to tutor kids through a local school or after school program. Sometimes school PTA programs need volunteers for carnivals, food drives or other collections.
Hospitals are always looking for candystripers. Check with your church to see what communitiy services they provide and whether they take teenagers for volunteer work. Check with your local library, Red Cross, and museums
I see some really good suggestions already. I would agree with them that church, missions, shelters, hospitals, senior centers are all great ways to learn good work ethics and learn how to interact with people. The benefits are priceless.
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