Volunteer Projects for Teenagers
This hub is in answer to to request of what volunteer projects can be used for teenagers. I have ten years experience of working with teenagers so I may have a few ideas. In some counties in my state the school system requires so many hours of volunteering before you can even graduate. so it was not uncommon for me to brainstorm some unique ideas.
Volunteer at a Senior Center
Don't reinvent the wheel if you don't have to. There may be a lot of activities already waiting for volunteers. Working in soup kitchens or the local mission may an option. However this close contact may be to intense for some kids so use your discretion. Check with your local senior center. Maybe they need help running an activity. If they have access to computers suggest that your group of teens could teach them how to use Myspace or Facebook. They could even give short seminar on texting and all the strange abbrevioations used.
Check with your local Goodwill or Salvation Army. They may need some help with sorting their wares.
Adopt A Highway
You can choose to be more active. Maybe see if your community has an adopt a highway program. Choose a stretch of road that may need some tending too and schedule to clean it up three to four times a year. Maybe some of the things might particularly icky especially to teenage girls. But you could make a game out of it. Offer small rewards for the most unusual thing found or the biggest thing found. Other rewards would include having a sign put up for your group saying they are responsible for cleaning it up. Get your picture taken with the group and put it in the community newspaper!
Is there a park you drive by everyday that could use some attention? Go to your city council and get permission to sponsor a park clean up day. Who know you may be able to get sponsors and get others to volunteer as well. I remember a few years ago I participated in Nickelodeon's The Big Help. They came to a local park and had droves of volunteers. Maybe the teens could write to companies and seek support.
Habitat for Humanity always seems to be in full gear for the summer. This would be the time to call and ask to sign up for a project near you.
Volunteer in Service to America
Find a local VISTA office. VISTA s are Volunteers in Service to America. When I was a VISTA in Cumberland MD I was always looking for volunteers to help with my campaign against illiteracy. The teens could help adults or children! I had programs for both. It was a life changing experience I will never forget.
- AmeriCorps.gov > AmeriCorps VISTA
AmeriCorps VISTA is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. Founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965 and incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993, VISTA has been on the front lines in the fi
Check with your local literacy groups to see if you can assist with reading programs. Sometimes there are summer reading programs you can assist with. In my area we have a reading express program that runs all summer long.
Perhaps you like working with smaller kids. Check with your school counselor to see if they can get you some volunteer time at a local day care.
If you are fortunate enough to live close to a zoo see if there are any opportunities to volunteer here. The Humane Society may have need for assistance with taking care of the animals. They may also need help in creating a fundraiser.
- The Humane Society of the United States
The Humane Society of the United States
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross is a great place to look for Volunteer opportunities as well as education. Maybe your teen group could take a few course in CPR, First Aid or Babysitting. Once they have that training they may be eligible to work in a summer camp!
- American Red Cross
The American Red Cross helps prepare communities for emergencies and keep people safe every day thanks to caring people who support our work. Please support your local Red Cross.
The Special Olympics
Special Olympics. This would be a very rewarding experience for any teen. Check with your local community to see when they are hosting their Special Olympics in the summer. I have done this several times and it is my favorite activity thus far.
Also contact your local United Way for a list of more agnecies in your area. I once particiapted in Kids on the Block program. Kids on the Block are free educational puppet shows put on for the public.
- Special Olympics: Home
Relay for Life
Summer brings out the walkers and it won't be long until the Relay for Life kicks off again. Not only could the teens participate by raising money for cancer, they could help run the the activity by passing out water or registering people. Check with your local relay for life chapter to find out more!
Create your own fund raiser. Perhaps you know of someone in the community who is struggling due to illness or death in the family. Organize your teens to do a car wash to raise money for this person. Not only would they wash cars they could learn about how to publicize the event. This would be a fulfilling activity if done correctly.
One sad year I was working in a residential setting with teens. Another youth who was part of our community perished in a fire. After consoling ten teen girls we empowered ourselves by creating our own fundraiser. You have never seen ten girls work so well together at baking cookies or brownies and packing them oh so carefully as so that someone would buy them. We maybe had a dozen cookies but made well over $200.00 for the family.
Volunteer in other countries
Have you ever thought about going abroad? There are many volunteer opportunities in other countries. One way to get involved is to go to your local church. Another way is to visit one of the websites below. United Planet offers a lot of ways to get involved and see the world.
Other Volunteer Links
- Teen Volunteering Abroad with United Planet
Make a meaningful difference as a Teen Volunteer abroad. Work side-by-side with locals and participate in exciting cultural activities. Join us today!
- Volunteer Opportunities for Teens
- Become a student volunteer and change children's lives - Operation Smile
Our youth and student volunteer programs allow students to make a difference. Help children's smiles by joining or creating a youth or student volunteer club or organization