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What are Some Volunteer Options for Teens?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 01 November 2016
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Volunteer options for teens abound. Many nonprofit organizations and public organizations may need volunteers, and some high schools now require teens to fulfill a certain amount of volunteer hours in order to graduate. Even if your high school doesn’t make this a requirement, volunteering can be a way to enrich your community, gain work experience, and even explore different career paths.

When you’re looking for volunteer options for teens, start with your local middle school or high school. School counselors may have lists of organizations that will give you ideas of groups seeking volunteers, and schools may even request your help at the school, or at other schools in your district that need support, or that offer chances for teens to tutor or mentor younger students. Also look into either your Parks or Recreation Center, local hospitals, or any nonprofit organization you support (like animal shelters, the Red Cross, churches, or political organizations), for more chances to volunteer.

There are many different types of volunteer options for teens, and you’ll no doubt find more than this article can possibly list. But here are a few ideas to get you started on the path to being a successful volunteer.

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Hospitals can offer you several different ways to volunteer. Some hospitals still have organized candy striper programs and others have less formal programs where you may visit patients, work in a child life center with kids who are hospitalized, or run errands for patients. Don’t underestimate the value of volunteering at local convalescent hospitals and long-term care facilities. Though this work may be harder, many folks in convalescent homes are far away from families and can really be assisted by a friendly visitor, someone to chat with or even someone to read to them. If you have a special skill like playing the piano, another instrument or singing, you can use this to provide entertainment to folks in convalescent homes, which can help create a richer life for residents.

Home building programs like Habitat for Humanity offer volunteer options for teens. Check individual programs for age requirements. You can be a dynamic part of actually building homes for deserving families, and you’ll learn a lot about building and construction in the process.

Red Cross programs and many blood banks need teen volunteers. In fact the Red Cross has an entire Junior Red Cross that is devoted to offering volunteer options for teens. You may have chances to assist in helping others directly, do office work, help with education, or fill a variety of other roles.

Parks and Recreation Centers often run camps that are mostly staffed by teens. If you enjoy working with children and you’re considering a career in teaching, look up day camps that offer these volunteer options for teens. Teens may volunteer for a year or two and then qualify for paid positions as instructors. Alternately, such centers may offer programs like park or local creek clean up.

Libraries are always in need of extra hands, especially in the summer when more children are at the library. Gain experience shelving books, read stories to children, help supervise sections of a library, or learn how to check out books to people. If you have good computer skills, you may provide extra help by working with people navigating the Internet from library computers.

Animal Shelters and Wildlife Rescues give teens a chance to have direct contact working with animals. You may have to do some clean-up work, but you also have a chance to decide if a career working with animals is right for you.

Teens can want to volunteer but not have much time to spend on volunteer activities. If you can’t sign up for a regular program, look for one-time activities that also make a difference. For instance, you can volunteer to work at your school or church’s festival or yard sale, which may take up a few hours but won’t require a commitment beyond that.

Don’t forget the value of occasionally helping out in your own neighborhood. If you have a neighbor in need of a favor, like babysitting or running a few errands, why not volunteer when you have a chance? Even though these volunteer opportunities won’t show up on resumes, they are a chance to improve the community in which you live.

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Discuss this Article

anon112210
Post 2

I'm very pleased with this site!

anon92289
Post 1

I feel that this article has helped me tremendously to find the perfect position to volunteer for.

I now know many of the purposes people serve while being a volunteer for the many places that need this. I know not many people are volunteers or are very dedicated as to being one either, but now that I have read this article I am now even more determined as far as finding a place where I can volunteer.

I know I am young and only a single person but now I know that it does not matter how old you are or what you are doing and how much you are doing, but if you are volunteering it does make a difference. Even if it is not a huge one it is still a difference and that is all that really matters.

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