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What Are the Different Types of Volunteer Opportunities for Kids?

Kinds may enjoy volunteering at a local animal shelter and helping animals to socialize.
Kids can participate in a food drive.
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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 25 September 2014
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Volunteer opportunities for kids exist in schools, churches, and through social service agencies. Additional options for volunteerism may be available at libraries, museums, and other community centers. Some political campaigns and social causes may also have volunteer opportunities for kids. Options may also vary according to a child's age as well as the volunteer program established by the organization for which the child wishes to volunteer.

Many children, even young children, are eager to offer their time and labor to organizations that rely on volunteer help. In some cases, children of adult volunteers may work alongside their parents and under their direction. As children get older and capable of working independently, they may continue their volunteer service to those organizations in which their parents participate. Some organizations have established programs that offer volunteer opportunities for kids. These programs help meet the organization's needs while also providing structured opportunities for kids to volunteer and perhaps improve their leadership skills.

As children get older, it is not unusual for them to take on certain responsibilities within their school. For example, older students may be asked to work in a school lunchroom, library, or office to assist adult workers. Older children may also provide tutoring services to younger children or may assist adults in their supervision as playground or hall monitors.

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Community services, such as park districts and public libraries, may also rely on volunteer labor from community children. These organizations frequently have highly structured volunteer programs that place kids in various work roles according to their abilities and maturity. In some cases, volunteer opportunities for kids may be stepping stones to employment, as some organizations may eventually hire young volunteers into paid positions.

Other volunteer opportunities for kids may be organized through churches, schools, and athletic teams. Groups of children may enter community service programs in which they take collective responsibility for a project such as maintaining some public land, working at a food bank, or making repairs to a school or homes in impoverished communities. These opportunities may be available on a one-time basis, or the group may have an ongoing commitment to the volunteer effort.

Some social activist groups as well as political campaigns offer volunteer opportunities for kids as well. Children and teenagers may be asked to help distribute literature, prepare mailings, or perform other tasks in an organization's office or at sponsored events. Older teenagers may be asked to help gather signatures on petitions, make phone calls to voters, or help staff fund raising events.

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