Volunteering Ideas for Teenagers
Teenagers are uniquely poised to be fabulous volunteers. They often want to learn new skills, need volunteer opportunities to put on their college applications and have the time and energy necessary to become involved. Teenagers can also benefit themselves personally when they invest in other people’s lives. Teens will learn more about others who are less fortunate than themselves and will develop a sense of sympathy and compassion. They will understand what resources their communities have and how communities work together to improve social and cultural norms. Teens will also be able to build relationships with those with whom they work and whom they serve. They will learn about diversity, monetary divisions and real human needs. All of these benefits can set them up for a more aware future where they continue to enjoy serving and giving back to the local or worldwide community. Here are four basic options for the teen in your life to pursue if they are looking for a volunteering option.
Providing meals is a great first place to start because it is normally quite easy, does not require specific skills and will get teenagers’ feet wet so to speak. Many food shelves provide hot meals during the week and are looking for three or four volunteers simply to dish out the food and pour coffee. Teenagers who may be strapped for time can start by choosing canned and boxed food goods and donating them to the local food shelf or by putting together a care package for troops stationed overseas.
Many teenagers are natural entertainers, loving to make their siblings and classmates laugh with their antics. Some have natural abilities that could provide something special for someone who is sad or hurting or who simply does not have enough money to afford high-class entertainment. Encourage teenagers to use their singing, musical ability, comedy skills, gymnastic skills or other talents to perform for those who are poor, homeless or forgotten in the community. Acting, playing and singing opportunities for teenagers often abound at hospitals, nursing homes, juvenile centers and inner-city schools.
These days, teenagers have an array of fantastic skills that have come naturally to them but which could significantly benefit those who do not have the money to learn these skills at a school. Teens can volunteer at local community centers, senior centers or schools to teach computer skills, smartphone operation or basic math and science skills as a tutor.
Teenagers who are interested in getting into the medical field may be interested in volunteering their time to improving the health of others. Medical missions trips sometimes take youth along for basic tasks. Blood drives can occasionally use teen volunteers to help with signup. Teens can also look into donating blood, distributing emergency preparedness information around the community and recruiting donors for upcoming blood drives.
Some volunteering options are appropriate for the entire family. For example, some families like to serve meals to the homeless together on Thanksgiving. Others like to Christmas carol together at the local nursing home. Emphasizing the benefits of volunteering now can help children and teenagers to be more considerate and sympathetic to those around them who are suffering or who may not have as much as they do.