10 Volunteer Ideas for Teens

Female volunteers flexing muscles at construction frame
Hero Images/Getty Images

Volunteering has many benefits for teens. Helping others certainly open their eyes to many of the needs that exist in today’s world. Community service projects can also teach valuable skills that will be helpful to a teen in college or during future employment.

Find Volunteer Opportunities Online

There are many online resources that can help you locate local volunteer opportunities. If you're not sure where to begin, try checking out these websites that are specifically geared toward helping students and teens locate volunteer opportunities:

  • Youth Volunteer Corps - Youth Volunteer Corps has groups of teens across America providing community service projects. Check to see if there is a local group near you, and if not, you can apply to start a local chapter.
  • Corporation for National and Community Service - Enter your location into the search engine and learn about organizations near you who are looking for young volunteers.
  • DoSomething.org - This website encourages teens to create social change. There are many campaigns and opportunities that teens can participate in to make the world a better place.

Look for Local Volunteer Opportunities

You can also locate volunteer opportunities for teens by contacting local groups and organizations. Inquire about which groups accept young volunteers and ask questions that will help you determine if a specific opportunity is a good match for your child. Here are some suggestions about where and how to locate volunteer opportunities:

1. Animal Shelters

Your local animal shelter may need help cleaning, walking dogs, petting cats, or even fundraising. Animal shelters may have age requirements that prevent younger teens from volunteering without an adult present.

2. Libraries

Libraries often welcome volunteers of all ages to put books on shelves, organize displays, or read to children.

3. School Clubs

If your teen isn’t likely to follow through with volunteering independently, a school club can be a great alternative. Many high schools offer Key Clubs or other civic-minded clubs that get teens involved in giving back to the local community.

4. Nursing Homes

Nursing homes, boarding homes, or other facilities that serve the elderly often need volunteers. A teen who volunteers with the elderly may be able to do anything from assisting people with making crafts to providing them with musical entertainment.

5. Charities that Need Help Fundraising

Many community service agencies need help with fundraising. Teens who aren’t able to commit to regular volunteer work may be able to get involved with an organization’s fundraising events.

6. Informal Volunteer Work

There are always people in need in the local community if you know where to look. Encourage your teen to mow the lawn for an elderly neighbor or provide free babysitting services for a single parent. Just be sure to assess the safety of any situation before your teen begins helping other people.

7. Environmental Organizations

Many environmental causes are always looking for eager volunteers. Teens can formally assist an organization with cleaning up trails or neighborhoods, or simply provide clean-up services on an informal basis. Get a group of teens together and volunteer to clean a local beach or park.

8. Homeless Shelters

Soup kitchens and homeless shelters often rely on volunteers. Teens may be able to serve food, donate toiletries, or assist staff with various projects.

9. Red Cross

The Red Cross has many activities and service projects designed specifically for youth. Volunteer opportunities can range from fundraising to disaster response. Check with your local Red Cross about current volunteer needs and opportunities.

10. Hospitals

Hospitals often depend on volunteers to help with anything from printing pamphlets to giving directions. Teens who are interested in a future career in the healthcare field may especially benefit from volunteering in a medical setting.

Read More: 12 Inspiring Stories of Teens Accomplishing Extraordinary Things

Continue Reading