Is your teen wanting to volunteer or are you trying to get them more active in volunteering? With so much to distract teens these days, it can be hard to find the time, energy and excitement for volunteering. I believe volunteering is very important for teenagers to participate in not only because it’s a great thing to do, but it teaches so many skills. For one, it teaches teens to work with others in a working environment. Additionally, it can help with skills they may need for future careers or even after school jobs. A teen that has volunteering under his or her belt also has something to put on a college application that looks good as well as a job application if they have no work history. Here are are some tips on how to find volunteer opportunities for teens.
How to Find Volunteer Opportunities for Teens
Explain the benefits. Many teens need to be taught the benefits of volunteering in order to become more enthusiastic about it. Explain that it can help them in the future, or even in the present if they are trying to land an after-school job soon.
Find something they are passionate about. To better know where you should start looking for volunteer work for your teen, it is good to gain an understanding of what their future goals are, what they are passionate about and how this can be turned into a volunteer opportunity. For instance, if they want a future career in veterinary work, an animal shelter may be a good place to learn some skills.
Think outside the box. Many places like nursing homes, animal shelters, and soup kitchens get volunteers signing up easier than others because that is the general vision people have when it comes to volunteering. Try to think outside the box. Do a quick search of charities in your area via Facebook or Google and see if anything pops out to your teen.
Get their friends involved. Do any of your teen’s friend’s volunteer anywhere? If so, maybe your son or daughter might enjoy the idea more if they can do it with their friends. Asking them where they volunteer can also give you an idea on what charities take teen volunteers with open arms.
Call the local charities. Sometimes the best thing you can do is just ask. Don’t assume a charity will take your teen because some cannot allow teens to do some work since it is potentially dangerous. For instance, some states do not allow teens to work with food slicers so this means they may not be able to work in the actual cooking process of a soup kitchen.
Ask your teen’s high school. Your teen’s high school will be a great resource for charities and organizations seeking volunteers. In fact, they may even have some for your teen right at the school! A good place to ask is the school counselor as they often get the opportunities directed to them.
What are some ways your teen or middle schooler volunteers?