Volunteering at any age allows for making connections with your community and helping to make it a better place. Wide-ranging benefits of dedicating time to volunteer include making new friends/contacts, increasing social and relationship skills, increasing self-confidence, reducing risk of depression, staying physically healthy, gaining career experience, and teaching valuable job skills. You may be thinking, "Where do I find volunteer opportunities?" According to HelpGuide.org, these opportunities can be found in community theaters, museums, libraries, senior centers, local animal shelters or wildlife centers, youth organizations, sports teams, places of worship, or online databases. Summer is just around the corner; a season when many teens seemingly find themselves without much to do. Why not look for a volunteer opportunity that interests you and make the time very worthwhile for yourself and others? We have provided 4 organizations below offering a variety of opportunities for teens and youth in which to participate.
VolunteerMatch.org brings non-profits and volunteers together, making it easy for people to find organizations that focus on what interest them, such as those related to environment, animals, youth, etc., and those that are part of their local community. They have over 100,000 participating organizations, and have matched over 9,000,000 volunteers. For more information, visit VolunteerMatch.org.
Teenlife provides listings of outside-the-classroom programs for life-enrichment aimed at teens. Some listing examples include summer programs for high school students, engineers, musicians, etc.; volunteer opportunities around the country; and other information geared toward young people. For more on their opportunities, see TeenLife.com.
DoSomething.org assists youth who want to make a difference find a cause they can participate in to help others. You can choose from a wide variety of "campaigns" aimed at creatively benefiting others, such as bringing dogs to campus so students taking exams can de-stress, collecting food outside a supermarket for the local food bank, or donating board games to the local family shelter. To view their many campaigns, see DoSomething.org.
United Plant brings people together with organizations for short term or long term international volunteering. Projects include working with children and education programs, environmental groups, health professionals, etc. To learn more about these international serving opportunities, visit United Planet.