10 Great Volunteer Activities Kids and Teens Can Do Today
By Julie Flanagan
Are you looking for ways to give back to your community but are unsure of how or where to start? Volunteering to worthy causes is a great way to instill the importance of contributing to society and allows all involved to experience the positive difference anyone—no matter how young or old—can make. Infoplease has put together a list of community service activities that kids of any age can take part in.
- Have your family members go through their closets and drawers to find items they no longer need. Gather up the gently used clothing, books or other household items and donate them to a local charity shop such as Goodwill.
- Next time you are at the grocery store, pick up a few extra items to take to your local food bank. Check the Feeding America website for a Food Bank locator, searchable by zip code.
- Help out a neighbor on your street who might need a hand shoveling their sidewalk or raking leaves.
- Walk around your neighborhood and pick up any litter you see on the side of the road or at your local park.
- Bring a new or “lightly loved” toy to a children’s hospital.
- Volunteer your time at a nearby soup kitchen dishing out hot meals to those in need.
- Collect unused cosmetics and other toiletries to bring to a women’s shelter.
- If you are an animal lover, spend some time at your nearby humane society or animal shelter giving TLC to some furry friends in need.
- Participate in a fundraising walk or run for a charity that is close to your heart.
- Donate books and other reading materials to libraries and schools.
Make a Plan and Start Today
There are so many ways you can help to make a difference in people’s lives. For more ideas look for postings on bulletin boards at community centers, religious houses of worship, senior centers and local universities. Alternatively, utilize some of the great websites that provide an endless supply of volunteering-oriented resources. The site DoSomething.org allows you to network with other young people working on the same causes that you are passionate about and even gives information on how to apply for funding grants. You can also check out sites like VolunteerMatch.org and Idealist.org which have resources to guide you towards finding volunteer opportunities in your area based on your own personal interests.
The benefits of volunteering are immeasurable. Helping others not only strengthens your community, it promotes personal growth and development, and positively impacts your emotional and physical wellbeing. Making a positive contribution to people’s lives can promote feelings of happiness and a sense of pride. To find more about the physical and mental rewards of community service, visit the Corporation for National and Community Service. Remember, you can make a difference!