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The Best Volunteer Programs for Teens

Volunteer programs are a great way for teens to participate in extra-curricular activities and gain new and valuable experiences. They can benefit teens in several ways including adding structure to one’s life, bolstering college applications, and allowing for the development of skills that employers look for. In addition, it offers teens the opportunity to help others — and in some cases — develop new, useful skills.

If you’re a teen interested in finding out more about volunteer programs, it can be helpful to have an idea of what the best volunteer programs for teens are and how to get involved in them. Here are some of the best volunteer programs for teens.

Look to Your Local Community

Teens looking to get their feet wet and start volunteering should look no further than their local community. Chances are, there is at least some form of a volunteer group in your very own neighborhood. It can be useful to ask neighbors and keep your eye out for flyers that are posted around. Don’t worry if it doesn’t seem like the most impactful or prestigious volunteer program.

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Getting started is sometimes the hardest part of any new endeavor, and chances are, others in your group will have connections to other volunteer programs that you could potentially pursue.

Take Advantage of Your Local Library

Libraries are some of the most underutilized resources in the world. Apart from being a great resource for learning new things, they can also be a great place to find out about volunteer opportunities. Libraries often organize various events, classes, and activities that require the help of volunteers.

This can be anything from helping organize a language learning class to leading a book club for underprivileged youth. And what’s more, is that cities typically have multiple libraries. This being the case, you’ll likely have many different volunteer opportunities to explore by taking advantage of your city’s local libraries.

Start Your Own Initiative

Sometimes, you may not find the volunteer opportunities that you’re looking for in your local community. If this is the case, don’t be afraid to start your own initiative. Creating your own volunteer group or the program will provide you with experience organizing activities and will look great on both a college and work resume.

In addition to providing you with skills and accolades for your resume, creating your own volunteer initiative allows you to make an impact on a problem that is meaningful to you. If you think that your city is too dirty, you could create an initiative in which you and other volunteers collect litter every week. Though it may seem small at first, it’s important to remember that the seeds you plant could grow into large and impactful change.

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Food Banks and Homeless Shelters

Unfortunately, almost every city has a portion of the population that either lives in poverty or without a home. As such, almost every city has both food banks and homeless shelters that aim to help those in need. These organizations rely on the help of volunteers to function and can be a great opportunity for you to find opportunities to start volunteering while being able to see the impact that you’re having on others.

In addition, many volunteers who frequent homeless shelters and food banks are likely involved in other volunteering efforts. This being the case, you’ll likely meet others who can help you become involved in other volunteer programs and initiatives.

Assist Seniors

Many seniors have to face the disheartening reality of losing aspects of their agency and ability to do things due to declines in both physical and cognitive health. As such, having volunteers to help them with things — or even just provide them with some company — can make a world of difference.

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You can take several different approaches to help seniors. If you’re unsure of where to start, you can contact local senior care facilities and offer yourself as a volunteer. If there are some seniors that you know about in your neighborhood, you can offer to help them do some chores every week, or simply set up a time to keep them company every week. Whatever avenue you choose, helping seniors in any form will surely make a positive and meaningful impact on the lives of others.

Get Involved

Gaining volunteer work experience as a teen can benefit you in many ways. From gaining new skills to collecting impressive accolades to put on college resumes, volunteering can provide you with new opportunities to grow as a person while helping others at the same time.

Instead of letting these opportunities slip by, take the leap today and get involved in some meaningful volunteer work.

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