Teenagers as well as adults can become stewards of their communities through volunteer work. It's an excellent opportunity for a teen to gain awareness of issues facing the community and its people, as well as to help make a difference. Volunteering can also help utilise talents such as writing, web design and art.
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Local Nonprofit Agency
Local non-profit agencies such as the Humane Society, American Red Cross, United Way, homeless shelter, food bank and soup kitchen often have volunteer opportunities for teenagers. Through these agencies, teenagers can provide vital help to populations that are very much in need. Volunteer work could include such duties as walking dogs for the Humane Society, helping design a newsletter for the homeless shelter and distributing food to families in need at the food bank.
Hospital or Nursing Home
Volunteering at a hospital or nursing home can be a fulfilling and educational experience for teens, who can gain better understanding of medical issues, interact with hospital patients or nursing-home residents and provide help where it is needed. Volunteer work can range from cleaning to helping with activities. In a nursing home, volunteers can also create warm relationships with residents they visit who may not have family nearby.
Serve Local Government
A teenager can take part in community leadership by becoming a student representative in local government such as city council, planning committee or downtown development authority. This is a good opportunity for a teen who participates in student government at school to bring youth issues and concerns to local government agencies and provide a youthful perspective to local government discussions.
Teens who want to volunteer can find special opportunities by reading the newspaper and keeping up with non-profit agencies through websites, mailing lists or word of mouth. They can fill and haul sandbags to battle spring floods, do yard work for senior citizens for spring and fall cleanup or volunteer at a kiddie carnival.
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