Volunteer Opportunities for Teens

Volunteering carries numerous benefits such as helping others and learning more about an activity or establishment you are interested in. Furthermore, volunteering helps to combat boredom. Through volunteering, an individual can gain personal satisfaction just from lending a helping hand. Volunteering is not restricted to adults; teens can do it as well.

Special Olympics

For more than 40 years, the Special Olympics have made it possible for athletes with intellectual disabilities from different nationalities to come together and compete. Special Olympics also promote community-based development in education, nutrition, and hunger. Through its Special Olympics Programs, the organisation promotes volunteerism and the acceptance of intellectual, ethnic and religious differences. The Special Olympics Programs is a fast-growing movement, which also exists in many war-torn countries such as Rwanda and Vietnam.

The Special Olympics generally seeks volunteers to help with fund-raising, administration, sports training and competition planning. The Special Olympics Project Unify and SO College are high school and college-based volunteering organisations, respectively. Teenagers can sign up to volunteer through these programs.

Reading Program

Reading is a critical skill that everyone should know how to do. Good reading skills increase the intellect and are one criteria of a good education. Some children may have slow reading skills and could use some assistance to sharpen their reading abilities

The Reading is Fundamental (RIF) program offers activities designed to improve reading interest in children. RIF volunteers include school administrators, librarians, senior citizens and high school and college students. RIF volunteer tasks include selecting and ordering books, organising book events, reading books aloud and telling stories, and raising funds.


Regardless of the size of a city there are bound to be shelters that offer food, housing and clothing to the homeless. These shelters are always seeking volunteers and have a wide range of tasks to choose from. A teenager may be able to offer administrative help, prepare or serve meals, stock pantries or help plan food drives.

Animal shelters are often non-profit and government organisations. They are usually seeking volunteers to work in the shelter. A teenager can help care for the animals, maintain cleanliness in the facility and work with the public.

Ronald McDonald House

Every major city has a Ronald McDonald House. The concept behind Ronald McDonald House is that when children become seriously ill or injured they have to be treated often for long time frames at a hospital or medical centre. If the family has to make lengthy trips to reach the hospital, a place to stay becomes an issue. Hotels can be an expensive and lonely experience. Ronald McDonald offers a low-cost home environment where families can stay during their loved one's treatment. A teenage volunteer can help to prepare meals, help maintain the house and interact with the families.

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About the Author

Grace Ferguson has been writing professionally since 2009. With 10 years of experience in employee benefits and payroll administration, Ferguson has written extensively on topics relating to employment and finance. A research writer as well, she has been published in The Sage Encyclopedia and Mission Bell Media.