My Facebook Friends helped me create this great list!
"Ideas for Volunteer Leadership and Community Service"
~ 5 K walks and runs, local shelters, United Way, Food Pantry, Red Cross, Nursing Homes, Animal Shelters, Assisted living Facilities, Salvation Army, local Libraries and volunteer tutoring or babysitting for younger kids
Animal Shelters and Animal rescue clinics.
~ Your local community access cable station (they film things like town meetings and high school concerts) probably uses volunteers for their shoots, and will likely train you. This turned into a career choice for my just-graduated homeschooler.
~ My three older kids (12-18) volunteer every week at the local food pantry, handing out food and sorting clothing. Another idea, our local library would also appreciate help at certain times of the year, esp. to fill Easter Eggs for the annual hunt.
~ Local history museums use volunteers for tour guides, gardening, office work, etc. My teen has been a costumed interpreter at a local history village. Public schools may have "reading buddy" programs, where an older child can come and read with a younger kid. A friend of ours did this with her kids at a local elementary school.
~ My son is a Docent at our local zoo, and has been a Jr. Docent at a local museum also.
~ Local shelter serving dinner. Community Christian center that serves local communities food, clothing, all the necessities. Find an elderly an or woman in the neighborhood and help them with any needs.
~ AWANAs, 4H
~ Check out volunteermatch.org
, you can narrow results down by age of volunteer
~ Therapeutic horse riding program. (Note from Lee - one of my young friends did that, and now she is planning a career in Occupational Education, working with disabled youth.)
~ In our state, if teens complete 90 hours they receive 1 high school credit. My son did VBS, Missions trips, Food Bank, Red Cross, Nursing Homes, Political Campaign, Beach Clean-up, Beach Grass Planting....
~ My teen is in YMCA teen leaders program
~ Many libraries have after school tutoring programs, post 4th of July cleanup, parks department species surveys, adopt a highway, lifeguard certification (leadership), low income day camp counselor, library student volunteers, museum student volunteer
~ animal shelters, my daughter was a theraputic horse back riding instructer, or you could be a barn helper, foster kittens or puppies!!
~ As a wife to a Military Veteran who is a quadapalegic (for the past 15 years), and the caregiver for my 96 year old grandma as well for the past 3 years, I can honestly say that an inquiry to your local church for families that are elderly, handicapped or chroniclly ill would be very much appreciated by the actual person and/or the caregiver(s). It has been very expensive to pay for in-home care and it can take away from time & funds available to the rest of the family. I would love to have volunteers to come and sit with my husband and/or grandma to allow me an evening out with our daughter, coffee with a friend, etc. We are also so very appreciative when last year a group of high schoolers came over to clean up the backyard and paint a bedroom. Other ideas include taking freezer meals to a new mom, a family where someone has had surgery, etc. Even offering to take the mail & trashcans in/out for elderly, or reading a book to an elderly that lives alone.
~ My son teaches trumpet lessons. (Note from Lee: my boys also taught lessons in things they loved. Kevin taught chess in inner city schools, and also to the Chinese Academy in a wealthy area after school program. It was volunteer work, leadership, and gave him something to talk about when the college application essay asked him to discuss diversity.)
~ Both of my kids are participating in the Congressional Award program (www.congressionalaward.org
). This program requires earning voluntary public service hours. They walk to a nearby assisted living facility and do everything from serve ice cream to playing wii bowling with the residents. My daughter is also on a teen leadership team at the local library that picks out books for a teen book club. It's one of the few leadership areas that we've found for her to participate in. www.congressionalaward.org
~ Meals on Wheels needs volunteers. I think they will allow anyone over 14 years old to work as a visitor.
~ our Humane Society/Animal Shelter takes volunteers. Operation Christmas Child takes volunteers over age THIRTEEN. Salvation Army in our area recruits h/s'ers to help w/ sorting toys at Christmas. Some nursing homes in our area will host homeschooling students in musical groups. Our homeschool orchestra performed for 2 Food pantries and soup kitchens also accept homeschoolers. Adopt a Highway.
~ we have volunteered at the local humane society and food pantrys and an outreach ministry to the homeless( but we live in a small town so we had to travel quite a distance for that one.) oh, and a lot of community service through 4H- that is a great place to find community service projects.
~ My girls volunteer with a local no-kill shelter. They help at pet-adoption events and with community awareness.
~ Our daughter volunteered as a farm apprentice at a local historical working Colonial Farm--fed chickens, took care of the pigs, built fences, weeded and picked tobacco, answered visitors' questions about the farm and the Colonial period...
~ For those of us living overseas, our teen daughter volunteers in our military base community outreach programs, ie beach clean up, military family events, and Helping Hands, an organization that helps the Japanese families affected by the tsunami of 2011. (Note from Lee: I had another overseas client who took 3 months off from homeschooling after a natural disaster in her home country, and the family volunteered full time for a while. It was high school credit, yes, but also a very valuable statement about her son's character.)
~ My kids volunteer at our local food bank and another great opportunity is to pick a day and offer free child care for single moms so they can go run errands and what not.
~ My son has been volunteering at our local public library this summer... helping with the summer reading program and putting together craft kits for the little ones.
~ Our family has gone to a local Verteran's Home to visit. A man was close to tears when he told my dh that he had made his day....humbling and moving!
~ State parks need volunteers :)
~ My daughter volunteers at the local library. During the school year they offer tutoring & she helps with that, as well.
~ Modern Woodmen of America sponsors Youth Service Clubs all over the country. We go out once a month and volunteer in the community. Some things we've done... litter clean up in the park (followed by water fights and ice cream, never too old for that.) Raising funds and working with the city to put in a new beach at a local park (old beach was not clean or safe for kids in my opinion...), Baby Showers for the Pregnancy Crisis Center along with a tour of the facility so the kids could see what good work they do for moms and babies, volunteer at animal shelters, book drives for the library, plant trees for various people and organizations (most recently we planted 10 trees for a veteran's cemetery), make Jared Boxes (http://www.thejaredbox.com/
) for ill children in the hospital, similarly stuff some unstuffed animals and donate to hospitals... rake leaves for the elderly (one time we made over 200 hanging potted flowers and delivered to shut ins with a phone number they could call to have one of our clubs come and do a chore for them like raking or planting or whatever...), Spruce Up events where we plant flowers and shrubbery for elderly or homeless shelters, school supply drives, make blankets for Linus Blanket or other local groups like foster kids, etc etc... canned food drives, adopt a grandparent at a nursing home and see to it they get a birthday card and someone to visit with, donate puzzles and word game books to a nursing home, putting flags on graves, and the list goes on and on. I hav been honored to be a youth service club leader for 6 years and it has been a great blessing! If you are interested in seeing if a club is in your area, check out http://www.modern-woodmen.org/MemberBenefits/YouthPrograms/YouthServiceClubs/Pages/summary.aspx
:) We also have taken 'thank you' baskets to police and firemen, they so often get forgotten... Our recent visit to FL made the kids wish we lived there as the Clearwater Marine Aquarium has a volunteer program... That's something they'd LOVE to do, but nothing like it where we live...
~ Elections. You have to be 16 to work. Depending on where you live it is a paid volunteer position, plus you learn the elections process... win-win.
~ Soup kitchen and food pantry!
~ Zoo, humane society, nursing homes, daycares, library, church, church camps, day camps, assisted living facilities, hospitals (Note from Lee: when I was in high school, I volunteered at the local hospital, and it made a huge difference in my life! I even got a college scholarship based on my experience. This is especially valuable for kids considering a career in medical fields of all kinds.
~ Meals on Wheels, volunteer at local Nursing home or assisted living, Inner city schools LOVE free tutors and Bible lessons, Save-A-Life volunteer, animal shelters, wild life rescue, Science Centers and Museums take volunteers
~ Don't forget your own neighborhood. My oldest once hosted a "Backyard Day Camp" for the kids in our neighborhood. Boy were the moms happy to have a free place to send their kids for a couple of hours in the morning for that week. She had games, crafts, snacks and a bible story every day. My girls have also served our neighbors by shoveling snow in the winter time (although I never did put this on their transcripts). They did this secretly, although they did get "caught" a couple of times and the neighbors tried to pay them. :-) Everything else they've done has been mentioned with the exception of some things that are unique to our area. We have a pastor friend who runs after school programs in the local public schools. My oldest volunteered for that organization all through high school. (Crossroads Kids Clubs for anyone in the mid-west) We also have a local organization called Feed My Starving Children which I recently discovered is NOT nationwide (too bad) which is a fabulous place to volunteer, filling food packs to send overseas.
~ My daughter volunteered as a jr. historian at a historical village.
~ Stuffing programs for your church. Or, helping out at church doing yard maintenance or landscaping.
~ Sound and light crews at churches and playhouses.
~ Many years ago, we determined that the best way for our children to learn about our Government, was for them to be active in helping choose the right Candidates for the positions that affect our family, and then supporting those Candidates by volunteering. That way, they ‘own’ a piece of the process.
~ My piano and flute students perform their perfected pieces at the local retirement homes, hospitals and churches.
~ Singing and visiting nursing homes, community cleanup (picking up trash,etc), summer program at the library, local food bank distribution, babysitting for church and community events.
~ Kids can work as Counselors in Training for local Parks and Recreation Summer Camp Programs. Also, kids can work with local churches as 'help' with Vacation Bible School AND mine Love to Volunteer at the local Elementary School with some of the teachers or activitiees (mine just happen to work with their former teachers), but either way there are plenty of opportunities within the local school.
~ Mine volunteer at a farm which is a state park, they feed the animals, milk goats and keep it clean. They also volunteer at the Library and with Girl scout camps and events.
~ Tutoring, like at a math club. (Note from Lee: this is a great way for kids to use their passion and delight-directed learning to help other kids like the same things!)
~ at the CHEACT convention the booth next to us was Teen Court. Many jurisdictions have these mentoring programs that get teens interested in legal-type careers.
~ My son volunteers to do lights at our "Little Theatre"
~ Here are my ideas: Check with local churches in your area for ideas, raise/train service dogs, United Way Youth Council, 4-H Teen Ambassador groups, contact Lions Clubs/Rotary/Kiwanis clubs, Animal Shelters
, Perform at nursing home, DoSomething.org, Library volunteer, hospital volunteer, Food or clothing bank, teaching what you love to other homeschoolers.
Please add your comments if you have some new ideas to share!
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