Teen charity work – volunteer opportunities for teenagers — can provide weeks of valuable character building. Summer months open up hours of free time and give teenagers a big choice. On the one hand, they may waste many of those hours in trivial activities such as mall-walking, video games, and other non-productive interests. On the other hand, they may invest summer hours in teen charity work – volunteer opportunities for teenagers to build personal character.
Teen charity work requires a certain amount of character at the outset, of course. Volunteer opportunities for teenagers want young people who show responsibility. They seldom choose teenagers who are unwilling to see a task through to proper and total completion. Teen charity openings also require that helpers show respect to those they assist. They need teens who have a level of self-control, patience, and integrity. However, teen charity work – volunteer opportunities for teenagers will take the basic character with which teens begin and strengthen it block by block.
Your teens’ school may not require high school community service. That does not change the fact that social responsibility often makes a big difference on a high school resume. Colleges and universities, as well as employers, know that volunteer charity work changes a community, and they like to see that you have played a part in such change. They know that the hours a teen spent working with adults to alleviate the needs of others has made an impact on that teenager’s character and prepared him or her to face life seriously.
Teen charity work is not difficult to find – or even to create. Get teens involved in brainstorming. Start by having them brainstorm with one another. Introduce adults into brainstorming activities. Teachers, parents, friends, religious leaders, neighbors – many will have ideas of volunteer opportunities for teenagers. Help teenagers list the ideas offered.
For examples, look at these volunteer opportunities for teenagers:
- MUSIC: Teen charity work can involve the use of your singing or instrumental skills. Volunteer to perform at a senior housing organization – and to teach senior free of charge. Volunteer at your church when regular musicians take summer vacations.
- MUSCLE: Volunteer opportunities for teenagers can use muscles. Work with a local trail association to maintain trails. Help a disabled person with heavy yard work / gardening. Visit senior housing to move furniture, scrub floors, and detail vehicles at no charge.
- COMPUTER: Ages 2 to 92 can benefit from teen charity work that helps them learn to use a computer better. Volunteer to teach preschoolers at a childcare center. Senior centers also present volunteer opportunities for teenagers who have good computer skills. Many senior citizens do not even know how to send email.
- CRAFTS: Skills such as knitting, crocheting, and sewing can produce warm hats, socks, and mittens for needy families. Donate homemade blankets through non-profit organizations.
- ACADEMICS: Teen charity work can be as simple as using your academic skills. You can volunteer to tutor younger students or peers in subjects you know well. Check with local shelters and school programs to find volunteer opportunities for teenagers to train children in the all-important abilities such as reading and working with mathematics.
Teen charity work helps teenagers build compassion for others. It helps them build respect as they learn that people in need have value just as the teenagers have. It helps them build responsibility as they dig in to learn exactly what is needed, take action to meet the need, and continue to the very end, doing the job to the best of their ability.
Volunteer opportunities for teenagers cause them to turn their eyes away from self. Instead of gratifying self, they build self-control in order to meet the needs of other people. Instead of wasting free time, they build commitment, concern, cooperation, confidence, and other traits.
Let me end with a fictitious example:
Janine decided to make a difference during her school break this year. She’d invite her friends to work with her – they’d all have fun doing teen charity work.
Janine got together with her friends and excitedly explained her plan. Instead of walking the malls, buying, or wishing to buy, they’d clean their bedrooms together. They’d help each other decide what was out of style, too small, or just unloved. Clothing, games, sports equipment, and stuffed animals – they would sort everything in the bedroom. They’d throw out things that were not in good condition, and put good things in bags. Then they’d take the bags to a shelter, Goodwill, Salvation Army, or other charitable organization.
Janine’s friends loved the idea, and they started the next day at Janine’s house. Janine supplied big garbage bags, as well as snacks and sodas to keep them going. They began with the closet, and were soon laughing over outgrown jeans, out-of-style tops, and almost new ice skates in the dustiest corner of the closet. “You’ll never use those again,” Katy laughed, “unless you move back up north!”
It took the teenagers five weeks, but by the end of the break, they had ten clean bedrooms, with neatly arranged drawers and closets. Better yet, they had delivered bags and bags of clothing (they washed it all first) as well as costume jewelry, games, and stuffed animals (they washed those, too).
Janine’s teen charity work provided volunteer opportunities for ten teenagers that school break. It also built visibly stronger character in ten teen lives!
Teen charity work can help teenagers build stronger character. Encourage them to get involved, and guide them in ways that will help them build needed character traits as they work.