If your tween has a little (or a lot!) of spare time on their hands this summer, why not encourage them to do some volunteer work?
Volunteering is a wonderful way to develop new skills, meet people, explore interests and can even lead to paid employment down the road. Not to mention, a range of volunteer experience looks great on resumes and university applications!
Not sure where to start? Here are some volunteer ideas for tweens:
- collect pledges and participate in a charity walk or bike ride
- help out at a summer camp
- do yard work for a neighbour
- paint children’s faces at a community or charity event
- plant trees or participate in a community clean-up project
- help children with special needs participate in sports and recreation programs
- be reading buddies at the local library
- organize a bake sale, car wash or other fundraiser to raise funds for a charity or local group
- visit seniors at a nursing home
- assist with setup or registrations for a community event
- make and sell items to raise funds to donate to charity
- help with a kids’ activity or craft at a local community fair
- teach computer skills to a grandparent or elderly neighbour
- organize a food drive or sort food at a local food bank
- walking a neighbour’s dog
- stuff envelopes or put up posters for an event or charity
- wrap raffle gift baskets or stuff gift bags for a fundraising event
Volunteering as a Family
Volunteering as a family is a wonderful way to spend quality time together, and can be a great introduction to volunteering for kids who may be apprehensive.
When I was involved with planning family events and fundraisers for a local autism charity, many parents made volunteering a family affair. Kids and parents often worked together to run various activities, sell raffle tickets or help serve food. My daughter often helped me prepare for fundraising events by stuffing gift bags or helping to wrap gift baskets. Many local charities run events throughout the year, and extra hands are always appreciated.
Other family volunteering ideas include:
- sorting food at a local food bank
- serving meals at a homeless shelter
- holding a yard sale or bake sale fundraiser
- participating as a team in a charity walk/run/cycle fundraising event
These type of family volunteer experiences can help set the stage for future volunteer work on their own as kids get more comfortable with the idea and see the benefits of giving back to their community.
About Kathy Sima
Kathy is a blogger and freelance writer and mom of two teens who gave up her career as a financial advisor when her son was diagnosed with autism at age 3. When it comes to parenting, Kathy truly believes there is strength in numbers and knows that sharing stories and strategies with other parents has helped keep her sane (so far!)