How to involve teenagers in community activities

Community service is important for every teenager. Doing community service is not just personally fulfilling, it also looks good on college applications, and helps teens gain hands on real world experience. Volunteer opportunities for teenagers are important since they help make teens a more progressive and productive part of society. To begin with, they learn empathy and the ability to look at situations from beyond the confines of self interest. There are a number of teenage community service ideas for parents to encourage their teens to join:

The Food Bank

Volunteering at a food bank is ideal for teens who are comfortable among people and revel in public interaction and community service. Parents will need to call the local food bank and see if they need volunteers. If hired, your teenager will probably have to go door to door asking for nonperishable goods, or organize food collections at their school.  

An Animal Shelter

If your teenager is an animal lover and loves bringing in strays, this is the job for him/her. This volunteering is going to be more pleasure than work. Your teen will be required to do anything from walking dogs to cleaning kitty cages to helping out in clerical work around the clinic or office. Just check out your local animal shelters and see if they need a passionate volunteer to help out. This will give your teen a truly hands on experience of working with animals, helping save their lives or making them feel safe and loved. This could also have them thinking about joining this field of work and pursuing this field of education on a higher level.

A Nursing Home

This is a perfect position to volunteer for if your teen is big on selfless service and caring for the sick or elderly. A lot of times, people and patients residing in nursing homes are so far beyond medical help that the only thing one can do for them is to sit by them or listen or talk to them, to ease their loneliness. To give your teen a taste of empathy, find out if nursing homes in your local area need volunteers and encourage your teen to volunteer there. Most of the times, volunteers are not involved in providing serious medical care. They are only there to keep the residents and patients engaged and occupied by reading to them or playing board games with them or simply talking to them.

A recycling drive

Are your teens good organizer? Are they capable of taking charge and getting things done? Then here is a volunteering position they might excel at. A lot of communities are in need of recycling drives and need motivated volunteers who can kick start such drives on their own. So encourage your teen to check out areas in desperate need of a recycling drive from the local municipal office and initiate their own program. Such a project requires a lot of footwork so your teen will be getting lots of exercise, not to mention staying busy on a regular basis. They will be required to set up recycling bins and spread the message of recycling door to door.

Habitat for Humanity

The best way of inspiring your teen to become part of this magnificent program is to tell them that Brad Pitt volunteered for them not so long ago. If you teenager loves being outdoors and doesn’t shy away from physical labor, this is the perfect opportunity for them to learn how the other half of the population lives. Building homes for impoverished families or those who have lost their homes in natural disasters will teach your teen empathy and an opportunity to contribute significantly towards making people’s lives better. The immense sense of accomplishment your teen will feel on seeing a house completed, could have him thinking about studying architecture, civil engineering or construction.

A Political Campaign

If your teen has ambitions about having a career in the local administration or politics, this may be the first opportunity to groom them for such a future. So help them think above and beyond competing for student council and move them into a bigger arena. Volunteers for political campaigns are usually required to make phone calls, send out campaign literature or go door to door for convincing purposes. Working in such an environment will not only motivate your teen to think big, but will also sharpen their political aspirations. Here they will get to make great connections and maybe acquire some outstanding references which would look great on their college applications.

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