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Creative Volunteering Ideas

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

Volunteering is a great way for your kids to have fun while being productive. This way they may exercise their creativity and find something meaningful to do with their talents and interests. Even parents could join in the fun and encourage the whole family to volunteer as a group. This way, you’ll all get to spend more time during the summer while supporting a worthwhile cause.

Research has shown that teens who volunteer are have higher self-esteem, are more responsible and more resilient. Volunteering helps the teens gain new skills directly applicable to the job market like leadership, communication skills, dependability, time management, and decision making. Teens involved in community service also perform better at school and build stronger resumes for college or scholarship applications. If you’re looking for creative volunteering options, here are some that your kids can do individually, and others that you can enjoy as a family:

In-Person Volunteering

Volunteering in person is a classic way of participating in community service. Depending on your teen’s interests or skills, they can try out some of the following:

Volunteer at a Summer Camp

Going to camp is a traditional summer activity among kids. But instead of going as a camper, your kid could volunteer to help the staff with various camp activities. Depending on the theme of the camp, your kid can learn more about that specific field, for example coding or journalism, which can surely be applied to their academics and real life.

Read in Libraries

If your kid loves to read, they can share their favorite stories with other kids by volunteering in reading programs or after-school book clubs at your local library. This way, your kid can help promote literacy, creativity, and critical thinking while finding like-minded folk who enjoy the same books as they do. Continuing to read during the summer correlates quite highly with increased academic success so this volunteer gig is a two for one!

Be a Museum Guide

Your kids can have a more unique museum experience by going not as a visitor but as a volunteer museum guide. Museum volunteer programs for teens will allow your kid to guide guests through various exhibits, further increasing their knowledge of art history, scientific facts or historical events depending on the museum. Speaking in front of a crowd of visitors will also enhance both their communication skills and confidence level.

Help Train Service Dogs

If your teen is a dog lover, helping train service dogs might be the volunteer program for them. Opportunities in this field involve raising puppies and training them to reach their full potential. Service dogs provide both physical and emotional benefits as they provide companionship and assistance to people who are mobility-challenged. Working to train them will help your teen not only with responsibility but awareness and empathy for the disabled.

Virtual Volunteering

Aside from volunteering in-person, giving back to the community can also be done virtually. Some ideas include:

Online Tutoring

If your kid is good at a particular subject or has a specific skill set, they can volunteer to tutor other kids. Tutoring can benefit other kids struggling with specific subjects like math or science, or foreign learners who want to enhance their English proficiency and the experience of teaching on a topic has long been known to deepen the teachers understanding and knowledge.

Become a Digital Advocate

With the boom of social media, your kid can spread the word online about programs organized by non-profits like the Red Cross. Similarly, they can provide support or counseling through groups like Crisis Text Line or Hire Heroes USA. By being a digital advocate, your kids can use the internet productively and give back to the community while increasing skills and knowledge of a set of media tools that will only continue to grow in importance during their lifetime.

Help Add Information to Online Databases

Museums like The Smithsonian or platforms like Project Gutenberg or Zooniverse can use a lot of help from a teen who’s good at research and data compilation. By volunteering as a researcher for online databases, your kid will get to learn more outside of school while contributing to the overall knowledge and information available online.

Online Translation

Because of globalization, volunteer translators are always welcome in organizations like TED Translators or Translators Without Borders so they can deliver their advocacies to a wider audience. If your teen is proficient in another language, they can translate talks and videos into English, letting more people have access to important foreign-language materials.

Write to an Online Pen Pal

Contrary to popular belief, a lot of elderly people are able to use gadgets without a hitch. Thus, volunteering as an online pen pal for people in senior facilities can be a good way for your kid to not just communicate but to provide companionship for the elderly. This might seem like a simple volunteering activity, but the impact on the people they write to will surely be invaluable.

Volunteering as a Family

For parents who don’t want to miss out on bonding with their kid this summer, here are some creative volunteering opportunities suitable for mixed age groups you can explore together:

Harvesting Produce

Picking produce at a local farm can be a good way to start your summer volunteering activity as a family. Not only will this help local farmers, but it will also teach your kids to have a greater appreciation of the process that goes with food production.

For an even more intensive experience, try planting and growing produce to donate to a local food pantry. In addition to fostering an appreciation of how much work goes into keeping people fed you can choose to learn about green or sustainable gardening methods expanding the learning even farther.

Sponsor a Foreign Student

There are many gifted learners from other countries who don’t always have the means to study abroad. By sponsoring an exchange student and volunteering your home as a place to stay, you will help students get the opportunity to further their studies. Your family can, in turn, learn about another culture while hosting your guest.

Conduct Activities for Nursing Home Residents

Seniors in nursing homes always appreciate visitors, so, as a family, you can organize some fun activities that will allow them and your kids to enjoy a great time together. Aside from encouraging your kids to be creative, it will also teach them about appreciating and caring for their elderly neighbors.

Foster a Pet

There are many strays needing homes, so if you’re a family who loves pets and you want to teach your kids to be more responsible with animals, you can volunteer by fostering a pet until someone gives them a permanent home.

Be Involved

These are just some of the many summer volunteering ideas you and your kids can explore. Be involved in your community and reach out to groups who may need your assistance while strengthening family ties.

-Written by the FooMoo team

-Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

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