Volunteering with Your Teen

As Thanksgiving approaches, we often discuss the things for which we are grateful. It can also be a great time of year to show gratitude by sharing our time and abilities. Here is a list of ideas to get involved in the community with your teen.

  • Nursing Homes – Call nursing homes near you and ask if they have residents who need a visit. Many elderly don’t have family in town and value the time visiting. If your child plays an instrument, it would be a great idea to have them play them a song.
  • Food Pantry – Spend a few hours at a local food pantry. Depending on your child’s comfort level, you can serve meals or simply sort through donations.
  • Homeless Care Packages – If you live an area where homelessness is an issue, this can be a great way for your teen to take action without giving cash (if you don’t want to or don’t have it) when you drive by someone in need. Brainstorming items to put in a small bag together.
  • Ronald McDonald House – There are 365 Ronald McDonald Houses in the country, so check if one is near you. Families with pediatric medical patients can stay at Ronald McDonald Houses, and they need volunteer groups to cook meals for those guests.
  • Tutor Elementary Students – Check with local school districts to see if they are in need of older students for tutoring. Many schools have after school care and like to have a few “homework helpers”.
  • Humane Society – Humane societies use volunteers as dog walkers, companions or cleaners. If your teen is an animal lover, this is a great opportunity!
  • Yard Work – Your teen can offer to shovel, rake, garden or cut the grass for an elderly or handicapped neighbor.

These are just a few of the opportunities out there to get involved in the community. Most importantly, let your child’s interests guide how he/she chooses to help.

Leave a Reply