There are many different ways to volunteer with children or teenagers that don’t include involvement with a large non-profit organization. However, many people feel more comfortable having a support group and structure around them to guide them through volunteering. If you are looking to do some volunteer work with youth, you can check out any of the organizations listed below for more details. Remember to first think about your level of commitment and how much time you can invest. There is a place for every type of volunteer, whether it is a one-time event volunteer, a weekly, monthly, or even daily time commitment.
Boy Scouts of America
If you have a son or daughter involved in Cub Scouts or were a Cub scout yourself in your youth, you are already aware that the organization’s success is largely dependent upon volunteer efforts. Cub Scouts is a non-profit organization that has guided and inspired kids for generations now. If you have an interest you can go to their website and complete the volunteer form. You will be required to register and go through an approval process and training. Not every volunteer works directly with kids, so if you have other talents to offer be sure to mention them. Many BSA volunteers do work with kids and having a patient and positive attitude will go a long way in helping kids work through problems, complete projects, and have fun.
Girl Scouts of America is an awesome organization dedicated to uplifting and inspiring young girls to dream big and achieve. Their website has an abundance of ways to volunteer with Girl Scouts, whether you have just a few hours or a much longer commitment in mind. There are many different ways including being a troop leader, assisting one, mentoring a child through cookie sale season, or working seasonally at a camp. There is a form to fill out online and you will be contacted to be put in touch with a local branch near you. As with most youth organizations, you will fill out an application, go through a simple background check and some safety training before beginning any volunteer work.
There are a variety of ways to volunteer through your local YMCA including tutoring, mentoring, and coaching, to name just a few. To volunteer with the YMCA you will need to fill out an application and note your skills and experience, provide references, and submit to a background check to work directly with kids. After that process, you can begin to get involved with your community and work to brighten and enrich the lives of youth in your area.
Boys and Girls Club
The Boys and Girls Clubs of America strive to do whatever it takes to encourage and inspire the youth they come in contact with. The organization provides tutoring, coaching, mentoring, and much more to any child who is in need. Their mission is that regardless of background or circumstances every kid gets a chance to reach their true potential.
If you have a heart for kids and animals you should consider volunteering with the 4-H organization. They do a great job of preparing and enriching kids’ lives through many programs involving animals big and small. Follow the link to fill out a volunteer interest form for a 4-H program in your area.
Big Brothers Big Sisters
The Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization is focused on keeping kids safe and giving them encouragement and guidance. If you enjoy kids of all ages or have a heart for tweens and teens this may be a great place for you to make the most of your volunteer time and efforts. You don’t need to have any special training or background to help. The time you invest with your “little” is the most valuable thing you can bring to the table when volunteering. You can have a big impact on the child you are paired with, and they in turn can bring more meaning and joy to your life as well.
Your local church will almost definitely have opportunities to volunteer your time and talents with children. Whether working in Sunday school or helping to clean up and organize for special events hosted by the church there are many chances to work with the kids in your community. If you attend a church already you should be able to contact an assistant pastor or other church leader for steps to take before volunteering.