If you have a heart for children and are interested in volunteering your time and energy into inspiring, uplifting, mentoring, or simply befriending youth you should take action. Investing in our youth is the best way to brighten the future for all of us. There are so many volunteer opportunities with children. We will cover many of the places to volunteer and ways to get involved with kids and make a positive difference in their lives. First and foremost you should take a moment to consider your level of commitment to volunteering. Once an organization and a child learns to depend on you, they need to know that you are reliable and available. It’s okay if you can’t make a large time commitment, but be honest with yourself.
Next, you should consider the many different ways to volunteer with children and take into account your own talents, education, and interests. Volunteering will benefit you both the most if you are engaged and doing something you enjoy. We will list plenty of ideas below and some helpful FAQs and tips to get you started on your volunteering journey.
Organizations to do Volunteer work with Children
We will cover many different organizations with opportunities for volunteering with children. We will also cover other general ideas to help you decide the best way for you to help our youth. Each of the organizations listed below should have a local chapter near you or in a neighboring city. Some good places to start your search include Boys Scouts, Girl Scouts, YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, 4-H, or a local church. We have a separate article discussing each organization in greater detail. Organizations to volunteer with kids
Where to Volunteer
There are many places to volunteer with kids, including your local school, churches, sports leagues, or youth centers. Your city recreation department is also a great place to start. You can volunteer as a mentor to teens in your city or help to organize, work, or clean up city youth outreach events.
Tutoring and Mentoring Kids
Whether you have a background in education or not, you may consider tutoring or mentoring children in your community who are struggling either academically in school or socially with other kids. There are so many kids who struggle in certain subjects or even simply to make a friend. You can make a real difference in a child’s life. Contact your local school and ask about tutoring opportunities. If you excel at a specific subject like math or writing, consider lending your skills to help youth in your area. You will need to apply, pass a background check, and possibly complete some training on school protocols.
Another great idea for volunteering with kids is coaching a team sport. Youth sports are run almost entirely by volunteers, from coaching to referees to running a snack bar. Sports can be so amazing for kids. They help teach discipline, perseverance, teamwork, and sportsmanship. Coaching can be a big commitment, so be prepared for the time commitment. If you aren’t sure you can commit to that level of volunteer work, consider stepping in to be an assistant coach or volunteer for fundraisers, field maintenance, or maybe at the snack bar.
Volunteering with Kids Overseas
If you’ve dreamt of volunteering overseas and also have a passion for working with children, you should consider volunteering overseas to help kids. Many volunteers choose to work as teachers abroad. You can help impoverished children gain the knowledge and skills they desperately need. There are several organizations that work with teaching kids abroad, you can start by checking out: https://www.gviusa.com/volunteer-abroad/teaching-projects/. Many end up teaching in countries such as Jamaica, Chile, Nepal, South Africa, China, Guatemala, India, and Indonesia. Others choose to volunteer in orphanages or other community efforts such as clean water well systems, or in health clinics to improve the health of children in impoverished areas of the world through organizations like Doctors without Borders and others.
Volunteer with Sick Kids
You don’t necessarily need to be a doctor to help sick children. There are many ways you can help kids struggling with serious illnesses, or support their families through difficult times as well. If this interests you a good place to start would be any Children’s hospital in your area. There are also organizations like the Make-a-Wish foundation to help children and the Ronald McDonald House for their families. These organizations depend upon donations, sponsorships, and volunteers. You can check out the Children’s Hospital Network to get an idea of how to help. https://www.childrens.org.au/get-involved/volunteer/
Volunteering with Autistic Children
If you are interested in contributing your time and energy to working with and supporting autistic children and their families you can start by checking with the Organization for Autism Research (OAR). Along with fundraisers throughout the year, they have several volunteer positions from youth education leaders to writing for the newsletter or blog. Parents and caregivers for autistic children also need help and there are volunteer programs that help to provide much-needed respite care. As expected you will be required to fill out applications and pass background checks before working with any child.
Volunteer with Foster Youth
If you’ve considered becoming a foster parent, but can’t or if you’re not ready for that level of commitment, you should consider volunteering as a CASA, Court-Appointed Special Advocate. Outcomes for foster youth improve greatly when they are connected and supported by an advocate. The time commitment can be as little as 10-20 hours per month, but the change you can make in a foster child’s life is tremendous. You can also become a mentor for a foster child, become a respite care provider, or fundraise. Both Adoptuskids.org and TogetherweRise.org are great places to start.
Volunteering with Teens
Many volunteers who want to work with kids, avoid teenagers, it’s understandable to some degree. Teenagers can be difficult, moody, and have complex problems that they need help with, but they do need our help. Often teenagers will look to adults other than their own parents when problems come up. Volunteer mentors can really make a difference in these difficult teenage years. You can start by contacting a local teen youth center or your city recreation department about volunteering at events or as a mentor or tutor for teenagers in your community.
Volunteer with Special Needs Children
Yet another option is to put your unique skills and talents to use in a project to help assist those living with disabilities. Disabled children have unique challenges and obstacles, and often all they need is a little assistance from a caring volunteer to reach their goals. You don’t necessarily need to have an educational background or experience working with special needs children, in order to make a difference. LoveVolunteers.org is a resource to check out for different projects and opportunities to help disabled kids in the US and abroad.
How to Volunteer with Children?
The first thing you should do is determine in what way you would like to volunteer, run through the list above, and narrow down your choices. Next, you can contact the organization and be prepared to go through a background check, fingerprinting, and application process.
How Can Volunteering Help Kids?
You can truly make a huge impact on the kids you volunteer to help whether it is by coaching, mentoring, tutoring, or any other way. Children are sponges and eager to learn and instilling in them a positive outlook can make a huge difference in their lives for years to come. Kids need guidance and encouragement, you can be that for a child or teenager and the impact can be huge. If you truly want to make a difference, working with kids can influence the future in such a positive way.
Why Should I Volunteer with Children?
If you have a heart for children you should use that to positively influence youth in your community. Children really are the future and to ensure we have a bright one we should invest in our youth. Guiding them with love and encouragement, teaching them accountability and responsibility can set them up for a lifetime of success and happiness.