Six Great Places for Your Teen to Volunteer

If you are concerned that your teen may be getting into trouble after school but don’t want them earning their own disposable income just yet, volunteering can be a great option. Teaching the benefits of giving time in order to serve the needs of others will not only give your child a sense of good purpose but will look great on those tough college applications.

There are so many volunteer opportunities that it can be hard to choose the best place for your teen to spend their extra time, so see below for a few great ideas of where to look in your local city.

Hospitals. If your teen shows an interest in medicine, a hospital is a great way to get some first-hand experience in the world of healthcare. Volunteers at hospitals can do anything from reading to patients to stock supplies. Doctors and nurses are often too flustered with everyday duties to spend much time with long-term patients, so a having your teen volunteer to keep company can help them meet incredibly interesting people.

Vet offices. If your teen is more of an animal lover, volunteering time at a veterinarian office or an animal rescue can teach them personal responsibility for other living beings. Finding homes for shelter animals, or providing medical care for beloved pets teaches compassion, drive and resourcefulness

Garden clubs or local nurseries. Learning how to tend to plants can be as valuable as learning how to take care of more delicate living beings. Gardening teaches patience, as plants tend to take their time from start to finish. Home gardens can also be a valuable fresh food source when your teen is older, and give them a sense of accomplishment when their tomatoes turn out beautiful.

Tutoring at a troubled teen residential program. Passing on knowledge to a younger set of kids will teach your child how to communicate effectively, learn to teach, patience and above all - the value of education. Not every child can afford a private tutor, but every child deserves the chance to excel in academics. Volunteering your teen’s reading or math skills after school will not only help them but help other children to follow.

Museums and art galleries. If you have a history buff on your hands, have them share that passion by volunteering at a local museum. Your teen will have an amazing time talking about the stories of our past, and what civilization has taught us throughout the years. If art is more their forte, spending afternoons at a local gallery will help to expose them to new creations, as well as older classics.

Teen summer camps. Getting into the great outdoors while helping their peers can teach your teen valuable survival skills. These summer camps are often the only outlet for troubled teens, and having yours share their experiences will help them to bond with others going through similar situations.

If you don’t know where to start, most of these volunteer opportunities can be found in an online program for troubled teens. These sites can be a valuable resource to any parent looking to redirect their child’s interest with their free time.