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Youth volunteer resources

This version was saved 9 years, 10 months ago View current version     Page history
Saved by Katherine Mulholland
on January 15, 2013 at 1:26:19 pm
 

Ideas and resources for students 6th grade and up.

Compiled by Kathy Mulholland, Freehold Public Library 

 

  • Look around your life for volunteer opportunities.  Do you belong to a church, synagogue or other religious organization?  Is one of your parents involved in a volunteer or civic group?  Maybe you can get a volunteer position with an organization you don't normally think of as having volunteers, but you may need to "sell yourself" and come up with ways you can help them.  Some possible ideas:

               --Babysit during church, committee, or group meetings...for free.

               --Fold bulletins, programs, or stuff envelopes.

               --Identify something that needs cleaning, dusting or sprucing-up and offer to do it.

               --Sharpen all the pencils in pews or book-racks.

  • Red Cross Youth affiliated projects for youth [http://redcrossyouth.org/] 
  • Teen Library Committee of the Freehold Public Library [http://www.freeholdpubliclibrary.org/] (two hours a month, most months). Contact Kathy Mulholland at kmulholland@freeholdpubliclibrary.org.
  • Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore - Freehold is in the "Colonial Region." You can participate in Girl Scout activities or get some ideas about projects from what other people are doing. To join girl Scouts costs $48 (as of 2013). [http://girlscoutsjs.org/] 
  • Monmouth Council of Boy Scouts - Freehold is in the "Battleground District." You can join a local unit (dues will vary), or get ideas about projects from what others are working on. [http://www.monmouthbsa.org/] 
  • GenerationON Kids and GenerationON Teens - Project ideas from the children/youth branch of "Points of Light Foundation." [http://www.generationon.org/kids and http://www.generationon.org/teens]
  • Global Youth Service Day (April 26-28, 2013) Resources [http://www.gysd.org/] 
  • Do Something - International organization for teens in service. [http://www.gysd.org/]
  • Color A Smile - Send artwork to this organization, or better yet, plan a party or event for your friends to make art to send. [http://www.colorasmile.org/] 
  • Make brown-bag lunches for Feed All God's Children or Bridges. [http://www.feedallgodschildren.org/ and http://www.bridgesoutreach.org/]
  • Clean Ocean Action's Beach Sweeps - clean up the beach (you'll need to get your parents involved in this as it involves going to the shore on specific days; organize a team to go for the most fun while getting the job done!). [http://www.cleanoceanaction.org/index.php?id=aboutbeachsweeps] 
  • Humane Society's Kids Page [http://www.ahscares.org/page.asp?page=kidshome]
  • Jersey Cares - Clearing house of volunteer opportunities (CAUTION: be sure to check age requirements). [http://www.ahscares.org/page.asp?page=kidshome] 
  • United Way - Clearing house of volunteer opportunities (CAUTION: be sure to check age requirements). [http://www.uwmonmouth.org/volunteer] 
  • VolunteerMatch - Clearing house of volunteer opportunities (CAUTION: be sure to check age requirements). [http://www.volunteermatch.org/search/?l=Freehold%2C+NJ%2C+USA&k=]

 

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Run a "collection drive" for local charities; ask your school, church or other centrally-located organization that you know about to let you place collection boxes so people can donate.

 

  • Twin bed sheets, blankets and sleeping bags of all sizes for Point of Grace sheltering program (for contact information, ask Kathy Mulholland, kmulholland@freeholdpubliclibrary.org). 
  • Hotel/Trial-sized toiletries (new/unopened): shampoo, soap, toothpaste, tooth brushes, etc.  for Open Door. [http://www.freeholdareaopendoor.org/howtohelp.htm]
  • Non-Perishable Food Drive (especially protein foods like peanut butter and canned tuna) for Open Door.
  • Pet food for local animal shelters.  

 

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Develop and education and awareness program for a cause you care about.

 

  • Conservation issues (being "green"; recycling; not wasting energy; how to help endangered animals, anti-littering, etc.)
  • The Arts (share a passion for painting, drawing, dancing, music, etc., and help others get involved, by hosting free "to do" classes or take your program to a nursing home or other group)
  • Health awareness (avoiding skin cancer, alcohol/drug abuse, eating disorders, getting physically fit, etc.)
  • Sports (put together a brochure or display showing younger kids how to play your favorite sport)
  • Writing/literacy (host a blog, publish a zine, run a book club, or host a poetry slam).
  • Ethics education (make a PowerPoint presentation teaching your peers about plagiarism, or how to help a friend who is going through a hard time, or other important issue).
  • Favorite subjects (take a favorite subject in school and notch-it-up with a presentation you share with a class, community group, at church, etc.)
  • Technology Aide (offer to help seniors learn a little bit about computers, or offer to scan photos onto a flash drive).
  • Make an information resource (like a wiki...such as this one!) that helps people, and promote it among your friends or in the community.  
  • Collect healthy recipes that kids like,and share on the internet, or make home-made cookbooks. 
  • Conduct a "care package for soldiers" campaign (see http://www.military.com/spouse/military-life/military-resources/how-to-support-our-troops.html for information). 

 

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Organize your friends into an action team to...

  • Shovel snow or do some yard clean-up for senior citizens FOR FREE
  • Do a litter-pick-up event at a park in town, school, or along sidewalks near your home
  • Write letters to local, state and/or federal officials advocating for causes you care about.  
  • Make iron-on transfers in support of a special cause, then iron-on to t-shirts to "advertise" for your cause. 

 

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Things to watch out for/avoid.

  • Book collections: used books are rarely wanted.  An exception is the AAUW book sale, but if you ask people to donate books you'll get all kinds of books, mostly old and many damaged or moldy.  Avoid doing book collections! 
  • Stuffed-Animal Toy Collections: occasionally the Humane Society or law-enforcement folks will take stuffed animals, but there are really just too many out-there and if you ask for donations, you'll get all kinds of dusty, junky and who-knows-how old/big stuffed critters.  Not a good idea. 
  • Food donations: DO collect food donations for Open Door, but make sure you only accept food that isn't EXPIRED (past the use-by date on package).  Also, only take canned or dry-boxed/pouch foods.  If you get donations that look like they might not be good (say, the box is very dusty or had gotten wet, or the can's rusted), just throw it away before you take the items to the food pantry. 
  • Animal charities: Because of safety and insurance rules, most reputable animal-service organizations (animal shelters) won't take volunteers under age 18 to help directly with the animals.  You may be able to do other things for them.  Be suspicious of any animal shelter that will put a youth in middle school to work; they probably are not "official" and may not be safe for you to work with.

 

Generally speaking: always do your homework and ask lots of questions before volunteering for an organization you don't already know.  Many will not accept middle-school aged youths, and might not accept high school aged volunteers.  The fact is, it's a lot of work to supervise and direct kids in volunteer service, and some organizations may not have the staff to do that.  Don't take it personally!  Some really need workers who can do things that you just have to be older to do (like drive a car).  You're not doing anybody any favors if you try to guilt an agency into letting you volunteer just because you "need the hours."

 

Also, be sure to be reliable and punctual!  Volunteer work can be a good source of recommendations for things like scholarships, awards, honor society and employment.  But if you're late or stink at the job, don't bother asking for a reference.  Sometimes volunteer work can lead to jobs or even careers. 

 

If you need any help researching (finding information) about things you're interested in doing, you can contact Mrs. Mulholland at the Freehold Public Library: 732-462-5135 or kmulholland@freeholdpubliclibrary.org.

 

Good luck!

 

So nigh is grandeur to our dust

So near to God is man;

When duty whispers low, “thou must.”

The youth replies, “I can.”

Voluntaries, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

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