In Florida, your high school aged teen can use the summer to get volunteer hours for the Bright Futures Scholarship, but no matter where you are, bored teens can be a boon for charities.
So, what can they do anyway? Well, my son likes cats and we’ve volunteered at our local cat shelter SOCKS (Save our cats and kittens). We go pet the cats and can also clean litter boxes and sort items for the thrift store they run.
Truth is, many teens love animals. I looked on VolunteerMatch for volunteer opportunities in the area and found a few more related to animals, including the local zoo asking for help cleaning out cages and preparing food for animals and the wildlife refuge wanting volunteers for day-to-day activities.
What else? I don’t know about where you are, but here in Florida, it’s hot! So, I found out about one fundraising opportunity that’s really cool—swimming for MS. MS stands for multiple sclerosis and is a disease that attacks people most often in their 20s and 30s. The protective covering to the nerves of the brain and spinal cord become damaged and people have muscle problems, weakness, numbness, and for some, reduced mobility.
This summer, your teen can set a goal to swim a certain amount of laps over a set period of time (a day, month or whatever) and raise money per lap for MS. Or, if you have your own pool, you can have a fundraiser like a volleyball tournament, cannonball jumping contest or turn your next pool party into an MS Pool Party. What a fun way to support young people with a debilitating disease.
One last idea. In looking again at VolunteerMatch, I found two hospice organizations that wanted help. As you may know, hospice is for those who are not long for this world, whatever age they might be.
One hospice even has a special teen volunteer program, visiting hospice patients in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, providing computer support and other administrative assistance and helping with fundraising and community outreach. What a way for teens to realize that life is precious.
These are just a few ideas, but as with any kind of volunteering, passion takes precedence. Find something your teen is passionate about and he or she will enjoy what they’re doing and keep doing it!
Good luck and God Bless.