Community service and volunteering is a fantastic way to spend time outside of school, while also instilling young minds with an appreciation for doing good works in their communities. Depending on where your group is, you may have more options for working with non-profit organizations, but there are always ways to serve others in the community, with or without the help of an organization. Check out these simple, yet beneficial ways to serve your community with your youth group.
Volunteer Activities for Youth Groups
Volunteering and caring for the community are great for building character and teaching young group members to show respect and love for those around them. Consider these ideas for volunteering activities you could participate in with your youth group students:
Choose a Local Non-Profit Organization
If you live in an area that benefits from organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross, other community-serving churches, it’s easy to contact them and ask what help they may need. Other options to consider are soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and women’s shelters. Many of these organizations don’t have the funds to market themselves very well and might require a bit of research to discover and make contact.
Other community service projects to help local non-profit organizations might include:
- Reading to residents at a nursing home
- Delivering meals and gifts to patients at a local hospital
- Collect baby clothes and supplies to donate to new parents
- Collecting and donating non-perishable food items
Nature and Environmental Volunteering Opportunities
If your youth group is interested in taking care of animals and the environment, check out local animal shelters, nature preserves and national forests. Get in contact with the people in charge and find out what your youth group can do to benefit the natural areas and animals in the community.
Some ideas for self-starter volunteering opportunities that benefit animals and the environment might include:
- Cleaning up trash at a local park
- Offer to walk or care for neighborhood pets
- Sponsor an area of nature preserve or forest
- Organize local carpool locations to help reduce car emissions
- Volunteer at a nature camp to teach young children about the environment
Helping the Elderly or Lonely Members of the Community
Not all volunteer projects need to benefit the homeless or animals. Some of the elderly people in communities across the country could use a friendly face and a helping hand. Consider getting in contact with a local nursing home or church to find out whether there are any elderly residents who could benefit from your group’s time and effort.
Here are some ideas for a group interested in volunteering their time to benefit elderly members of their community:
- Delivering groceries and meals
- Teaching computer and technology skills
- Hosting a bingo night at a nursing home
- Making birthday cards
- Perform a concert or play at a senior center
- Raking leaves, shoveling snow, or washing windows