There are lots of ways you can get involved as a youth volunteer. Find projects via our publications, search or calendar. Discover what other young people are doing and see if you can find or create a similar project here. Think about what you enjoy doing and find creative ways to use your skills and interests to help local agencies. This page is to help you get started - enjoy!
- Volunteer Opportunities for Teens - updated in real-time!
- Get Inspired
- Finding Current Opportunities
- Use the Calendar
- Camp Make a Difference
- Volunteer Opportunities for Families
In order to help you find projects welcoming youth volunteers in real-time, we're trying something a little different.
Instead of compiling everything into a publication, we're providing a link to a saved search featuring all of the current opportunities for young people to make a difference. It may look different from what you're used to with the publication, the plus is that it updates whenever an agency lists something new. We hope you'll find it helpful!
Link to seach for current youth-friendly opportunities: http://www.volunteerhoward.
Discover projects by other young people that may inspire you to create a project of your own. The Prudential Spirit of Community awards honor middle and high school youth for outstanding service to the community. Learn about national and state honorees via their website.
generationOn is the global youth service movement igniting the power of all kids to make their mark on the world. Their mission? To inspire, equip, and mobilize youth to take action that changes the world and themselves through service. There are a LOT of great resources on the site, including project ideas for younger kids and their families: http://www.generationon.org/kids
Other incredible stories about young people making a difference can be found on the Kids Are Heroes website under Meet the Heroes.
HOW TO GET STARTED
Step 1: Register
To sign up for projects or express interest to get contact information on opportunities, you must first be registered on this site.
Please note: Volunteers must be a least 14 years old to legally register on this website. Volunteers under 14 years of age may still volunteer but a parent/guardian will have to register to sign up or express interest in projects. Parent/guardian may create a team to include children under 14 on their account.
Step 2: Find Volunteer Opportunities
There is one way to filter volunteer opportunities appropriate for youth.
From the Search Opportunities Page
- Enter all required information in the "Basic Search Box"
- Be sure under "Additional Filters" you click "Appropriate For"
- In the "Age of Volunteers" drop-down menu select the appropriate age you want to filter by
- Select any other filters you wish to search by
- Click "Refine"
Step 3: Express Interest/Sign Up
Depending upon the type of project you select, you will be given the choice to:
- Express Interest - the community organization will contact you directly with further information about the opportunity and how to sign up. An automated e-mail will also be sent to you, with contact information for the community organization, so that you can follow up with them if you do not get a response.
- Sign Up - you will be automatically signed up for that project and will receive a confirmation e-mail containing all of the information you will need.
Kids are Heroes
Nominate a young hero to be featured on the Kids Are Heroes website.
Camp Make a Difference 2013
Grades 6-9 • Youth & Teen Center Oakland Mills Village Center •
Extended Care: Youth & Teen Center
CA Resident $255; Non-Resident $270
4 separate one-week sessions
July 8-12 • July 15-19 • July 22-26 • July 29-Aug 2
For the camp that has it all, look no further! Our camp is a unique combination of recreational and volunteer experiences designed to give every child an opportunity to make new friends, have fun, and feel good about what they’re doing in the summertime.
Each week, campers will participate in a minimum of four community service projects while also learning about volunteer opportunities for teens in Howard County. Camp Make a Difference has volunteered at Grassroots, the Howard County Conservancy, Days End Farm Horse Rescue, Ellicott City Senior Center Plus, the Howard County Food Bank, and more.
But we don't forget about the fun - campers swim twice per session, play games, and enjoy a Friday Field Trip. Field Trip locations may include Six Flags America, Cameron Run Water Park, Sandy Point State Park, Dave and Busters, North Beach, and more. Hope to see you this summer for friends, fun, and feel good service!
Camp Make a Difference is offered in partnership with the Columbia Association Camps Program. Description taken from the Columbia Association Camps Brochure (pdf, pages 24 & 25). More information available on the Columbia Association Camps website.
But don't take it from us - listen to what campers said in their own words in this excellent video from HoCoMoJo.
It can be a challenge to find volunteer opportunities for families, especially with younger children. There are not many local agencies that welcome volunteers under the age of 12 on a regular basis (although certainly there are projects and one-time events that are perfect for volunteer families).
So what can you do? First, you can approach a local agency (or issue) with the question: "What do you need?" That can give real insights into project ideas for how your family may be able to help. Often, it's easier for an agency to welcome volunteer families or groups that approach them with ready-to-go project ideas that require very few resources from the agency itself. It could be something as simple as a collection, or as intricate as teaching crafts to local seniors.
You can also start by brainstorming fun projects and then finding local agencies that may be interested. We've been using The Volunteer Family website as a good place to generate ideas: http://www.thevolunteerfamily.org/be-a-volunteer/step-3-ideas/.
Other ideas are available at http://www.generationon.org/kids.
Please be patient. It can be overwhelming, at times, to be approached by families seeking opportunities if an agency is not set-up to welcome families. Understand that some may be reluctant to welcome younger volunteers because they don't feel that they have age-appropriate options for them on-site. That's where being creative comes in, and possibly considering ways to give back without traveling to the actual agency itself.
And thank you. Your interest in making a different and including younger volunteers is appreciated.