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5 Great Places for Teens to Volunteer

Originally published on

As kids near high school graduation, they are usually in a frenzy to spice up their résumés. According to the non-profit Christian organization, Acts 1:8 Ministry, one of the best ways to stand out from other students is by listing volunteer experience. In fact, there is no shortage of places to volunteer - in any community.

Below, Acts 1:8 Ministry shares a few of their favorite volunteer ideas:

1. Virtually every nursing home, public or private, is short-staffed to some extent. Low staffing means that the nursing and nursing assistant staff spend all of their time tending to the immediate medical and safety needs of each resident. They have little or no time to visit with patients, who are sometimes left feeling lonely and abandoned. Spending even one hour per week reading to a resident or just getting to know them can have an immeasurable positive impact on their health and mood. Contact the social worker at your local nursing home or assisted living community and find out how you can help.

2. The American Red Cross is always looking for volunteers. The Red Cross provides training for individuals to become certified teachers of CPR and first aid. Certified teachers can then provide instruction in workplaces, community organizations, and other locations around the community. Teaching life-saving skills is an excellent way to do some real good for the welfare of your hometown.

3. If you are new to volunteering, the local YMCA is a great place to start. You can train to be a certified lifeguard, provide volunteer childcare for members' children, assist with event planning, become a counselor at a summer camp, or greet people at the front desk. Because YMCAs try to stay affordable to everyone, they are often strapped for funding. Volunteering at the Y is not only fun, but it also helps keep great fitness and wellness opportunities available to all.

4. Local museums are usually seeking volunteers. In some places, teens can become museum tour-guides. Learning everything about the museum might be time-consuming and take some work, but imagine explaining to a prospective employer, the preparation and expertise it took to perform the job. If you are looking for a less stressful option, greeters, food-service workers, marketing helpers, event assistants, and set-up volunteers are often in high-demand as well.

5. Food pantries are a great place to assist members of your community directly. There is no greater experience than personally helping someone in need. You can check with local churches and food bank organizations to find out how and where to volunteer. You will never regret it.

While many teenagers have some limited work experience to add to their résumés, potential employers and college admissions officers also find volunteer experience impressive. It shows that you care about giving back to your community - with no tangible reward. Volunteering is a personal sacrifice of your time, energy, and talent, purely to benefit others' lives. No quality in a candidate is more desirable than that.

About Acts 1:8 Ministry: Acts 1:8 Ministry is a non-profit organization that equips Christians to care, share and connect people to Christ through Christian kindness. The Planned Acts of Christian Kindness® Program has touched thousands of lives in the US and over 100 countries worldwide. Through the Water Project, over 130 water wells drilled, blessing hundreds of thousands of lives with clean water.

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