One of the great things about volunteering is that you're never too young to start.
An enormous range of volunteer projects are perfect for a volunteer with energy, ideas, and a willingness to give — whatever their age!
If you're a young person looking for a great way to get involved in your community, here's an exercise designed to help you figure out what will be a good fit for you: to get started, all you'll need is a piece of paper, a pen or pencil, a computer, and your imagination:
Think about your favorite things to do. Do you like being outdoors, using a computer, walking dogs, painting, playing sports?
Don't worry if none of them sound like volunteering yet...
Next, think about the things you really care about. Are you passionate about recycling? Health? Education? Taking care of animals?
Think about the types of topics that really hold your interest.
What is important to you? What kinds of things do you think need to change in the world to make it a better place?
If you were listening to the news, what stories would grab your attention?
Now think about the things you're good at.
Are you a talented artist? A great photographer? Skilled at math? Good with younger kids?
Have you always wanted to learn how to garden? Are you interested in writing or drawing? Do you want to explore possible jobs or careers (for example, if you love animals, maybe you've always wanted to learn more about what veterinarians do)?
Using your list, you're now ready to start looking for volunteer opportunities that combine your interests, talents, and goals.
Keeping in mind that you may not find a place to volunteer that incorporates everything on your list, try to find volunteer opportunities that combine at least a handful from each column.
Here are four great ways of doing this:
A few tips for searching online:
Once you have found a few potential volunteer opportunities, you're ready to decide where to volunteer.
Here are a few more links to check out on volunteering as a young person: