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What Are the Different Types of Youth Volunteer Opportunities?

By Tess C. Taylor
Updated May 23, 2024
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There are many different types of youth volunteer opportunities for teens who are looking for early career experience and ways to serve the community. Volunteer jobs abound with almost every non-profit organization, as well as with health care centers, assisted living facilities, community recreation organizations, and public service agencies. Young people who volunteer can work in an office, work with children, help in hospitals, or perform any number of other jobs, depending on their skills and goals.

Youth volunteer opportunities as office and fundraising assistants typically are available at not-for-profit groups. Often, these groups need people to handle telephone fundraising campaigns. To fill these jobs, they typically look for young people who want to earn some job experience and help the community at the same time. These jobs can involve routine office tasks like filing and using the telephone.

There are also many youth volunteer opportunities for teens who want to work with kids and people with special needs. Volunteer work can be found at adult assisted-living facilities, nursing homes, day care centers, and social service organizations. Teens will often have the opportunity to work directly with clients and their families, offering general support to the regular staff. Volunteer jobs include reading to clients, playing games and sports with kids, helping prepare meals, and going along as a chaperone on public outings.

For young people who want to get involved in health care, many youth volunteer opportunities are available in hospitals, doctor's offices, and dental offices. These volunteer positions may include helping office staff, helping health care professionals, transporting patients, and giving out reading materials. Candy stripers are young people who aspire to work in health care careers. Candy striper programs may have volunteer available year round.

Young people looking for youth volunteer opportunities to serve their general community often find unpaid community service jobs. These can include cleaning up parks and roadside trash, working in community recreation centers, and volunteering with social service agencies. Teens can also volunteer their time with religious and civic organizations.

In some areas, teen volunteer work programs are referred to as a youth corps. These groups provide both volunteer work experience and room and board for young people. Often, young men and women who have gone through some life challenges and don’t have a clear career path may participate in youth programs such as this.

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Discussion Comments

By MichaelOli — On Nov 09, 2017

Very informative post on different volunteering opportunities for youth. Volunteering is not just good for the people and communities that volunteers help, it is good for the depths of the soul. When an individual volunteers, they experience a significant amount of personal benefits that will have a positive impact on the rest of their life. Many NGO's provided such volunteering abroad opportunities. I

By umbra21 — On Jan 29, 2014

@clintflint - If anything I wish there were more volunteer opportunities for youth in my city. It seems like a lot of them just don't have anywhere to go or anything to do after school.

I feel like if someone were to start up a garden or a skate park or something that they could participate in and feel like they owned a part of, they would be happier and they wouldn't be so inclined to make trouble.

By clintflint — On Jan 28, 2014

@Mor - I'm actually always blown away by how many local volunteer opportunities seem to be full by the time I go to offer my help. In my experience, a lot of people in many communities are willing and able to volunteer. Sometimes they simply don't realize there are opportunities out there.

A local shelter here often asks for volunteers on Facebook and they usually seem to have a dozen offers within an hour. People are generally good when they get the chance to show it. And teenagers in particular are very generous with their time.

By Mor — On Jan 28, 2014

There are often youth volunteer programs you can join in towns, or charities might welcome people coming in and offering to volunteer. I know the local Red Cross shop in my town always has a sign out asking for volunteers.

That kind of work is great for young people, too, because it looks really good on a resume. I mean, it's great to volunteer for it's own sake, but I almost wish more people would see it as a means to an end, just so that more of them would actually do it.

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