Community Service Ideas for Teen Volunteers

I read a great article out of the US on how volunteering in your community is a wonderful way to fulfill your community service requirement for school or a club, build your resume, and make a difference in your community. It mentioned how sometimes it is difficult to find an exciting volunteer opportunity and it listed some ideas for teens to get them inspired to volunteer.

Here are a few of the ideas inspired by that article with Canadian and local content:

Donate old clothes or household goods. Take a look through your closet or storage space to find those dusty items that you’ve outgrown or just don’t use anymore. If it’s in good condition, give it to your local Goodwill or women’s shelter.

The next time you go grocery shopping, pick up some non-perishables to donate to your local food bank.

Bring new or lightly used toys and stuffed animals to a children’s hospital.

During the holiday season, answer a letter to Santa from a needy child. Visit your local participating post office to get a letter from an underprivileged kid, buy a gift, and mail your package.

For your next birthday, ask that people give donations to a charity of your choice instead of gifts.

Donate children’s books, novels, and other reading materials to shelters, libraries, and schools.

Offer to rake leaves, shovel the walk, or do housework for an elderly neighbor.

Teach computer skills to the elderly.

Become a volunteer tutor. If you excel in a particular subject, share that knowledge with other teens who are struggling.

Become a tour guide for a local historical organization.

Volunteer to teach English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).

Coach a sport you love to a youth team.

Good at sewing or knitting? Donate homemade blankets to people in need.

Got a big vocabulary and a little time to kill? Test your skill on They’ll donate 10 grains of rice through the World Food Programme for every answer you get right.

Use social media. Spread the word about a worthy-cause through posts on your own account, or volunteer to set-up a social media account for a local non-profit.

Do you love to cook and bake? Invite your friends to participate, and hold a bake sale for your favorite charity.

Volunteer to give music lessons to people in your community.

Consider volunteering for a one day event. Volunteer organizations are generally small-staffed, so they need to recruit lots of volunteers for a huge event. This short-term community service idea is ideal for teens who can’t make a weekly commitment, but still want to help out.

Volunteer to run/walk for an event, like The Bridge Hospice Walk-A-Thon or Relay for Life.

Offer your help taking registrations, handing out water bottles, cleaning up after, or other administrative tasks for an event. It might not feel as glamorous, but this volunteer work is actually really helpful to non-profits!

Participate in a clean up of a beach, riverbed or local park.

Trick-or-treat for UNICEF. Think you’re too old to collect candy, but still want to dress up? Collect money for a charitable organization like UNICEF, and no one will judge you.

Look up Earth Day and participate in their “Take Action” programs.

Dance at a dance marathon. If you’re up for a 24-hour dance party, it’s a great way to raise funds.

Organize or participate in a sleep out. Experience the difficulties that homeless people face every day while raising money and awareness for homeless or at-risk youth.

Volunteer on Thanksgiving Day with your whole family. Serve a meal, in your home or in a local shelter, to someone who needs it.

When you make a commitment to being a volunteer on a recurring basis, you’ll fulfill your community service requirement in no time. These types of posts often require training before you start. And, in addition to giving back, a long-term volunteer commitment is a great thing to put on a high school resume.

Volunteer with animals. Check out your local humane society to learn how. Make sure to check out the volunteer requirements--some places require 18+ volunteers to actually work with the animals.


Become a mentor to a younger kid.

Volunteer at your local library.

Help special needs kids or adults through an organization like Community Living.

Deliver food to those who are unable to leave their home. Contact your school or church to see if they have programs in place, like Meals on Wheels, or start one of your own.

Volunteer at a crisis line. Many organizations have specific programs for teens and their peers, where you’ll be trained to listen actively as a teen crisis counselor.

Visit a retirement home and spend time doing fun activities with the elderly who lack immediate family.

Volunteer at a homeless shelter. There are multiple different volunteer options, such as preparing and serving food to people in need.

Offer to nanny or baby-sit for free to a family in need. You can contact a local women’s shelter, department of social services, or church to volunteer your services.

Help an adult learn how to read.








I hope this inspires you to get out there and give back to your community!