Tip # 62 – Volunteer
Encouraging your teen(s) to give something back to others will benefit not only the organization or person they are helping but it will give them confidence and help your teen to step beyond their immediate reality and gain an understanding of other people, their lives and the world around them. It will keep your teen busy, directed, and give them a sense of purpose that sitting at home and playing on a gaming system or watching TV will not do.
Below is a list of some suggestions to get them started. Make sure it is something that they are interested in and want to do so that it will not only be meaningful but they will stick with it too!
* Work at humane society or zoo
* Help a local politian
* Organize a park clean up
* Plant trees
* Adopt a grandparent
* Be a mentor
* Organize and run a food drive for a local food bank
* Work at homeless shelter
* Run clothing or snowsuit drive
* Visit a seniors centre
* Volunteer at library
* Volunteer at local community centre, ACS, Readiness Centre, MFRC, etc.
* Organize sports day for local elementary school
* Fundraiser for a cause
* Help build a house
There is a great book that might inspire your teen called “The Kid’s Guide to Service Projects” by Barbara A. Lewis. It gives you a lot of suggestions, ideas, tips and strategies on how to get started. It has over 500 ideas. The bottom line is that it really has to be something that they are interested in and will want to do. You may have to pry them off the couch the first time but ideally you want them to be going because of how it makes them feel.