School is about out and pretty soon there will be more tweens on
skateboards taking over our parking lots and roads than in the past nine
months. How do we keep our kids from being total couch potatoes during
the summer months? Here are a few ideas to get your kids out of the
house and involved in volunteer work.
- Hospitals: If your teenager is
interested in medicine, encourage them to call up the local hospital and
ask to speak to a volunteer coordinator. There are various “odd jobs”
that need to be done, as well as an opportunity to visit with patients
- Nursing homes: Retirement homes and nursing homes are always in
need of volunteers. I did a lot of this in college and I can tell you
that it is never dull. Besides, old people have a way of talking to
kids/teenagers without imposing or being condescending. Wisdom really
does come with age. Your kids might learn a thing or two while helping
recreate memories of the elderly they get to know.
- Nurseries: Does your child/teen have a green thumb? Do they like
to get their hands a little dirty? Set ‘em loose at the local nursery.
- Animal shelter: There are a lot of neglected animals that need a
lot of TLC. It takes a special kind of individual to provide it.
Someone with a love for animals. Ringing any bells?
- Volunteer Center: If you are having a hard time coming up with
ideas on your own, head to the volunteer center in your area. I
guarantee they’ll be able to help.
Volunteer work always looks good on a resume or job application, and
who knows? Maybe they’ll love your teen so much that they’ll hire
him/her on for a paying gig next summer.
*A note to teens: Remember that while volunteer work is unpaid, do
try to be responsible. Don’t skip out, arrive on time, do without being
asked, and to ensure the job gets done correctly don’t be afraid to ask
questions. Most importantly, have fun!