Volunteering is a great way for kids of all ages to serve others and give back to their communities. However, it can be difficult for young students to find age-appropriate volunteer opportunities. The following community service ideas can help your middle schooler get involved.
- Clean out your closets. Many pre-teens experience significant growth spurts during middle school. Encourage them to regularly clean out their closets in search of gently-used clothing, shoes, accessories, and even toys. Collect these items and take them to your local Goodwill or other shelter.
- Ask for donations in lieu of gifts. Collecting donations for a local charity instead of gifts for an upcoming birthday or holiday is a great way to give back to the community. For example, provide party guests with a list of items for the local animal shelter such as treats, collars, cleaning supplies, or toys; collect the items at the party and take them to the shelter after.
- Write letters to deployed troops. Say thank you to the men and women serving our country overseas by sending them letters and care packages through Operation Gratitude [https://www.operationgratitude.com/]. Those living in the Los Angeles area can also attend a care package assembly day or volunteer as a letter screener for the group.
- Help at a fun run. There are dozens of charity races and fun runs held each weekend in the greater Los Angeles area. Sign up to volunteer in ways such as helping at registration, handing out snacks and drinks to runners, or giving out medals at the finish line.
- Create “care kits” for the homeless. “Care kits” can be easily assembled and distributed to nearby homeless shelters. Made using gallon plastic bags, care kits can include items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, socks, granola bars, and more.
Other ideas for volunteer opportunities
There are a variety of others ways to get involved in the community, including:
- Work at a food bank or soup kitchen
- Walk dogs for the humane society or animal shelter
- Tutor or read to younger students at the elementary school
- Shelve books at the library
- Visit residents at a nursing home
- Collect trash from the park or playground
- Sign up donors for a blood drive