Need summer volunteer opportunities for teens? Whether you’re looking for teen summer volunteer ideas in your local community, online volunteering for students (especially if you’re wondering how do teens get service hours online), best summer volunteer programs for high school students, youth volunteer opportunities, or wondering where can I do service hours and get easy community service hours, you’ll find something in these ideas for teenagers!
Summer Volunteer Opportunities for Teens and Service Hour Ideas for 13 Year Olds and Up
Ideas for volunteering as a teenager:
- Work with the summer reading challenge as a volunteer at the library.
- Become a summer school volunteer for teachers / teacher’s helper.
- Organize, donate, or repair Little Libraries in your community.
- Work at a soup kitchen or food bank preparing and distributing food.
- Help elderly neighbors with errands, yard work, or light housekeeping.
- Visit, walk, and play with animals at a local animal shelter.
- Pack food and supplies for families in need.
- Pick up litter in your neighborhood or join park cleanup efforts.
- Participate in beach preservation or local waterway preservation projects. (Check your local park or nature center!)
- Work as a camp counselor for kids.
- Deliver meals or supplies to homebound seniors or the chronically ill.
- Participate in a local fundraiser or charity event for something that you feel passionate about.
- Help out with local elections, campaigns, or volunteer for candidates.
- Provide administrative or social media / online support for a local nonprofit organization.
- Engage in online activism to raise awareness about social issues.
- Start your own project or fundraiser to benefit a cause that’s important to you!
Don’t miss our full list of volunteer work teenager activities and how to get community service hours high school (or even summer volunteer opportunities for college students) below! We also have summer online volunteer opportunities for high school students, too. Keep scrolling!
Benefits of Teen Volunteerism
According to Harvard Health, benefits of volunteer work for students are vast:
“Studies have shown that volunteering helps people who donate their time feel more socially connected, thus warding off loneliness and depression… A growing body of evidence suggests that people who give their time to others might also be rewarded with better physical health—including lower blood pressure and a longer lifespan.”
Volunteering can help teens:
- Develop important life skills
- Improve self-esteem, self-worth, and confidence
- Gain exposure to new people and situations from different backgrounds, beliefs, and cultures
- Develop positive social behaviors
- Practice teamwork
- Make new friends
- Work on leadership skills
- Improve communication skills
- Work on problem solving
- Improve college applications and work applications
- Gain relevant work experience
- Improve time management skills
- Understand the need for getting involved
- Build a lifelong love of giving back back to community
- Transition into adulthood
Looking for summer volunteering for kids of younger ages? What about kindness projects?
Community Service Teenager Ideas
When most people think of summer break, they think of lazy days by the pool or beach. While all that is fine, the summer is also a great way for teenagers to help others!
There are plenty of summer opportunities to volunteer, make a difference in the world, and even get in some community service hours.
There are endless possibilities for teen summer volunteerism, depending on your interests and skills!
- If you love animals, you might want to volunteer at a local animal shelter or help elderly neighbors walk their dogs.
- If you enjoy being outdoors, you could help with a community garden or park cleanup.
- If you like reading and working with kids, you could become a library reading program volunteer.
- If you’re more of an introvert, there are a ton of virtual volunteering opportunities that help just as much!
- There are also opportunities to work with refugees, special needs children, and the elderly — both in person volunteering and online volunteering opportunities.
No matter what you choose to do, volunteering is a great way to make new friends, learn new skills, and explore your interests.
And, it can also help you build your resume and college applications.
But, most importantly, it’s a great way to give back to your community and make a difference in the world.
NEED HOMESCHOOLING FOR HIGH SCHOOL HELP? CHECK OUT OUR HIGH SCHOOL GUIDE FOR PARENTS
How do I find volunteer opportunities?
If you need volunteering ideas, start with these organizations:
- United Way
- NextDoor app (local / community news/needs)
- American Red Cross
- Meals on Wheels
- Habitat for Humanity
- Big Brother / Sister or Best Buddies
- Local shelters
- Animal shelters (there are so many animal volunteer opportunities for teens at local animal shelters!)
- Food Banks
Let them know you’re specifically looking for volunteer teens ideas.
*Hospital volunteer opportunities for teens (or anyone) might be suspended right now. Be sure to check with your local hospitals.
Also, search online for summer youth volunteer opportunities near me.
What kind of volunteer work can a teenager do?
List of volunteer opportunities for teenagers for summer break:
- Do odd jobs for neighbors or people in your community free of charge (yard work, dog walking, babysitting, etc.).
- Work in a community garden planting, weeding and harvesting fruits and vegetables.
- Visit elderly residents in nursing homes or assisted living facilities who are often alone and have few visitors.
- Make and mail cards to sick kids in children’s hospitals or those in nursing homes (who often get no mail).
- Love art? Become a local museum docent or event volunteer.
- Have a senior center near you? Ask if you can call bingo, host a game night, or organize a craft time.
- Help out with cleanup efforts after natural disasters or other things that happen in the community.
- Join a local summer reading program and help check kids in for the program and answer questions.
- Volunteer to help kids with reading at the library.
- Hold a craft and cookies events for kids at a local shelter.
- Make fleece blankies for kids in shelters or in children’s hospitals.
- Organize a food drive for a local food bank.
- Work at a homeless shelter (wherever they need help!).
- Participate in park cleanups or nature restoration projects.
- Help with special events or fundraisers for local charities, organizations, or schools. (Search local pages on NextDoor or Facebook.)
- Volunteer helping out at summer camps. Even if you can’t be a camp counselor, they may need help running events, doing crafts, cleaning up, etc.
- Work with an animal shelter cleaning cages, feeding animals, raising funds, and walking dogs.
- Volunteer at a food bank sorting, packing and distributing food.
- Talk to community centers about becoming a Teen Advocate by meeting with other teens to hear their issues and be a voice for them in the community.
- Check in with local schools to volunteer as a summer school teacher assistant or help teacher’s clean and organize their classrooms before the school year starts.
- Work with your church youth group and help with various activities and events.
- Volunteer at your local library shelving books, helping patrons find what they need, and reading to children.
- Check with local social workers to see if there is a child who could use a mentor or who is in need of guidance and support from someone in a big sister/brother role.
- Work with Habitat for Humanity building homes for those in need in your community.
- Get involved in local politics by helping put up posters, hand out leaflets, helping organize events, etc., for a favorite political party or candidate.
- Talk with a church about becoming a Youth Group Leader and help with planning and leading meetings, organizing activities and trips, and mentoring younger kids.
- Assist with local refugee or immigrant projects, especially if you speak the language of those getting support. (Even if you don’t speak the language, you can still help gathering and organizing supplies, etc.)
- Get involved in local emergency services where you would be helping in times of disaster such as flooding, fires, hurricanes, or other community disasters.
- Collect donations to help children who have been orphaned as a result of war or conflict in other countries.
- Talk to your local community center or religious organization and ask what their needs are… and then help with those!
These are just a few of the many volunteer opportunities that are available for teenagers during the summer.
Don’t be afraid to approach organizations or businesses with your teen summer volunteer ideas. Many are open to having volunteers join them!
Don’t forget! Search: [your city] volunteer opportunities near me for teens or youth volunteer group near me.
Virtual Volunteer Opportunities For Teens
What can a virtual volunteer do?
Instead of working in-person, virtual volunteers (online volunteers) work partly or completely on the internet or on their computer on volunteer projects.
Virtual Volunteering Examples For Students:
- Be a virtual tutor for younger students.
- Become a digital volunteer where you help people (for example, elderly) connect and use internet and online resources.
- Participate in online discussions or forums about issues that matter to you.
- Write a letter and mail a care package to soldiers. (Check here)
- Research a social issue or injustice and write a report on what you learned.
- Start your own blog, website, TikTok, or YouTube dedicated to a topic you’re passionate about or one you want to raise awareness about.
- Set up an online shop (or use Facebook Marketplace) and design and sell T-shirts other merchandise and donate the proceeds to a favorite charity.
- Check with local non-profit companies and see if they need virtual research assistant volunteers that can help with researching information, compiling data, writing reports, etc.
- Contact your favorite charity and offer to write articles, blog posts, social media posts or create videos for the organization.
- Help out a non-profit or charity social media manager with creating content, posting updates and photos, or interacting with followers.
- Join Ancestry.com’s World Archives Program (AWAP) to help preserve genealogical historical documents.
- Become a digital volunteer with the Smithsonian Digital Volunteer program. (Also browse Smithsonian volunteer projects here.)
- Speak multiple languages? There are many non-profit organizations that could use your help translating documents and information.
- Get involved with the Library of Congress digital volunteer projects.
- Become a Citizen Archivist for the National Archives.
- Check with Engage.pointsoflight.org for a variety of online volunteer opportunities.
The options are endless when it comes to volunteering during the summer and ways for teen to get involved!
Teen Books About Volunteering, Activism, and Helping Others
Want to add volunteerism to your summer reading for teens?
No matter what your interests or talents may be, there’s sure to be a volunteer opportunity that’s perfect for you, it just takes a little research. Get out there and make a difference in your community!