Is your teen's youth organization
looking for places to do a service project? Are you and your teen looking for an activity
with meaning that you can do together? Pick one of these local programs and give them a call. Not only will you be able to help others but you will bond as a family
, teach your teen a new perspective on life and most likely find something you both enjoy doing.
- The American Red Cross has an entire youth section called the Junior Red Cross. Youth can organize a blood drive, become educated and ready for disaster relief or train younger children in home safety. The Red Cross many opportunities throughout the year for youth, as well as programs for adults that teens can do too; such as their knitted items program. Check out the national website to find your local chapter.
- Soup kitchens are perfect opportunities for teens. A soup kitchen in your area may serve one or two times a day and are always in need of dishwashers and general help for the serving of food. If you teen has two hands, they will put them to good use.
- The local Ronald McDonald House is in need of your teen's help. Ronald McDonald House exists to provide a home-away-from-home for parents and families who have traveled seeking medical treatment for their sick children. The easiest way for a youth organization to help the Ronald McDonald House program is to form a 'pop tab' collection. The pop tabs off of an aluminum can are collected and donated to the program and help with the operations of the program. You can find their phone number in the white pages of your local phone book.
- The local food bank is always looking for donations. This is a very easy service project. You can go door-to-door with a group, put an ad in the paper with a drop off point and time or just have everyone in your youth organization bring a can to the next meeting. Try to do this in January through September as the holiday months are usually already covered. If you have a hard time finding the local phone number, most local churches know who the contact person is.
- Habitat for Humanities is looking for youth. They build and give houses for poor people in local communities. They have a Youth United program in which the youth in your organization can plan and build a home for a local family. Learn more about it on their website.
- The local library needs youth who like to have fun and read. Join with the local library and run a themed event for young kids in your area. You could just offer your time to help clean and sort books or seek book donations from your neighborhood. Contact the children's librarian, trust me, she has a list of things your teen or group can do.
- Meals on Wheels is looking for crafty youth. They enjoy placing 'tray favors' on meal trays. It brightens up someone's day and teens enjoy making the little treasures. One of my youth organizations likes to make and donate different napkin holders, complete with napkin. Give your local Meals on Wheels program a call - you can find them in your phone book or on the ad in the local paper.