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Volunteering enriches our own lives as well as the greater community. What are a few ideas that you've got your own children involved in, or have seen advertised in your community? Which are especially suitable for youngsters?
Going to the local nursing home and working with the residents. There is so much they could do. They would appreciate young people visiting, or they could read to the residents, or they could even perform for them if they play an instrument. I visit nursing homes twice a week as a volunteer, so they would appreciate anything really. Most nursing homes have volunteers, I go to two different nursing homes. Its very rewarding. Ask for someone from the Lifestyle staff and they will be able to find lots for them to do. They could probably help with the quizzes and word puzzles or bingo. Most nursing homes have these as something to do. Older people love to see children, and would love to have them working there . As teenagers, my children worked at the local Soup Kitchen for the homeless as part of the St. Vincent de Paul program at their school. They also put their hand up to go to Arnhem Land and work with the Aborigines, as part of the Social Justice program at school. There are countless community groups that would love to have their help after school. Its good for them to get into volunteering at an early age. They will enjoy it and so will the people they help. Hope you find something that suits you and your kids. Good luck !!!
I've always liked the idea of children visiting Old Folks' homes just to chat with and listen to the older folk. It helps children understand aging without it being too scary (hospitals can be confronting) and it is such a treat for the old folk who might be missing grandchildren. I did this as a child and loved it and the dear old folk looked forward to my visits. I would read to them, chat with them and listen to their tales of childhood, the war etc.
I used to belong to the Red Cross, and we all know what a good cause this is both locally and overseas. My aunt lived in a country town. She ran a JUNIOR Red Cross group for primary school aged children. They would meet from 4 -6pm. They would make things to sell and fundraise with raffle tickets. You could contact Red Cross head office and see if there is a Junior Red Cross branch near you. Kids get a lot out of it because they are elping others, both here and overseas.
I think nursing homes are suitable for older 'youngsters' - teenagers perhaps. Though it can be confronting, engaging with residents in aged care facilities is very rewarding. The old folks often love having somebody to talk with and take an interest. It can really boost their quality of life. Depending on the age of your children, this may be something you could consider. Having an older person share with you their history and the things they hold dear is an honour.
I think volunteering to help tidy up around an elderly persons house and chatting with them is fine. Although the nursing homes are a good idea, the folk dancing group we belonged to would often make the rounds to speak with the bed ridden residents, the younger ones were frightened of the elderly and it did take a few years before they grew out of it.
I started volunteer work as a teenager, straight after high school.
It started my career in the events industry. My goal was to attend events, like concerts and festivals, without paying to go. Volunteering provided me with that opportunity, and has led to a 10 year career in events and event management.
It all depends on the child or teenagers goals and interests.
- first aid volunteer with St johns
- land care or conservation volunteers Australia
- wild life rescue and rehabilitation, for teenagers with a licence and a car and an interest in wild life
- zoos, parks and sanctuaries, for those interested in animals