Teen Community Service Clubs are a wonderful way to involve young people in community service. There are a number of reasons why a student may seek involvement, they may have a passion for a cause, or they may be looking to fulfill school or scout requirements. Some see service club involvement as a valuable way to gain experience to add to a resume.
Who Can Join
Teen Community Service Clubs are usually inclusive. Young people between the age of 11-18 may join and a club could be run by an older student plus an adult advisor. Clubs could be affiliated with a school, a religious organization or a particular area. For example, New York City has a large youth volunteering organization called New York Cares. They provide opportunities for teens which are designed to get high school students actively engaged in their communities.
How Clubs Work
GenerationOn is an example of a Teen Community Service Club which is nationally affiliated. A GenerationOn Club can be started by any student over the age of 13 and can begin in a school, a church or simply a group of friends. Clubs vary in size, from a few members to over 50 depending on interest and support. These clubs meet on a regular basis, usually weekly, and are led by middle school or high school aged youth with an adult advisor.
There are a number of projects that Teen Community Service Clubs work on. A popular project is supporting local animal shelters. Volunteers can help care for the dogs and cats by walking them, feeding and bathing the animals and washing bowls, towels and other shelter supplies. Clubs can also assist with adoption events and fairs.
Another cause oftentimes supported by Teen Community Service Clubs is the environment. Teen groups maybe involved in letter writing campaigns to politicians to encourage access to clean water. Groups can also participate in park and city clean-ups and encourage the use of re-usable shopping bags.
How to Get Involved
Chances are, your school or local faith-based organization already has a club in place. However, a simple internet search can direct you to many Teen Community Service Clubs in your area. Dosomething.org allows a search for volunteer opportunities by zip code while Lionsheartservice.org has a list of chapters in almost every state.
There is no shortage of opportunity nor lack of demand for positive change. To this end, Teen Community Service Clubs are making a big impact in communities while providing a meaningful learning experience for youth.