10 Free Volunteer Opportunities for US Teens

The ámaxa blog helps our readers turn intention into impact. We are a nonprofit that connects our users to real problems at global nonprofits, whether you're in high school, university, or beyond.

Karina Miszori

Volunteering is an opportunity to change lives, including your own. For many volunteers this activity becomes part of their identity, so starting to volunteer at a young age can be truly transformative. And while taking on volunteering responsibilities may be challenging, personalizing exactly how you donate your time and involvement can make the commitment much less daunting.

Find your passion.

Committing to something that aligns with our persona and interests may end up not even feeling like a burden, and instead can turn into a passion. Ask yourself what social issue, political concern or general area interests you.

Work your schedule out.

Teenage life and high school agenda can get cramped, but we make time for what we find truly important in life. There are many opportunities that can accommodate to anyone’s time and schedule either by allowing remote involvement or providing flexible deadlines.

Research and start!

Volunteering allows you to have an impact on other people’s lives. Through volunteering, we can not only grow as individuals, but also appeal to colleges and employers, as well as open doors to a better future - for you and for others.

Here are some organizations that we found fit for the life of a driven and dedicated teenager.

1. Kids Help Phone

Due to the global pandemic, Kids Help Phone now offers online volunteer opportunities and is looking for volunteers providing support from fundraising to frontline services. They welcome all people who support their work, helping ensure that young people across Canada can always access the support they need.

2. Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity is inspired by the initiative of young people to help others they are different from. Teens can give back to the community through many types of activities such as decorating sidewalks, educating younger kids about the importance of a safe home and many more.

3. Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels calls for teenagers to help the local senior citizens by providing services that they have been severely inhibited during the pandemic. Volunteers connect with local seniors, transport meals from central locations, and deliver them to pre-determined routes to the seniors of that area.

4. Best Buddies

The Best Buddies community includes people with Down syndrome, autism, Fragile X, Williams syndrome, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury and other undiagnosed disabilities. Teen volunteers have an amazing job- be a friend to someone who needs one!

5. The Humane Society

No matter a cat person, a dog person or a lizard person, teens concerned for the rights of animals can find plenty opportunities at the Humane Society. Based on your interest, location, and ambition they can personalize the position to your needs and meet your schedule.

6. Rosie’s Place

Rosie's Place is a multi-service community center in Boston that offers women emergency shelter and meals, and so much more: a food pantry, ESOL classes, legal assistance, wellness care, one-on-one support, housing and job search services, and community outreach. Here women will find support, opportunity, and the tools they need to make a new start. Volunteers can support women by teaching classes, helping doing the groceries, leading an arts workshop and much more. If you don’t live in Boston, consider getting in touch with a local womens’ shelter in your area, using these volunteer ideas as inspiration!

7. Access Books

Access Book’s mission is to provide quality, high-interest books to school, classroom and community libraries. They provide books to inner-city schools where at least 90 percent of students live at or below the poverty line. As the organization has no full time employees they rely 100% on volunteers and are looking for any extent of involvement in their services.

8. Concourse House

Concourse House works to eliminate homelessness in The Bronx by providing families with safe, stable, transitional housing. Teen volunteers work with arriving families, providing them case management, linkages to programs, referrals to health and medical services, workshops on life skills, networking and much more. If you don’t live in New York, consider getting in touch with a local womens’ shelter in your area, using these volunteer ideas as inspiration!

9. Reusable LA

Reusable LA is a coalition of organizations working to reduce plastic pollution in Los Angeles to safeguard our public health, communities, and environment. Dedicated to completing this mission through legislative advocacy, outreach, and community engagement, volunteers here have the chance for hands-on environmental activism. If you don't live in LA, reach out to similar organizations in your area, taking inspiration from their work!

10. Solve real problems for global nonprofits over 4-6 months, all remotely, with ámaxa.

Our first cohort is currently providing remote volunteers for students in Palestine, funding solar powered lights for grandmothers of AIDS orphans in Uganda, furnishing homes for resettled Afghan refugees in Colorado, and much more.

High school students can apply to solve problems directly, while undergrads and professionals can apply to lead the project as mentors. Learn more here or apply today to get started.

Karina Miszori

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