Looking for a place to volunteer for school requirements or just because you want to start volunteering? There are several nonprofits that allow teens under the age of 16 to volunteer. Some require you to volunteer with a parent or adult guardian. Most will require a waiver signed by your parents to allow you to volunteer. Some of these nonprofits have certain periods of time when they offer opportunities for youth volunteers. For volunteers who are still in elementary school or middle school volunteering with your family or a club or school group is usually the best option.
CITY OF VANCOUVER offers many short term volunteer opportunities to help especially with keeping our parks in good shape, some activities are on Saturdays and there are monthly afterschool options too. This calendar link show you what is available.
CLARK COUNTY PARKS DEPARTMENT also offers opportunities for teens 14-17 may volunteer with parental permission, those under 14 may volunteer with a parent. Go here for more information.
CLARK COUNTY FOOD BANK works with many youth groups and individual youth volunteers at either the warehouse or at the Heritage Farm. Learn more here.
COLUMBIA SPRINGS welcomes volunteers ages 7-15, as long as they volunteer with a parent. Teen volunteers 16-17 need a signed permission waiver from their parent. Click here for Columbia Springs information.
SHARE offers a variety of programs for volunteers with some able to work with youth volunteers. Information can be found here.
SW WASHINGTON HUMANE SOCIETY has a very specific teen program intake process. Teens must be at least 14 to apply for this popular activity. Learn more here.
Many times youth volunteers will find opportunities to serve through their schools, churches, or clubs. Families who want to engage their very youngest children (those under 10) should look for ways the whole family can do a project together. Here are some ideas:
- Conduct a "toy drive" have children gather toys in good condition they no longer play with to be donated to Goodwill or Family Shelters
- Offer to help an elderly neighbor by taking the trash can to the curb, helping them sort recycling, helping them in their yards.
- Conduct a neighborhood Bottle Recycling Project, collect cans and bottles, recycle them for the refund then donate the money to a cause you care about.
- Conduct a mini neighborhood food drive to collect food to donate to the food bank.
- Make no sew blankets, hygiene kits, or shelter animal toys. Go online to find instructions on what kinds of things you can make, then contact local shelters, hospitals or hospice, homeless or veterans centers to see what they can use.
- Conduct a neighborhood book drive then donate the collected books to your local library for their annual book sale.