Looking for what to do. Check out what other students have done to make an impact on their communities.
Ideas to help get you started (let this be a launching pad to your groups creativity)
1. Create your own campaign or join one through DoSomething.org. You can choose the cause, the amount of time you have available and the type of service in which you want to participate (donations, face-to-face, events, taking a stand, etc.). For example, you can work to stop friends from texting and driving; raise awareness about domestic violence; or create activity books for children in hospitals. Volunteer on your schedule at your own pace!
2. Offer to rake leaves, shovel the walk or do housework for someone in need. You might learn something new about a neighbor or discover a new network of connections.
3. Do you sing or play a musical instrument? Volunteer to give music lessons to people in your community, or perform at local shelters or senior organizations.
4. Elder-care facilities welcome volunteer musicians, readers and crafters to lead activities or to help with technology. Not sure you have a talent to share? Ask if you can drop by regularly to chat with residents who don’t have family or frequent visitors.
5. Create a Random Acts of Kindness or Pay It Forward Program in your community. Market this to both non-profit and for-profit organizations in your community.
6. Serve your Special-Needs community by creating an event to celebrate and serve the families that work so hard to care for their loved ones.
7. Clean up your communities’ parks, streets, and neighborhoods. Collaborate with your local administration to launch a workday.
8. Create an outreach event or project that meets the needs of your community members. This could be any need from labor on their house, food and water, yard work, etc.
Here are some great ideas from teens who created their own opportunities:
1. Jonathan Woods established the Under the Tree foundation at 12 when he realized that teens are often overlooked during holiday toy drives.
2. Neha Gupta began her nonprofit at the age of 9! Her organization, Empower Orphans, has helped more than 25,000 children globally.
3. Jordyn Schara founded WI P2D2 (Wisconsin Prescription Pill and Drug Disposal) when she turned 14. The organization works to dispose of drugs in an environmentally friendly and safe way.
4. A 10-year-old Zach Certner started his organization, SNAP, as an athletic program for children with special needs.
5. Shannon McNamara started SHARE, a nonprofit that provides thousands of girls in Africa with books and school supplies when she was 15.
6. Kalin Konrad started an annual backyard carnival to raise money for Alzheimer’s research when she was in fifth grade after her grandmother was diagnosed with the disease.
7. Claire Fraise wanted to give dogs who would be euthanized a second chance. At 13, she started her own rescue organization.
8. Former anorexic teens Liana Rosenman and Kristina Saffran started Project HEAL to raise money for teens needing treatment for eating disorders.
9. LuLu Cerone founded LemonAID Warriors when she was 10 to help other kids make social activism part of their social lives.
10. Wanting to fight hunger, Katie Stagliano started planting fruits and vegetables in her garden to help the hungry. Her organization, Katie’s Krops, has helped feed thousands of people and has trained other teen gardeners to do the same.