Written by DoSomething.org
You’re never too young to make an impact on your community.
Members of Gen Z are exceptionally creative, cause-oriented, and hyper-aware of the world around them, making them perfectly poised to help tackle the world’s problems through volunteering.
If you want to make a difference in your community, be a part of something bigger than yourself, or just need to earn some required volunteer hours, then this is the place to start. Here are a few organizations with volunteer opportunities for teens that are tapping into the change-making potential of young people.
And don’t worry, even if you can’t volunteer physically, there are also tons of online volunteer opportunities!
You may recognize the American Red Cross as the folks who provide disaster relief and organize blood donations, among other things. It’s important work, and, yes, you can get involved! Take a look at their youth volunteer opportunities, and if you’re feeling inspired, you can even start your own Red Cross Club at your school.
Everyone deserves to have a place they call home. By volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, you can play a role in building up your community (literally). Their Habitat Youth Programs accept volunteers between the ages of 5 and 40 for everything from home construction to affordable housing advocacy.
Whether you’re a dog person or a cat person (or a…hamster person?), you can join the Humane Society in their fight against animal cruelty. Find volunteer opportunities in your state, and get involved in outreach, phone banking, or helping out at a local shelter.
4. Key Club
As the oldest service program for high schoolers, the Key Club has quite a history of helping teens get involved in volunteering. Because clubs are student-led, you get a direct say in the kinds of service projects you want to do. Chances are, there’s already a chapter in your school, but if not, you can try taking the lead on one.
For those teens who just got their license and love any reason to get behind the wheel, here’s a volunteer opportunity that’ll make driving worthwhile. Meals on Wheels is on a mission to meet the nutritional and social needs of seniors. 225 million meals have been delivered so far — connect with your local provider to find out how you can get involved.
6. Best Buddies
Volunteer with Best Buddies to help end the social, physical, and economic isolation of 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities — and you’ll make some new pals in the process! Join a school chapter (or start your own) to use friendship as a tool for inclusivity in your community.
7. Sierra Club
Over 3.5 million Sierra Club members are fighting for the Earth, and you can become one of them! They even have a youth-specific Sierra Student Coalition that empowers teens and young adults volunteering for climate justice. Clean up outdoor spaces, lead nature outings, or lend your voice to environmental campaigns.
Did you know DoSomething is the largest global org exclusively for young people and social change? Through our volunteer, community service, and social action campaigns, our millions of members tackle campaigns that impact every cause, from poverty to violence to education to the environment. Explore our campaigns for actionable volunteer opportunities made with young people in mind.