Volunteering this Holiday Season: The Gift We Give Others and Ourselves

Photo Courtesy of Simone Bernstein

Photo Courtesy of Simone Bernstein

The winter holidays are great time for teens to volunteer and find ways to get involved  and give back to their communities. Teens who volunteer receive huge benefits. One of the most rewarding is that volunteer service provides teens the opportunity to create positive change and make an impact, often with immediate results.

“Many youth volunteers are amazed by how much they learn from the experience. We hope young people will continue to volunteer throughout their life. Benefits to volunteering include learning more about your community, meeting new people, adding an opportunity to your resume, and developing new skills. Volunteer service heals divisions within communities and allows youth to understand and problem-solve the issues and challenges faced in the world,” stated Simone Bernstein, Co-Founder of Volunteen Nation.

  1. Collect PG and G-rated movies that you and your neighbors no longer view to donate to a local children’s hospital or pediatric floor of a local hospital.
  1. If your closet is feeling a little overstuffed, take about an hour or so to clean it out and make a donation pile. Donate your extra clothes to those who need it more than you do.
  1. Toys for Tots has collection centers across the country where you could drop off new, unwrapped presents for children that may not have opened any holiday gifts otherwise.
  1. Enter Pajama Program, a charity that delivers warm sleepwear to children in need. By hosting a pajama party you can ask your guests to bring a new pair of pajamas to donate.
  1. 40% of seniors don’t use the internet, leaving them feeling depressed or isolated from loved ones especially during the holidays. Put your skills to good use by teaching tech basics to seniors and helping them see their far-away family this holiday!
  1. Kindness doesn’t always require grand gestures. Look for small opportunities to surprise people in your community. Buy a cup of coffee for the person behind you at Starbucks, leave a generous tip for a great waitress, or deliver a warm meal to the homeless men and women in your hometown. If you look closely opportunities of  kindness will present themselves to you.



Sources: Huffington.com and Laurenconrad.com

For other local volunteer opportunities check out: volunteennation.org