Why Teens Volunteer

More than half of American teenagers and young adults are volunteers. We might think people of all ages volunteer their time because they want to support a cause they care about. However, teens and young adults volunteer regularly if and where their friends do, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

DoSomething.org mobilizes young people to get involved in social change.  One of their studies revealed the most common form of support by volunteers was assistance with fundraising. If you combine social networking skills with teens who are passionate about a cause, you might find a surprising amount of funds being raised.

Interesting findings:
• Young people who reported sending out frequent text messages were 13 percent more likely to have volunteered.
• Students in private high schools were 25 percent more likely to volunteer than those in public schools.

What Increases Volunteerism
*Offer a chance to socialize. A top priority for many young people in choosing volunteer activities is having a chance to interact with friends and have a good time.

* Close to home helps. Proximity to home ranks second of the reasons why young people choose the volunteer activities they do.

* Make it one time or quick. With little time to spare, teens want to complete their task and move on.

* Consider “one minute” volunteers who only promote a cause online. The organization provides the copy and they post to their contacts.

* What’s in it for me? For high-school students, often a concern about the future is getting into college and paying for it. Volunteer activities can give young people an edge in college admissions or scholarship applications.

 

Karen Kitchel is passionate about scattering kindness. Currently she serves meals to the homeless, is a volunteer teacher, writer, job coach and mentor.

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