Many teens look for volunteer service. It may be because of their own interests or in connection with school programs or in connection with a bar or bat mitzvah. It can be difficult to where to volunteer as a teen without an adult accompanying them. Many organizations will not accept volunteers younger than 16. Still there are lots of needs and possibilities out there. We are trying to make it easier to find them.
Some places to start:
Some of the most accessible opportunities for teen volunteering are group volunteering days. Examples include Charles River Conservancy which has clean up days along the banks of the Charles River or Fresh Pond Reservation which has weekly teams of volunteers controlling invasive plants. Teens could do this by themselves, or organize a group of friends or a sports team to do it with them.
There are one day community service events like Many Helping Hands MLK Day of Service. You could share about recycling at Open Studios, Fresh Pond Day or MayFair. Or help out in a variety of ways at the Cambridge River Festival in June or the Cambridge Science Festival in late April (ushering, setting up/breaking down, staffing registration tables, photographing, helping at the Science Carnival).
Cambridge nursing homes like Neville Place and Youville Place and Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services welcome volunteers, including teens, coming to visit and spend time with elders – think about gathering a group to play games, sing songs or just come to visit. Organize a neighborhood lightbulb exchange with Cambridge Energy Alliance. Or help stock food at one of Cambridge’s 13 food pantries (they are profiled on this site). Or gather some friends and make a meal to deliver to homeless women at On the Rise or homeless adults at Heading Home’s School Street Shelter. Or help sort clothes at Childrens’ Clothing Exchange. Or help tend one of the CitySprouts schoolyard gardens during the summer.
Explore the opportunities on this website, check out the tags for “teens” or “teen volunteering”.
Check back often for new possibilities. And please let us know if you find a great volunteering option so that we can share it with others.