Written by Danielle Stewart
Ah, the sights, sounds and smells of summer. Kids laughing on the streets, ice cream trucks, festival and events, the smell of BBQ’s and campfires galore! We love summer, no doubt, however a common theme with parents come summertime is – what am I going to do with my kids?
Encouraging your youth to volunteer helps empower them to become an invested member of our community. Volunteering can bring a host of benefits for your youth, including learning new skills that will prove invaluable throughout their life and career. Volunteering helps empower youth to care about the community they grow up in. They are, after all, ambassadors of our community’s future.
Volunteering is a great way to hone in on a passion or interest that could guide them into a career later in life. With an exciting range of volunteer opportunities out there, volunteering can help your child decipher which career paths they are more or less interested in and set them up towards achieving these goals for themselves. It teaches them the value in teamwork, camaraderie and helping others for a strong community while teaching them a plethora of useful skills that look impressive on a resume.
Not only is volunteering a great gig for personal development, but as a self-care tool, too. Volunteering will encourage your youth to get out of the house, provide a sense of purpose, and develop social skills. Socializing alone boasts powerful benefits to one’s wellness, and keeps us sharp, healthy and joyful. It enables our youth to feel like they are a part of our community, and helps to strengthen ties to the community while building a strong support network and opportunities. Volunteering can help youngsters develop a sense of accomplishment and accountability – important building blocks that prove beneficial throughout life. By volunteering, a teen surrounds themselves with like-minded people that can inspire and encourage their personal growth. It takes a village, after all!
We all know how hard being a teen can be at times; volunteering aids in physical and mental wellness, providing a fantastic boost to one’s confidence and staying physically active and healthy. Being a volunteer cultivates a sense of pride and identity, making one feel good about themselves. The more likely one is to have a positive view on themselves, the more likely they are to have a positive view on life and future goals. Give them the boot from the video games, and get them in the community to keep them mentally stimulated! One study measured hormones and brain activity, in which researchers discovered that being helpful to others delivers immense pleasure. We are hard-wired to give to others! The more we give, the happier we feel. Who can argue with that!?
So as you can see, there’s much more to volunteering than to simply do it for the resume, as we were once all told at some point. Investing a little time as a youth now and planting the seed can bring a diverse range of benefits to their lives now that that will grow to last a lifetime.