Looking for the best volunteer opportunities for middle schoolers? Read on to get 10 awesome ideas for all students. These are great ways to give back to the community and to give your student a sense of purpose. Volunteering helps kids see the bigger picture of the world and the needs of others. It is something they can do to make the world a better place, while at the same time stepping away from social media. Social media often projects a world that is perfect and it is good for our kids to see that everyone has their challenges in life.
In addition, if you look forward to potential college applications, colleges want students that will also give back within their college environment. Starting some volunteer work in middle school will help students get used to the idea that volunteering is just a part of life. Think of a world where every student volunteered 2 hours per month. In Texas, there are approximately 1400 middle schools, if each student volunteered just 1-2 hours a month, look at the impact they could make in 1 year. Think about if you multiply that by 50 states! I guarantee every student in the United States has 1 hour per month to give away. Even if only half of those students volunteered, it would make a huge impact on society.
Estimated Volunteer Hours for 1400 Texas Middle Schools
|# Student Volunteers in Each Middle School||Total Volunteer Hours/Year (2 Hours/Week)||Total Volunteer Hours/Year (2 Hours/Week)|
Many middle school organizations have a volunteer component and that counts, but some don’t require service hours. This can give you some ideas of how to get those service hours outside of school and be involved in the community.
This post is all about volunteer opportunities for middle schoolers
Best Volunteer Opportunities for Middle Schoolers
1. Special Olympics Volunteer
There are so many ways to volunteer with Special Olympics. The minimum age for someone to participate in Special Olympics is 8 years old and there is no maximum age. Volunteers under the age of 15, must be accompanied by an adult. Some of the different volunteer opportunities within Special Olympics have varied age requirements, so make sure you sign up for one that works for your student. There are offices and events around the world and each one of them needs short and long-term volunteers.
Volunteers help give the Special Olympics athletes the ability to compete to their best ability. There is a wide range of volunteer opportunities as well. From working in a distribution center, helping with water stations at an event, helping cheer on the athletes as they compete, and much more. To find out more, check out the link below and find opportunities in your area.
2. American Red Cross – Youth Volunteer Programs
The Red Cross has different programs for youth that vary by state. Find your local Red Cross to see where your student can volunteer. Some volunteer opportunities might include participating in local and national Youth Leadership Councils, starting a Red Cross Club at your school, or helping with a local campaign like Sound the Alarm for fire prevention.
3. Community Garden Volunteer
Many cities across the nation have community gardens. These gardens typically have raised beds that are maintained by volunteers. This might be a good choice if your student is passionate about the environment.
Another motivator for this opportunity is that these gardens often try to combat the problem of food insecurity in the community. The fruits and vegetables that are harvested are donated to a food pantry. Gardners can usually keep part of the harvest as well.
Usually, you can adopt a plot or join a group that already has a garden plot. The time commitment might be a few hours a week if you and your middle schooler solely responsible for the spot. When you find a community garden, find out if you can adopt for one growing season or if a full year is required. Just make sure you and your student have the time available.
If you don’t know how to grow fruits and vegetables, don’t worry. There are usually orientation and training classes. You might even have a mentor.
4. Senior Living Community Volunteer
Many senior living communities love having volunteers that will engage with their residents. You might help lead a game of bingo, help a resident work on a puzzle or help teach residents a skill. The residents are so appreciative of volunteers that give their time. Another benefit is hearing some of the unique stories they have to share.
A few senior living communities have a volunteer age requirement of 16. So just make sure your local facility allows middle school-aged volunteers before you dig into this opportunity.
5. Host a Neighborhood Diaper Drive
Did you know that there are diaper banks across the country? Their goal is to fulfill the sometimes overlooked need for diapers, baby wipes, and other diaper supplies. There are national and local organizations that would love to have donated items. Lack of clean diapers, puts the family is at risk for a variety of issues. Those problems might include the baby getting infections or not being accepted into daycare. As a result, this could put a parent’s job in jeopardy.
The National Diaper Bank Network connects and supports over 225 local diaper banks.
6. Resale Shops of Donated Goods
There are so many places where people can donate clothes, household goods, and furniture. Think about what needs to happen to all of the things that you or your family have ever donated. Or if you have shopped at a thrift store…think about what it takes to set up that store. All of these items need to be evaluated, categorized, and be ready for sale. You might be changing the signage or pricing of items. Think of all the signs and prices you see in a clothing store. While changing those signs, you might help clean the shelves, etc. Everyone loves stores that look clean and tidy.
There are many of these types of resale shops. Goodwill might be the first thing that comes to mind, however, there are so many additional options. Did you know that Habitat for Humanity has a resale store? Also, many organizations cater to battered women or homeless people. Find an organization that tugs at your heart and look into that one.
7. Race Volunteer
If you love being outdoors and being active, you might enjoy volunteering at an organized race. The race could be a local race that is somewhat small, a bigger race like a Race for the Cure, or a marathon that might draw runners from across the country.
Volunteering at a race might include working at a hydration station. Volunteers will set up tables, fill cups, and pass out water or electrolyte beverages to the runners as they pass by on the route. Just so you know…those cups are tiny paper cups and many runners will just throw them on the ground after they finish. So yes, picking up those cups is part of it too. Don’t forget to cheer the runners as they go by!
For longer races like a half marathon or full marathon, there are likely relay stations. Here you would help runners with the relay exchange. These volunteers help coordinate the exchange between runners on each team. This is often combined with a hydration station as well.
Be aware that races usually start early in the morning, 8:00 am is a typical start time. So you might need to be at the race location by 6:00 am. If you don’t like getting up early, you might check in runners as they arrive at the race. This might involve handing out race number bibs or chips. If it’s a big race, many times the bibs-chips are handed out days before with some little goodie bag, often called a “packet pickup”. So working a few days before the race might be an option as well. If you are not an early riser, look into handing out finisher medals. Obviously, the longer the race the later you might be able to arrive. Parking will likely be a little more of a challenge too.
To find races in your area, just search for running races near me and then start drilling down from there. Some 5Ks might not have many opportunities, but the longer races most certainly will love some help.
8. Park or Town Cleanup
Most mid-size to large cities will have some sort of organized cleanup options on their city website. You might have to dig around to find it, but likely it’s there. They may also have a cleanup that is on your own time. You might be able to go to a city park, put your headphones on and cleanup trash for an hour or two. Make sure you keep track of your hours, you might be able to earn some rewards with the city. Those rewards will be good to put on a college application. The reward also might lead you to other volunteer opportunities within your city.
9. Animal Shelter
Most cities have some sort of animal shelter. These sweet fur babies need socialization. So animal shelters love for people to come and walk the dogs, pet the cats, and of course, do the dirty work like clean litter boxes and such. There is very likely an orientation you would need to attend, so you know if maybe the dogs are color-coded on how easy they are to walk. Some shelters may have you attend additional training to walk the dogs that don’t behave as well on a leash. You may have to start with the easy ones and progress to the harder ones.
Here again, you could organize a drive for cat & dog food supplies. Almost all shelters need more food, blankets, leashes, litter boxes, etc. Check the shelter website for what items are needed then post on your neighborhood Nextdoor website. If your neighborhood isn’t on Nextdoor, put fliers on the doorstep, text your friends and have them text their friends. Have a bin on your doorstep where everyone can put their donations.
10. Food Pantry
Pretty much every big city has a food pantry where you can give your time. Search “food pantry your city” or “food pantry near me”. I can almost guarantee that you will get some places. What will you likely do if you are volunteering at the pantry? You will likely be picking up, unloading, and sorting food donations, and stocking shelves. Check the pantry website for volunteer orientations.
Another idea would be to organize a food drive in your neighborhood. Most neighborhoods have a Nextdoor online community. You could set up a drive on there, have a bin on your doorstep, and collect food for a week. Check the pantry website for needed items and make sure you list them where you post the drive. Make sure you are not collecting items that would be affected by adverse cold or hot weather. I would definitely post that you are having a drive at least a week or so before you start collecting so that your neighbors can pick up items during their normal grocery runs. I hate to say it, but people are not likely to make a special run to the store for donations. However, if they are already at the store, then it’s much easier to just add the donation items to your list.
This post is all about the best volunteer opportunities for middle schoolers.
These are just a handful of the best volunteer opportunities for middle schoolers. Check them out to see if any of them ring your bell. It doesn’t matter to me what you do, but do something, the world needs you. Remember helping others also helps yourself in more ways than one. Whatever you give the world, comes back to you.
Check out these Related Posts!