How Volunteer Opportunities for Kids Work

Community projects -- such as picking up litter -- make great volunteer opportunities for kids.
Community projects -- such as picking up litter -- make great volunteer opportunities for kids.
Leland Bobbe/Digital Vision/Getty Images

With self-checkouts replacing grocery baggers and newspaper-delivery positions being taken over by adults, it can be tough for a kid to find a job these days.

Kids who are having difficulty finding employment -- or are just looking for a way to contribute to their community -- can always look into volunteer opportunities. Volunteering gives children valuable work experience, introduces them to new people and provides them with a sense of pride in their work.

Volunteer positions don't typically offer monetary compensation, but there are other types of benefits -- in addition to building résumés and receiving networking opportunities, volunteers could also be eligible to apply for college scholarships, and sometimes the nonprofit organizations that hire volunteers offer their own perks.

In the next few pages of this article, you'll find out about the benefits available to volunteers, as well as tips for locating volunteer opportunities in your neighborhood. There are various opportunities for students in elementary school, middle school, high school and beyond. Many of these positions require little or no special skills, and they'll require only a little bit of energy and time. The amount of time spent at the job is up to the child. Some volunteering jobs are a one-time deal for a few hours, but others involve a more long-term commitment.

Regardless of the volunteer's skill level or availability, there are plenty of positions available -- you just have to know where to look. Every day, hundreds of volunteers help out at organizations such as libraries, schools, animal shelters and hospitals (to name just a few). And there are always opportunities with nonprofit groups that focus on philanthropy and take proactive roles in their communities.

For information on some of the best places to look for volunteering opportunities for kids, see the next page.