Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Teens, help out as a volunteer this summer

Summer is fast approaching, and many of us have absolutely no idea what we are going to do with our lives for all those months. If you are running short on ideas, why not use all that free time to give back to the community and begin making your impact on the world? There are a number of volunteer opportunities available for teens around the Tampa bay area, suitable for anyone's interest.

For those interested in helping other people:

, Ronald McDonald House: This amazing charity provides housing for families with children who have to spend extended time in the hospital so that they can try their best to live life normally. In order to volunteer, you must be at least 15 years old and the volunteering you will do will involve helping the staff organize the house and events for the residents.

American Red Cross Youth Corps: The Red Cross has a program that trains teens to teach children in the basics of first aid, water safety, disaster prevention and similar topics. The only age requirement for this program is that the volunteer is in high school, so use this opportunity to educate the children of our community.

For those interested in working with animals:

The SPCA: This charity provides a home for animals who were living on the street or with abusive owners. To volunteer here, you must be at least 16. There is an extensive application process, but working with all those animals will definitely be worth it.

Lowry Park Zoo: The zoo has multiple programs for students ages 13-18 that include helping with summer camps, ecological exploration and the zoo crew explorers program. The zoo's volunteer programs help you understand how the zoo impacts the environment and the lives of the animals it houses.

For those interested in helping the environment:

The Great American Clean Up: This fantastic organization hosts many events around the Tampa Bay area, which include cleaning up neighborhoods around highways and public parks, as well as other environmental events. These events are open to all ages, so go out there and clean up our city.

Keep Pinellas County Beautiful: This locally-based organization sponsors events to help make Pinellas County beautiful. Their volunteer program requires participants to be over 16. Volunteers help the organization plan events and even participate in some events.

So, if you have absolutely nothing to do this summer, consider using your time to help others. If none of these options interests you, look into the things you are interested in. If you love art, help with a kids art camp. If you're really good at math, offer free tutoring. There is an endless amount of volunteering you can do, if you only put your mind to it.

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