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Why kids and teens should volunteer for community service

volunteer for community service
There are many benefits for kids and teenagers who volunteer for community service. Source: Shutterstock

There are multiple benefits for kids who volunteer for community service, from helping out in an animal shelter to feeding the homeless, or building a house for Habitat for Humanity.

For those who take part, it’s a habit often stays with them through adulthood, and many go on to head their own charities or continue volunteering when they have their own families. The rewarding feeling one gets from volunteering for community service is something they won’t forget.

Today, parents are constantly looking for activities for their children that don’t involve iPads, smartphones and computers. Community service is a great alternative.

When they volunteer for community service, it keeps them occupied and active while teaching them multiple skills. It can also be really fun, and they can make new friends in the process.

Forcing them won’t do, however, so if you’re struggling to get them interested in volunteering, try looking for projects that align with their personal interests and personality.

Leading by example is also a good way for them to pick up the habit, and it can be a great family bonding activity.

Here are some reasons why kids and teenagers should volunteer for community service:

Helps them develop soft skills

There is much emphasis today on the development of soft skills in the youth, such as collaborative thinking, teamwork and leadership.

Volunteering for community service is a great way to develop these skills. That’s why many companies frequently organise community service activities for employees, as it strengthens relationships and teamwork.

It also teaches kids how to be strong leaders. According to InternationalSchoolMn, “For kids, group volunteering outside of the classroom lessens the impact that age differences, gender assumptions and social hierarchies have on their ability to find their own leadership voice.”

Teaches them cultural sensitivity and empathy

When kids volunteer for community service activities, it opens up their mind to different worlds and teaches them empathy, compassion and cultural sensitivity.

These are also important skills that employers are increasingly looking for, projected to be among the 21st century skills that will be needed for jobs in the future.

By allowing them to do work such as volunteering in a homeless shelter, students are also exposed to different cultures and ethnicities so they can become more culturally sensitive and accepting of people from all walks of life.

Helps them get into college

Having community service experience looks great on a college application, while also giving students memorable experiences they can write about in their essays.

Admissions officers are often impressed by students who make a real difference in others’ lives, showing that they are dedicated and caring individuals.

It shows admissions staff that the student could be a real asset to the college and an inspiration to others, as it’s likely they will continue volunteering when they start college.

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