Summer Volunteer Guide For Youth And Teens

Offered by United Way of Greater St. Louis

United Way of Greater St. Louis’ free Summer Volunteer Guide for Youth is now available. This valuable guide is full of volunteer possibilities this summer at reputable non-profit agencies throughout the St. Louis region for youth and young adults ages 8-19. All agencies listed in this booklet are certified by United Way’s Volunteer Center and many are United Way funded. You can get one by calling: 314-539-4063 or go here to sign up to receive the guide.
“This Guide is extremely popular,” said Rick Skinner, vice president of United Way’s Volunteer Center. “It’s a great way to have teens and younger kids get connected, have a lasting impact and help build a healthier community.”
Within the Guide, each agency lists a description of the project, the hours needed and the age requirement of the volunteer.
Skinner added that summer is not the only time to volunteer. Agencies need volunteer support year-round and that all ages can join United Way’s St. Louis Cares volunteer program for short-term volunteer opportunities.
Volunteering is not only a way to give back to the community for young adults; it also helps build leadership skills to help them in the future. The United Way Volunteer Center is one of the oldest in the nation. The St. Louis region ranked 10th in the 2010 Corporation for National and Community Service and the National Conference on Citizenship of major U.S. metropolitan areas for its volunteer rate. More than 30 percent of adults in the region volunteered an average of 37.6 hours per person per year.
According to Youth Service America, youth who volunteer are:
* more likely to do well in school, graduate, vote, be philanthropic
* less likely to abuse drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, or engage in destructive behavior
* are more likely to give to charitable organizations as adults
And those youth who volunteer say the benefits include:
* learning to understand people who are different from them
* developing leadership skills
* becoming more patient
* it makes them feel good
* it makes a difference
Below are some examples for youth of any age to become involved in building a stronger, healthier community year-round:
* Make an mp3 file of your favorite song(s) or read a story, save it on a CD and give it to a child who is blind or to a friend who is in the hospital
* Get a group of friends together and sing songs or holiday carols at a nursing home
* Offer to pick up a neighbor’s newspapers while they are out of town
* Collect all the newspapers you have at home and take them to a recycling center
* Rake leaves, shovel snow, or sweep the porch at home, or for a neighbor
* Greet other kids at a school or church function
* Plant flowers at your neighborhood park
* Organize a group of friends together to help clean up around your school’s playground
* Collect canned goods, or toys, or clothes that no longer fit you, and donate them to a food pantry, shelter, or other agency (you can call United Way at 2-1-1 for a listing of places you can deliver the items you collect and brighten someone’s day)
* Walk your neighbor’s dog as a favor
* Create some cards with your artwork on them for the holidays or other special occasions
* Offer to help your teacher or librarian after school (you can create a bulletin board, clean the blackboards, put away books; there are many ways to help)
* Bake some cookies for someone who would enjoy them
* Make a coupon book “Helper for the day,” “Expert dishwasher,” “Free room cleaning,” etc.

About United Way of Greater St. Louis
United Way funds nearly 200 health and human service agencies located throughout a 16-county area in Missouri and Illinois. One in three people in our community receive services that strengthen families, help the elderly, keep children healthy and safe, and build stronger neighborhoods. For more information, contact 314-421-0700 or visit www.stl.unitedway.org.

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