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6 volunteer opportunities for your philanthropic teen

Get your teen involved in their community

volunteer opportunities for teens, community service opportunities for teens

Volunteering can be a great opportunity for your teen to get involved with their community, build self-esteem and discover new interests. As the holidays approach, opportunities to participate will be in full swing. Here are some of the ways teens are volunteering near you!

Hudson Valley humane societies
Various locations in the Hudson Valley

For kids who love animals, reach out to local humane societies as a great first opportunity to get some volunteer work under their belt.

You must be 18 to work with the animals but there are plenty of other opportunities for younger teens. These kids can work on special events or projects, organize a drive to collect items on the Humane Society's Wish List and collect kitty litter, cat food, dog bones, empty ink cartridges, towels, blankets and more!

The Lunch Box
29 North Hamilton St., Poughkeepsie

Helping individuals and families in need can be truly rewarding for your teen. The Lunch Box in Poughkeepsie is a community meal program that provides hot lunch and dinner five days a week to local residents who suffer from food insecurity at home.

"I think, especially in the world we live in today, it is so important for children to learn the value of service to their community," says Goretti Vianney-Benca, a Hyde Park mom who volunteers with her kids at The Lunch Box. "At The Lunch Box, students, teachers and parents all work together to prepare and serve meals for those less fortunate."

Bella T. and Madison M. of Beekman work together to help others at The Lunch Box.

Christmas Wishes

Does your teen love to spread cheer? Christmas Wishes Ulster County Inc. is an impressive nonprofit that helps Hudson Valley families in need with various events- not just Christmas!

"It's an amazing association that helps local families all year round with gifts, food, birthdays and other contributions," says Jennifer Boughton, a Hudson Valley mom who has participated with the organization in the past.  

The Angel Bakers Team

Young bakers will jump at the opportunity to volunteer for a great cause while doing what they love! The Angel Bakers Team is a highly dedicated group of volunteers who send homemade goodies to deployed military heroes.

"The commitment includes one to two hours of baking, wrapping and card making," explains Tina Bossio, a Warwick mom who actively bakes for the organization with her family. "Participation can be one time, or as often as desired. Sending a soldier in need a little piece of home is a small, but not unnoticed token of our sincere thanks for the sacrifices they make for our country and freedom."
Deliver food to seniors
Dutchess County Office for the Aging
Teens who enjoy the company of older adults might want to look into the volunteer opportunities available through the Dutchess County Office for the Aging. One of the biggest needs is food delivery drivers!

"We delivered to about six homebound seniors every week," says Cornwall mom Jackie Russo, recalling her volunteer experience with her son. "There is always a need for volunteers and kids can accompany you."

Hudson River Maritime Museum
50 Rondout Landing, Kingston

There are opportunities for teens of many different abilities and interests at the Hudson River Maritime Museum. Teens can help with hands-on projects, digital work and give tours of the historic grounds.

The museum looks for students with a passion for history to assist them with the day-to-day productions.

Give back to your community

Volunteering is one of the best opportunities for personal growth your teen can ever achieve. It's important to instill in them the desire to serve others in gratitude for what they are given in their lives.

Michelle Peterson is a freelance writer who lives in Poughkeepsie.

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