High school kids have a lot of commitments that their parents and teachers often do not think about. In addition to sports and after school activities, they have hours of homework and want to spend time with their friends. Many students have part-time jobs too. As a parent or an educator, you can still encourage those students to give back and to volunteer their time. You just need to know how to make volunteering more fun.
Pick a Charity That Matters to Them
A common mistake that some schools make is that those schools pick one charity and expect all students to care about that charity. You need to pick something that matters to them and something that they care about. Whether it’s raising money to donate piano NYC instruments or spending time after school and on weekends to help the local animal rescue league, you can pick a charity that needs help and one that kids want to help. Though you might focus on a local charity or organization, you can also look for national and regional organizations that need support.
Make Meetings More Fun
When you run meetings for those students the same way your employer runs a business meeting, don’t be surprised if those kids get as bored as you do. While you need a schedule to follow that lets you hit all the important topics, you also need to make things a little more fun for them. You might bring in snacks or ask the kids to bring in some of their favorite treats to share. It’s also helpful to have a few icebreakers like games and other activities that helps kids to get to know one another and forces them to interact with others outside of their normal friend groups.
Give Them Options to Share
While Facebook is still very popular among users today, many of those users are adults. High school students and kids of a younger age prefer using social networking sites like Instagram and apps like Snapchat. As the organizer of a group of volunteers, you can give kids different ways to share the work that they do. You might create a hashtag and encourage volunteers to post photos online with that tag, or you might create public groups that your volunteers can share. The more information they share, the more volunteers might line up to help.
Show Them How Their Contributions Help
It’s really important that you show those students how their contributions help others. If you raise money to donate instruments to a school in need, plan a field trip to let those students see what those kids did with their instruments. When raising money to supply a food bank with canned foods, those kids can spend a few hours volunteering and handing out food to those in need. Not only will they see what happened to their contributions, but it will also help them feel better about their hard work.
Getting kids to volunteer today can seem like an impossible task. Many students just want to have fun with their friends or relax when they have some time off. You can get high school students to volunteer with fun meetings, choosing the right charity, letting them share their experiences and showing them where their contributions went.
Amila Gamage Wickramarachchi is the founder of this blog where she shares her parenting and lifestyle experiences. She is an engineer and a trainer who works in the construction industry. She is the founder of Sihela Consultants.(www.sihelaconsultants.com)