Exploring opportunities to volunteer your time to the young
Jun 22, 2012, 7:59 a.m.
Spending free time volunteering with kids can be a very rewarding experience. After all, when children learn something new, have a mentor to look up to, and succeed; we all win. In fact, studies show that when a person volunteers for kids programs, they have the power to actually help children with their academic achievements and put these youngsters on track for a bright future. Hey, you gotta feel good about that!
There are a variety of opportunities for volunteering with kids in most communities. No matter what your interest, experience, or area of expertise, some kid somewhere can definitely benefit from time spent with someone who cares about them and their future. Volunteering with kids programs offers many different opportunities for folks with varied interest and schedules.
You may consider volunteering with kids to share your passion for a favorite hobby. Perhaps a love of photography, painting, football, pottery, building model cars, or reading can be passed on to a child. Volunteer opportunities are available for mentors, tutors, coaches, readers and more.
Libraries and public schools are a good place to inquire if you want to volunteer for kids programs. Spend the day helping a child learn to read, be a guest speaker in their art or music class, or read their favorite book during story time. No matter what you volunteer to do, you and the children will enjoy your time together and learn from each other.
Local children's hospitals can always use dedicated volunteers as well. Volunteers can provide support services that are helpful to the hospital and its patients, allowing the professionals to focus on their mission of finding cures and providing care for these children. At a children's hospital, a volunteer may be asked to play a game, shelve the books, distribute toys, or comfort a sick child while they learn new skills, meet new people, and have fun while helping others.
Sports enthusiasts or active adults may enjoy volunteering with kids programs as a coach or referee. Each year there are thousands of "wanna-be" little sluggers and goalies that need a little direction on the field. Volunteering with kids as a coach or a referee can be a rewarding experience as you watch the kids develop team skills and good sportsmanship towards others.
Another good source if you are interested in volunteering with kids is your local United Way. Their "Live United" program is actively seeking caring adults who have interest in becoming a volunteer for kids programs. In fact, their goal is to reach one million new volunteer readers, tutors, and mentors.
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