Summer is right around the corner, which means many teens will be hitting the pavement looking for jobs. It's often hard for high school students to draft a strong resume, even for part-time jobs. Too often extracurricular activities, studying and downtime with friends take the place of resume-worthy experiences.

That's where volunteering can make a big difference.

Hundreds of local organizations need help, and many of them have opportunities for junior high and high school students. It's the perfect way for your child to begin building solid experience that can lead to part-time jobs and even college scholarships. Plus, the lessons they'll learn while serving their community will last a lifetime.

Here are some ideas that can help teens build a better future for themselves and their community:

  1. Hospitals — If your child has ambitions in the medical field, volunteering in hospital setting could confirm (or deny!) that. This experience also shows a potential employer or college that a student is willing to go out of his or her way to care for others.
  2. Youth sports — Youth sports leagues are a great way for older kids to volunteer. Opportunities range from coaching and refereeing to maintenance and concessions.
  3. Homeless shelters — Any child can benefit from helping others less fortunate than they are Homeless shelters need volunteers to serve meals, distribute clothes or other necessities, or simply talk with residents..
  4. Habitat for Humanity —There’s something therapeutic in being able to see the progress of your work, and few organizations provide volunteers with that opportunity like Habitat for Humanity. In Central Arkansas, there are chapters in Little Rock, Benton, Conway, Hot Springs and Pine Bluff. Teens can perform general office duties or manual labor at a work site.
  5. Animal shelters — This volunteer work is often so much fun that teens don't realize they're working. Duties include walking dogs and playing with pets, as well as cleaning up after the animals and refilling water and food bowls.
  6. Red Cross of America—Work with the Red Cross can be quite rewarding. Commonly, student volunteers are asked to answer phones, perform office work, help with mailings, prepare materials for classes and enter information into databases. Since it’s such a large organization, there are numerous future career opportunities.
  7. Local food banks — There’s no better way for a teen to show initiative than by organizing a food drive at school or church for the local food bank. Alternatively, food banks always need help receiving, organizing and distributing food – work that’s just as noble, but less involved.

Volunteer Info at a Glance



Youth Sports


Homeless Shelters


Habitat for Humanity


Animal Shelters


American Red Cross


Food Banks


Nursing Homes

Visit for a list of member facilities