I was wondering if you can offer me some feedback on an idea I had in mind. I'm thinking of implementing a program in my school where a group of us would go to different volunteer places each week. I don't know how this would work yet because I'm still pondering the idea. I don't know if volunteering for a different place each week would show lack of commitment to a particular organization. I just want to expose other people in my school to the various volunteer opportunities there are out there. Maybe when they find one that they especially enjoy and want to lend a helping hand, they will continue to help that center. What do you think I should do and consider at this point? Thank you for your time! I greatly appreciate it!
Just do it! It's a great idea! Don't worry about the perceived lack of commitment, since your goal is to introduce volunteering to your peers. I suggest you start by contacting some nonprofit organizations in your community to find out what "episodic" (one-time or short-term) volunteer opportunities are available. If you have a volunteer center in your community, visit with someone there to find out what's available too. Then share this information and become a matchmaker. Good luck!
I am a dedicated volunteer, and I volunteer for various organizations. However, I am not able to find much information about volunteer opportunities for youth. One of my friends has a daughter who is 13 years old and would like to volunteer too. Do you know of any volunteer activities that would suit her age? I have searched the web and just can't find exactly what I am looking for. Any assistance you can give me on this issue would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Since I don't know exactly what you're looking for in the way of volunteer opportunities for a 13-year old girl, I can only advise you generally. I would contact local organizations such as churches, YWCA, hospitals and the like where you generally will find volunteer opportunities for young people. Another source is the newspaper. Most dailies now have a column on volunteer opportunities that appear every one or two weeks. What about the local chapter of the Boys and Girls Club or 4-H or Girl Scouts? Joining an organization and participating in its community service projects is a great activity for young people. Finally, I suggest you contact your local volunteer center and find out what volunteer opportunities they have that are appropriate for young people. If you don't know where your volunteer center is, visit the Points of Light Foundation website to find it. http://www.pointsoflight.org.
I am the coordinator of youth volunteers at a natural science museum. While we do have a dedicated number of youth volunteers (who begin at age 13), I am having some problem with them becoming overly familiar with the Museum and staff. They are, in effect, not completing their assigned jobs and doing as they please. When I am on weekend duty, the volunteers are on task. When I am not on duty with them, they seem to take advantage. Any ideas on how to correct this? I have talked with them one-on-one about the problem, and these few have sworn to improve. Reports from other Museum staff members indicate that they have not changed their patterns. Should I fire them?
As you know firsthand, working with young volunteers is a unique challenge and a special reward. They often have short attention spans and are experiencing a surge in physical and emotional growth. Based on my personal experience, you ensure success for everyone when you help young volunteers to understand the purpose of the work they're doing and, most importantly, when you treat them like young adults. Several things occur to me about the situation you described:
Most of all, Betsy, be patient and help your colleagues to do the same. The energy, spirit, and fun you have in working with younger volunteer's offsets the challenges!