Good to Know: How and Where Kids Can Volunteer

November 29th, 2010 by Kim Lenz

Volunteering comes in all forms and sizes, as well as ages. Many of us tend to think our time to volunteer might be as we get older; maybe when our children have grown or we have retired. Even worse, community service or volunteering becomes the ‘punishment’ or end result handed down by a judge for someone breaking the law, completely giving the wrong perception of the value and opportunity volunteering offers.

School, homework and extra-curricular activities have become so time consuming these days that our youth often do not have time to volunteer or have lost sight of it…or perhaps we adults have lost sight of how instrumental it can be for our young people. Karen Dutro, Executive Director of NetworkWilliamsburg, will be the first to tell you how young people volunteering is just as much giving as it is receiving. She sees this first hand not only with her children but children in the community as well.

Thus, NetWorkWilliamsburg in conjunction with Michael C. Rock Agency, Inc. has produced their second annual Youth Resources Booklet, A Student’s Guide to Volunteering in Williamsburg. You may remember the intro article Desiree Parker wrote last year when the booklet first debuted, but this year it has been updated with new non-profits as well as new volunteer opportunities for young people.

“Community service is not just a good and right thing to do, it can also help a great deal with college applications, especially now when it seems so much harder to get into schools, even with good grades, the extracurricular activities matter even more,” explained Dutro.

One of the features of this year’s booklet is the breakdown of volunteer opportunities. For example, if you are looking for an opportunity to hone your skills with fund raising, there is a category with volunteer opportunities specific to that need. Or, if you are looking to gain some experience volunteering one-on-one with clients, there is a section for that as well. The booklet offers a concise, user- friendly format that can match your needs and talents within minutes.

“We tried to break it up into as many categories as possible so everyone could find a fit. Still, we even offer ways (see page 20) to get involved when nothing in the booklet fits their needs/times exactly,” Dutro said. The booklet shows you can do something as simple as cutting coupons or making a greeting card, and it can make a difference in someone’s life and give you a different perspective or maybe even a warm, fuzzy feeling.

So whether you are looking to volunteer or would like to contribute in some other way, this booklet proves to be a handy resource guide that not only offers a list of non-profits with contact info and needs, but even a list of some area scholarship opportunities for high school seniors.

“The goal is that it becomes a valuable resource for students and their families to opportunities to get involved in the community,” noted Dutro.

If you would like to have your non-profit included in this booklet or need more info, contact Karen Dutro by email:

One Response to Good to Know: How and Where Kids Can Volunteer

  1. Anonymous

    November 30, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Have you ever checked out the Sentara Hospital High School Summer Volunteer Program. My daughter attended 4 years and she loved it. The two ladies that do it are great.

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