Aside from its altruistic benefits, volunteering in any capacity is good for you and will help you stay young at heart. Volunteering with young people, however, is especially good for this purpose.
Researchers haven’t identified exactly why, but there is something about being around young people (defined as 25 and under) regularly that seems to slow down the aging process and make older adults feel younger.
Maybe all that extra energy is transferred from younger people to older ones! Perhaps it is the need to constantly see things from a new perspective. Regardless of the reason, if you want to volunteer, consider volunteering with young people.
What kind of volunteer work is available?
To start with the obvious one, educational help is always needed. There are endless stories of teachers needing help in class. This would mean tutoring kids and college students who are behind in their studies or at risk of failing.
Every community needs volunteer tutors at schools, community centers, and other places. You must fill out an application and pass a background check, but you don’t have to be a retired teacher.
Another option is to volunteer to help with community sports. Most kids, teen, and college-age sporting leagues depend on a legion of volunteers for coaching, refereeing, setting up and taking down equipment, and a host of other activities. No matter what sport is your favorite, you can probably find a group that needs your help.
I spent 11 years refereeing high school football. I call it “volunteering” because the token pay, we received was nothing compared to the time and effort involved! Still, it kept me connected to a sport I love, helped me stay in physical shape, challenged me mentally, and stay young!
If you have an athletic past why not share your experience with the next generation?
Mentoring young people is another great option. Not every kid or young adult has someone, let alone an entire family, to help them grow into adulthood.
Organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters are dedicated to matching at-risk youth with adults and seniors willing to mentor them.
Young People in Your Own Family
Do you have grandchildren? How about nieces or nephews?
Why not volunteer at their school? All schools need adults to volunteer everywhere from the cafeteria to the library to the theater. They are usually glad to have grandparents willing to help.
You could also volunteer at local arts or music organizations, or at any local museum that caters to a lot of young people. These groups always need volunteers.
You could be a tour guide, lecturer, or even work in the gift shop. I have a friend here in Nashville who is a volunteer tour guide at the Ryman Auditorium.
There are likely historic places in your city that you can volunteer with.
Want to help children during some of their greatest needs? Volunteer at your local hospital. In the children’s emergency department at my hospital, they are always looking for loving, caring adults to assist. You don’t need any medical training or experience.
Children’s hospitals always need volunteers. Libraries often do too. Local festivals and fairs are usually run by volunteers and are often directed at young people.
Naturally, these are just a few of the many opportunities for volunteering with young people. If this option interests you, you’re sure to find plenty of other opportunities if you care to look.
Helping young people is a great way for you to stay young at heart while also doing good in the world.
What are some other volunteer opportunities with young people you can name? Share them below and help other readers get connected.