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Posted: January 24, 2017 12:06 p.m.

Get involved with youth organizations

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Volunteer work can benefit volunteers emotionally and physically. Many people aspire to get involved by donating their time or resources, but they may not know which avenue to take. Leading a youth organization or mentoring children can change the lives of both children and volunteers in numerous ways.

Youth groups include boys and girls clubs, religious ministry organizations, sports teams, and other special-interest clubs. When matched up with the right group, children may learn a number of skills that can assist them as they age. After-school activities can teach kids leadership skills and how to work together while making them feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. Volunteering with youth-based organizations is a great way for adults to make a real difference in the lives of children.

Inquire among your network of friends when looking for a youth organization to work with. Friends may be in touch with sports leagues or other community groups that are looking for volunteers. If your child has an interest in a particular sport, find out if the league is looking for coaches or parents to work in other capacities for the team. This is a great way to get involved without compromising your childÕs sense of individuality and space.

Schools are another resource. Many clubs and organizations are chartered or sponsored through schools. Schools also lend their all-purpose rooms or other spaces to organizations so that meetings are convenient to students. School open houses provide great opportunities for adults to learn about the various programs offered by a given school. Such programs often need volunteers.

Many young children are first exposed to group activities upon enrolling in the Cub Scouts or Girl Scouts. These are national programs that operate locally through packs and troops. Scouting organizations are entirely dependent on volunteers. Whether you sign up as a leader, a coleader or a person who works behind the scenes, you will be a part of an organization that has helped to shape kids for decades.

Religious organizations also provide opportunities for adults to work with kids and young adults. Volunteer work is an integral part of many religions, and ministering to youngsters is one way to spread the message of faith. Work with a religious leader to find the best fit for your services. You may volunteer as a Sunday school teacher or serve as a chaperone at youth events.

Volunteer work is beneficial no matter where one directs his or her energy. However, the experience can be even more rewarding when it involves working with children. 

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