Summer for students is a welcome respite from studies, but many students are still working toward their college and career goals through the warm season.
Volunteering can be a great way to do some good for the community while learning new skills, exploring potential careers, and burnishing credentials for college and job applications.
Here are several excellent volunteer opportunities for young people interested in furthering their career or education goals this summer.
Kids who love animals:
Pasado’s Safe Haven
Pasado’s Safe Haven is a gorgeous, huge sanctuary for animals that, for a variety of reasons often including abuse and neglect, have required a safe place to live.
Volunteers age 12-15 can volunteer there along with a parent on site.
“They don’t have to do the same thing,” noted volunteer coordinator Eve Firestone. “And it can be another guardian as well.”
Teens ages 16 and over can volunteer by themselves.
Volunteers have to attend an orientation session; the next orientation is Aug. 2.
“But if we get a lot of responses, we can arrange another one,” said Firestone.
There are many areas and animals with which to volunteer.
“We need people to help with Dog Town,” said Firestone. “We just rescued 10 dogs from a kill shelter in California, and they are little. We have bigger dogs too that need walking and cleaning their houses.”
Kitty City is home to many cats.
“One thing we would love students to do is we have a room called security cats,” said Firestone. “They are cats that aren’t very social. You just go in there and read a book or do some studying. The main goal is to get them forever homes, so having people around them is beneficial.”
Volunteers are also needed to muck out the homes many of the animals, including cows, horses, llamas, and more.
“We even have the birds; there’s geese, turkey, ducks, the ponds need to be cleaned,” said Firestone.
And for kids interested in getting a deeper learning experience, Pasado’s offers more.
“We are starting to do different enrichment activities,” she said. “A lot volunteering is cleaning, but if you’re interested in hoof trimming or halter training, the caregivers are going to find ways to incorporate volunteers in things that are a little more advanced.”
A good animal to learn more about are the pigs.
“Kids can volunteer with the pigs, they can muck, they can help wash and do harness training,” said Firestone.”Pigs love to be petted or belly-rubbed. It’s really fun to see them harness training. They need people to walk a potbellied pig around the sanctuary, you have to be a more dedicated volunteer at least on a weekly basis.”
For kids who can’t make it all they way out to Pasado’s rural location on a regular basis, there are adoption events.
We do off-site adoption events and we are trying to build teams by region, so we are starting a regular one in Lynnwood and we have one in Monroe,” said Firestone.
For more information, contact Eve Firestone at email@example.com.
Kids who like working with seniors
East County Senior Center
“There’s always things to do here,” said Marc Avni, director of the Senior Center. “There’s always gardening kind of stuff, there’s also cleaning that can be done, and I need some help drastically in the month of July if someone can do simple computer entry.”
For more information, call Marc Avni at (360) 794-6359.
Kids interested in writing
The Monroe Monitor offers summer internships for teens interested in writing.
This can be a great way for aspiring writers, especially young people interested in journalism, to get press clippings to use on college applications, internship applications, job applications and scholarship applications.
We will work together to identify your areas of interest, and then will set a goal of how many stories you’d like to produce during the summer. A typical goal is one per week, but at the Monroe Monitor, you get out of it what you put in, so writers can get more than that, or less, depending on schedule and level of interest.
You will work with a professional editor, learn how to produce professional work, the basics of news and feature writing, the basics of news photography and a bit about the philosophy of journalism.
If interested, call Polly Keary at (425) 530-0806 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kids interested in community service
Sky Valley Food Bank
Kids younger than 16 are welcome to volunteer at the Food Bank, but they must have a parent with them. Kids 16 and up can work independently.
“If some youngsters 16 and older with parental permission want to come help in the warehouse Monday, Wednesday or Friday mornings or Monday evenings, we are glad to have them,” said Sky Valley Food Bank Director Neil Watkins.
Monday evenings are especially good for kids, because if they really enjoy it, they can keep doing it year-round. .
“We’re open to 6-7 p.m. and we are done by 7 p.m.” Watkins said.
People younger than 16 can also do great service for the food bank by holding a food drive. “We have kits, we have a list of grocery store contacts and everything you need,” said Watkins. “I work with the kids and they can do a food drive for three or four hours and bring the food in. I help sort the food.”
The food bank is a great way for kids to be part of something bigger than themselves, said Watkins.
“I love to have the kids,” he said. “This is a great experience to see what helping is all about.”
To volunteer, contact the food bank at (360) 794.7959 or by email at email@example.com.