Most university-bound teens engage in volunteer work of some kind—it’s almost a requirement for a good college application.
But is there more to it than that?
Some teens say Yes! In addition to building their resume, some say that volunteering helped them:
- see that their destiny can actually involve doing something that comes easily to them
- develop compassion for others
- discover what they’re good at
- contribute to their quest for meaning
Help them think it through before they commit
One family attends a Presbyterian Church that expects all regular attenders (teens and adults) to volunteer in some way once a month. The idea is that the church belongs to all who call themselves a part of it, and if everyone does a little bit no one is stuck trying to do everything.
So this family is helping their kids think through how they can volunteer. Some of their choices include working in the baby nursery, teaching the younger kids’ classes, cleaning up the meeting area after the service, playing an instrument on the worship team once a month, helping with the community outreach to refugees by teaching English as a second language.
Significant conversations about destiny can occur
Having the teens think about volunteering has created interesting conversations about what each teen is good at, what they care about, what they have to contribute, and how they can feel like a contributing part of the community.
An astonishing ethical statement
Recent research indicates support for a possible universal desire: Human beings around the world derive [happiness] from using their financial resources to help others—a surprising ethical and spiritual statement. Even more astonishing is that our little acts of love are capable of producing passion in us that satisfies our thirst for meaning.
Consider the teens in your life. How could they engage in giving to others through loving, helpful acts? How might those actions help themselves as well?
Tweetable: A teen’s acts of charity are capable of producing passion that satisfies the thirst for meaning. Click to Tweet