Five Volunteer Opportunities for Teens in New York/New Jersey this Summer

Are Linksters, and their Millennial older brothers and sisters, the most self-absorbed generations in history?  Or, are teens actively looking for volunteer opportunities, but no one is watching?

It seems that pundits in all corners of the internet are fond of railing against today’s teens, bemoaning a self-absorbed Gen Z that’s linked up but disconnected from the analog world, consumed by selfishness and selfies, adept at texting yet unable to deal with face-to-face interaction.

But the reality doesn’t fit the myth.  In fact, according to the Millennial Impact Report, today’s teens and young adults are involved, engaged and committed.  84 percent made a charitable donation in 2014, the year of the study, and 70% spent at least an hour volunteering for a cause that they care about. They give of their time and their talents in all kinds of surprising and creative ways, and go out of their way to support the causes they’re passionate about.

Are you looking to find a way to participate?  Now that school’s out, there are lots of great opportunities for teens to volunteer in the New York / New Jersey area, from fighting hunger and nurturing kids to protecting the environment and helping rescue animals, and so much more.  Here are five ways that you can give back to your community this season, and get valuable experience as well:

  1. Central Park Conservancy

  • What they do: Keep Central Park clean and green
  • How you can help: spend quality time outdoors raking leaves and spreading mulch.


  1. City Harvest

  • What they do: work to end hunger through food rescue and redistribution.
  • How you can help: assist at Mobile Markets, Greenmarket Rescue and office, help with repacking and nutrition education.


  1. Bags4Kids

  • What they do: provide “comfort bags” for children displaced by neglect or abandonment.
  • How you can help: Collect donations, pack and distribute to shelters, schools, foster parent agencies and other organizations.


  1. Underground Railroad Rescued Kitty Network

  • What they do: provide transport for rescue felines from foster care to vetting to forever homes.
  • How you can help: organize and participate in relay transportation to and from shelters, vets and homes.


  1. Help Elderly and Disabled Neighbors

  • How you can help: for people in your community who live alone but have limited mobility or access to transportation, regular tasks can become a challenge. You can assist them with yard work, house maintenance, and providing rides to and from doctors or pharmacies.


Still looking for something to matches your particular passion?  Go to and use our search engine to find more volunteer opportunities in your area.