Are you a teen who is looking for a place to volunteer in Tucson? Perhaps you have a community service requirement to fulfill for an honors society, club, or private school you are a part of? Maybe you want to bolster your resume and gain valuable career experience? Or you may simply yearn to make the world a better place? Whatever your motivation, volunteering can be a meaningful and smart way to spend your after-school and weekend hours.
We’ve compiled a list of reputable non-profits so that potential teen volunteers can quickly compare options to find a good fit for their skills, interests, and location.
Casa de los Niños – Teen Volunteers
Casa de los Ninos promotes child well-being and family stability in the Tucson community. Programs and services include parent education classes, the Tucson Safe Baby program, a crisis shelter, foster care, family visitation, and behavioral health services.
- Location: 1101 N. 4th Avenue (Speedway & 4th Avenue)
- Volunteer opportunities: Administration Assistant (data entry, filing, photocopying, mailing, telephoning), Child Care Worker (assist primary care workers with daily care of children from birth to age 8 – feeding, playing with, reading to, etc), Tutor (assist children with academic work and educational activities)
- Age minimums/restrictions: Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age.
- Training requirements: Volunteers who work within the shelter and agency programs must complete an application process which includes: application, tour, orientation training, level 1 fingerprint clearance, and a pre-employment physical. Groups, special events, and thrift store volunteers do not need to complete the usual process.
- Weekly/monthly commitment: Volunteers are asked to make a six-month commitment, working at least three hours per week with the exception of groups and special event volunteers.
- Contact: Maricela Fair, [email protected], 520-624-5600
Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona – Teen Volunteers
The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona strives to address the root causes of hunger. They believe that access to safe, sufficient, nutritious food is a basic human right, and that empowered people and their communities thrive.
- Location: The warehouse and garden are at 3003 S. Country Club Rd (Country Club and 36th Street). Las Milpitas de Cottonwood Farm is at 2405 S. Cottonwood Lane (near A mountain).
- Volunteer opportunities: Most volunteer opportunities are at the Main Warehouse, 3003 S. Country Club Road. Warehouse work typically involves packing boxes, sorting food, and helping to distribute food. There are also some gardening roles, at the garden adjacent to the warehouse and at Las Milpitas de Cottonwood Farm. Volunteers are also needed for a variety of special events.
- Age minimums/restrictions: Volunteers must be at least 16 to volunteer at the warehouse and at least 12 to volunteer in the garden or on the farm.
- Training requirements: Training varies by volunteer position. Some positions require only a few minutes of training, while others require a few hours of training.
- Weekly/monthly Commitment: Depends on the position. The Food Bank requires a minimum of 3 hours for a shift.
- Contact: Volunteer Department, 520-882-3292
Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona – Teen Volunteers
The Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona exists to provide “diapers for children and adults through community partners.” They envision a community “where every diaper need is met.”
- Location: 4500 E. Speedway Blvd. (between Swan & Columbus)
- Volunteer opportunities: Volunteers serve in a variety of positions. They provide much needed assistance with inventory control and diaper sorting in the warehouse, occasional events and speaking opportunities, office assistance in the form of recruiting and coordinating volunteers, and most important, with daily administrative duties. The area of greatest need is for community members to hold diaper drives in their schools, clubs, places of worship, and workplaces.
- Age minimums/restrictions: Volunteers must be at least 14-years-old. Young adults, ages 14-15, need to be accompanied by a parent of guardian if they are working in the warehouse. Volunteers, ages 16 and up, can volunteer in any capacity.
- Training requirements: Most tasks require minimal training.
- Weekly/monthly commitment: None
- Contact: 520-325-1400
GAP Ministries – Teen Volunteers
GAP Ministries is 501c3 nonprofit social service agency that exists to “stand in the gap for those in need.” Services include residential SPLASH homes for foster children, the MERGE independent living program, Backpack-2-School, and Holiday of Hope.
- Location: 2861 N. Flowing Wells, Tucson
- Volunteer opportunities: There are numerous volunteer opportunities, including copying, filing, mailing, data entry, processing and sorting donations at the warehouse, sorting and stocking food boxes, carpentry, plumbing, painting, grounds work, food preparation, prayer, and special events.
- Age minimums/restrictions: No specific age requirements as long as someone has the desire and ability to assist with various tasks.
- Training requirements: Some minimal training may be required, depending on area of volunteerism.
- Weekly/monthly commitment: There is no minimum or maximum requirement for volunteering. GAP Ministries is happy to have people partner with them to serve and better the community.
- Contact: Volunteer Coordinator, 520-877-8077
Girls on the Run of Tucson – Teen Volunteers
Girls on the Run is a transformational physical activity-based positive youth development program for girls in 3rd-8th grades. The program teaches life skills through dynamic interactive lessons and running games, culminating with the girls being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5K running event. The goal of the program is to unleash confidence through accomplishment while establishing a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness.
- Location: Schools throughout Tucson
- Volunteer opportunities: Jr. Helper, Jr. Coach, and Assistant Coach – these typically have been girls, but boys are welcome to volunteer as well. The end-of-season 5K always needs many volunteers of all ages to help with set-up, breakdown, hosting water stations, and manning registration tables.
- Age minimums/restrictions: Jr. Helper (ages 13+), Jr. Coach (ages 16+), Assistant Coach (ages 18+)
- Training requirements: Jr. Helper and Jr. Coach are not required to attend a training, but they are encouraged to attend the 1-day coaches training at the beginning of the season to better understand how they can support the team and coaches. Coaches training will take place on Saturday, January 10, 2015, 8am-4pm.
- Weekly/monthly commitment: Girls on the Run is a bi-weekly 10-week after school program. Jr. Helpers and Jr. Coaches are not required to attend every session. There is typically a spring and fall program. The spring program will begin January 2015 and run through April 12, 2015.
- Contact: Sylvia Brown, [email protected], 520-324-4745
Make-A-Wish Arizona – Teen Volunteers
Make-A-Wish Arizona grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human spirit with hope, strength and joy.
- Location: Kids For Wish Kids can be started in your local school or community!
- Volunteer opportunities: The Kids For Wish Kids program is an opportunity for local kids and teens to help grant wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions living in their own community. Make-A-Wish Arizona makes it easy for children, their leaders, and their mentors to reach goals with a turn-key tool kit that offers suggestions and directions on building fundraising projects that can be completed by an individual or school, a club or group of funds, or with a community youth group.
- Age minimums/restrictions: The Kids For Wish Kids program is open to students currently enrolled in elementary to high school.
- Training requirements: No training required! Contact Make-A-Wish Arizona for a toolkit to get started!
- Weekly/monthly commitment: The commitment is yours to make, fundraising can take place over one day or over the length of the school year!
- Contact: Torrie Yerkovich, [email protected], 602-343-9437
Make Way for Books – Teen Volunteers
The mission of MAKE WAY FOR BOOKS is to foster and support the success of children in the Tucson community through cultivating a love of books and reading. MWFB provides a full continuum of early literacy education, programs, and resources to make sharing books an important and enjoyable part of families’ lives.
- Location: 3955 E. Ft. Lowell Rd (Ft. Lowell & Alvernon)
- Volunteer opportunities: children’s book drives, in-office work and crafty projects, cleaning and sorting books, helping perform stories for young children
- Age minimums/restrictions: Volunteers under the age of 18 must have a Volunteer Waiver signed by a parent.
- Training requirements: Minimal training is required.
- Weekly/monthly commitment: No commitment.
- Contact: Ally Baehr, [email protected], 520-721-2334
Ronald McDonald House Charities – Teen Volunteers
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), provides comfort and support to families and children facing serious illness or injury. The Ronald McDonald House provides a “Home Away from Home” for families who must travel to Tucson for medical care. The 24,000 square foot house has 28 bedrooms and private bathrooms, 4 kitchens, a reading room, great room, playroom, and outdoor play area. The House serves over 600 families per year from communities throughout Southern Arizona, as well as the surrounding region.
- Location: 3838 N. Campbell Avenue (between Prince & Roger)
- Volunteer opportunities: answering telephones, greeting families and visitors, making up rooms so they are ready for new families, organizing kitchens, organizing playroom, storing and organizing donations, assisting with special projects, restocking linens and supplies
- Age minimums/restrictions: Volunteers must be at least 16.
- Training requirements: Training starts on the first day of volunteering and continues as new duties are assigned.
- Weekly/monthly commitment: Minimum 6-month commitment, one day a week for a 3-hour shift.
- Contact: Christine LaBoy, [email protected], 520-326-0060
The Salvation Army – Teen Volunteers
The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the Universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of the love of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination. Programs include an adult rehabilitation center, hospitality house shelter, emergency disaster services, and numerous community centers.
- Volunteer opportunities: Volunteers are especially needed during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays to set up, serve and dish out food, clean up, and decorate for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. Assistance is also needed with food drives and toy drives. The Salvation Army is also looking for groups of people to do volunteer bell ringing from Nov 21-Dec 24.
- Age minimums/restrictions: You must be 18 to volunteer alone. Teens, ages 13-17, can volunteer with an adult.
- Training requirements: No training requirement. Volunteer forms need to be completed.
- Weekly/monthly Commitment: The only commitment required is what you signed up for on any given day.
- Contact: Shawna Kroh, [email protected], 520-322-2003
Tu Nidito – Teen Volunteers
Tu Nidito Children and Family Services provides comfort, hope, and support for children and families whose lives have been impacted by a serious medical condition or death. In addition to support groups, Tu Nidito also has the PB&J with Love program, where meals are provided to single parents who are diagnosed with a serious medical condition.
- Location: 3922 N. Mountain Ave (between 1st & Campbell)
- Volunteer opportunities: support group volunteers, satellite support group volunteers, one on one volunteers, office specialists, event volunteers
- Age minimums/restrictions: Most volunteers are over 18, but younger volunteers can help at events, in office admin, and/or at PB&J with Love.
- Training Requirements: For Facilitators (ages 18+), there is a 16-hour training that takes places about four times a year. There is on-the-job training for office specialists (ages 16+). No training is necessary for the other roles.
- Weekly/Monthly Commitment: Facilitators are a 2-year commitment, Satellite is 1 year, Office Specialists are 6 months. Event and PB&J volunteers can be on a one-time basis.
- Contact: Erica Scott, [email protected], 520-322-9155