Children around the country are participating in clubs and sports in greater numbers than ever. The vast majority of adults who lead the clubs are volunteers. Even clubs with paid staff depend on volunteers to keep things running smoothly. Sometimes it's nice to know your child is having fun and is safe, but what about you? Why should you volunteer to work with a kids' club?
Research shows that children, particularly adolescents, participate in risky behaviors more often in the afterschool hours than later in the evening. Why? They are often unsupervised. Children who participate in clubs or other activities after school are less likely to try drugs, tobacco or alcohol or drop out of school. But in order to participate, they need a club to go to. Be sure that club is there for them.
Be a Mentor
Who me? A mentor? Yes, you! Children need to learn from respectable, mature adults. Whether you think so, or not, you have something to offer children. It may be as simple as a smile or as complicated as help with a calculus problem. You may never know what a difference you make in a kids' life, but you will.
Share Your Skills
Know how to throw a fastball? Play an instrument? Fix a car? Sharing your skills gives children a chance to learn something new. Besides, it's fun. If your skills aren't advanced, volunteer at younger level. I even coached t-ball one year!
Fill a Need in the Community
You're not the only busy parent out there. When you volunteer, you keep a valuable community program running.
You Feel Good, Too
There is nothing like a smile or hug from a child who looks up to you. I know. I took on a Girl Scout troop rather reluctantly. It has turned out to be a lot more fun than I expected and I look forward to seeing my girls each week. Volunteering to help kids is the ultimate feel good.