Teen volunteers

In the News: Lion’s Heart Teen Volunteers Honored in Franklin, MA.

In the news! Congrats to our Members in Franklin, MA. for winning President’s Volunteer Service Awards and being recognized in Wicked Local, Franklin news. So proud of their dedication to volunteering and giving back to the community. Great article about some equally great young men and women!

Here is a snippet of the great article about some equally great young men…

FRANKLIN — Nine hard-working members of the Lion’s Heart were recently awarded a Presidential Volunteer Service Award signed by the President of the United States.

The awards are based on the number of volunteer hours served, said Franklin Lion’s Heart Chapter President Allison Bernhardt. Read it here!

Lion’s Heart Members went above and beyond this year and earned a whopping total of 1135 President’s Volunteer Service Awards.

10 Fantastically Unique Volunteer Activities by Lion’s Heart Members

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Curing with the Most Kindness 

Lamorinda, California, girls 2020 group made cards for hospitalized children at their meeting.

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Most Constructive Volunteer Opportunity

Larchmont-Mamaroneck, New York, girls 2020 group helped refurbished an abandoned school in Yonkers, NY.

 

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Coldest Opportunity with the Warmest Thanks

Park City, Utah, boys 2022 group collected and donated clothes for Utah Health clinic last winter.

 

 

 

Most Environmentally Friendly Activity

Larchmont-Mamaroneck, New York, girls 2021 group put no polluting stickers on drains around their community.

 

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Cutest Volunteer Opportunity

Fort Worth North, Texas, girls 2022 group volunteered at Dallas Animal Services Adoption Center making chew toys, handing out treats, and reading to dogs.

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The Artsiest Volunteer Project

Virginia Beach, Virginia, boys 2021 group made tissue paper flowers for seniors in their senior center.

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Best Pose with Produce

Trabuco, California, boys 2021 group gleaned the gardens at the Incredible Edible Farm.

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Warmest Donation

Laguna Niguel, California, girls 2022 group made and donated blankets and towels for an animal shelter.

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Sweetest Surprise

Westlake Village, California, girls 2018 group delivered ice cream to fire stations in their community.

 

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Smartest Way to Volunteer

Franklin, Massachusetts, girls 2023 group helped a teacher at Keller Elementary school move classrooms at the end of the year.

7 Great Ways to Give Back This Week, or Better Yet, All Year Round!

What better time to talk about serving your community than National Volunteer Week? Teens not only show compassion and empathy for their favorite causes, while they learn to lead and boost their college resumes in the process.

Research shows that teens who volunteer are happier and feel more connected to others in their community. We encourage you to get out there and volunteer!

Here are 7 easy ways you and your teen can volunteer this week:

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  1. Animal Shelters

Local animal shelters almost always need volunteers. You can be a dog walker, do administrative work, or even be a pet soother. Fostering an animal is also a wonderful way to give back. Volunteer Match has a lot of animal based volunteer opportunities and you can also visit the Humane Society for a list of shelters near you.

Aaron Regnier Photography

Aaron Regnier Photography

  1. Food Banks or Soup Kitchens

Food pantries and soup kitchens can always use a hand organizing a local food drive or serving hot meals to those in need. FoodPantries.org and Feeding America is a great way to find a place that needs volunteers!

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  1. Community or National Parks/Beaches

Go outdoors and enjoy the scenery while helping to clean up at the beach or local park. Try Volunteer Clean Up to find activities near you.

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  1. Red Cross

You can give blood, or you can volunteer with the American Red Cross. They have a youth sign-up form on their website.

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  1. Local Libraries

Libraries usually need help organizing the book shelves, helping kids with their homework, and special events like book signings and special programs. Libraries, also, typically have a summer reading program where teens can volunteer to read to the younger kids over their summer break. Check your local library!

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  1. Retirement Homes/Senior Centers

Find your local senior center. You can offer to run errands or be a companion for a senior. Check out Create the Good and Elder Helpers.

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  1. Champion Your Own Cause

Care about the drought?  Children in war-torn areas?  A specific disease that’s affected a friend or family member?  The opportunity to make a difference stretches as far as your imagination. DoSomething.Org has some great examples of do-it-yourself service projects.

Aaron Regnier Photography

So, BE the change you want to see in the world!

To join Lion’s Heart and get handcrafted, local, teen-friendly volunteer opportunities sent right to your inbox, click here. We inspire teens to have a positive impact in their communities through leadership and participation in volunteering, providing needed resources for causes that ignite their passions. To learn more visit us here.

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Written by Steph Hicks, Lion’s Heart Digital Marketing and Creative Director. Steph has two teenagers and two furry mutts and loves to read, paint, and volunteer in her spare time.

 

How Volunteering Can Help Offset College Costs

Harness your high school volunteering habit into real rewards on your college expenses.

As many of America’s 20.5 million college students would attest, education does not come cheap. But there may be a way that you can learn more about your community, gain valuable skills and potentially save money on your college tuition — simply by volunteering your time and effort.

Students who participate in volunteer projects throughout their high school careers are often able to receive better scholarships and other grants that support community engagement and activities. Consider the ways that volunteering could benefit you, your college costs and your future career.

How volunteering helps

When you have the chance to shine, your passion and success follows. Spending time at a local animal shelter, retirement community or hospital can earn you both experience and accolades on your college application.

If you have an idea of what you want to study at university, consider volunteer opportunities that can both diversify your experience and qualify for scholarships or grants that could ease your student loan burden.

Volunteering in college

Once you’ve started college, you may be able to find time for opportunities that give back to the community and make a difference to your financial bottom line.

For instance, if you’re already considering joining the military, you can set yourself up to cutting down on costs by joining the ROTC — or the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. The ROTC helps you pay your college tuition while you serve your country. ROTC provides scholarships of up to $80,000 toward tuition and educational fees for students who enroll during college or in high school. It can also assist you along your career path, helping you excel and save on expenses throughout college.

And don’t underestimate the impact volunteering can have on your future employers. Volunteering can make you more hireable in an area of service that you’re passionate about, showing real commitment to your community. You’ll gain skills that are important when working with a team, getting to know the unique issues that people in your city face. You’ll be potentially working toward leadership positions, building skills that are highly prized by employers when deciding among new college grads.

But it doesn’t have to be just another tactic to fleshing out your resume. Volunteering for organizations within your major can provide experiences that dovetail with your studies, enriching what you’ve learned in the classroom, better preparing you for your chosen career.

What you can do after college

Whether you need to pay off student loans or pay for continued education at a reduced cost, post-college service opportunities abound.

AmeriCorps

AmeriCorps is a group of volunteers sent to locations around the US to teach, support at-risk communities and work within some of America’s poorest neighborhoods. AmeriCorps volunteers can receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award after fulfilling their term of service, which can be used for paying off student loans or advancing your education.

National Health Service Corps

If you’re pursuing a career in medicine, National Health Service Corp volunteers provide medical care to rural communities and communities that lack qualified health professionals. The NHSC offers scholarships for students who are still in medical school, and helps medical professionals who have already graduated pay off student loans after they’ve fulfilled their service term.

Peace Corps

The Peace Corps gives students a way to volunteer around the world while keeping an eye on graduate school. Volunteers can serve while pursuing a master’s degree program abroad and participate in the Coverdell Fellows Program, which provides financial assistance to volunteers who want to volunteer in the US. Just ensure you don’t lose out on the offset with high fees associated with moving money around while volunteering overseas, compare providers to find most cost effective options.

Consider student loans

Whether choosing to offset college through volunteering during or after college, keep in mind that while a huge expense, college is one that will pay off in the long run. To do this it helps to look ahead at the return your investment and work out whether the career you pick will support the level of debt you’ve accrued to get there. finder.com recently broke down the value of a student loan against potential future earnings based on LinkedIn’s Top 20 Highest Paying Jobs of 2017.

What we found is that it’s worthwhile to figure out whether your future career has a good return on investment — and that student loans can help ease some of the financial burden until you make good on that ROI.

Remember, it’s never too early — or too late — to start volunteering with a group or organization that you’re passionate about. You just might be able to both change your life and save money in the end.

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Written by Michelle Hutchison. Michelle is finder.com’s resident Money Expert and is passionate about helping Americans make better financial decisions. She has been in the financial services industry for over seven years and has previously worked as a journalist and editor.

Who is finder.com?

finder.com is a personal finance comparison website, which helps Americans compare financial products online so they can make better informed decisions. Visit finder.com to compare and learn about credit cards, mortgages, personal loans, international money transfers, life and travel insurance, shopping coupon codes, and so much more before choosing the option that best suits their needs.

Best of all, finder.com is completely free to use. We’re not a bank or insurer, nor are we owned by one, and we are not a product issuer or a credit provider. We’re not affiliated with any one institution or outlet, so it’s genuine advice from a team of experts who care about helping you find better.

 

Lion’s Heart Member Toolkit

Here are some ideas to spread the word about Lion’s Heart:

So you’re ready to change the world. Wouldn’t you love to have other great teens join you? You will need at least 2 more teens of your same gender and grad year to get your Lion’s Heart group started. Here are some great tools to help you get your friends to sign up.

1. Let your friends know about Lion’s Heart on social media. Use these posts to get you started, but feel free to use your own words too. We’ve even included some fun photos that you can use when you post.

  • Facebook – Want to help me change the world? I just joined Lion’s Heart and I would love it if you would join too so we could volunteer together! A great thing about Lion’s Heart is that they help us find places to volunteer and we can choose our favorite causes. Visit Lion’s Heart to sign up. @lionsheartservice #givingback #teenvolunteering
  • Instagram– Want to help me change the world? I am now a Member of Lion’s Heart and I would love it if you come join me when I volunteer in our community. Visit Lion’s Heart and sign up with me! #Teens #givingback #communityservice #teenvolunteers #highschool #teen #friends #giveback #lionsheartservice @lionsheartservice
  • Twitter – Help me change the world. I just joined Lion’s Heart and will be volunteering with other teens. Sign up with me! @lionsheartorg #teenvolunteers #givingback

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and our Blog and you can share our posts so your friends see them.

2. Share this YouTube video with other parents and teens. In less than 7 minutes they will learn all the important things they need to know about Lion’s Heart.

3. Visit our store and order free brochures that you can give to your high school counselors, parents and friends.

Any questions? You can visit our website and use the chat function or call us at 800.894.8877, ext.108.

Ridgefield, Connecticut Chapter in the News!

Lion’s Heart Members in Ridgefield, CT helped Share Joy International get backpacks and school supplies ready to go to the center in Jacmel, Haiti. Great Job Ridgefield Chapter! Thanks for the shout out @sharejoyinternational Read about it here http://buff.ly/1tmKqln

For more information on Lion’s Heart see our website lionsheartservice.org.