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Fun places you and your teen can volunteer

Cue rolling of the eyes and loud sighs when you suggest you and your teen volunteer to do community work together. Telling them it’s character building simply won’t cut it, it needs to be fun. SheKnows has put together a few suggestions of fun places to volunteer to get the ball rolling. You might be able to think of a few of your own.

Mother and teen daughter

Work with animals

Australia Zoo

Volunteers are an important part of the team at Australia Zoo and help out with a lot of tasks around the 1500 acres. Okay, so you won’t be jumping crocs but you will get to interact with a huge variety of other animals. Tasks can vary from preparing gourmet meals for the animals and taking some of the farm animals for their daily exercise to poop patrol. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old.

Don’t live in Queensland? Most zoos around the country, including Sydney’s famous Taronga Zoo and Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, NSW, all have volunteer programs you can be part of.

Puppy raising

Guide dogs and special needs companion dogs undergo intensive training from 14 months. Until they are ready to start training they are fostered out to loving families who are responsible for house-training and obedience, grooming, feeding and scratching their bellies.

Sea World’s Whale Watch Research Project on the Gold Coast

If you love wildlife, then become part of Sea World’s Whale Watch Project. You can help assist with whales, dolphins and other marine animals and collect data on dolphin and whale numbers and their behaviour, sea conditions and weather. Whale watching season runs from June to November, so perhaps this is something to keep in mind for next year.

Provide support for sick kids and their families

Ronald McDonald House

Ronald McDonald House is a non-profit organisation that provides families of seriously sick children with support and accommodation when needed. Each Ronald McDonald House depends on volunteers who assist with activities and provide a friendly and supportive environment for families. To find out more information, contact a Ronald McDonald House near you.

Volunteer abroad

There’s no better way to bond with your 18 or 19-year-old than an overseas adventure together to discover a new culture in a country where it really makes a difference. There are numerous global projects which need your assistance, from working in orphanages in Vietnam to mentoring children in Kenya.

ADRA Connections also organises short volunteer trips for small groups and churches across the South Pacific, Asia and Africa. There are lots of ways you can be involved, from helping build to administering simple health care, photography, farming and more. Now’s the time to start planning to be part of a life-changing 2013 mission.

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