Summer Volunteer Programs for Teens in North AL

Summer is a great time for your teenager to work in some valuable volunteer time. Luckily for them – and for you – there are lots of places to do that in Huntsville and North Alabama this summer! But why should your young adult even bother with finding places to volunteer during their much-anticipated school break? Here’s five reasons why, along with a great list of organizations that have a summer teen volunteer program.

Reason #1: It Makes Them a Better Person
The personal development advantages of volunteering are HUGE. Teens can evolve their work ethic and leadership skills, something they just can’t achieve completely sitting in a classroom. It’s also proven when teens feel part of something bigger than themselves they develop a stringer sense of self-esteem in their personal lives.

Reason #2: It Busts Boredom & Keeps Kids Busy
Whoever said “idle hands are the devil’s workshop” wasn’t wrong. Time spent volunteering is less time spent being bored or playing video games for hours on end. Plus there are many options that also get teens outside and doing something physical and/or meaningful.

Reason #3: It Helps Them Save Money On College
Most college scholarships require at least some form of volunteer hours in order to even apply. Why not get those hours over the summer? There’s no shame in that game – volunteering is a win-win situation.

Reason #4: It Strengthens Huntsville
Spending time helping at the organizations listed below makes teens more aware of the community’s needs and how they are able to help. This sense of service will follow them into adulthood, and over time will make a huge impact on the prosperity and success of their own neighborhoods.

Reason #5: Provides an Empathetic Outlook & Teaches Problem-Solving
Today’s teens are more stressed than ever. Volunteering is an opportunity to experience and develop cognitive empathy. “If empathy helps us sympathize with how another person is feeling, cognitive empathy also allows us to try to understand someone else’s perspective and how they perceive the world, even when our feelings differ.”

But What If My Teen Can’t Volunteer Regularly?

Looking for a few “one-and-done” volunteer opportunities? The Volunteer Center of Madison County has a great database you can use to search for opportunities by age. You can use this year-round, not just for summer. They are a fantastic community resource – please tell them Rocket City Mom sent you!

NOTE: The organizations listed below offer a variety of volunteer opportunities for teens. Some have more on-site supervision than others. Some volunteer jobs are indoors, some are outdoors, and some require more physical labor than others. Parents and their teens should ask questions and discover more about each program by talking directly through the volunteer coordinator or program manager to see which programs are best for them. That said, the information here is a great jumping off point.

Where Can Your Teen Volunteer in Huntsville?



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Library Teen Volunteer Programs in 2019

Eleanor Murphy Public Library

View Website | Phone: 256-881-5620
Application Deadline: May 18, 2019 for ages 14-17 years
Contact: Haley Whaley at hwhaley@hmcpl.org
Needs: Need to gain work experience or enjoy helping your community in a fun and educational environment? Join our teen student volunteer program. You must be between 14 and 17 years old, have a parent or guardian’s permission and a genuine desire to volunteer! We are accepting applications until May 18, 2019. For more information, pick up the application at the Eleanor Murphy Library at 7910 Charlotte Drive or email hwhaley@hmcpl.org.

Huntsville Public Library Downtown

View Website | Phone: 256-532-5949
Application Deadline: May 10, 2019 for ages 14-18 years
Contact: Michaela McKinnon, mmckinnon@hmcpl.org
Needs: The Downtown Huntsville Teen Summer Volunteer program runs from May 31-July 27. Teens can pick up an application at the Downtown Library – they do require a letter of recommendation to be mailed or emailed to the youth services librarian, as well as a short interview with the librarian. Student volunteer duties include but are not limited to: shelving children’s and young adult books, preparing crafts, aiding teen programs, assisting with special summer reading programs for children, and participating in story hour at the direction of the librarian.

Madison Public Library

View Website | Phone: 256-461-0046
Application Deadline: May 1, 2019 for grades 7-12 (graduates must apply to adult volunteer program)
Contact: Lisa Blackmon at lblackmon@hmcpl.org
Needs: Application, essay, and two reference letters due May 1; application and essay are due in person. Reference letters can be emailed. Minimum commitment of 20 hrs between May-August 2019. There is a mandatory TAG meeting/summer volunteer training on May 8th at 4:00 PM. Assistance with library programs (including story times, puppets shows, movies, science clubs, etc). Maintain Summer Reading signup table. Assist patrons in locating materials and computer help (as needed.) Shelve library materials. Additional duties as assigned.

Other Local Volunteer Programs

Burritt on the Mountain

View Website | Phone: 256-533-1365
Deadline: Ongoing, accepting volunteers ages 14+
Contact: Joan Morehead, Volunteer Director, joan.morehead@huntsvilleal.gov
Needs: Volunteers to assist with special events, summer camps, and classes at Burritt during their summer programs for kids.

CASA Community Garden

View Website | Phone: 256-533-7775
Deadline: Ongoing, accepting applications now for ages 14+
Contact: Inquire by email (askus@casamadisoncty.org) or phone
Needs: Volunteers to plant, weed, and harvest produce at the CASA Community Garden.

Christmas Charities Year Round

View Website | Phone:  256-837-2373
Deadline: Ongoing, accepting applications for 14+
Contact: Email ccyr@christmascharitiesyearround.org
Needs: Volunteers to help in thrift store and sorting and organizing donations.

Early Works Children’s Museum

View Website | Phone: 256-564-8119
Deadline: Ongoing for ages 14+
Contact: Wendy Kirk, Volunteer Coordinator at wendy.kirk@huntsvilleal.gov
Needs: Volunteers to help in the museum during summer camps & classes | Sign up here
We offer numerous volunteer opportunities for students, adults, families and groups. You will have the chance to interact with visitors of all ages and help assist staff at one or all of our three sites. The EarlyWorks Family of Museums is a unique creative environment that allows volunteers to play while they work! Volunteers are asked to wear khakis and a white when volunteering at Earlyworks, black pants and a white shirt if volunteering at the Huntsville Depot, and something light weight to be worn under a provided costume when volunteering at the Alabama Constitution Village.

Free2Teach

View Website | Phone: 256-886-7065
Deadline: Ongoing, accepting volunteers ages 13+
Contact: Eula Battle, eula@free-2-teach.org
Needs: Support public education by helping in our volunteer-run resource store stocked with teaching materials and classroom supplies. It is our goal for 3,500 teachers in Madison County’s 84 public schools to “shop” for free items to make sure more than 50,000 students in our community have adequate classroom materials.


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HEALS, Inc.

View Website | Phone: 256-428-7560
Deadline: Ongoing, accepting volunteers ages 14+
Contact: Marijo Braddy, marijo.braddy@healsinc.org
Needs: Volunteers are needed every other Friday morning to assemble hygiene kits to be distributed to our patients at their annual physical exam. Other jobs also include addressing envelopes & filling donations requests.

Heart of the Valley YMCA

View Website | Phone: 256-428-9622 Ext. 3010
Deadline: Ongoing for ages 15+
Contact: Lamont Singleton, Director of Youth Development and Social Responsibility, lamont.singleton@ymcahuntsville.org
Needs: Teen volunteers to help with summer programs at the Y; also to participate in the JustServe volunteer program in the Huntsville community.

HOSPICE Family Care

View Website | Phone: 256-650-1212
Deadline: Ongoing for ages 14+
Contact:Gina Stephens, Volunteer Coordinator | gina.stephens@hospicefamilycare.org
Needs: Volunteers to visit and help with support group activities like prepare crafts, programs, and group activities. We would not be Comfort Care Hospice without our volunteers. Our volunteers bring warmth, joy, and tenderness into the daily practice of caring for patients. If you enjoy helping people in need or find a sense of purpose in walking through trials with others, kindly contact us. We are always in need of compassionate, caring people with a heart to serve. *There is an application and screening process that each volunteer must complete.

Huntsville Botanical Garden

View Website | Phone: 256-830-5314
Deadline: Ongoing, 14-15 must be accompanied by a guardian, 16+ can volunteer without one
Contact: Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@hsvbg.org or 256-830-4447 ext. 238
Needs: The Garden Gang – Summer youth program in June and July; Wacky Wednesday Volunteer opportunities; Butterfly House Assistants; Horticulture – Weeding, mulching, planting, watering

Huntsville Museum of Art

View Website | Phone: 256-535-4350 ext. 215
Deadline: May 4, 2018. Age 15 and older to be eligible to volunteer. Check under Museum Academy for more information about the Volunteer Program.
Contact: Laura Smith, Director of Education & Museum Academy at 256-535-4350 ext. 222 or e-mail her at lsmith@hsvmuseum.org | online forms here
Needs: In June and July, the Summer Youth Volunteer Program consists of helping before, during and after children’s art classes in the Museum Academy.

Land Trust of North Alabama

View Website | Phone: 256-534-5263
Deadline: Ongoing, accepting applications now for ages 14+
Contact: Rosie Spaulding, rosie@landtrustnal.org
Needs: Year-round volunteers that like to work outdoors cleaning and maintaining trails on these dates in 2018, all dates Weather dependent.

Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment

View Website | Phone: 256-533-0399
Deadline: Ongoing, accepting applications now for ages 15+
Contact: Matt Bakula, mattbakula@lowemill.net | Fill out & send in this volunteer form
Needs: Year-round volunteers to help with set-up, parking, and clean up for special events.

Manna House

View Website | Phone: 256-503-4848
Deadline: Ongoing, accepting volunteers ages 15+
Contact: Fran Fluhler, fran@mymannahouse.com
Needs: Volunteers to help serve food weekly, monthly, and nightly on Mondays, Wednesday, and Thursdays from 2:00 – 7:00 PM. Volunteers are also needed the first Saturday each month from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM. Volunteers are welcome any day we are open, no need to sign up in advance. Work for any amount of time that fits your schedule. (We will be only be closed for Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day)


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Merrimack Hall Performing Arts Center

View Website | Phone: 256-534-6455
Deadline: Ongoing, accepting applications now for ages 13+
Contact: Jen DiCarlo, jdicarlo@merrimackhall.com
Needs: Volunteers are needed for summer camps June 11-15 from 9-12 p.m; volunteers are required to be at least 13 years of age and have an interest in working with students and adults with special needs.

Huntsville Animal Services

View Website | Phone: 256-883-3782
Deadline: Ongoing for ages 16+
Contact: Fill out this online form | Call Will Roberson at 256-883-3782
Needs: The shelter always needs help with socializing dogs and cats, walking dogs, preparing toys for enrichment programs (like putting peanut butter in Kongs) and just general tasks to help the shelter staff.

Raising Men Lawn Care Service

View Website | Contact
Deadline: Ongoing, accepting applications for ages 7-17
Contact: Rodney Smith, Jr. message via Facebook Page
Needs: Young men to provide year-round lawn care for those in need, such as single moms, the elderly, veterans, and the disabled.

Senior Center of Huntsville & Madison County

View Website | Phone: 256-880-7081
Deadline: Ongoing for ages 15+
Contact: Becky Rollston, Activities Coordinator, activities2@seniorview.com
Needs: Volunteers to help serve lunch in the cafeteria and work on craft & community programs.

Senior Center of Madison City

View Website | Phone: 256-772-6258
Deadline: Ongoing for volunteers ages 15+
Contact: Vicki Parker, Activities Coordinator, Email vickie.parker@madisonal.gov for details
Needs: Volunteers to participate in programs and help prepare crafts & play board games, serving lunch to our seniors. We also like to have any age teen that has a talent such as musical or dancing to entertain our seniors.

U.S. Space & Rocket Center

View Website | Phone: 256-
Deadline: June 1st volunteers ages 16-18
Contact: Apply online HERE
Needs: The U.S. Space & Rocket Center is currently recruiting student volunteers who can commit to volunteer 65 hours this summer. The program will begin June 3 and end August 30th(13 weeks). The 2019 Summer Program is for students (ages 16-18) and offers the opportunity to gain experience in a museum setting while learning new skills while giving back to the community.

TN Valley AMBUCS

View Website | Phone: 256-520-5194
Deadline: Ongoing, accepting volunteers ages 14+
Contact: Tami Tubell, volunteer coordinator
Needs: Volunteers to help with Ink and Small Electronics Recycle Drive, collecting all ink cartridges, cell phones and more for recycling. Assisting with the Used Shoe Drive, collect pairs of used shoes and bring them to HTV AMBUCS to help us raise money for those in our area that need to help to pay for their AmTryke.

Did we miss your teen’s favorite place to volunteer? Leave us a comment with details and let us know!

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