Hey! Just because you can’t drive yet, doesn’t mean you can’t start making a difference, right here and right now!
Read on for 10+ great ideas a girl can do on her own (or with a little help from friends and family) to start making a difference in her world RIGHT NOW!!
- Tutoring Service – Have a favorite subject? Good at something in school? Offer to be a homework helper or a tutor to kids younger than you and get paid for sharing your knowledge. Or you can do it on a volunteer basis. TIP: Know where to advertise. Put flyers up in or around schools or after in after-school centers. Tell former teachers of yours (especially if you did great in their class!) about your services. TIP: Make a portable “tutoring kit.” Keep handy and fun supplies in it like flashcards, colored pencils, stickers, and even board games (like Boggle ™ if you’re teaching language arts or Yahtzee ™ if your tutoring kids in math.)
- Loose Change – Collect loose change from your family in special jar or box and figure out a charity to donate it to. Make more boxes and get the whole neighborhood or class involved. Collect the boxes on a regular basis and donate to a cause. Print out fact sheets about your charity, with information about why it’s such a great cause and why it is particularly meaningful to you. Offer these sheets to people you ask to donate. TIP: Find a charity that has special meaning to you (like an animal shelter, if you’re an animal lover, or a children’s Diabetes fund, if you or a family member is a diabetic).
- Go Green – Have a green thumb? Grow organic vegetables and sell them to the neighborhood in the summer months. TIP: Advertise your produce by cooking up a dish from your garden ingredients and giving away free samples in the neighborhood. Try making a fresh salsa or gazpacho, which is a cold vegetable soup. Want to start a green revolution? If you did, so can they – write up flyers on how anyone can turn their backyard into an organic vegetable patch. Give away the organic seeds from your own crop and watch the green grow. Include recipe information with your produce so customers know how to use all the wonderful vegetables.
- Throw a Can Party – Organize a food drive. Perhaps you can have a party and ask everyone to bring a can of food instead of a present. TIP: Put a collection box in your class at school, or in a few classes, and ask your principal if the class that collects the most food can win an ice cream or pizza party!
- Project Runway Fan – Collect old clothes from the neighborhood and take them to charity TIP: Offer to help your friends clean out their closets. TIP: Make sure to scour your closet and your family’s closets for clothes you no longer need.
- Organize Community Clean up days – Take pride in the place where you live by organizing a community clean up day. Organize different projects like 8 gardening in front of the library, picking up trash around the school, putting out recycling bins, and painting a fence. Have people sign up for projects ahead of time and designate a “team leader” for each. TIP: See if a local grocery store or restaurant will donate some food for thank you party afterwards. Print up thank you brochures and send a notice to the local paper – the restaurant will love the publicity.
- Help out at a food bank or soup kitchen – Grab an apron and smile and help dish out some chow at a soup kitchen. Or you can volunteer at a food bank to organize donations. TIP: Instead of doing a “family dinner” one night, ask your whole family to come with you and serve dinner at the soup kitchen.
- Participate in a Lemonade Stand for Charity -Sure a lemonade stand can be a great way to make money, but you can also run one for charity. You can donate the money you make – after your costs, to the charity. Make sure you test out different prices for your lemonade – sometimes people will pay more just because they know it’s for a good cause. TIP: Have fact sheets at your stand about the charity.
- Feeling crafty? – Start a knitting program for hats and blankets for the Red Cross to pass out to people in crisis TIP: Hold knitting hours at a different friend’s house each week, to make it more fun and social. TIP: Post fliers about your cause, asking for donations to help buy the yarn and other supplies
- Recycle – Start a battery recycling campaign at school by providing bins for old batteries and then find a local place to recycle them TIP: Stick fact sheets on the bins that explain how batteries are recycled and describe how much energy and products are saved by recycling them.
- Get Your Art On – Do you have an artistic talent? Than share it. Teach art, dance or music to kids in an after-school program TIP: Organize a performance or “gallery showing” at the end of the program. Invite parents and friends!
- Brighten someone’s day - Start a program to visit a nursing home or a hospital. TIP: Bring books, pictures, and music to share with the people you visit.
- Go Blue – Adopt a local pond or watershed and schedule clean up days TIP: You can also organize nature and science lessons for kids and adults about the wildlife that lives in the pond, the water cycle, and water pollution. TIP: Check out GirlMogul’s interview with Melissa Rey, “America’s Top Young Scientist,” to read about another young person who’s passionate about science.
- Get Your Neat Freak On - Organize an end of year school locker clean up program; instead of having kids just throw everything out, collect it all and sell or donate the “good” stuff.TIP: Look for organizations that help out kids in developing Countries. A set of pencils might just find a home across the globe
- Black Gold - Start a composting program – start by composting your own family’s trash. You can sell or giveaway the results. Get the whole neighborhood in on it and you’ll see your green thumb stamped all over the place! TIP: See if you can start a composting program in your school cafeteria.