Pulling weeds, bandaging birds all in a day's service for teen volunteers

Tuesday , June 24, 2014 - 2:07 PM

TX Volunteers

Sophie Valeika, a student at North Davis Preparatory Academy, cleans litter boxes as part of her...

By ELLE GOSSNER

TX. Correspondent

According to Volunteering in America, an annual research report, Utah is ranked No. 1 in the nation for volunteer work. Utah volunteers contribute an approximate $3.7 billion in service each year.

As youth, we can help contribute to that number and assist our communities. Many adults view teenagers as ungrateful and disrespectful; we can help change that reputation through volunteerism.

The opportunities for youth service in the Top of Utah are diverse. We share a few of them, listed below.

• Treehouse Children’s Museum

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Recommended for: Those who enjoy children or just want to help out at a community event.

What: Don an apron and a radio to assist with Treehouse’s special events, particularly RAMP or free-visit days. Duties may include showing families around, teaching kids about geography or science, preparing materials for exhibits, helping with activities and games, and inviting families to participate in various activities.

How: The volunteer application is available online on the Treehouse website, www.treehousemuseum.org; there is also an interview required.

More information: The museum is located at 347 22nd St., Ogden; phone number is 801-394-9663.

• Salvation Army of Utah

Recommended for: Those who would like to help the less fortunate.

What: There are many opportunities to help with holiday campaigns such as the Red Kettle program and the Angel Tree program, but there are also a lot of summer volunteer opportunities with the Salvation Army, such as yard work and home maintenance for those who cannot accomplish these tasks themselves. Some supervision may be required, depending on age and project.

How: Call volunteer coordinator Vickie Young at 801-323-5888 for more information.

More information: The Ogden branch is located at 2618 Grant Ave.; see the website at www.salvationarmyutah.org.

• Ogden Nature Center

Recommended for: Teens who love the outdoors.

What: Participate in the Adopt-a-Spot gardening program or the Pull-a-Thon weeding festival, or assist with trail maintenance and other duties at the center, whose mission is to nurture appreciation of nature.

How: Volunteer applications are available online, and orientations are held regularly, typically every other Saturday. Call the Ogden Nature Center at 801-621-7595 to find out when the next one will be held.

More information: The nature center is located at 966 W. 12th St., Ogden; website is ogdennaturecenter.org.

• American Red Cross Youth Services

Recommended for: Teens who are interested in helping those who have been struck by disaster or war.

What: Perform various volunteer services; the group recently wrote letters to members of the military, and has done fundraising for prevention of rubella and measles. There are also opportunities to learn about the consequences of war and disasters.

How: Applications are available online, and there is a brief orientation. Visit www.redcross.org/utah to get involved.

More information: The Ogden branch is located at 2995 Harrison Blvd.; phone number is 801-625-0866.

• Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah

Recommended for: Those who enjoy animals and are concerned about their welfare.

What: Volunteers perform diverse duties at this center which rehabilitates birds and small mammals, including everything from mopping floors to wrapping injuries on animals to answering phones.

How: A 1 1/2-hour orientation must be completed before volunteering and can be scheduled by contacting the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center at 801-814-7888.

More information: The center is located at 1490 Park Blvd. in Ogden; the website is wrcnu.org.

• Davis County Library

Recommended for: High school-aged students that would like to gain experience in the library field or work with children.

What: Clean books, shelve picture books and paperbacks, help make colorful book displays and decorations for summer reading programs for children designed around certain themes. Also do preparations for storytimes, and eventually, help write teen book reviews.

How: To volunteer, contact your local branch library to learn about the application process. For a list of libraries and their locations, visit www.daviscountyutah.gov/library/.

• Utah Animal Adoption Center

Recommended for: Those who love working with animals or want a fun, easy way to volunteer in the community.

What: Duties for volunteers include brushing cats, doing kennel care for cats and dogs, sweeping and mopping floors, doing dishes or laundry, bathing and grooming dogs, and walking dogs (age 18 and older).

How: Fill out a volunteer application available on utahanimals.org.

More information: The center is located at 1955 N. Redwood Road, Salt Lake City; phone is 801-355-7387. Teens may also apply through the center to help take care of cats at the Layton PetSmart, 750 N. Main St., Layton.

To find even more great volunteer opportunities in our area, try visiting www.volunteermatch.org or www.volunteer.truist.com.

Elle Gossner will be a junior at Weber High School this fall. She enjoys musical theater and reading. Contact her at gnorkyone@gmail.com.

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