Photo by ray sangga kusuma on Unsplash

Youth Volunteer Opportunities in Prince William County 2022

Various youth volunteer opportunities in Prince William County offer kids and teens the chance to help those in need. In addition, you can help your child choose their level of commitment to ensure they continue to enjoy the volunteering experience.

Kelly O'Lone
Kelly O'Lone

Table of Contents

I worked in non-profits for several years and have a soft spot for volunteers who graciously give their time to others. As a mother, I find it important to show my children the importance of giving back to others, and now that my kids are getting older, there's no better time to start.

Various youth volunteer opportunities in Prince William County offer kids and teens the chance to help those in need. In addition, you can help your child choose their level of commitment to ensure they continue to enjoy the volunteering experience.  

Whether your child requires volunteer hours for school or an extracurricular activity, or you want them to start giving back to the community, volunteer opportunities are an excellent way to help others.  

10 Youth Volunteer Opportunities in Prince William County

  1. Volunteer Through Prince William County
Photo by OCG Saving The Ocean on Unsplash

One of the easiest ways for youth to volunteer is to find an opportunity with Prince William County. The county allows various groups, including scouts, youth groups, families, sports teams, and individuals, to participate in many volunteer projects.

Some of the volunteer opportunities include:

  • Start a recycling program at home or school
  • Volunteer with the county trails, which includes habitat restoration, assisting weekend hikers, and helping clear the paths
  • Community clean-up projects, like picking up litter and graffiti removal
  • Greeting visitors at the Stone House Center at Merrimac Farm
  • Adopt-a-Stream program where volunteers participate in stream clean-ups

You can call the Department of Public Works at 703-792-6819 for more information. Age requirements vary by project, so it’s best to call directly to determine whether your child qualifies.

2. Volunteer at a Local Library

Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Prince William County is home to twelve libraries, each with unique volunteer opportunities for teens. Youths must be at least 16 years old to volunteer at the library, and some of the options include:

  • Improving technology outreach
  • Assist staff with clerical work
  • Participate in the Teen Advisory Group to help plan library activities
  • Assist library patrons
  • Help with library-run activities and projects

For a complete listing of the local libraries, you can visit their website and find hours and more information about individual locations. You can also call the Volunteer Office at 703-792-6100.

3. Prince William SPCA

Photo by Madeline Bowen on Unsplash

If you have animal lovers in your house, they will love the opportunity to volunteer with the Prince William SPCA. Kids ages 8-18 are eligible for specific volunteer opportunities to help the shelter.

Here is a sampling of what volunteer opportunities young children can help with at the Prince William SPCA.

  • Conduct car washes, yard sales, bake sales, or sell lemonade with proceeds benefiting the SPCA
  • Host a party where guests bring donations for the SPCA
  • Host a donation can drive in your neighborhood or school
  • Collect animal books for the Little Free Library
  • Start a Prince William SPCA club at their school

Teen volunteer opportunities at the Prince William SPCA:

  • Participate in the Turkey Pet Food Drive
  • Adoption Tree Program to encourage people to adopt from the shelter

In addition, the Prince William SPCA has a Pawsitive Impact Program, open to grades K-12 who participate in a service group (i.e., student council, honor society, scouts, etc.). Students can apply online and are potentially eligible for grants between $75-$1000.

4. Prince William Habitat for Humanity

Photo by Brad Weaver on Unsplash

My first job out of college was working for Habitat for Humanity, so the organization undoubtedly makes the list of volunteer opportunities for teens. Youths ages 16 and over can volunteer at the Habitat Re-store, build sites, or help in the office.

Here is a look at what your teen can do to help the Prince William Habitat for Humanity.

  • Assist in the office with answering the phone, data entry, clerical work, and performing research
  • Rehab and repair homes
  • Help in the ReStore with receiving donations, organizing merchandise, assisting customers, product display, and assisting with sales
  • Help with service projects and special events

There are two ways kids under 16 can help the Prince William Habitat for Humanity.

  • Donate lunches to work sites
  • Pass out flyers to spread the word about Habitat for Humanity

Location - 10159 Hastings Dr, Manassas, VA 20110                                                     For more information, call 703-369-6708

5. Haymarket Regional Food Pantry

Photo by Aaron Doucett on Unsplash

The Haymarket Regional Food Pantry allows youth ten years old and up to volunteer. Since ages 10-14 must be accompanied by someone 18 years or older, it provides an excellent opportunity for the family to volunteer together.

Various volunteer shifts are available throughout the week, including Saturday from 8:30 am - 12:00 pm. Volunteers help with numerous tasks, including:

  • Receive and inspect donations and stock shelves
  • Volunteer as a group, which is perfect for a service project
  • Help with various jobs around the food pantry

If your kids aren't old enough to volunteer at the food pantry, you can bring food donations, which is an excellent way to help others in need. Here is a list of the food pantry's most needed donations.

  • Cereal and boxed oatmeal
  • Hamburger Helper and canned meat
  • Canned tomatoes and canned vegetables
  • Canned/bagged beans
  • Gravy/broth and lunch items like ravioli
  • Box potatoes and rice
  • Baby food
  • Diaper sizes 3-6 and baby wipes

Location: 7669 Limestone Drive #105, Gainesville, VA 20155                           Contact 703-754-5990 for more information.

6. House of Mercy

Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash

Another center that relies on support from the community is the House of Mercy in Manassas, which is dedicated to feeding, educating, clothing, and praying for those in need and helps provide necessities for personal growth.

House of Mercy utilizes volunteers, ages 12 and up, in their Thrift Store, Donation Center, and Food Pantry. Children ages 12-15 must be accompanied by an adult when volunteering.

Once your child is registered as a volunteer, they can use the online system to sign up for specific shifts, as they do not allow walk-in volunteers.

Some of the tasks volunteer help with at House of Mercy include:

  • Organize and sort food donations
  • Clean Food Pantry area
  • Help organize the Thrift store and prepare items for sale
  • Work the register and aid in sales
  • Accept and sort new Thrift Store donations

Another way for youth to volunteer with House of Mercy is to host a food drive, which is an excellent project for a school or group like the scouts.  

Location: 8170 Flannery Court, Manassas, VA 20109                                                     Contact 703-659-1636 for additional information

7. Humane Society of Northern Virginia

Photo by Madeline Bowen on Unsplash

The Humane Society of Northern Virginia is another way to help animals looking for a home.  Volunteers must be at least 16 years old unless accompanied by a parent.

In addition, younger children can help organize a donation drive to help collect food for the shelter animals.

There are several volunteer opportunities at the Humane Society, including helping with the following:

  • Social Media
  • Website Assistance
  • Food Collection/Distribution
  • Administrative Help
  • Dog Training
  • Event Planning

Location: 17983 Dumfries Shopping Plaza, Dumfries, VA 22026                                 Contact the Humane Society of Prince William County at 571-931-0796

8.  Volunteer During the Holidays

Photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash

While there are several ways to volunteer throughout the year, there is always a need for volunteers during the holidays. It's easy for kids to get caught up in the excitement of receiving presents, so it's the perfect time to remind them of the importance of giving back.  

Here's a look at how your child can give back this holiday season.

  • Coordinate a Thanksgiving basket drive to benefit a local food bank
  • Wreaths Across America is a fantastic organization coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington Cemetery and in more than 2,500 locations across the United States, at sea, and abroad.
  • Sponsor/adopt a family for gift giving
  • Participate in a toy drive at a local fire department
  • Have your kids make Christmas/holiday cards for a local nursing home
  • Make blankets together to donate to a homeless shelter
  • Pack a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child

9. Volunteer for the Office of Historic Preservation

Ben Lomond Historic Site/Photo by Prince William County Parks & Rec

The Office of Historic Preservation has fascinating volunteer opportunities for the history buffs in your house. I find this a unique opportunity that distinguishes itself from the other volunteer opportunities in Prince William County.

There are several volunteer opportunities, including:

  • Junior Preservationists
  • Children's Programs Leaders
  • Docents/ Tour Guides
  • Gardeners
  • Living History
  • Special Events
  • Research
  • Just For Scouts

In addition to the available opportunities, four sites are currently looking for volunteers:

  • Ben Lomond Historic Site
  • Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre
  • Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park
  • Rippon Lodge Historic Site

To participate in programs like the Junior Preservationist Program, children must be between 13 and 18 years old. Participants go behind the scenes of local historic sites, assist staff with special events and summer camps, and help with education programs.  

10. Create Your Own Volunteer Project

Photo by Santi Vedrí on Unsplash

While there are youth volunteering opportunities in Prince William County, it doesn't mean your child can't create their own project, especially if they don't meet the age requirements. Letting a child come up with how they want to give back is a fantastic way for them to feel a part of the process.

If your kids know they came up with the idea, I can guarantee they will likely follow through with it. (At least mine would!) However, remember to enjoy it and never make volunteering a chore because that's one of the quickest ways for your child to become uninterested.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Start a canned food drive in your neighborhood
  • Get a group of kids and pick up litter in the local park
  • Collect clothing, shoes, eyeglasses, and gently used toys for donation
  • Donate a Christmas tree during the holiday season to a shelter, nursing home, or family in need
  • Create care packages for deployed service members
  • Have a bake sale and donate the proceeds to a local charity
  • Bring gently used board games to a retirement home or homeless shelter
  • Donate books to the library

Why Youths Should Volunteer

Photo by OCG Saving The Ocean on Unsplash

While there's no question of the importance of giving back, it's also vital we teach our children why we do it and not simply tell them they should.

I remember volunteering various times because I had to because of school requirements. Still, there were also times I volunteered because I wanted to, and sometimes those were more memorable.

My kids are still a bit young for most of the volunteer opportunities available; however, we try to make a point to bring donations to the local food bank after our weekly grocery run.  Donating food has become a part of our routine, and it's little things like that I hope my kids remember.  

Volunteering also teaches appreciation and gives youth a different perspective on the world than they are used to. In addition, volunteering provides essential life skills, like listening to and following directions, which are critical for growth.

Wrap Up

Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash

Youth volunteer opportunities in Prince William County offer kids and teens the chance to help others in need and take a peek outside their everyday life.  Even if you start small, getting your children involved in volunteer work will help them develop a sense of purpose and help shape their future.

Kelly O'Lone

Kelly O'Lone is a mom of three who survives motherhood with some help from caffeine, a lot of humor, and her fantastic mom tribe.