5 Ways Youth Can Make a Difference in Simcoe Muskoka

5 Ways Youth Can Make a Difference in Simcoe Muskoka

People are more motivated than ever to give back to their communities, and youth are no exception. In fact, members of our youngest generation, Gen Z, see community involvement and giving back as more important than older generations.

It can be tough for youth and kids to get involved, though. Your school might organize something or you might hear of an opportunity by chance, but sometimes you just have to make the opportunities yourself.

With all the growth and change in Simcoe Muskoka, there’s always something that can be done. Check out some of these ideas for youth to make a difference right here at home.

1. Volunteer

There’s no shortage of opportunities out there for people to volunteer. Most positions require youth to be 12 years old or older and some are geared towards specific interests, but all of them are rewarding. As an added benefit, high school students can use these volunteer positions towards the community service required to graduate.

Here are some great community agencies that either have volunteer opportunities for youth or are accepting general applications:

Even simple volunteer acts like being a pen pal can have a huge impact on someone’s life. Don’t underestimate the effect that youth volunteering can have.

2. Fundraise1. Volunteer 2. Fundraise 3. Donate Unwanted Clothes and Toys 4. Clean Up a Park or Beach 5. Thank a Local Hero

Running fundraising events is not just a great way to support local charities, but they’re a ton of fun, too! Fundraisers can be simple or complex, depending on what you want to do and how involved you want to be.

The great thing about fundraisers is that it’s easy to get schools, religious groups or clubs involved, too. They’re usually more than willing to lend a hand.

Here are a handful of fundraising ideas:

  • Run a bake sale, but make sure that you’re mindful of allergies like peanuts.
  • Make a lemonade stand to help beat the heat as it gets warmer out.
  • Hold a silent arts and crafts auction.
  • Turn a table in your library into a used book sale.
  • Get some classes involved in a read-a-thon.
  • Create a carnival or game night and invite families to come play some games.

For more, check out this huge list of family-friendly fundraising ideas from Funds2Orgs.

Want to run a fundraiser for United Way Simcoe Muskoka? Email us so we can work with you!

3. Donate Unwanted Clothes and Toys

It’s never too late to do some spring cleaning!

Go through your closet and toys that you barely use. You’ll probably find something you haven’t worn in a long time or is the wrong size, or you might find toys that you just aren’t interested in anymore.

They might seem old to you, but they could be new to someone else. Make a pile of the things you don’t use anymore and find a place to donate them. There are charities and organizations all across Simcoe Muskoka that are looking for donations.

Just make sure to call them or check their website first. Sometimes organizations aren’t accepting certain donations.

4. Clean Up a Park or Beach

Getting some friends and family together to help clean up a park or lakefront is a lot more fun than it sounds. Pack a lunch for the day, dress for the nice weather, put on some sunscreen and help keep our beautiful communities sparkling!

Take a walk down to a local park, spend the day at Wasaga Beach, explore Kempenfelt Bay or canoe down the Muskoka River. While you’re there, see how many bags you can fill with litter. If you’re cleaning near water, make sure to stay safe.

5. Thank a Local Hero

Simcoe Muskoka has some incredible heroes that often go unappreciated. Police officers, firefighters, paramedics, lifeguards, nurses, doctors and so many more work every day to keep people safe and healthy. Simcoe Muskoka also has a long history with CFB Borden and the men and women who serve there.

There’s no shortage of local heroes in our communities.

A great way for children and youth to say thanks is in a letter or drawing, depending on what you like best. It’s a great way to give back to the people that dedicate themselves to improving our region.

There are opportunities, both big and small, for youth to make a difference. Whether it be a simple thank-you or a weekend fundraiser, every act goes a long way to improving lives in Simcoe Muskoka.

United Way Simcoe Muskoka, with funding from the RBC Future Launch program, gives youth in our communities the opportunity to make a huge difference with Youth United. This year’s projects are just getting underway, so stay tuned to see how these young change makers are making local issues unignorable.

To stay updated on how lives are being impacts right here at home, subscribe to our email newsletter and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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