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Children are our future. Yet many find themselves without the tools needed to succeed. This is where volunteerism comes into play and giving your time, money, and skills to better the lives of the young. Below is a short list you can use if you want to help needy kids and teens reach their full potential.

Donate to Scholarship Funds
Not every family has enough money to give. Some barely have enough money to get their children through school. One of the best ways to help our children’s future is to donate to scholarship funds. These funds pool donations and award the money to deserving and needy students. This is a great way to give anonymously while still feeling confident that your charity is doing something tangible!

Give Directly to School-Based Funds
Speaking of schools: they could use some help, too! It’s no mystery that many schools in the United States are underfunded and under-equipped to handle the growing needs for education. Luckily, there are charity organizations that connect charitable donors with schools, programs, and individual classrooms that need assistance! Donors Choose is one of these organizations, created by a history teacher in 2000 who couldn’t afford to get his kids’ books and art supplies.

Adoption or Foster Care
Of course, there are kids and teens that don’t even have families, let alone money for school. There’s perhaps no better thing to give a child in need than love and support. That’s a lot easier to do when you adopt or foster. There can be a lot to learn about these processes, but it’s worth considering. Here’s a link to some of the most frequently asked questions.

Be a Big Brother/Big Sister
If adoption or foster care is too extreme, there’s always the option of being a Big Brother or Big Sister to a needy child. Big Brothers Big Sisters of America is a time-sharing organization dedicated to pairing needy children with volunteer mentors. The best gift, after all, is your time. Why not spend it helping a child grow?

Volunteering at Homeless Shelters
Finally, consider donating your time at any of your local homeless shelters. Child and teen homelessness is a problem in America. Volunteers are needed to hand out clothing, offer meals, and just be a shoulder to lean on.