skip graphical navigation

How You Can Help!

Back to ZOOM Into Action
Back to ZOOM
Into Action

How You Can Help
How You
Can Help

How You Are Helping
How You
Are Helping

Share Your Story
Your Story

Ways to ZOOM into Action
Ways to ZOOM
into Action
Getting Started
Getting Started

Start by Being Smart!

Here are some smart volunteering tips to consider before you start any ZOOM Into Action project. Also, please take time to think about additional safety concerns that may be specific to your community and project.

Ask an adult to join you

It's your project, but you may need an adult to help you do things like make phone calls or get you to the place where you're volunteering. Find a parent, a neighbor, a group leader, or teacher to work with you.

Plan ahead

Make a schedule and list the steps you need to take. Projects that have plans work out best.

Get in the know

Learn about who or what you are helping. If you volunteer for an organization that has a training class, take it.

Be thoughtful

Think about what "being helpful" is all about. Were there times when other people helped you? What made you feel good about being helped? Remember that helping works in both directions—everyone gains something, including you the volunteer.


What would it be like to be the person being helped? How would it feel to be in his or her shoes? Learn all you can to be aware of the needs of others.

Be responsible

If you say you are going to do something, follow through and do it. If you get stuck, ask for help.

Getting a busy signal?

Volunteer coordinators are often busy, so they may not call you back right away. Be persistent—keep calling.

Be a problem solver

Get creative when things don't go your way. Be flexible. Talk to people and use your imagination to come up with solutions.


If you volunteer for a group or an organization, follow the directions the leader gives you. Ask questions if something is confusing.

Safety first

If you are collecting things in your neighborhood, bring an adult and visit the houses of people you already know. If a stranger asks for your help, find an adult to help the person. Don't try to help by yourself.

Protect your privacy

Do not share personal information, like your phone number, address, school name, or e-mail address, with anyone you don't know without your parent's permission.

Be careful

It is OK to say "no" if someone asks you to do something that seems wrong or scary.

Keep a journal

Write down what you're doing, how you feel, and what you learn as you volunteer. You can even take pictures, draw, talk into a tape recorder, or make a video.

Give thanks

Chances are, your volunteer project was a success because other people helped you. Remember to thank them.

Have fun

Volunteering helps you meet new people, learn new things, and feel good about making the world a better place.

Keep volunteering

Make volunteering more than a one-time event. You may want to work on the same project again or find new ways to help.

not yet implemented