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2023 Summer Volunteer Programs (and Jobs!) for Teens in North AL

2023 Summer Volunteer Programs (and Jobs!) for Teens in North AL

  • Includes organizations where teens can volunteer - plus a few great jobs!
girl shelving books at library

Summer is a great time for your teenager to work in some valuable volunteer time. Luckily for them – and for you – there are lots of places to do that in Huntsville and North Alabama this summer! But why should your young adult even bother with finding places to volunteer during their much-anticipated school break? Here’s five reasons why, along with a great list of organizations that have a summer teen volunteer program.

Reason #1: It Makes Them a Better Person
The personal development advantages of volunteering are HUGE. Teens can evolve their work ethic and leadership skills, something they just can’t achieve completely sitting in a classroom. It’s also proven when teens feel part of something bigger than themselves they develop a stringer sense of self-esteem in their personal lives.

Reason #2: It Busts Boredom & Keeps Kids Busy
Whoever said “idle hands are the devil’s workshop” wasn’t wrong. Time spent volunteering is less time spent being bored or playing video games for hours on end. Plus there are many options that also get teens outside and doing something physical and/or meaningful.

Reason #3: It Helps Them Save Money On College
Most college scholarships require at least some form of volunteer hours in order to even apply. Why not get those hours over the summer? There’s no shame in that game – volunteering is a win-win situation.

Reason #4: It Strengthens Huntsville
Spending time helping at the organizations listed below makes teens more aware of the community’s needs and how they are able to help. This sense of service will follow them into adulthood, and over time will make a huge impact on the prosperity and success of their own neighborhoods.

Reason #5: Provides an Empathetic Outlook & Teaches Problem-Solving
Today’s teens are more stressed than ever. Volunteering is an opportunity to experience and develop cognitive empathy. “If empathy helps us sympathize with how another person is feeling, cognitive empathy also allows us to try to understand someone else’s perspective and how they perceive the world, even when our feelings differ.”

But What If My Teen Can’t Volunteer Regularly?

Looking for a few “one-and-done” volunteer opportunities? The Volunteer Center of Madison County has a great database you can use to search for opportunities by age. You can use this year-round, not just for summer. They are a fantastic community resource – please tell them Rocket City Mom sent you!

NOTE: The organizations listed below offer a variety of volunteer opportunities for teens. Some have more on-site supervision than others. Some volunteer jobs are indoors, some are outdoors, and some require more physical labor than others. Parents and their teens should ask questions and discover more about each program by talking directly through the volunteer coordinator or program manager to see which programs are best for them. That said, the information here is a great jumping off point.

Where Can Your Teen Volunteer in Huntsville?


View Website | Phone: 256-519-2787
Deadline: Ongoing, accepting volunteers ages 16+
Contact: Ashley Hudson at
Needs: Volunteers to assist with various special events and live music events throughout the summer.

Burritt on the Mountain

View Website | Phone: 256-533-1365
Deadline: Ongoing, accepting volunteers ages 14+
Contact: Gina Hurst, Volunteer Coordinator,
Needs: Volunteers to assist with special events, summer camps, and classes at Burritt during their summer programs for kids.

Christmas Charities Year Round

View Website | Phone:  256-837-2373
Deadline: Ongoing, accepting applications for 14+ ; Under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Contact: Email
Needs: Volunteers to help sort & organize donations.

ChristyCare Senior Daycare

View Website | Phone: 256-604-3117
Deadline: Ongoing, accepting applications for 16+
Contact: Email
Needs: Volunteers to help visit with the elderly guests & help out with activities.

EarlyWorks Children’s Museum

View Website | Phone: 256-564-8100
Deadline: Ongoing for ages 14+
Contact: Volunteer Coordinator at
Needs: Volunteers to help in the museum during 2023 summer camps & classes.
We offer numerous volunteer opportunities for students, adults, families and groups. You will have the chance to interact with visitors of all ages and help assist staff The EarlyWorks Children’s Museum is a unique creative environment that allows volunteers to play while they work! We offer STEM based play. Volunteers are asked to wear khakis and a white shirt when volunteering at Earlyworks.

Enable Madison County Community Garden

View Website | Phone: 256-533-7775
Deadline: Ongoing, accepting applications now for ages 13+
Contact: Inquire by email ( or phone
Needs: Volunteers to plant, weed, and harvest produce at the CASA Community Garden.


View Website | Phone: 256-886-7065
Deadline: Ongoing, accepting volunteers ages 12+ (Those between the ages of 12-15 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.)
Contact: Jennifer Cummings,
Needs: Support public education by helping in our volunteer-run resource store stocked with teaching materials and classroom supplies. It is our goal for 3,500 teachers in Madison County’s 84 public schools to “shop” for free items to make sure more than 50,000 students in our community have adequate classroom materials.

Greater Huntsville Humane Society

View Website | Phone:  256-567-3790
Deadline: Ongoing, accepting applications for 16+ ; Ages 13 – 15 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Contact: Email
Paws For Reading is a reading program designed to enrich the lives of the dogs and cats in our care. Reading to a non-judgmental audience (like animals) has been proven to boost reading skills and confidence. The animals also receive the benefit of socialization and quiet human behavior. Children and adults are invited to read to our animals. Children (6-15 years of age) can participate as long as they are accompanied by a parent. Volunteers (16 years of age and older) can participate without adult supervision. Reserve your slot here. Bring a copy of the consent form when you arrive. Upon arrival you will be asked if you need to select a book or you can bring your own reading materials, and if you have a preference (cats or dogs) and shown to the appropriate reading spot.

Three Tails Resale Thrift Store – Volunteers are needed to help with donation intake, sorting and pricing, greeting customers, light cleaning and socializing with our back of house dog mascot! Volunteers (15 years old and younger) are required to volunteer with a parent at all times and volunteers (16+ years old and older) are able to volunteer without a parent. Cashiers are required to complete a background check (16+ can cashier with previous cashiering experience and 18+ without cashier experience). Purrfect position for high schoolers to get retail experience for resumes and give back to their community! *Cashiers especially needed on Saturdays*

King’s Community Kitchen Pet Food Bank – Volunteers are needed for King’s Kitchen (2nd Wednesday from 2-4pm and last Saturday from 9am-11am each month). We ask that volunteers plan to arrive 30 minutes before (to sign in, receive instructions and help set up) and stay 30 minutes after (to help clean up and sign out). Volunteers are asked to lift between 20 – 60 pounds and place in client’s cars, organize pet food, clean pet food areas or asked to help oversee our Free Supply Store (if unable to lift heavy items). Maximum of 10 volunteers. King’s Kitchen is a great family volunteering opportunity (minimum age is 12 years old). Volunteers (15 years old and younger) are required to volunteer with a parent at all times and volunteers (16+ years old and older) are able to volunteer without a parent. If interested, fill out the Group Volunteer Form and reserve your volunteer date. King’s Kitchen is open during inclement weather (excluding severe weather) so be prepared for rain or shine!

House of the Harvest

View Website
Deadline: Ongoing for ages 14+
Needs: Volunteers to serve breakfast every Saturday morning from 6:30 – 8:30 AM and/or work a distribution station from 7-9 AM. They also need a variety of donations if you would like to host a Food & Item Drive. No appintment needed to volunteer – just show up.

Huntsville Animal Services

View Website | Phone: 256-883-3782
Deadline: Ongoing for ages 16+
Contact: Fill out this online form
Needs: The shelter always needs help with socializing dogs and cats, walking dogs, preparing toys for enrichment programs (like putting peanut butter in Kongs) and just general tasks to help the shelter staff.

Huntsville Botanical Garden

View Website | Phone: 256-830-5314
Deadline: February 24, 2023, 14-15 must be accompanied by a guardian, 16+ can volunteer without one
Contact: Misty Hertzig at or 256-830-4447 ext. 253. | online forms here
Needs: In June and July, the Summer Youth Volunteer Program consists of helping before, during and after children’s art programs, working in the greenhouse and on Garden grounds.

Huntsville Madison County Public Library

Deadline: Varies by branch
Contact: Please contact the branch you would like to volunteer.
Needs: Every summer, select HMCPL locations offer special volunteer opportunities for teens age 14-18. Please fill out the Teen Volunteer Application for your local Library and fulfill any additional requirements.

Huntsville Museum of Art

View Website | Phone: 256-535-6372
Deadline: Ongoing age 15 and older to be eligible to volunteer.
Contact: Laura E. Smith, Director of Education & Museum Academy at 256-535-6372 or e-mail her at
Needs: Youth volunteers assist instructors during the children’s art camps and classes.

Land Trust of North Alabama

View Website | Phone: 256-534-5263
Deadline: Ongoing, accepting applications now for ages 14+
Contact: Amanda Weisenberger,
Needs: Year-round volunteers that like to work outdoors cleaning and maintaining trails on these dates in 2023, all dates weather dependent.

Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment

View Website | Phone: 256-533-0399
Deadline: Ongoing, accepting applications now for ages 15+
Contact: Jana Savanapridi via email at
Needs: Summer volunteers to help with set-up, parking, and clean up for Concerts On the Dock and other special summer events in 2023. Other duties as assigned.

Manna House

View Website | Phone: 256-503-4848
Deadline: Ongoing, accepting volunteers ages 15+
Contact: Fran Fluhler,
Needs: Volunteers to help serve food weekly, monthly, and nightly on Mondays, Wednesday, and Thursdays from 3:00 – 6:00 PM. Volunteers are welcome any day we are open, no need to sign up in advance. Work for any amount of time that fits your schedule. (Closed for Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day)

Merrimack Hall

View Website | Phone: 256-534-6455
Deadline: Ongoing, accepting applications now for ages 13+
Contact: Jen DiCarlo,
Needs: Volunteers are needed for summer camps; volunteers are required to be at least 13 years of age and have an interest in working with students and adults with special needs.

National Charity League, Madison City Chapter

Get More Info
Deadline: Ongoing, accepting applications now for ages 12+
Contact: Membership info here.
Needs: Moms and daughters can volunteer together via this service-oriented club. NCL, Inc., Madison City Chapter is a group of mothers and daughters who have come together in a commitment to community service, leadership development and cultural experiences.

A New Leash On Life

View Website
Deadline: Ongoing, accepting applications now for ages 15+
Contact: Volunteer application
Needs: Volunteers to work at the ANLOL Thrift Store locations, help with lawn & facility care, and doing office work, events, and other special projects for one of their four locations.

North Alabama Zoological Society

View Website
Deadline: Recommend ages: Students entering 10th, 11th, and 12th grade in high school or Undergraduates.
Contact: Apply here | Email for more information
Needs: Nature Camp staff will lead each camp group and hold primary responsibility for the safety of their group. They will be the lead on teaching curriculum, setting behavior expectations, and monitoring transition times during the camp day. 2023 Nature Camp Dates that you can volunteer for: June 1 – 3, June 5 – 6, June 12 – 16, June 19 – 23.

Raising Men & Women Lawn Care Service

View Website | Contact
Deadline: Ongoing, accepting applications for ages 8-17
Contact: Rodney Smith, Jr. message via Facebook Page
Needs: Young men and women to provide year-round lawn care for those in need, such as single moms, the elderly, veterans, and the disabled.

Senior Center of Huntsville & Madison County

View Website | Phone: 256-880-7081
Deadline: Ongoing for ages 15+
Contact: Becky Rollston, Activities Coordinator,
Needs: Volunteers to help serve lunch in the cafeteria and work on craft & community programs with the Seniors.

Senior Center of Madison City

View Website | Phone: 256-772-6258
Deadline: Ongoing for volunteers ages 15+
Contact: LaWanda Mason, Activities Coordinator,
Needs: Volunteers to participate in programs and help prepare crafts & play board games, serving lunch to our seniors. We also like to have any age teen that has a talent such as musical or dancing to entertain our seniors.


View Website | Phone: 256-520-5194
Deadline: Ongoing, accepting volunteers ages 14+
Contact: Fill out this form
Needs: Volunteers to help with Ink and Small Electronics Recycle Drive, collecting all ink cartridges, cell phones and more for recycling. Assisting with the Used Shoe Drive, collect pairs of used shoes and bring them to HTV AMBUCS to help us raise money for those in our area that need to help to pay for their AmTryke.


Where Can Your Teen Work in Huntsville?

There are several opportunities teens can earn some summer money too! Check these out…

i9 Sports Summer Camps Now Hiring Junior Officials

Deadline: Ongoing, accepting ages 15+
Contact: Apply online here
Needs: There are opportunities for teens that involve coaching, game-day operations, and possibly some marketing!

Pine Ridge Day Camp & Equestrian Center

Contact: Apply here
Needs: Full summer, half summer, and as needed counselors. Camp Counselors will work M-F, 9am -4pm beginning May 31st – July 29th. With starting pay at $315/week! Must be 17+, transportation to and from camp daily is provided from the North Alabama area, lunch included.

Did we miss your teen’s favorite place to volunteer? Leave us a comment with details and let us know!

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View Comments (5)
  • My son has enjoyed volunteering at ChristyCare. It’s like a daycare for seniors. He’s met many wonderful seniors and has had a lot of fun interacting with them. They are only open Mon-Fri.

  • Can someone please remove Forgotten Felines from this list? Per Petsmart rules we cannot have teenagers alone in the adoption rooms. We are unsure how we were added to this list. Thank you!

    • Sure – I called FF and spoke to someone about teen volunteers and this is what they told me. I’ll remove you.

      • Wonderful – thank you! (We don’t actually have a number for FF, but you may have reached a foster mom’s number, who misunderstood. Appreciate the removal! )

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