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Volunteer and Community Service Opportunities for Teens In The Tri-Cities

Volunteer and Community Service Opportunities for Teens In The Tri-Cities

Get Your Teen Involved With Volunteering

If you have been looking for a thorough list of teen volunteer opportunities right here in the Tri-Cities (and just beyond) you have found it! Student volunteers are needed now.

**This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.**

Summer is right around the corner and that means that our teens are going to find themselves with a bunch of free time. This post is to encourage everyone to take some of that time and transform it into time well spent by volunteering! There are so many volunteer opportunities available in the Tri-Cities. The teen years represent a critical time in our lives and opportunities to serve your community can help to improve self-esteem, develop a good work ethic, give our teens a sense of purpose, reduce their stress levels and even improve their overall health plus so much more. Teen volunteer opportunities right here in the Tri-Cities can even help our youth navigate their way toward their future career!

Margaret Mead Quote

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Holston Habitat for Humanity

Contact: Mandy at 423-239-7689


Holston Habitat for Humanity has several volunteer opportunities this summer! Teens ages 14 through 18 can volunteer at either of the Restore locations (Johnson City or Kingsport). There is no minimum time requirement, so as little as an hour is greatly appreciated.

If your teen is interested in volunteering for a build, there is an opportunity to assist with a new home in Jonesborough. This one begins in April. There are morning and afternoon shifts available. For more details on Volunteer Opportunities with Holston Habitat for Humanity click here.

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Johnson City Parks and Recreation Life Guard Positions

American Red Cross Lifeguarding Course
Location: Freedom Hall Pool
Pre-tests consist of a non-stop 300-meter swim, 2 minutes of treading water using no hands and, a 20-meter brick dive in deep water with no goggles. The pre-test must be completed before enrollment into class.

Contact: Rachel Evans – 423-434-5754


Ages: 15+
Cost: $200 per person
Description: Classes run two weekends in a row. This course is for those interested in becoming a certified lifeguard. Upon completion of the course, the participant will be certified in lifeguarding, first aid, CPR Pro and AED essentials.

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One Acre Cafe – A Community Restaurant for Everyone

603 W Walnut St, Johnson City, TN 37604

Contact: Heather Logan at (423) 483-0517


The mission of One Acre Cafe is to nourish the body, replenish the spirit, and grow the community so that all might be fed. Their Vision is to see all of our community members, regardless of their means, dining together and supporting one another in building the strength and health of our community. And you can be a part of that!

If you have as little as an hour a week to volunteer, One Acre Cafe could use your help.

*Ages 14-15 do require an adult to accompany them.*

One Acre Cafe is a fun place to volunteer! You can help set up, man the drink station, wait tables, greet the guests, and much more.

Website: One Acre Cafe

Access Volunteer Application and Waiver here

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Kingsport Police Department – Explorer Program

Employees of the Kingsport Police Department, with sponsorship and funding by the F.O.P, established a Law Enforcement Explorer Post in 1988. Explorers are a branch of the Boy Scouts of America. Our Explorer, Post #185, is an organization that enables young adults, male and female, to participate in many types of educational and recreational activities. The purpose of this program is to allow young adults who are interested in law enforcement as a career, to learn and experience the many aspects of this type of occupation.

At each of our weekly meetings, guest speakers are invited to discuss their field of expertise. These topics relate to the many aspects of law enforcement and some of the more recent meetings included topics on the following:

  • Tactical Training on Self-Defense/Handcuffing Procedure
  • Basic Firearms Familiarization
  • Crime Scene Investigation
  • Radio Communications
  • Report Writing
  • Crime Prevention
  • Traffic Direction and Investigation

Explorers are issued special uniforms identifying each person as a member of the Kingsport Explorer Post. Being an Explorer means that you are willing to make a commitment to becoming an active member of this unique group of individuals. It provides an opportunity to learn about law enforcement, but to have fun while doing so. This program is currently overseen by Patrolman Justin McConnell and Officer Andrew Goddard.

You can access the application here.-

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Warrior’s Path Volunteer Fire Department – Junior Firefighter’s Program

1908 Moreland Dr, Kingsport, TN 37663

(423) 239-9112

Warrior’s Path Junior Firefighter’s Program is accepting new volunteers now! This training is extensive and a valuable asset any teen could benefit from. Volunteer’s are trained in every area and accompany the Fire Department on all calls. While they cannot work a fire until they are eighteen, they will be fully prepared when that time comes. In the meantime, they are still able to assist with any calls the Fire Department responds to.

Age Requirement: 15 – 18 years

Volunteers meet for training every Monday at 7 pm and every second Saturday of every month. During the school year the time requirement is 5 hours a month and during the summer it is twelve hours a month. An online class is required but students have six months to complete and it can be done from the Fire Hall.

To apply please visit the station and pick up your paper application.

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Johnson City Public Library

100 W Millard St, Johnson City, TN 37604

Contact Katelyn at (423) 434-4450

T has volunteered at Johnson City Public Library for a few years now and it has always been one of his favorite volunteer opportunities. This summer they have opens for ages twelve and up to volunteer one hour a week either in Youth Services or Technical Services. We highly recommend this opportunity.

They have also received a grant to start a new project, called Stories To Service! A quarterly book club paired with a community service project. This is an incredible opportunity to have teens participate in a far-reaching volunteer opportunity that will impact lives in a big way! Watch the video above to get a better feel for the program as well to see some of the example projects they will be taking on!

And then sign up! Here is the link!

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Elizabethton Public Library

201 N Sycamore St, Elizabethton, TN 37643

(423) 547-6360

Teens ages 15 to 18 are welcome to volunteer at the Elizabethton Public Library. Volunteers can assist with several different programs which vary throughout the summer such as story time and crafts programs. No minimum daily shift time is required.

Elizabethton Public Library Volunteer hours are qualifying community service hours for TN Promise and National Honor Society Programs.

You can grab an application at the front desk at the library.

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The Heart of a Volunteer

Sullivan County Animal Shelter

380 Massengill Rd. Blountville, TN 37617


Volunteer as little as 30 minutes at a time to walk the dogs, help socialize the cats in the Cat Room, or bathe the dogs! This group is always looking for volunteers and they and their fur babies need your help now. Drop in to pick up an application from Monday through Saturday from 12:30 to 5:30. Please note they are closed on Thursdays and Sundays.

Ages 14 and 15 must be accompanied by an adult. 16 through 18 are good to go it solo.

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Small Miracles Therapeutic Horseback Riding Center

1026 Rock Springs Drive – Kingsport, TN 37664


Contact: Amanda Haun


Volunteers will be needed for SM’s Therapeutic Horsemanship Program, Positive Youth Development Program, and Horses Empower Heroes Program (18+) throughout the week.

There is also a lot of fun to be had as a part of the Small Miracles’ Barn Team Monday – Friday during the Summer from 10:00-5:00.

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Greater Kingsport YMCA

Contact Dustin Sims: 423-765-9722

1840 Meadowview Pkwy, Kingsport, TN 37660


The YMCA in Kingsport is in need of volunteers in many different areas. Teens ages 16 to 18 can become Program Volunteers, Faculty Volunteers, Special Events Volunteers and much more. You can apply online here.

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Paleontological Assistants at Gray Fossil Site

1212 Suncrest Dr. – Gray TN 37615

Contact: Shawn Haugrud

email: Shawn Haugrud


Age Requirement: 15 and up

Many volunteer positions are currently available, primarily assisting in the field, because of the recent discovery of a nearly complete mastodon skeleton. Gray Fossil Site paleontologists are seeking dedicated people to help recover this and other specimens.

Volunteers will work side-by-side with the crew, excavating the massive bones and wet-screening the sediment produced during the dig.

By joining the museum team, volunteers become part of a unique group of dedicated individuals who can be found in nearly every area of the site. Whether digging in the pits, screening sediment, picking concentrate, or working alongside museum curators, there are many important ways in which volunteers contribute.

The museum offers volunteer training and orientation annually in the spring. Training and orientation are required, and the museum cannot accept new volunteers outside of the orientation dates. Volunteers must be 15 or older.

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Candy Striper at Johnson City Medical Center or Franklin Woods Hospital

Contact Andy Holt at (423) 431-6059

Application for Franklin Woods here.

Application for Johnson City Medical Center here.

Volunteers ages 16 and up can help at the Gift Shop, become a Navigator helping people find their way around the hospital, or work the information desk. Find more information here.

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Bristol Regional Hospital

1 Medical Park Blvd, Bristol, TN 37620

 Contact: Becky Blevins at 423-844-2831


Age Requirement: Junior Volunteers must be 14 years old or have completed the eighth grade. Volunteers are needed in over thirty areas of the hospital! Everything from assembling patient packets to pushing wheelchairs and so much more. Two three week sessions are open for applications now. These fill up really quick so if interested its best to apply right now. You can call or email and request an application be mailed to you.

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Carter County Youth Tobacco/Substance Abuse Board

Contact Jilian Reece

Facebook Page

The Board is open to any middle school or high school student in the region.

Work toward the prevention of teen binge drinking, tobacco use & prescription drug abuse & misuse. As you can imagine, the best way to reach teens is through teens! Any teen is welcome to join the monthly meeting and then get involved with peer-led community activities and education! Teen Volunteers attend 25+ community events each year across the region to raise awareness of the dangers of substance abuse.
This group provides the opportunity for Board Members to attend annual training each year so they know how to talk to their peers and really understand what the issues are. These are usually overnight conferences and are lots of fun (and usually free!) 
Right now this group is working on a PSA campaign to talk to teens about opioids. They are also currently gathering signatures on a petition to legislators asking for laws around tobacco use in cars with youth.
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Aristotle Quote on serving others

Check out these facts from my post: Five Things To Do Today To Make Life Better Tomorrow

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According to volunteering can:

  • Decrease your risk of depression.
  • Increase your self-confidence
  • Reduce stress levels.
  • Experience “The Happiness Effect.” You know that feel-good sense you get after a vigorous workout? It comes from a release of dopamine in the brain. Helping others has that exact same effect—so the more you volunteer, the happier you become!

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Teen Volunteer Info graphic

The opportunities are endless! Even if you only sign up for thirty minutes once a week. Sign up. Reach out. Help where you can and I promise, you will be SO glad that you did.

You know guys, it’s up to us to change this world for the better. As teens, it’s important to put your time and energy into the causes that touch your heart. You can and will make a difference by stepping up and reaching out. For those of us who are parents, we must lead by example. Get out there too. Do your part. Make sure your teen is involved. Whether they know it or not volunteering will bring them all sorts of wonderful blessings. Encourage them to take that first step. It’s up to us, each one of us, to be the change we want to see in the world. Let’s do this!

*There are many other Volunteer Opportunities in our area. I am still awaiting details for several other groups so come back soon and see what we have added. I’ll update as I receive more. If you know of a Volunteer Opportunity for Teens in the Tri-Cities, share it in the comments section below. If you would like to have your Volunteer Opportunity here on this page just shoot me an email with the details (

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