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Three ways you can support youth charities

Youth charities provide a much-needed service in supporting vulnerable children, teenagers, and young adults. Some deal with specific issues, such as providing counseling for mental health issues and trauma, rehabilitation and recovery programs to tackle addiction, and building confidence and life skills to deter vulnerable young people from a life of crime. However, youth charities have the same principles at their heart: the nurturing and development of young people so that they are able to achieve their full potential and lead happy and successful adult lives. If you would like to support the development of the younger generation, there are several options for you to do so. Here are three ways you can support youth charities:

1. Donate a vehicle whilst supporting a youth development scheme
You’re probably familiar with donating clothes, furniture, and other unwanted household items at your local Goodwill, but did you know that you can also donate unwanted vehicles to charities? One youth charity with a vehicle donation scheme is Rawhide Boys Ranch, a charity which empowers at-risk youth and their families, providing them with the tools to live healthy, happy lives. You’ll be in good company if you donate a vehicle to Rawhide—their first vehicle donation was Bart Starr’s Super Bowl Two vehicle way back in 1968. They accept cars, motorbikes, and boats and, although the charity is based in Wisconsin, your vehicle will be hauled away from wherever it is in the continental U.S. within one to three days of donation.

Vehicle donation provides the charity with its main source of funding, with the money made going back into the variety of programs the charity offers, whether that is the residential counseling program, outpatient clinics, or equine therapy, amongst other programs. Vehicles are accepted in any condition—they are refurbished by garages partnered with Rawhide, with the assistance of young people who are part of the charity’s programs. This teaches young people valuable mechanical skills that boost their employability and confidence. So, in making a vehicle donation to Rawhide Boy’s Ranch, you will be helping financially and supporting their youth development scheme.

2. Make a monetary donation
Despite being donated with the best will intended, a majority of donated clutter will spend the rest of its life sat in the bargain bin at Goodwill before being transferred to a landfill. This is why—unless items are specifically requested, such as in Rawhide’s vehicle donation scheme—charities generally prefer monetary donations to item donations. As not for profit organizations, many charities rely on donations in order to operate. By donating money, you are directly providing the funds needed for the charity to carry out its important business. Every cent matters to a charity, and you don’t need to donate a large amount in order to make a difference. Just a few dollars can make a difference, for instance, buying a book to help promote child literacy, or providing a hot meal.

If you would like to donate to your chosen charity on a regular basis, many charities enable a rolling monthly donation consisting of several tiers depending on how much you can afford. Don’t worry if you’re unable to donate on a regular basis, however, as charities are grateful for any donations received. Many people choose to make a larger donation on an annual basis, with Christmas time being a popular month for charity donations.

3. Volunteer at a charity and mentor a young person
Although there are certain roles that need to be filled by a professional, such as counselors and teachers, as not for profit associations, many charities rely on volunteers in order to operate. The type of volunteer role available depends on the charity and its structure and output, but you are sure to find something to suit your skills and personality. For instance, you could teach children and young adults how to channel their creativity through art or dance, if this is where your strength lies.

One hugely beneficial volunteer role is mentoring. Many of the young people who use youth charities come from unstable backgrounds and lack a positive adult role model to guide them through adolescence. As a mentor, you will take the time to get to know your mentee, taking a sincere interest in their life, and provide them with the advice and confidence they need to achieve their full potential. As well as this, taking the time and effort to guide a young person to adulthood is sure to leave a lasting impression on your own life and relationships.