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Volunteer Opportunities for Teens

Following up on Thursday’s answer to J.G. about employment opportunities for her 15-year-old granddaughter, today we will list some information on volunteer opportunities.

For assistance on this, we turned to Amy Lytle, executive director of HandsOn Northwest North Carolina, a local organization that helps put potential volunteers together with organizations that need their assistance.

“Most of the ongoing volunteer opportunities we offer require students on their own to be 16-plus,” she wrote. “However, we do have a variety of opportunities for young folks if they will be volunteering with an adult.”

A list of those can be found at hoc.handsonnwnc.org/find-a-project. That page lists various volunteer opportunities around the area. You can narrow your search by clicking the “Appropriate For” tab and entering the age of the volunteer.

“Many nonprofits do offer volunteer opportunities for younger youth over the summer, usually only in one-week increments,” Lytle said. “Consider it more of a substitute for a day camp experience than an ongoing commitment throughout the summer.”

Some options include:

Both Novant Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health have programs for ages 14 and up, but in both cases the application process closed several months ago. “Like with many things in life, it pays to plan ahead,” Lytle said. For future reference, you can check about those programs at:

School resource officers can also sometimes provide lists of possible volunteer programs to students, and churches may have suggestions as well.

Q: I got an email from someone whose name I do not recognize saying they need an Amazon gift card for their niece for her birthday, but “can’t do this now because I’m currently traveling. Can you get it for me from any Walmart/Target store around you? I’ll pay it back as soon as I return.” Is this a scam?

J.S.

Answer: It certainly sounds like one. Since Amazon offers gift cards on its website, there’s no reason someone wouldn’t be able to buy one from wherever they are. It may be someone trying to get you to buy a gift card and then give them the number off it.

Amazon has an article on common scams and ways to avoid them, and says that such scams often “instruct the victim to purchase gift cards online or at a nearby store. The scammer then demands or instructs the victim to provide the claim code on the gift card by phone, text message, or email — and then disappears.”

You can read more at www.amazon.com/giftcardscams.

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Email: AskSAM@wsjournal.com

Online: journalnow.com/asksam

Write: Ask SAM, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101 

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