As students join your group time today, divide them into three groups. Some ideas for grouping are by last initials, by first initials, or by age. Send each group to a corner of the room and have a desk and materials available. Each group will need a poster board, markers, and a pair of utility scissors. Tell your students that they are going to create a billboard that advertises meeting a specific need. For example: Hungry? Free sandwiches and coffee just around the corner!
If your class is meeting online, you can use the breakout room feature of your video chat software to divide teens into even groups. Have them use word processing software to create a digital sign.
Allow students to come up with whatever they want to “advertise”—just make sure the underlying theme is meeting a need that people have. Give your teens five minutes to complete their sign. After the three groups have finished, encourage groups to designate one person to explain the need and how it will be met by what they’re advertising.
- You made those needs pretty eye-catching! But in the real world, some needs aren’t quite so obvious. Do you normally look for or recognize needs around you? How do you respond? (Students may admit that they aren’t very observant when it comes to needs…or they ignore them because they don’t know what to do.)
At the beginning of the pandemic last year, a bunch of teenagers saw a need—seniors who were unable to grocery shop and get essential supplies—and decided to do something about it. So, they created the website “Teens Helping Seniors” with the mission of “Helping seniors through COVID and beyond” as a platform to bring essential items to seniors in 33 different regions of the United States and beyond. To date, over 1,000 volunteers have made almost 3,000 deliveries!
You may want to show this webpage to your students:
Teens Helping Seniors website
- Why would a teenager want to volunteer his or her free time delivering groceries to seniors like this? (Answers will vary. Helping others is a worthwhile way to spend time, and it’s so necessary because our world is full of hurting people. Students may also mention the benefit to themselves such as: “When you see the true needs of others, you realize that you have more than you need.”)
- This program hasn’t been around for very long. How do you think this program could continue to grow and serve seniors even after COVID-19 is less severe? (Answers will vary. They could include continuing to help seniors who can’t get to the store, helping them with yard work, spending time with them, etc.)
Helping others in need benefits us, the individuals receiving the help, and the community. But there’s another benefit that we sometimes don’t think about. Let’s learn more.