Why Skye spends her school holidays volunteering: 'I love helping other people'

Picture: Supplied
Picture: Supplied 

This is the first in a series of articles about teenagers who are doing great things for their communities, their families or themselves. If you know a young person who deserves recognition, let us know.

She's cooked for her community, raised money for pets in need, helped run school holiday camps and done her bit to keep the homeless warm in winter - it's not a bad list of achievements for a 14-year-old. 

Skye, a Year Nine student from Sydney, has spent the last two years heavily involved in volunteering, through the organisation Kids Giving Back

After getting her first taste of volunteering, while helping to run school holiday camps for younger kids, she was quickly hooked. 

"I love helping other people, it's fun and makes me feel really good about myself and other people really appreciate what we've made and done for them," Skye told Essential Kids.

"I love volunteering a lot. It's a really good experience and makes me feel like i've done something to help out, something worthwhile. It's a great feeling."

Picture: Skye says she's learnt a lot through her experience and plans to volunteer throughout high school

Picture: Skye took part in a photo shoot to help raise funds to provide warm hats and beanies for the homeless

Since discovering volunteering, Skye has helped out several causes - including cooking and delivering food for homeless and vulnerable people in the community, as well as their Warm4Winter campaign, which collected and delivered mittens and beanies for those sleeping rough. She was also part of a dog toy and leash drive, helping provide pet accessories for those in need.

For Skye, the Warm4Winter stands out as one of the most meaningful she's helped out with.

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"For that we gave out beanies and hats to the homeless. And we did a photo shoot to promote the campaign to raise money to get enough and then we gave them out to the homeless," she explained.

"It was a little daunting at first because I hadn't been around any homeless people before, but they were really friendly and happy to chat. It was an amazing experience.

Picture: Skye and other teenage volunteers help to cook and package food ready for delivery

Picture: Skye and other teenage volunteers help to cook and package food ready for delivery

"I definitely learnt a lot from that, they did tell me a few stories when we were chatting about their lives and I did learn a lot."

Helping to make home cooked, nutritious meals for the community was another experience that taught Skye the value of giving back. She particularly enjoyed the opportunity to help hand the meals out - a humbling experience for the teen.

"I did go along one time to hand them out which was nice. They were really grateful for hot food and really excited when they saw the food. Before this I wasn't really involved with anyone who was homeless. I'd see them on the street and thought they were being aggressive, but now I know they weren't, they just wanted to chat," she shared.

"I met them and we chatted a bit and they're normal human beings. It definitely did change my perspective."

Picture: Skye took part in a photo shoot to help raise funds to provide warm hats and beanies for the homeless

Picture: Skye says she's learnt a lot through her experience and plans to volunteer throughout high school

While COVID-19 slowed opportunities to volunteer, Skye continues to help out when she can - often during her school holiday breaks. While some of her friends also help out, they don't often cross paths and Skye says it's something she does just for herself. 

Skye urges adults to be more mindful that many teenagers do think of others and want to help when they can. 

"People often say teenagers have a lot of mood swings and stuff, but many do a lot of good things, but we don't give them a chance to show and explain what they've done," she said.

If you have a teenager you think deserves a shout out for work they're doing for their local community, contact editor@essentialbaby.com.au, with the subject: positive teen stories.