Lesson 7: Volunteering

Two people filling food bags at a volunteer center.

Name(s) of student(s):

Age and grade level:

Goal from IEP connected to lesson:

Objective from IEP connected to lesson:

Purpose of lesson: To learn the importance of volunteering and helping others to take the focus off of herself.

Materials needed: Internet access, Word document, telephone


“Last time we met we discussed friendship as a mutually beneficial relationship. Today we will gather information on a separate mutually beneficial experience: volunteering.”

Discussion: Benefits of Volunteering


  • Have you previously volunteered your time to help others?
  • If so, what did you do to help?
  • How did it benefit you?
  • Did it leave you with a sense of well-being or satisfaction?

“When volunteering to serve the needs of others, you are also serving to benefit your emotional health. Here’s how:

  • Regular contact with others provides a natural support system and opportunities to build relationships.
  • A sense of accomplishment and well-being is gained from actively contributing to society.
  • A natural response to volunteering is a positive outlook and increased self-esteem.
  • Your stressors feel diminished when the focus is taken from your problems to helping others.”

Exercise: Interests and Opportunities

“Now that you are aware of the emotional health benefits of volunteering, are you interested in seeking opportunities to volunteer now? Do you think you may carve out time in a future work week to volunteer? If so, that’s great. If not, perhaps looking at volunteer opportunities may spark your interest.

As we typically do, let’s start by examining your current interests.”

Your student should list all of his interests. Have him contemplate where his interests match others’ needs and proceed to research volunteer possibilities.

Exercise: Plan a Volunteer Experience

Have your student take the initiative to plan a volunteer experience. If it is difficult to coordinate an ideal volunteer experience, consider volunteering at the school or organization.

Exercise: Investigate Volunteer Etiquette

Have your student use the internet to research etiquette for a volunteer and share the information gathered.


“Today we talked about volunteering. Serving others benefits others as well as the volunteer. We examined your interests, researched related volunteer possibilities, planned a volunteer opportunity, and reviewed volunteer-etiquette tips.”

Progress notes, data collection, comments, and modifications: