Document Type


Publication Date



tween, tweenage, volunteer, volunteer engagement, volunteerism, youth, community, community based research


How young is “too young” when it comes to volunteerism? If you were to look to the majority of research on volunteerism and volunteer opportunities to answer this question, you might conclude that high-school age (or about the age of 15) is when youth should start volunteering. Volunteering research includes the exploration of youth volunteering but, often, the research excludes youth under the age of 15. For example, the 2007 Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating, uses the age bracket of 15-24 to refer to young people (Hall et al., 2009). There remains, then, a significant gap in research about volunteers under the age of 15. One of the few Canadian examinations of younger youth volunteering is Shannon’s (2009) examination of volunteers aged 8-12 in Atlantic Canada. This research observed that young volunteers are an “untapped resource”. Citing evidence that “involving younger volunteers and ensuring they have positive experiences could be an important goal for the non-profit and voluntary sector and a key one in sustaining their organizations in the future” (2009, p.844). Shannon’s research made a strong case that younger Canadians can and should be approached to volunteer. Similarly, Tessier et al. (2006) undertook research for the purpose of documenting the volunteer engagement of youth aged 12 to 17 in Quebec.


Faculty of Applied Health & Community Studies


Publisher's version

Terms of Use

Terms of Use for Works posted in SOURCE.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.