Welcome to the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria

Youth Volunteer Program

Youth Volunteer1

All scheduled Youth Volunteer Program activities have been postponed until further notice. You may still earn service hours by completing at-home activities.

The League is pleased to offer volunteer opportunities to local 3rd through 12th grade students during the traditional academic school year. Youth volunteers provide enrichment to shelter animals while learning the importance of compassion and humane treatment of animals.

The format of the Youth Volunteer Program has been updated as of October 2013. Please review the changes below.

How the Program Works

Youth volunteer visits will be held at the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 5 PM to 6 PM during the traditional academic school year. A shelter staff member or trained adult volunteer will oversee each youth volunteer visit. Parents are welcome to stay but are not required to do so. Parents will be required to sign all youth volunteers in and out of each visit to the shelter.

The following steps are required in order to participate in the AWLA's Youth Volunteer Program:

Step 1: Read and sign the AWLA's Youth Volunteer Handbook. If you have attended a youth volunteer orientation in the past, you will still need to read and sign the Youth Volunteer handbook.

Step 2: Look over the full list of Youth Volunteer Shelter Activities. Select as many activities as you'd like!

Step 3: If you are fulfilling service hour requirements, keep track of the hours you spend completing your shelter activities.

Step 4: Sign up for a volunteer visit through VolunteerSpot. Follow the directions provided after clicking on the link.

Note: Youth volunteer visits are filled on a first come, first served basis.

Step 5: Attend your scheduled youth volunteer visit(s). If you are fulfilling a service requirement for your school or group, remember to bring your service form(s) to sign!

Shelter Book Club

Youth Volunteer2Shelter Book Club is held on Mondays from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM. Youths in grades 6 through 12 may bring books to read to animal partners at the shelter. Our residents do not care what subject material they hear, as long as they have a snugly friend next to them. If participants are uncomfortable reading aloud, they may read to themselves. The goal of the Shelter Book Club is to provide animals with quiet cuddling and attention in a stress-free setting. Almost the entire session will be spent with our adoptable cats. Follow the youth volunteer steps listed above to sign up for Shelter Book Club. Youth volunteers may borrow one of the shelter's books or bring their own, and may also bring homework and cat treats!

Although you can expect volunteering to be a fun and educational opportunity, it is important to remember that the main goal of the Youth Volunteer Program is to help the animals of the shelter.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do youths do during youth volunteer visits? Youth volunteers distribute their completed shelter enrichment items and interact with some of our animal residents. Depending on what animals are available for adoption, youths may train, pet, play, and give treats to our animals.

What if I can't attend any of the scheduled youth volunteer visits? No problem! You can still drop off your completed activities at our front desk. Our staff will be happy to sign any service forms you may have. Remember, the shelter is closed on Wednesdays.

Youth Volunteer3How can I earn service hours? You can earn service hours by completing shelter activities, attending youth volunteer visits, and collecting donations for the shelter. Keep track of the hours you spend completing shelter activities and collecting donations.

Is there a limit on how many youth volunteer visits I can attend? No, you may sign up for as many visits as you'd like.

Do I need to have service hour requirements in order to volunteer? No, you can volunteer for fun, for service, or both!