Ask most doctors which is better, treatment or prevention, and you’ll probably get an answer that follows along with the old adage – “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That wisdom doesn’t only apply to medicine. Reaching children and youth before they can be swallowed up by adult problems is one of the best ways that charities can help make society better and ease social ills. Youth services charities work to alleviate childhood poverty, escape adolescent substance abuse and mental health issues, provide supplemental education, help kids transition to adulthood, and much more.
As always, we looked to the wisdom of our friends at Charity Intelligence and went through their four-star rated charities. Four-star charities provide maximum impact for every dollar they receive and are subject to a rigorous assessment from Charity Intelligence that includes transparency and accountability, need for funding, and operating efficiency. We’ve selected five youth services charities that are a safe bet for your donation dollars on CHIMP.
One of the most well-known charities in Canada, Big Brothers/Sisters offers volunteer mentorship to kids from all backgrounds in a variety of settings, including schools and on an individual basis. Volunteers act as role models, encouraging youth to learn the value of citizenship, education, and family.
Support Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Canada on CHIMP.
Junior Achievement prepares youth for life as successful participants in the global economy, putting emphasis on financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. A third party consulting group found that Junior Achievement’s “work has a direct impact of $105 million on Canada’s economy each year.” Not a bad return on investment.
Support Junior Achievement Canada on CHIMP.
Youth employment is about more than just finding kids a summer job. Youth Employment Services helps young people with barriers to employment find meaningful work that prepares them for adulthood. Barriers include substance abuse, homelessness, and criminal records, all of which are tough things to overcome without a helping hand.
Support Youth Employment Services on CHIMP.
Aunt Leah’s is a youth services charity that tackles a very specific problem. A huge proportion of foster kids end up homeless when they age out of the system; Aunt Leah’s aims to prevent it by providing housing, education, and job training. This is a great option if you’re looking to support youth in their late teens and early twenties.
Support Aunt Leah’s on CHIMP.
Our wildcard pick for this post is Boundless School, an outdoor education institution that empowers youth with mental illness, addictions, and brain injury graduate from high school. We love it because they use alternative teaching methods and outdoor adventure to help kids feel like champions, improve their lives, and gain the confidence to achieve at a high level.
Support Boundless School on CHIMP.
Don’t see a charity that suits your preferences? Check out the Charity Intelligence list of four-star charities.