Community Service Opportunities
Don’t wait until your senior year to do community service projects. Get your 100 hours in early and be able to relax!! Don’t forget to make a copy of them and then turn them in to X2Vol and your grade-appropriate counselor.
Here are some ideas for finding volunteer opportunities: Good Luck and remember, colleges like you to be community-minded and involved!
If you live in a city of any size, then there is at least one homeless shelter that helps homeless people with meals, beds, and other services. Most homeless shelters welcome volunteers and have a variety of programs through which you can get involved. You might help prepare or distribute meals, work behind the scenes in the business office, help organize a food drive to stock the pantry, etc. You can learn more about the problem of homelessness and ways you can help by looking k in the phone book for a local homeless shelter if you are interested.
Food banks often work with homeless shelters, but they also serve poor people living in the community (especially around the holidays). Food banks collect food, manage their inventory, and distribute food to those in need. Look in the phone book for a local food bank if you are interested.
Ronald McDonald House
There are Ronald McDonald Houses around the country – almost every major city has one. The idea behind all Ronald McDonald Houses is very important. When a child is seriously ill, the child is frequently treated for long periods of time at a hospital or university medical center. Many families have to travel long distances to get to the hospital, and “where to stay” becomes a problem. Staying at a hotel becomes extremely expensive, and a hotel can be a lonely and sterile place. Ronald McDonald Houses provide a low-cost “home-away-from-home” for parents and children to stay during treatment. Volunteers help prepare meals, talk to families, take care of the house and so Call the Ronald McDonald House in your area to find out more.
Special Olympics is an international program of year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with mental retardation. The site also describes a wide variety of volunteer activities, including sports training, fundraising, administrative help, competition planning, staffing, etc. Look in the phone book for a local office or search the Special Olympics website for more information.
Habitat for Humanities
Habitat for Humanities builds and gives houses to poor people in local communities. Volunteers not only help others but can learn a great deal about building houses by getting involved. See the Habitat for Humanities website for more information. Call the national office or your local office for information about volunteer programs in your area.
Many state parks offer volunteer programs, and in these programs, you can try anything from educational programs to trail construction and maintenance. Contact a state park near you and see what options are available if you are interested.
Most large cities offer a wide range of volunteer opportunities. Look in the phone book and call around to see what might be available where you live. [Do not be discouraged if your first few calls seem to hit a brick wall. Many city governments are large and fairly disorganized. Keep calling around until you find someone who understands what you are talking about and who is willing to help.]
Helping Others Learn to Read
When you think about it, reading is one of the most important skills an adult can have. Many adults, however, have never learned how to read. Literacy volunteers act as tutors who help illiterate children and adults learn this important skill. There is probably a literacy program in your area.
Many hospitals have volunteer programs to help patients both inside and outside the hospital. The volunteer programs allow participants to explore medical careers and gain work experience. Contact local hospitals to learn more about opportunities in your area.
Many libraries need help shelving books, running children’s programs, making books available to the community, and so on. Contact a local library for volunteer opportunities in your area.
Many senior citizen centers offer volunteer programs to provide friendship and community activities to senior citizens. If you would like to work with senior citizens, call a senior citizen center in your neighborhood and see what kinds of volunteer programs they have available.
Many animal shelters are non-profit or government organizations, and therefore they welcome volunteers to help take care of animals, keep facilities clean and work with the public. Call a local animal shelter for more information.
The United Way is a nationwide umbrella organization for thousands of charitable organizations. The United Way raises billions of dollars and distributes it to these charities. There are local United way affiliates across the country and they need volunteers. Contact your local affiliate for more information.
The American Red Cross helps people in emergencies – whether it’s half a million disaster victims or one sick child who needs blood. Volunteer opportunities exist across the country. Contact your local Red Cross for more information.
The Salvation Army provides social services, rehabilitation centers, disaster services, worship opportunities, character-building activities for all ages, and character-building groups and activities for all ages. Volunteer opportunities exist across the country.
The Sierra Club (and numerous other environmental groups) encourages volunteer support to help with environmental activities. You can help in many ways: by helping lobby on conservation issues, by leading hikes and other activities, or by lending a hand at the Chapter Office. Contact the local office of an environmental organization near you. https://www.sierraclub.org/oklahoma
Many 800 helplines rely on volunteers to staff the phones and handle other tasks. If there is an 800 phone bank in your area, you may be able to volunteer to help out.