Finding Volunteer Opportunities
Your school, like most, probably has some kind of service requirements to graduate. Many have a specific number of hours of service you have to complete. And on top of that, we know you’re looking for more ways to show colleges you care about giving back to your community.
But if your school doesn’t provide those service opportunities for you—or even if they do—where do you start?!?
Here are some sites we love that can help you locate opportunities near you:
- VolunteerMatch. (We particularly love this one because you can filter by location AND by area of interest.)
- United Way
- Habitat for Humanity
- Give Pulse
- Feeding America
And don’t forget to take advantage of the resources available to you at school. We’re willing to bet that a visit to the counselor’s office will open your eyes to tons of service opportunities you didn’t even know were available, right in your own backyard!
We also have some recommendations and best practices for community engagement that feels good, looks good, and checks all the boxes.
- Do something you actually like to do. Love working with your hands? Find a gardening or community cleanup project. You’re a foodie? Connect with a local food bank, soup kitchen, or community fridge. Bookworm? Find an organization that promotes literacy for kids or adults. Animal lover? Call the nearby veterinarian’s office and see if they need any helping hands.
- Try to align your service work with your future goals. If you don’t know what you’re going to study in school or do with the rest of your life, you’re in good company, don’t worry! You can keep your community service open-ended. But if you have a sense of your future career, volunteer your time in that field if you can. If you’re hoping to get into education, tutor local kids. If science is your jam, find an environmental advocacy group that’s looking for volunteers.
- Make personal connections. References and networking are two extremely important pieces of not just your resume, but your future career. Keeping in contact with your supervisor or peer when you complete your community service requirements is not only a great way to get more out of your time there, but could help you down the road by writing a letter of reference or making an introduction that lands you that awesome internship.
Yes, we know community service is something you have to check off the list. But you can make it meaningful, too. It’s a great opportunity not just to beef up your resume, but to get some real satisfaction and joy from being able to help others and make an impact on your community!