10 Cool Ways to Do Your Community Service Hours

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Three words: community service hours. Whether you’re required to log them before high school graduation, want to give back to your community, or are just looking to add polish to your college apps, they’re essential. Here, we break down the ins and outs of community service and give you the 10 best ways to give back.

summer camp staff, summer camp,

Summer Camp

Social? Love the outdoors? Then this is your best option. Volunteering at a summer camp is a great way to stay active while cranking out those service hours. The great thing about this is that camps are everywhere – in both rural and urban settings. You won’t have a hard time finding people eager to have your help. Make sure that your school recognizes this form of volunteering. In some cases, summer camp counselor positions are paid, but you can elect to receive school credit instead.

pile of books, library,

Local Library

Volunteering at a community library is perfect for book lovers. This experience will allow you to showcase your organizational skills as you sort novels and catalogue items. Library volunteer jobs often include other duties too. You might find yourself reading to little kids or even planning an event! New York University student Sarah was able to develop her advertising skills while performing her service hours. “I led a team that was responsible for marketing my library’s new reading programs. It was fun to create flyers and promote events within the community.”

fruits and veggies,

Food Bank

As you read this, millions of Americans are going hungry. The good news is you have the chance to truly make a difference. Check out this site to find a food bank in your neighborhood. Volunteers usually help out with a variety of tasks, which can include cooking, serving food, and cleaning facilities after meals.

special olympics logo,

Special Olympics 

If you’re a sports fan or simply enjoy inspiring others, consider volunteering with this organization. The Special Olympics allows athletes with intellectual disabilities to train and compete in a variety of sporting events. This opportunity is both empowering and fulfilling. Volunteers can help with national events or work with teams on a local level. If you find a team in your community, you’ll probably help run regular practices and coach athletes to develop their skills. University of Alabama student Jaime Ritter had a great experience getting her service hours: “During the Special Olympics, I volunteered with the bocce ball and bowling events. Everyone works together, so it's not so much about winning as having a good time!”
For more information, visit this site

habitat for humanity logo,

Habitat For Humanity

This nonprofit believes that everyone deserves a safe environment, regardless of race or religion. It builds houses around the world, providing residences for people in low-income areas. Check out this page to learn more about Habitat for Humanity’s volunteer programs. The organization has opportunities domestically and internationally, so you can choose how far you want to travel. Be aware that volunteers are required to cover their own travel and board expenses. Check to see if your school has a Habitat for Humanity club on campus. If so, you can travel with other students and schedule trips over school vacations to make them more convenient.

Boston College recent grad Allison Lantero chose to volunteer on her spring break: “I went on a Habitat trip my sophomore year to Huntington, West Virginia. It might sound crazy to give up a spring break to do service work, but you end up learning so much more from the people you are helping than you would have ever imagined. We also got really close as a group, and when we returned we still saw each other once a week or so.”

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About The Author

Dani Wong is a sophomore at the University of San Francisco, where she is double majoring in media studies and journalism. After her short story was published in a recent book, she decided to explore a new facet of writing and became involved with student newspapers and magazines. Between interning, taking classes, and exploring San Francisco, Dani is embracing the new opportunities that city life brings. Her true loves include traveling, taking photographs, playing sports and anything food related!