10 Cool Ways to Do Your Community Service Hours

Big Brothers Big Sisters

This organization provides children with support and guidance. Volunteers mentor their “littles” and spend quality time with them on a regular basis. You can take them shopping, play sports together, or even teach them a new skill. This is a wonderful chance for you pre-collegiettes™ who have always wanted younger siblings! BBBS has several branches around the country. Click here to find an opportunity near you. Another way to get involved with younger kids is to contact schools in the area. Student Mary Beth Hills says, “I've done mentoring for an hour a week after school with 5th – 8th graders. I've also gone into elementary classrooms and pulled students out to work on their reading skills. Elementary teachers are really busy and they can't always take time to help students individually, so this really helps both the student and the teacher.”

Animal Shelter 

Love animals? Want to play with cute dogs and cats? Volunteering at a local shelter allows you to do so while you rack up service hours. Each year, thousands of animals are rejected by their owners and left without homes. Most shelters are frequently looking for volunteers, but you might need to undergo training first. If you’ve never had a pet before, this is your chance to show some much needed love to tons of very deserving animals. This is also a great resume-boosting opportunity for anyone interested in veterinary or animal sciences.

The Nature Conservancy

With locations in all 50 states, this organization works to preserve everything from grasslands to coral reefs. If you’re interested in conservation, consider volunteering at your state’s branch. Or apply for a position abroad – The Nature Conservancy has initiatives worldwide! Click here to learn more about how to get involved.

Hospital

This is a great opportunity for girls who want to go into the medical field someday. Hospital experience looks great on your college applications and future work resumes. Plus, helping patients feel better will give you a major mood boost too. Hospital volunteers can be tasked with a broad spectrum of duties, ranging from administrative work to cheering up people in the hospital rooms. It’s important to have a great work ethic and a positive attitude. If you want to work with younger patients, contact a children’s clinic.

Community Center

If you’re having trouble finding a volunteer job, head to your city’s community center for loads of possibilities. If your city doesn’t have its own, you can go to a neighboring town instead. Since community centers don’t receive extensive funding, they often rely on volunteers to keep things running. Since this is usually the case, the nearest center will probably have last-minute openings for volunteers. You might have the opportunity to teach swim classes, check in members at the front desk, or even tutor elementary school students. Responsibilities vary based on classes and services that the community center offers. Student Kristen Pye discovered an enriching way to help kids in her community: “I volunteered for a year with a multi-cultural youth group and it was an amazing experience. Many cities establish these groups to help recently landed immigrant youth make a smooth transition into, what for many, is a strange new culture. As a volunteer, it's an eye-opening, while also fun, way to learn about other cultures, work with kids, and do good!” Make sure you show commitment and take your assignment seriously. Chances are, you’ll get first pick for the next round of volunteer jobs!

What other ways have you gotten community service hours? Leave a comment!