There’s a bunch of reasons to do community service: school requirements, beefing up your resume or college application, want to give back to your community, or maybe you’re just looking for something to do! Whatever the reason, there are plenty of opportunities out there…probably more than you think! Here are 10 cool ways that you can give back (just remember to make sure that your school or class recognizes the form of volunteering, if you’re doing it for credit):
1. The local library: If you love books, organizing, reading, kids, or planning events, this might be a great choice for you. Libraries have a ton of programs going on that they always need help with – both behind the scenes (like sorting novels) or “front of the house” (like reading to a kid’s group).
2. Food bank: Millions of Americans go hungry every year, but food banks (and their volunteers) really make a difference! Check out this site to find a food bank in your neighborhood.
3. Habitat for Humanity: This nonprofit 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 – chances are, there’s one in your county! There are even international projects, so you can choose how far you want to travel! Be aware that volunteers are required to cover their own travel and board expenses.
4. 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. Most shelters are frequently looking for volunteers, but you might need to undergo training first.
5. Summer camps: This is super fun way to flex your organizing, directing, and child-care muscles! Plus, there are tons of different types of camps for you to help out at: church camps, Girl or Boy Scout camps, special needs camps, travel camps, and camps for kids with certain health issues like diabetes!