Five Places That Offer Enriching Volunteer Opportunities for College Students
- American Red Cross
- Humane Society of the United States
- Habitat for Humanity
- Local Food Pantries
During the short winter and spring breaks and long summer breaks, these five organizations offering excellent volunteer opportunities for college students could use some help. While some college students prefer to take a vacation during spring break or need to get a paying job during summer break, there are also many good reasons to volunteer. Each of these organizations offers part-time and full-time volunteer positions that can help a person develop skills that will serve them well in their career and their personal life.
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The YMCA operates homeless shelters for individuals and families in cities throughout the United States. It also offers food kitchens for people to come and get a hot meal. Many YMCAs also have gyms, childcare centers, preschools, and computer labs. A college student could volunteer in one of the kitchens, serving meals to the hungry. A person could also help the unemployed use computers to apply for jobs.
2. American Red Cross
The American Red Cross provides disaster relief everywhere in the United States. It responds to house fires, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes and other natural and man-made disasters. A person who volunteers for the American Red Cross could help people with the administrative tasks of signing up for housing or other assistance. Volunteers may also prepare and serve meals, clean temporary housing quarters and coordinate the donations to people in need.
3. Humane Society of the United States
The Humane Society of the United States operates animal shelters in most counties. This is a good place for college students to volunteer if they enjoy spending time with animals. It is also a good organization for a person interested in a career in social work, veterinary medicine or business. A person could do administrative work, animal care or many other activities.
4. Habitat for Humanity
According to Volunteer Match, college students should look for volunteer opportunities that align with their personal values. By doing this, they will get more out of the experience. One such organization that could align well with a person’s values is Habitat for Humanity. This organization evaluates the applications of people who are in need of housing. The chosen applicants put in sweat equity. This means that they work alongside the volunteers in order to build the house they will live in. Volunteers at Habitat for Humanity might do anything from framing a house to laying floor tile.
5. Local Food Pantries
Most communities have at least one local food pantry. Some food pantries are part of a larger network. There are also food pantries associated with religious organizations. Volunteering in a food pantry could involve sorting donations, stocking shelves and assisting clients with choosing food. Volunteers at food pantries may also pack the bags of food and carry them to the client’s car. Some food pantry volunteers deliver bags of food or prepared meals to client homes.
Volunteering looks great on a resume for a first job as well as for applications to graduate, dental, law or medical school. A college student who is able to dedicate some time volunteering for one of these organizations will also meet people who could prove to be helpful for finding a job and developing social support in the future. Each of these five organizations offering excellent volunteer opportunities for college students offers a variety of positions to suit a person’s skills and preferences.