The Added Benefits of Community Service

By Malaika Charrington

When applying to colleges or applying for jobs, it’s always good to have something on your resume that will allow you to stand out from the other applications in the stack. For many, volunteer work has proven to do just that.

Many high schools require that students fulfill a fixed amount of service hours to be able to graduate (mine requires 300!), and they do this for several reasons. First, having volunteer hours on your diploma shows your future employers or the admission staff at schools that you apply to that you are dedicated to bettering the community, and improving the well being of others. Another reason is that volunteering your time within the community shows colleges and jobs that you’re a well rounded individual, and you would be a good fit for that school or position. Typically, it’s best that these hours are spent either helping the community in a measurable way, or showing support to important causes, but if you have another way to help the community, go for it!

Often, schools will offer significant scholarships to students who have worked toward change in their communities, or contributed significant time to the volunteer workforce. So, even if your school doesn’t make community service a requirement, it’s still a very valuable way to spend your time, and most of the time it’s fun too! There are tons of community service opportunities in your community that would be perfect for your interests; lucky for you, we’re here to help you find them.

Volunteer Match

Volunteer match is a large volunteering database that lists thousands of volunteer opportunities near you and allows you to specify your interests and find opportunities that work with your schedule.

Idealist

Idealist lists a large collection of jobs, internships, volunteer opportunities, events, and organizations for people looking to serve their community in one way or another.

HandsOn Network

HandsOn Network is a site that allows you to find hundreds of volunteer sites based on the issues you’re interested in.

VolunTEEN nation

VolunTEEN nation is a volunteering organization founded in St.Louis that makes it easy for teens 13 to 17 years old to get engaged in the community.

Volunteering is undoubtedly rewarding work both in terms of the external benefits it supplies as well as the internal comfort that it can bring volunteers. It’s even been known to improve your health! It’s a great way to spend your time, so get involved!