As a future healthcare provider, it is important to demonstrate the fact you have a willingness to help others both inside and outside of the hospital. When you choose to get involved and do community service work, there are several factors that you should keep in mind:
- Do something that you are actually interested in
- The quality of the work that you are doing should outweigh the quantity
Both of these rules will help to ensure that you are making the best possible impact in whatever sector you are choosing to volunteer in.
Below are a few ideas of (non-healthcare) community service organizations that are always in need of volunteers. However, these are just suggestions and there are several organizations all over that are in need your dedicated assistance! Most of these organizations operate nationally and/or internationally.
- Habitat for Humanity
This is probably my favorite organization on this list! This is an organization that I have volunteered with and given countless hours of my own time to. However, despite all the hours that I have volunteered which I sure has been helpful to them, I feel as though this experience has personally impacted me as well. Through this organization, you get to actively assist in building homes for families who are in need of a safe place to raise their children. There are so many hardworking individuals in the world that struggle to pay their rent, and Habitat for Humanity works with families to make this more manageable for them. This experience has really opened my eyes to understanding how important it is to ensure that there is affordable housing, because it plays a critical role in ensuring stable communities. Beyond the social aspect of this volunteer opportunity, you will also learn how to do everything from landscaping to building the roof of a house. I recommend this opportunity to anyone who enjoys a hands-on experience. Habitat for Humanity operates in all 50 states as well as in more than 70 countries.
- Feeding America
Feeding America is a nationwide network of foodbanks that distributes over 4 billion meals annually. No one should have to worry about where their next meal is coming from. There are several positions that you can help out in: sorting and packing, mobile pantries, drive-thru pantries, and delivering meals. You can even volunteer from home with Feeding America. This organization does not require any type of long-term commitment, so it is a good one if you need a volunteer opportunity with more flexibility.
- American Red Cross
90% of the work done by the Red Cross is carried out by volunteers, so they are always in need of help! They offer several volunteer positions. However, if you are someone who is interested in making a long-term commitment to volunteer with an organization, you should check out the Disaster Action Teams. They will train you and then you will be able to go out with the team to assist families that have been affected by personal disasters (e.g. house fire, hurricane, etc.).
- Big Brothers Big Sisters
This is an organization that mentors youth. There are so many children all around the United States that do not have enough positive and caring role models in their lives. As a volunteer, you will be matched to a child (typically of the same gender as yourself). If you are interested in helping guide the youth and assisting them in navigating challenges, then this is an organization that you should check out. Sometimes all it takes is for a child to have proper guidance to allow them to reach their full potential. This organization does require a minimum 1-year commitment.
If you are interested in volunteer traveling, then this is the organization for you! You can volunteer with AmeriCorps NCCC, AmeriCorps State and National or AmeriCorps VISTA. Depending on the program that you choose, you will be able to get involved with anything from caring for the environment to being sent out to work towards change in impoverished communities. They do provide you with a living allowance as you will often have to relocate.