The Best Ways to Volunteer in Your Community This Summer

Academics aren’t everything when it comes to impressing colleges. Universities across the country are searching for well-rounded prospective students, and community service has proven to be an important part of your college application. In fact, surveys have found that admissions officers pay special attention to community service because it shows how applicants have potential to align with the university’s values and mission. While this summer is different than past summers, there are still socially distanced ways to help out your community.

When it comes to community service, there are tons of opportunities that span from local to national organizations. Some volunteer opportunities even have the chance to benefit our entire world. By advocating for a more sustainable climate, you can make a difference within your community that can have a positive impact on our planet. Citizens’ Climate Lobby is an example of an organization that specializes in advocating for the environment, but you also have a chance to take initiative and forge your own path to help fight climate change.

On a more local level, summertime is a perfect time to focus on your passions and hobbies, and to enrich your community. Combine your talent with community service and use the summer to volunteer teaching sports, art, or music classes. With many camps across the country shutting down in response to COVID-19, there is an increased demand for activities to help keep kids entertained this summer. By teaching one-on-one, there are socially distant ways to help your community while still remaining safe and healthy. By volunteering your time, you can help teach skills and make this summer a memorable one.

Just as pets are often considered family members, your community can benefit from time spent volunteering at animal shelters. If you’re passionate about caring for animals, volunteering at an animal shelter may be a perfect fit for you. At the Humane Society of York County, you only need to be 16 years old in order to set up a profile. Samples of service activities include cat socialization, dog walking, and assistance with events.

In the current state of the country, volunteering at food banks and crisis centers is more important than ever. Hope of Rock Hill is a local organization that helps provide food and utilities to those in need. Most volunteers serve only two to three hours a week, which makes it easy to work into your summer schedule. Volunteering duties include transferring and transporting food, taking applications, and working in the pantry. Even a small time commitment can help make a difference in your community.

Volunteer opportunities are always arising, and these examples are just a starting point. We encourage you to dig deep into what matters to you, and follow through with how you can start making a difference. Consistency and dedication to your community can truly make a difference. Once you find the right fit, you’ll find that volunteering can enrich your life far beyond a college application.