For many students, spring break is about relaxing, partying, or catching up with friends. For others, it’s a good time to help out their communities. If you are passionate about helping others but aren’t quite sure where to find volunteer opportunities, start locally. Here are just a few places where you can spend time giving back this spring break.
1. Soup kitchen/homeless shelter
Your local homeless shelter can always use people to help prep meals, serve food, and organize supplies. Although you could donate money or clothing without actually going to a shelter, the experience of helping others directly can be very positive and humbling.
2. Animal shelter
If you love puppies and kittens (and honestly, who doesn’t?), then you should call your local animal shelter. Many locations ask volunteers to walk the dogs for exercise, help groom the pets to prepare them for adoption, and provide customer service to visitors. Some locations will even allow volunteers to play with the animals to teach them how to socialize well.
If you are passionate about helping people and have an interest in the medical field, then a hospital would be a great opportunity for you. This is also a good choice for volunteering because there are so many things you can do. If you like working with kids, there is the pediatric unit; if you like a fast-paced environment, then you might enjoy the ER. Contact your local hospital to inquire about volunteer opportunities that match your skills and interests.
If you’re a sports buff who also likes to work with kids, then you could volunteer to help with a team. No matter the sport, children’s teams are always in need of coaches or people to help at practices. It’s often hard for parents to volunteer for their children’s teams due to work and other responsibilities. So both the kids and the parents would appreciate your help. Local YMCA or Boys and Girls Club are good places to investigate.
While you’re on spring break, there’s a good chance the children in your town are on break too. With a whole week off from school, it’s easy for them to forget what they just learned (the same goes for college students!). If you happen to be skilled in a certain subject, then you should consider tutoring. You could help children or fellow college students understand any tricky subjects that they’re struggling with. Contact the career services office or a local community center to ask about tutoring opportunities. You could also offer to help kids with homework or read to a class if school is in session that week.
Extra option: volunteering abroad
If you’re feeling adventurous and have money saved up, then you should consider volunteering abroad! There are many volunteer opportunities available around the world, such as teaching English, helping with environmental projects, and providing care to children. Some common places to volunteer abroad are Costa Rica, Kenya, India, and Italy. Of course, you can find volunteer opportunities anywhere, including around the United States through Alternative Spring Break. Programs can be found online or through your college. The cost could be included in the price of your tuition, or special scholarships may be available.
Are you planning on giving back this spring break? Tell us how in the comments!