Originally Posted: Oct 30, 2011
Last Updated: Jul 22, 2015
This is the time of the year when many people start preparing for the upcoming holidays and college students are dreaming of starting winter break. College and high school students can take advantage of this season by volunteering with local charities and other organizations on campus or in your hometown. Volunteering has many benefits.
You gain skills that may help you in your future career.
Depending on the type of work, you may develop research, writing, or math skills which may be useful in your future position. If you're a health or medicine major, volunteering at a local hospital is directly related to building your experience level in your future career. Volunteering at the American Red Cross and blood drives can also be great experience for pre-med students.
Volunteering enhances your résumé!
Employers and college admissions officials view your résumé as a snapshot of your previous work history, experiences, and extracurricular activities to determine if you qualify for a particular job. You will stand out among the hundreds and thousands of other applications without volunteer experience. This shows that you are able to work in a team and think of others before yourself.
You can feel good knowing that you have positively impacted others.
Although gaining skills are very important, you have to recognize the need to help others. Whether you are feeding the homeless, tutoring students, or spending time with the elderly, you are making a difference in someone’s life which reaps far greater benefits than a position.
Volunteer experiences may be able to help you on college applications (essays).
If you are applying to college as an undergraduate or beyond, many colleges are requiring you to write an essay. Instead of struggling to find a subject for your essay, you can share aspects of your volunteer experience. Similarly to enhancing your résumé, you should include volunteer experiences in your college applications to have an advantage over students who do not have any volunteer experiences.
Where can I go to search for volunteer experiences?
You can check with the office on your campus that provides opportunities to raise funds or to donate food to the local food pantry. Additionally, local churches and schools would love to have you help them with their programs. I have included several websites below.
Finally, don’t wait until December to decide if you want to volunteer. Start researching now so that you can take full advantage of your upcoming winter break.