For students, volunteering offers both personal and professional growth. Internships are available to help build resumes and generate valuable workplace experience. Additionally, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities for those simply looking to give back to the community.
Community organizations are busy places. Sometimes you’ll have to leave several messages before the coordinator gets back to you. Remember to call during business hours, ask the coordinator if it is a good time for them to talk and introduce yourself as a student interested in community service/volunteer opportunities with their organization.
Ask specific question about the organization’s mission, who they serve, workplace policies (e.g., orientation, training, background checks, confidentiality).
Share what you expect to contribute (the skills and experiences you can offer) and what you expect to learn from the experience.
When you arrange an opportunity with the organization, be sure to confirm the day and time you will arrive, location and directions, what, if anything, you should bring with you, workplace-acceptable clothing and safety/health/legal regulations you should know.
When you arrive, check in with the contact person and be prepared to provide service immediately.
When you have completed the project, send a thank you note!
Remember: your service is voluntary only until you sign up, then it is a commitment. You will be working with professionals and serving people with real needs. If a situation arises where you cannot keep your scheduled commitment, let the agency know as soon as possible. They are counting on you!