Between cramming for exams, stressing about group projects, and sweating over which colleges to apply for, most of us dread fulfilling our mandatory community service hours. By the end of your high school career, you’re willing to do just about anything to get those hours out of the way, but the experience doesn’t have to be a boring one! Take a look through our list of creative community service ideas and see which one matches your personality the best.
Animal Shelter/Zoo—If you love animals then this is a no-brainer. Animal shelters are constantly looking for volunteers to walk dogs, cuddle kitties and bunnies, and help with the adoption of the animals. Sounds terrible, right? Even the Toronto Zoo accepts student volunteers. Learn about the fun and interesting volunteer opportunities that the Zoo has to offer through an informative presentation and Q&A session on September 8, 2015. RSVP to email@example.com
Camp Counsellor—If you’ve got previous experience dealing with kids, volunteering as a camp counsellor could be an easy, fun option for you. Sure, it may get a little tiring keeping an eye on a group of hyper kids all day, but on the bright side you’ll breeze through your hours while getting to tag along on all the fun day trips with the camp. Don’t tell me you wouldn’t be stoked to spend the day at Wonderland!
Teach your skills—Are you an artist? Maybe a soccer star? Or maybe your best subject is science? An easy way to get volunteer hours would be to share your skills by teaching a group of people something new. Check out your local community centre or after-school program to see if they need volunteers to help in the art room, or an extra coach for their sports team. What’s better than sharing a skill or hobby that you happen to already enjoy with others?
Hold a no-sleep-a-thon—With the help of your school, organize a night of no sleep for a charity of your choice. Tons of your fellow students would jump at the idea of having a huge sleep over (well, minus the sleep), with all their friends. Make sure to set up tons of games, activities and snacks to keep everyone occupied through the night—all while collecting volunteer hours. Let your friends and family know you’ll be participating in this event and collect donations for the charity you’ve chosen—these donations could range from canned food to clothing and even money.
Join a school’s committee—Did you know that joining a committee at your school like the yearbook or prom committee can count as time towards your community service? Imagine discussing colour schemes and themes, researching venues and DJs, and just generally creating the prom of your dreams, all while simultaneously collecting those hours you need to graduate. Flawless win.
Hold a bake sale—I’m convinced that everyone loves cupcakes. Get together a group and get your oven mitts on. Putting together a bake sale is a quick and easy way to collect money for a cause or charity. You’ll collect a handful of hours if you sell before and after classes, and during the lunch periods. Do this a couple times a year and watch how quickly you reach 40 hours. Pretty sweet.
Volunteer for a big day event—get a whole chunk of your hours taken care of by volunteering for an all-day (or even multi-day) event like We Day, or even the Pan Am Games. There will likely be many positions available to you, which means you’ll always have something to do and the day will just fly by! Bonus—this will look great on your resume! If you do a good job, you could earn a stellar recommendation from your supervisor, and you could get asked to come back—this might even lead to a paid position in the future.
Run/walk for a cause—These days it seems like there are a plethora of interesting runs or walks to participate in. If you don’t want to organize your own event, you could try checking out Colour Me Rad or the Terry Fox Run. This is an awesome opportunity to volunteer with family and friends, and add a little physical activity to your life. You might enjoy the experience so much it’ll become a yearly tradition.
Baby sit for a family in need—If you already take care of your little cousin once a month, why not help a struggling family by offering your baby sitting services for free? Try calling into your neighbourhood’s women’s shelter or daycare to see if there are any opportunities for you to lend your time to a family who may need a little extra assistance.