At most schools there are clubs dedicated to serving the community in a variety of different ways.
On National Day of Service in January, President Obama and the first lady called all Americans to join and take part in community service.
Although many of us want to do our part to help make the world a better place, as college students, we sometimes find it difficult to fit community-service projects into our schedules. However, finding time to give back to your community is possible if you make it a part of your day.
Here are a few ways you can:
• Join a community-service fraternity
Fraternities and sororities are known for fostering a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood in their organizations, but also for knowing how to have a good time. Students can still get all of that by joining a fraternity — usually co-ed — that is dedicated to community service. For many of these fraternities, students still go through a standard membership process and foster that same sense of brotherhood and sisterhood as any other fraternity or sorority.
One of the major community service fraternities is Alpha Phi Omega, which has more than 350 active chapters in different colleges and universities throughout the country.
• Join a community-service club
Most schools have clubs dedicated to serving the community in a variety of different ways. Additionally, there are many clubs that are dedicated to mentoring at-risk youth, tutoring students, creating one-to-one friendships with people with developmental disabilities and raising money for research on various diseases and illnesses.
• Making service your job
Students might think they do not have time to volunteer because they spend all of their free time doing their schoolwork and working a paying job. What many students don’t know, however, is that they can be paid for their volunteer service. Many volunteer organizations are willing to pay students if they have federal work-study.
For example, in Washington, D.C., DC Reads and DC Schools Project will pay students for their help with these programs. Therefore, the time you spend working can also be used to give back to your community.
• Alternative breaks
Lastly, if you don’t think the first three options are for you, community service can be done on spring break. Many schools offer their students the opportunity to go to different cities throughout the country — and even the world — during their spring break to do a community-service project. These trips usually focus around a particular social issue such as poverty, education reform, refuge resettlement or the environment.
Most often these trips last a week and take place during a school’s spring break. These are excellent opportunities that not only allow students to give back, but also to make new friends and bond with other students who support the same causes.
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