More and more colleges these days are making a strong effort to better the community that they’re part of. Because of this, college students or faculty like you will have plenty of opportunities to give back to the community you live and work in. Keep reading to see the many different ways that you can become involved in your local community through your college, and what you can do to better the lives of the people around you.
Check Out Coaching Opportunities
FastWeb lists out numerous ways that a person can donate their time and efforts to those younger than them, and volunteering to coach is one of the top suggestions. This is a good option if you’re a physical person who likes sports, working out, or exercising. Kids need a vibrant and energetic role model to watch when working at improving their skills in a sport, so they’ll be watching you the entire time for cues. You can make their experience a memorable one.
Coaching opportunities exist for any sport you could think of. Organizations like Girls on the Run, the YMCA, and the National Alliance for Youth Sports are always looking for more help as well. You can add coaching to your daily routine and make a kid’s day by being one of the most important coaches they’ll have in their formative years.
Take A Look At Mentorships
Different from coaches but no less important, mentors also help shape the lives of the children they’re involved with. Programs like Big Brothers, Big Sisters or the National Mentoring Alliance are designed to help children who need those mentor figures in their lives for whatever reason. Many different colleges will have direct ties to these programs, so all you need to do is go speak with the right people to join up. The responsibilities that mentorship programs come with may not be for everyone. However, it’s undeniable that your presence as a mentor has the ability to positively impact the lives of any child you come into contact with. Outside of that, mentorship programs also tend to have a ripple effect in the community. Those who are inspired, moved, or positively affected by their mentors are more likely to turn around and return the favor. This creates a stronger and less negative local community, benefiting everyone.
Participate In Habitat For Humanity Projects
Places like Vista College have teamed up with the organization Habitat for Humanity in order to begin building more homes for their community. Homelessness continues to be a rampant problem in America. Organizations like Habitat for Humanity provide affordable and safe housing for those who have been left struggling with no shelter. Projects like this one allow for people like you to put your time, effort, energy, and money into something that can provide a tangible and immediate benefit to someone else. This is a great option if you enjoy using your hands. Building a house from the ground up or participating in the process that makes this happen can be a very rewarding experience.
Volunteer At A Soup Kitchen
HowStuffWorks published an article recently about the benefits of volunteering at a soup kitchen. These kitchens are designed to help feed those who have no means of keeping themselves fed, helping to cut down on hunger and starvation among those in poverty. Volunteering at a soup kitchen will usually involve direct face-to-face contact with the people you’re helping. It’s a good option if you like seeing the impact your actions have first-hand, and if you want to be more directly involved in the community that you’re trying to help out. Many people who have eaten meals at soup kitchens state that the friendly attitude of workers stand out to them and make their days better. Not only will you be improving someone’s physical health, but you could even contribute to the improvement of their mental health, too.
Volunteering is something that will take up your free time, regardless of what option you decide to go with. This can be somewhat off-putting for people attending college, as your free time is already somewhat sparse. However, the benefits of helping out your community are incredibly valuable. Additionally, college partnerships with volunteer organizations make it easier and easier for those attending classes to also have the time and energy to devote to bettering their community, too.