Give Back To Your Community and Get In To College

College applications are known to be complicated. The colleges want to know everything about the potential student, including their willingness to contribute to society by volunteering. While most colleges do not have a specific number of volunteer hours set as a requirement, studies have found that people with 40 or more hours of volunteer time are more likely to be accepted into their college of choice.

Finding Somewhere To Volunteer

It has become common knowledge that volunteering and contributing to your community has a positive impact on everyone. Additionally, volunteer hours may be required to complete high school and will help you get into college. The question remains, however, where can you volunteer?

The good news is that there are countless opportunities to volunteer, allowing everyone with any ability the chance to contribute. Some of the places you may look into volunteering include:

Assisted Living Facilities

An assisted living facility is a place that helps people live their daily lives with dignity. The facility may help the elderly remain independent, or it may help troubled youths adjust to society, or many variations in between. For example, a Birmingham assisted living community has an independent living, assisted living, and memory care facilities all on one campus which allows for many opportunities. In most cases, these facilities need volunteers to help with simple things such as lawn cutting or planting flowers. Many look for volunteers to help with craft classes, music projects, or social events for the residents. Some facilities may be in need of help answering phones, mailing letters or other office work.

Children’s Reading Programs

One of the biggest causes of school failure is the inability to read. It has been proven in countless studies that children who can master reading at an early age are more likely to complete school and go on to college. One of the largest ways to help improve reading skills is to have stories read to them. Hearing words is as important in developing reading skills as seeing them. You can contribute to literacy by finding time to read to small children.

Library Volunteer

The library is one of the greatest assets in any community. Not only do they supply access to books, they also provide several communities enhancement programs. The library provides free Internet access, computer training classes and even youth programs that encourage literacy and personal growth. The library is always desperate for volunteers to assist in these programs.

Homeless Shelters

In light of the recent economic trends, many homeless shelters and food distribution areas are overwhelmed with people in need. Volunteering time at one of these places will increase the amount of people that are served and help a part of society that is in most desperate need. You may be able to contribute anything from serving food to sorting out clothes to distribute to the needy.

Park System

The park system at every level is always in need of volunteers. National, state and local parks are always on the verge of closing due to budget restrictions. However, these places are necessary for our communities. You may be able to contribute as a park guide, a guest host, or even in litter control.

Many hospitals have “candy striper” programs that are supervised under the hospital auxiliary volunteer program of the facility.  This is an excellent way for those who feel they may want to enter the field of healthcare to find out first-hand what it’s all about.

While volunteering will help you get into college, it is also a very necessary part of being a member of a community. Anything you can do to make your community a better place for yourself and others is worth your spare time.

Kelly Dennie is a mother of budding college students seeking volunteer opportunities. Trinity Lifestyles Management, LLC, a Birmingham assisted living facility, combines the luxury and freedom of residents having their own apartment with the safety and accessibility of personal assistance of a trained staff. This staff is always accessible to assist residents with dressing, bathing, meals, and overseeing medications.


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