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Summer Is an Ideal Time for Community Service

Summer camps and summer school are not the only stimulating activities young people can do to have a productive summer. Another attractive option is to do volunteer work.

There’s no shortage of opportunities nationwide to do charitable work, from food banks and clothing drives, to community emergency preparedness and health events. No matter what you choose, it’s relatively easy to join a group of people working for a good cause.

Below you’ll find some of the resources available, whether you are looking to join a charitable group, create your own volunteer project or participate in long-term volunteer work.

How to Become a Volunteer

There are plenty of opportunities to do volunteer work, and Serve.gov is a great place to start your search. This is a website created by the federal government as part of a nationwide initiative that seeks to promote community service.

Serve.gov can help you:

  • Search for volunteer opportunities by topic of interest and geographical area
  • Learn about volunteer work available in your community
  • Get contact information for organizations seeking volunteers
  • Share your experience with others

How to Create Your Own Volunteer Project

You can also create your own volunteer project tailored to the needs of your community. This might be a good opportunity for parents and children to share a positive and stimulating activity.

Serve.gov has several toolkits to help you create a community campaign such as a food bank. The guides offer step-by-step instructions on how to build your own community project.

These toolkits can teach you how to:

If you start your own project, you can also use Serve.gov to promote your initiative and to look for volunteers.

Long-Term Volunteer Work

For some, volunteering is a commitment that goes beyond the summer. There are federal programs that offer volunteer work both in the United States as well as in foreign countries:

  • AmeriCorps is a network of domestic volunteer programs that features full time volunteer work in different parts of the country. Here you’ll find opportunities in the areas of urban and rural development, infrastructure improvement and emergency assistance
  • Peace Corps offers full-time volunteer work in other countries for periods of about 27 months. Volunteers get to work in different areas of interest and in several parts of the world

Learn how to become an organ or tissue donor at organdonor.gov.

Donated supplies fill a hangar prior to being airlifted to areas in Japan affected by the recent 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Atsugi base residents have donated more than 8,000 pounds of items, ranging from food to blankets, since the earthquake to provide disaster relief and humanitarian assistance to Japan as directed in support of Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Jonathan Kulp/Released)
See more photos from Operation Tomodachi, the U.S. Navy’s disaster relief mission following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. Tomodachi is Japanese for friend.
Donated supplies fill a hangar prior to being airlifted to areas in Japan affected by the recent 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Atsugi base residents have donated more than 8,000 pounds of items, ranging from food to blankets, since the earthquake to provide disaster relief and humanitarian assistance to Japan as directed in support of Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Jonathan Kulp/Released)

See more photos from Operation Tomodachi, the U.S. Navy’s disaster relief mission following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. Tomodachi is Japanese for friend.