One of the best times in life for someone to give back to the community is during the college years.
College students typically have the time and resources in their school and network of friends to get together and do something positive for the people in their area. There are many ways students of all ages can get involved and make a difference. Here are eight suggestions for activities for college students to try if they want to give back to their community.
1. Tutoring Services
One of the easiest and most helpful ways college students can reach out to others in the community is by offering tutoring services. Many colleges already have tutoring centers set up for students of all levels to get help. College students can sign up for volunteer hours at their school’s tutoring center and give back to children. In many cases, students can help kids with their homework, learn to read, develop literacy in math, and more.
2. Textbook Donation Drive
Besides tutoring, there are also other potential opportunities for helping out those in need. One easy way college students could give others at their school a little bit of a financial break is through a textbook donation drive. College textbook prices are continuing to rise to astronomical levels, making the cost of higher education even more expensive. Students can help each other out by donating their used textbooks after the course ends instead of selling them back to the bookstore. Then, other students could access the free textbooks for their upcoming classes.
3. Teaching English
In many areas around the country, there are thousands of new immigrants struggling to learn English. This could be a great opportunity for students who want to help the people in their community. Offering English classes to adults in the region could give someone a little more purpose and insight into life. In many cases, colleges provide classroom space to English teaching courses, giving college students a convenient way to give back.
4. Student Mentoring
College students should also strive to be leaders and examples to the next generation. Many mentoring programs recruit college students to work with young kids in the local area. With mentoring, students are partnered with kids who are at-risk or living in urban areas. The students and the kids plan special bonding activities together and develop a friendship that is meaningful and important to a child’s progress in life.
5. Cleaning up Parks
Some activities are great if college students want to join up with a group of other students on campus. One idea is to organize a neighborhood or park clean-up near the college’s location. Sometimes, in college towns, local residents can have a negative view of the enrolled students due to parties or other unruly behavior. Organizing a neighborhood clean-up can help college students improve their reputation and show community members that they care about their town.
6. Nursing Home Volunteering
Another forgotten group of people who could truly use the attention from groups of students are the elderly. Checking out the local nursing homes is a great idea if students want to get involved in something meaningful and rewarding. Most nursing homes welcome the opportunity for students to volunteer their time. Students could spend time organizing social events, playing games, running errands, or even just visiting with local seniors.
7. Building Homes
There are also specific philanthropy projects that give college students a chance to get some hands-on experience in various activities. The most famous example of this type of work is through the program called Habitat for Humanity. Vista College offers its own Habitat for Humanity building project that recruits college students enrolled on campus. These projects are great for busy students who may not be able to commit to a program over a longer period of time.
8. Making Meals
Finally, the last way college students can give others a hand is through meal preparation. Most colleges have some sort of kitchen facilities that can be reserved for a small fee. Joining up with more people can help students plan a large-scale meal service for the neediest people in the neighborhood. It’s a great idea to provide meals for the homeless and struggling on days like Thanksgiving or Easter.
College students have a unique opportunity to get involved beyond the borders of their campus. They can make an impact on the people in their neighborhood by volunteering their time in some of these activities.