As semester draws to a close, it is not uncommon for students to find themselves in need of some volunteer hours for a class, organization, or scholarship. You know that IUPUI is nationally recognized for service and that the “end of education should surely be service to others,” but now you find yourself in a time crunch, looking for some volunteer hours. Is it too late to be civically engaged? The answer is a resounding "No!"
What can you do?
Don't miss this opportunity to get out of your comfort zone, be an active citizen, and make contact with your community in a new and exciting way. Here are some tips for how to take advantage of the situation, as well as some resources you will find helpful as you look for volunteer hours.
Volunteering late in the semester: 101
-Think outside the box! Use this chance to engage a nonprofit that fits your interests, passions, and personal goals. Then consider how establishing a relationship now with the organization you feel strongly about can lead to increased involvement in the future.
-Consider the service an opportunity to explore a nonprofit in hopes of spending more time there this summer, where you can gain more experience and responsibilities within the organization.
- If you are part of a student organization, propose an upcoming volunteer opportunity to the group. This will help your friends get their hours, and unify your group before you split for the summer.
-If you will be continuing your studies next semester, consider that the beginning of the semester is one of the hardest time to take on new ventures. Even if it seems late, get involved now and when school starts you will already have your priority of service in place!
-If you are graduating, you may be surprised to hear that volunteering is one of the best next steps you can take. Not only will you be benefiting society as you move on, but you will be establishing valuable connections in the community. The sooner you get involved the better!
-Remember: Service to others isn't for regular semesters only! The summer is a great time to volunteer and be an active citizen!
The Weekly Volunteer Opportunity Calendar: This resource details some of IUPUI’s “Community Partners,” which are local nonprofits. The calendar lists the Partners according to the work they need help with and allows you to find an opportunity which fits your busy schedule!
The Volunteer Verification Form: If you need hours for a scholarship, this is the form you will need to get signed and turned in before May 30th.
The Social Issue Sheets: If you would like to find your own opportunity and you know the social issue you are interested in, we categorized many local nonprofits so you can find one that shares your passion. The Volunteer Coordinators’ contact information is included for your convenience. Here they are:
Arts & Culture
Education & Literacy
Children and Youth
Health & Medicine
Hispanic and Latino Issues
Housing and Homelessness
For future reference, these resources and others can all be found along the right-hand side of the OCS Blog. Who knows? What started as a desperate need for hours might turn into a long-term commitment to a worthy, local cause. The end of semester might just turn out to be the beginning of something great!