Say Goodbye To The Looming Volunteer Hours

Olivia Ramos, Staff Writer

   With school ending in 3 months, many seniors of Pines Charter are understandably getting stressed by the looming 40 volunteer hours that must be completed before the end of the year. Even many of the underclassmen are starting to stress, due to them simply being clueless about where to go for hours. Much of the school year consisted of studying for midterms, creating bonds and having a life, so it is no fault of anyone to forget the community service that must be completed.  Do not stress though, as these hours will be done within the span of 2 months if you take these tips. 


Do something you are passionate or interested in!

 “Start early and make sure the activity is tied into something you already enjoy doing.  It will feel less like a chore and you are more likely to show up when you already like what you do,”   says the volunteer hour head administrator, Ms.Chaca. There’s no doubt that volunteering for a community service can be draining if you don’t like what you are doing, so do something that peaks your interest. Time will fly by. Volunteering is a broad spectrum where you can do anything and get volunteer hours, meaning that your options are endless. Don’t waste anyone’s time by showing your disinterest in the work you’re doing. This could mean doing something that keeps you stimulated and engaged, leading us to our next step.


Do something that you’re good at

   Do something that you have experience in. If you play a sport and know the basics of it, then an option is to go to the YMCA and become a coach for kids of all ages. If you’re good at baking, organizing, or anything that will help others, then do it. Many organizations really need help, so taking time out of your day to do something you’re already well accustomed to will maximize your time and truly help the people around you. Ms. Chaca suggests, “Try to find opportunities embedded within the extracurriculars you have already taken on. For example, if you already play a sport for a City Municipality (and NOT for a private team), see if you can come before or after games/practices to help coach a younger team, set up other practice sessions, or assist in any way.  Find ways to incorporate earning hours within your current activities. There are Not for Profit organizations that can use activities you already enjoy to benefit our community.”


Do something that’ll help someone 

   Lending a helping hand can help you with the hours you need. From volunteering at a homeless shelter, or going to a local church to help pack up food and clothes for the less fortunate, simple acts of kindness can help with gaining some well-deserved hours. Besides the hours, providing food or clothes to people who can’t afford to have basic necessities opens your eyes to your lifestyle, and how privileged you are to be able to not worry about such things. So, if you have time and want to help people, then don’t miss this opportunity. 


Internships for future majors create opportunities 

   If you already have your future job planned and need to see if you really want to stick with the job, this is the perfect opportunity for you to gain experience, see your desired workforce, and gain hours. Many programs offer internships to people willing to put in the work and train to become better at the job they wish to pursue. With these experiences, you can eventually put it on your college resume. Keep in mind that paid internships do not count towards volunteering! Finding internships will help you get your hours over with, and is also something interesting to put for your college applications. 


Help your teachers

It is no secret that teachers are overworked and underpaid. This is a major issue, but you can help out by lending a hand to them if need be. There is a club in Pines Charter called UTAP that offers volunteer hours simply for staying after school and providing help for teachers. This creates a bond with the teacher, and makes it easier to gain a college recommendation in future years. So, don’t hesitate to help a teacher clean up, organize, or even grade some papers, as this can help you gain plenty of hours and a recommendation to your dream school. As Jamelia Fletcher, a senior in Pines Charter says, “Get close with teachers, make sure they like you, and create opportunities.”


Help with sports events

This opportunity is more specifically towards athletes that may need help with collecting hours. To the volleyball/basketball players, did you know that simply doing the scoreboard or line judging can give you 6 hours? Many referees can give hours to the students that help with the game because it is “helping simplify their job.” If you’re not an athlete, no worries! Many of the outdoor sports still require some help, like being a waterboy or helping injured players wrap up their sprains. Sports require a lot of help outside of the court or field, so helping the people that do the off-the-field work offers a plethora of hours.


   These are just some of the many things you can do to make your hours go up and your stress go down. Sometimes, taking the time out of your day and providing a helping hand can do more help than just gaining hours. So, before the year ends, do some of the things that are on this list so you don’t have to worry about it later. It’s understandable for many students to struggle with these hours, so Ms. Chaca would like to provide some advice for aspiring volunteers. The program was started to remind students that they are part of a community, and the community needs them.  Actions have consequences, so make sure your actions are creating a positive ripple effect in the world. Start early and make sure the activity is tied into something you already enjoy doing.” She adds that it isn’t a hard process that requires many steps. Students just need to keep their eyes out for opportunities.  For more information about volunteering opportunities, visit the school website, to find the best options for you.