7 Ideas for Volunteering Between Semesters

young woman with a volunteer tshirt and a clipboard

Volunteering is a great way to gain experience to put on your resume, learn new skills, and support a cause that matters to you. For these reasons, it’s one of the best ways to spend breaks between semesters. If you’re stuck for ideas about how to volunteer, consider the following.

1. Community Projects

Volunteering is often the most rewarding when you can see the difference you’re making within your community. Check social media groups for your area to find out if there are any community projects happening over the break. You may find opportunities to collect donations for a food drive, clean up a park, or tutor children.

2. Local Nonprofits

If you want to volunteer for a specific type of cause, find out what nonprofits operate in your area. Many will be happy for you to volunteer whenever you can — and they’re extra likely to need a pair of helping hands over the school break because some of their regular volunteers may be on vacation. Consider reaching out to organizations like animal shelters, food banks, and community arts centres.

3. Camps

If you’d like to dedicate your entire break to volunteering, sign up to be a camp counsellor. Although camps are most common over the summer break, there are often drop-in and day camps for kids during other times of the year as well. This option is ideal if you like working with children, especially if you’re able to find a camp where you can share your biggest passion with kids, whether that’s sports, technology, or the outdoors.

4. Sports Teams

Another way to become involved in a sport you love is to volunteer with a local team. You may be able to provide coaching, organize events, or manage equipment for the team. Try to find a role that will teach you relevant skills for your future career.

5. Care Homes and Hospitals

Places like care homes and hospitals are almost always looking for volunteers. This will provide you with valuable experience if you want to enter a career in health or social work after you graduate. As well as making a difference, you’ll have the chance to connect with people from different walks of life, which will give you the chance to expand your worldview.

6. Libraries

Local libraries often have limited funds, meaning they rely on volunteers for tasks like shelving books and helping patrons locate information or use technology. Plus, over the school breaks, libraries often have programs for kids and need volunteers to provide assistance.

7. Your Own Project

If there’s no organization in your area doing the kind of work that matters most to you, set up your own project. Although this will require more work, it will be great for learning entrepreneurial, organizational, and people skills. Depending on what you want to do, you may be able to carry out everything on your own or you may decide to recruit other people to help you, such as other students, kids, or professionals. In addition, you may be able to fund the project yourself or you may decide to seek support from local businesses.

If you want to volunteer in your university town (such as if you want to continue volunteering during the semester), you’ll need to find somewhere to live over the break, since you won’t be able to continue living on campus. An alternative to Ontario Tech University residence is 17Hundred. After a long day of volunteering, you’ll be able to relax in our games room or recover with some stretches in the 24-hour yoga studio. Book a tour to see our student community for yourself.