Five Ways to Give Back to Your Community
When you return to school for your MBA, you’ll be encouraged to use your degree to make a difference in your community. While community service is an admirable undertaking, many people are stuck for ideas. Soup kitchens and animal shelters always need help, but many students are looking for bigger ideas. If you’d like to get involved with community service but aren’t sure where to start, here are five great ideas:
1. Tutor Children
Many communities have after-school programs that offer students help with homework and other school assignments. If you’ve made it to graduate school, there’s no doubt that you have a good deal of knowledge to share. Put that knowledge to good use and help students that need you. If your community doesn’t have an after-school program, starting one could be the ultimate way to give back. Other after-school programs offer ways to help at-risk kids keep up with their homework and stay in school.
If you want to get involved in your community but don’t have a particular interest, why not join AmeriCorps? The organization takes volunteers and places them where they are needed the most. Unlike other organizations, AmeriCorps requires a one to two year commitment of your time. In exchange, the organization will pay off some of your student loans and pay you a very small wage.
3. Nursing Homes
You may be surprised to find out that there are an above average number of residents in nursing homes who never receive visitors. Contact a few local nursing homes and find out if they have a need for volunteers. You can sit with residents and play board games, complete puzzles or read the local newspaper. For some of these residents, human contact is something that is sorely missed and welcomed with open arms.
4. Peace Corps
Many students associate the Peace Corps with the hippie movement of the 1970’s, but the organization is still going strong. As part of the Peace Corps, you’ll travel to parts of the world that you may not see otherwise, and volunteer your time where it is needed the most. You may work in schools, hospitals or even help build houses as part of your volunteer activities.
Whether you campaign at the local level or the national one, getting involved with politics can be great experience for the business world. If you aren’t sure who is running for office in your region, contact your party’s headquarters and express your interest in volunteering for a campaign. Even if your candidate doesn’t win, you’ll walk away with new contacts and experiences that you can carry with you into your career.
No matter where you choose to volunteer your time, be sure to treat volunteering just like you would any other job. Give the organization the respect that it deserves, show up on time and put all of your energy into your activities. If you treat volunteering in the same way you would treat a full-time job, you’ll walk away from the experience with a great sense of accomplishment and pride.
Wade Hobbs is a full-time writer for higher Ed blogs and journals nationwide with a focus on online education opportunities. Several schools offer online education degrees, including Rochester Institute of Technology and Providence College.
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Image courtesy of Creative Commons.
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