Ready to Serve?
Getting involved in Community Service and Volunteer efforts can feel overwhelming, but we are here to make sure you have the tools you need to serve! Not sure where to start? Sign up for an OLCE program that aligns with your values. From there, make sure to check out the resources before so you’re fully prepared to serve, and can make the most of your volunteer experience!
Take the Service Your Way Quiz to figure out what program would be best for you!
Preparing to Serve
Volunteering is an incredibly rewarding experience and can be bettered by being prepared.
Use this short list so you’re ready to engage and give back!
Our weekly #GoLead newsletter is a great way to find out upcoming volunteer opportunities and OLCE events!
Visit our Community Partner page to find an organization to volunteer with today! You can easily search by county, campus, or social issue.
Once you find an organization you want to volunteer with, check out their website to learn more. Many of our community partners have volunteer applications, sign-ups, and more information online. If you can’t find volunteer information on their website, please email or call using the listed information on the Community Partner page (linked above).
Need Help? Check out the UN SDGs
- Make sure what you’re planning to do counts as service – double-check here
- Educate yourself on what Quality Community Service looks like. Check out the diagram below:
- Identify your location on the Active Citizen Continuum. Check out the chart below:
- Dress appropriately
- Generally, this means cool, comfortable clothing and closed-toed shoes, but check with your volunteer site if you’re unsure!
- Water bottle
- Snacks (especially if you get hangry)
- Documents/Identification, if needed
- Some site may require a background check and/or signed waiver. Check out our Volunteer and Track Hours page for information on obtaining a background check for free.
Time to Serve
Now that you’ve signed up to serve with an organization you want to support, researched how to be a quality volunteer, and gathered all your supplies and materials, it is time to serve! Make sure you:
- Show up on-time
- Be humble and listen to the persons in charge
- Follow our Guidelines for Conduct while Volunteering and Volunteer Safety
Our community partners have expectations of students who come to volunteer with them. Even though this isn’t a paid job, it is still important to remain professional as you are representing yourself, organization, and Georgia Southern.
- Have a positive attitude
- Come prepared with appropriate dress and all needed supplies
- Be on time
- Listen to and follow the rules of the organization
- Be courteous of other volunteers, staff, and visitors
- Do seek out additional ways to help if you finish early
- Ask questions if something is unclear
- Work hard
- Maintain confidentiality of those being served
- Try to complete something you don’t have the skills for
- Assume you know what the leader or organization wants
- Compromise quality
- Breach another’s comfort zone
- Flake on the organization
- Leave something unfinished
- Be disrespectful to the organization, fellow volunteers, or those being served
There are always risks associated with volunteering. Follow our simple steps to keep yourself and the organization safe:
- Always wear appropriate clothing and close-toed shoes
- Don’t try to go beyond your skill level
- If asked to do something you’re uncomfortable with, say no
- If injured, tell a staff person right away for treatment
- Watch out for yourself and others
- Leave valuables at home or locked in your car
- Remember any training you have had that would prepare you for volunteering
- Comply with all local, state, and federal laws
- Comply with all posted & spoken regulations, advice, and rules of the organization
- If it’s out of your repertoire (e.g., electrical, operating heavy machinery, dealing with a mental health crisis, etc.), go find a staff member
After You’ve Served
When you’re done with the physical service, there are still actions to make your volunteering experiences more worthwhile:
- What did you learn from this experience?
- Who did you meet? What were they like?
- Did anything stop to make you think?
- Why do you think that was so?
- What does it say about your community that your service was needed?
Follow this link to learn how to log your hours in Eagle Engage
Benefits of Logging your Service Hours
- Logging your hours helps you remember everything you’ve done in your college career, and makes adding them to your Resume and CV easier. It can be helpful to talk about these experiences in interviews for internships, co-ops, and jobs!
- Logging your hours also helps Georgia Southern prove that we have the best and most caring students!
Explore. Engage. Evaluate. Showcase your Community Engagement Activities by earning all three Community Engagement Badges, and then apply for the Community Engagement Certificate! These badges and the certificate are a great way to showcase the learning and experiences you’ve had while engaging with your community through service!
Have you logged 50 or more volunteer hours in Eagle Engage? Apply to earn a Track Your Impact Award your volunteer efforts. Students who have earned 50+ hours can apply for the Georgia Southern President’s Volunteer Service Award and students who have earned 100+ hours can apply for the U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award.
Service hours must be logged within a 12-month time period, from February 17th of the current year-February 17th of the next.
Recipients of these awards will be recognized each April during National Volunteer Month at the Eagle Excellence Awards show.
Community Engagement Spotlight
Service vs Sanction
- Individual chooses to give back to their community
- Service is completed out of altruism or in conjunction with an organization
- Makes a positive impact with the organization they work with
- Hours can be counted towards President’s Volunteer Service Award and most other awards
- Individual is told to give back to their community
- Service is completed as a form of restitution to the wronged community
- Makes a positive impact with the organization they work with
- Hours often can not be counted toward awards
Last updated: 5/2/2022