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Ready to Serve?

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:

Find a Community Partner (volunteer organization) or sign up for an OLCE program (below) that aligns with your values. 

Need Help? Check out the UN SDGs

Or, find some local partners on our website!

  • Make sure it counts as service – double-check here
  • What does the organization need most?
  • What do other volunteers typically do?
  • Is there anything you need to complete prior to volunteering (e.g., background check, waivers, trainings)?
  • Are these pieces you’re willing to spend your time doing?
  • Dress appropriately
  • Wear sensible shoes
  • Water 
  • Snacks, especially if you get hangry
  • Tools, if needed
  • Documents/Identification, if needed
  • Positive attitude 

These are the most important steps:

  1. Show up on-time
  2. Be humble and listen to the persons in charge
  3. Have fun!

Take our quiz to figure out what program would be best for you!

Check the bottom of our page for:
  • Guidelines for Volunteer Conduct
  • Volunteer Safety
  • Community Partner Spotlight video
  • Understanding Service vs. Sanction

How-to Volunteer

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).

You can also check out the weekly #GoLead newsletter to find out upcoming volunteer opportunities in Statesboro, Savannah, and surrounding areas. This newsletter is up-to-date with Community Partners wanting volunteers, community events, and campus volunteer opportunities. Information about how to sign-up for a listed event is located on the newsletter.

The Triangle of Quality Community Service

Break Away: the Alternative Break Connection, Inc., 2009

Now What?

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

Then, log your hours in Eagle Engage

Logging your hours helps you remember everything you’ve done in your college career. 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!

  1. If you had a great time, sign up for a program out of our office, invite a friend to join you, or sign up for DIRT
  2. Be sure to update your resume or Curriculum Vitae with any skills or knowledge you picked up. Here are some tips and tricks.
  3. Don’t have a resume? Not sure how to word what you did? Schedule an appointment with our friends at Career Services!

Guidelines for Conduct

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

Volunteer Safety

There are always risks associated with volunteering for the volunteer and organization. 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

Community Engagement Spotlight

Watch the video to learn more about Community Engagement. Then, check back periodically as we update with videos from our Community Partners and guest speakers.

Service vs Sanction

Community Service
  • 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
University Sanction
  • 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