Sara Laughed
Community service in college - help your community, boost your resume, and win a concert with Lil Wayne!

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Community service was a huge part of my high school years. Every week in my sophomore year of high school, I would visit senior citizens in my hometown. In my junior year, I volunteered at my public library. And in my senior year, I worked with a local group to teach English as a second language.

But that stopped when went to college.

It's not that I didn't want to serve my community when I went to school. It's that I wasn't connected to my new community. When I left my hometown, I left all the organizations and ties that where I used to volunteer. Coming to college, I didn't know how to get involved again.

Many college students deal with this problem when they get to university. As they adjust to a new environment and a new lifestyle, social activism and volunteer work can take a backseat. But service is so important. It connects us to our community; it builds relationships; it helps our neighborhoods grow and develop.

That's why TIDAL, the global entertainment platform and music streaming service, is partnering with Lil Wayne to promote social activism on college campuses. Their campaign, called Social Wave For Change, is giving college students the opportunity of a lifetime by rewarding meaningful community service. Finalists get a silent disco at their school, and the winner gets a Lil Wayne concert held near their college!

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Here's how it works:

  • Any 18+ college student attending a four-year college or university can enter here.
  • To enter, through February 29th, post a public picture of yourself doing an act of community service to TIDAL's Facebook or Instagram page. Include the hashtag #TIDALXChange, your college name, and tag a friend.
  • A panel of judges will choose the finalists, and the public will vote on the winner.
  • All entrants are eligible for 3 free months of TIDAL, the finalists will receive a silent disco at their school, and the winner will receive a Lil Wayne concert near her school.

I love that TIDAL is promoting community service and social activism. I would also be so happy if my readers got more involved in their communities, or if one of you even won the concert! As a way to encourage you to all to apply and to get involved in your communities, below I'm including 25 ways to “give back” to your community when you're still in college.

Community service in college - help your community, boost your resume, and win a concert with Lil Wayne!

1. Volunteer in a soup kitchen in your local city

You can find a list of food pantries and soup kitchens by state here.

2. Collect canned goods and foods to donate to a food drive

Feeding America has a list of their guidelines for food donations online!

3. Host an on-campus bake sale to raise money for a charity you care about

You could do this for any charity, but She's the First is a girls' education charity that I am really passionate about, and they even have a program for on-campus bake sales.

4. Volunteer at sustainable food centers to combat food insecurity

Ways to Give Back in College

Hundreds of people throughout the country struggle with food insecurity, or not having access to healthy foods; organizations like the Sustainable Food Center try to combat this through community farming. See if there's a similar organization in your area!

5. Tutor children

Many children need extra help in school, but cannot afford tutoring. Most major cities have programs where college students and adults can volunteer to help these kids on a weekly basis. See if your city or college has one!

6. Volunteer at your local hospital

Hospitals don't just run on the work of nurses and doctors; they also need volunteers to survive! Almost every hospital has a volunteer program for people who can commit at least an hour a week. Visit the homepage of your local hospital to see if it does, too! Especially if you go to college in or near a city, public transportation to your local hospital is likely to be available.

7. Be a “Yellow Shirt” at Camp Sunshine on break

Camp Sunshine is a summer camp for children with life-threatening illness. All families attend completely for free, so Camp Sunshine runs on the labor of volunteers (who are called Yellow Shirts because of, well, our yellow tee shirts). Lots of college students volunteer during their winter, spring, or summer breaks. You can learn how to volunteer with Camp Sunshine here.

8. Get involved in causes with your religious community

Most religious communities have a special focus on community service or giving back; my church focuses on combating starvation and homelessness through volunteer work and donations. See if your religious organization or group on campus already has a cause, and if not, see if you can choose one together.

9. Volunteer at your local library

Community service in college - help your community, boost your resume, and win a concert with Lil Wayne!

Many libraries have volunteer programs where you can help with everything from managing daily tasks for the library, to organizing events, to reading to children. Visit your local library's website to see if they have a volunteer program.

10. Have a clothing drive in your dorm

Get a group of people together to host a clothing drive in your dorm, where students can swap or trade their clothing for sustainability.

11. Get involved in an on-campus activist group

Find a group on campus that reflects a community or cause that you care about and see if you can get involved. Often these groups have regular volunteer or action opportunities.

12. Volunteer for a political group on- or off-campus

Especially considering this is an election year, now is a great time to get involved in politics. See if you can get involved in a political club on campus or volunteer for a campaign. Not sure who you side for? Check out ISideWith.

13. Volunteer locally to care for Veterans

DAV has a page of different ways to support veterans, including driving a van to get veterans to their appointments, or volunteering at a VA hospital.

14. Organize a Habitat build with your sorority or club

Habitat for Humanity often has groups from different college campuses come together to help build houses for those who do not have shelter. You can learn more about Habitat here.

15. Do something you love, for charity

Often, you can raise money for an organization you care about doing something you already love. For example, if you're a runner, participate in an MS Run to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis research. If you're a musician, put together a small charity event where you and your friends play music for donations. Find something that you love and are skilled in, and think about a creative way to use those talents for good.

That's all I've got, but I'd love to hear from you.

How do you “give back” to your community? Will you be entering TIDAL's contest?

TIDAL Logo

This post is sponsored by TIDAL and Her Campus Media. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Sara Laughed possible!

18 Comments

  1. Reply

    Mikayla

    February 22, 2016

    I love volunteer work and giving back to the community. These are all such amazing things to do !

    Mikayla | A Seersucker State of Mind.

  2. Reply

    Tiffani Grosser

    February 22, 2016

    These are some awesome ways to volunteer! I think it becomes harder for people to volunteer when they enter college because there are so many changes in life. Thanks for sharing these, I’m totally feeling some volunteer work in my near future.

    • Reply

      Sara

      February 22, 2016

      I definitely agree about the changes. Life becomes to much more hectic, and it’s hard to give back. I’m glad you may be doing volunteer work soon! Good for you!

  3. Reply

    Jenny

    February 22, 2016

    Thanks for sharing all of these great ways to volunteer!
    I actually did a lot of volunteer work in college through my sorority so it was awesome to have that connection in college as well.
    I haven’t volunteered much since graduating and I do miss it and hope to get back to it soon.
    xoxo, Jenny

    • Reply

      Sara

      February 22, 2016

      That’s so awesome, that your sorority was dedicated to community service. I think sororities can be such a positive force not just in our own lives, but also in the community.

  4. Reply

    Amy Lim

    February 22, 2016

    This is awesome! Too often we are more caught up and concerned about ourselves that we forget to give back to others. Thanks for sharing this!

    xoxo

    Amy | Pastel N Pink

  5. Reply

    Anna Hubbard

    February 22, 2016

    This is an awesome guide to volunteering! I’ve volunteered a couple times since being in college, and it definitely makes you feel good 🙂
    -Anna | http://www.fivefootandfabulous.com

  6. Reply

    Kayla S

    February 22, 2016

    These are all such great ideas! When I was in college, my sorority was pretty active in volunteering. I haven’t really done much since graduation but I should definitely get back into it!

    Kayla || Keynotes from Kay

  7. Reply

    Miss ALK

    February 22, 2016

    I enjoy doing philanthropy work with my sorority, and this semester I’m trying to get involved in a different off campus organization as well. Great ideas in this post!

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

  8. Reply

    Ashley

    February 22, 2016

    What a great roundup! I volunteered in college at a children’s pre-school and really enjoyed it!

    xo Ashley

  9. Reply

    Elana

    February 22, 2016

    I love all of your volunteering ideas! I did a lot of volunteering in college.

  10. Reply

    Lauren Ashley

    February 23, 2016

    These are all such great ways to volunteer. I really want to get back into volunteering!
    xo
    Lauren
    The Fashionista’s Diary

  11. Reply

    Ashley Vickney

    February 23, 2016

    I love this! I volunteered a ton through my sorority, we actually had to do 20 hours a week! I still volunteer now that I’m an alumna I still volunteer with them! I’m going to pin this so I can use it when I move!
    xoxo

  12. Reply

    Oksana Radionova

    February 23, 2016

    Your post is a timely reminder to spend less time focusing on myself and more time focusing on those less-fortunate, so thank you for sharing!

  13. Reply

    Bella B @ xoxoBella

    February 23, 2016

    Volunteering is something that I love doing. Every Monday night I go and bake with seniors and it is the highlight of my week. I wish more people did it. This is such a fantastic campaign.

  14. Reply

    Shannon Brown

    February 23, 2016

    I absolutely love all of these! It is hard to stay active in community service once you enter college but these are all great suggestions on how to become more involved!

  15. Reply

    Allison Jones

    February 24, 2016

    These are awesome suggestions. I did a lot of community service with my sorority in college and I learned so much! Now, my husband and I have our own foundation, so we do most of our giving back through that.

    All the Best,
    Allison | http://www.LiveLifeWellBlog.com

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