Handwritten letters, running, and zoo tours, unusual ways to give back

Students participate in unconventional ways to earn service hours



Students have found new, unique ways to give back to their community. Volunteering at the zoo, sorting books, and writing letters to nursing homes are all examples to earn hours

Many clubs and organizations around campus require their members to participate and earn community service hours. In response to the limited amount of service opportunities due to COVID, students are forced to look for new ways to give back. Many students have gotten creative with their approach to stacking up their hours with unique, non-traditional ways to give back to their community.

Some of the more recognizable clubs around campus are Leo Club, Letters for Rose, Operation Smiles, and the National Honors Society (NHS). Participating in these clubs come with many service opportunities that must be completed and students are responsible for getting them done before the end of the year. 

Junior Emma James is a member of UNICEF who partakes in an unusual way to earn community service hours. There is an app she uses called “Charity Miles” that she uses in exchange for community service hours. “For every mile walked or run, it donates money to any organization that you choose. For UNICEF, for every 5 miles ran or walk it gives us one community service hour so I just leave the app up and running… I thought it was extremely cool that it would donate to kids”, said James. 

Another alternative is students can reach out to their local pet store and play with dogs and keep them occupied for a couple hours and the store manager will sign off on community service hours. 

Animal lovers might also be interested in reaching out to their local zoo. The Phoenix Zoo offers a program for students to be a guide and teach residents more about the animal and plant life around the park. 

Now if animals are not a strong suit, perhaps assisting in educational purposes might be a better option. Reach out to your teachers or friends and ask them of any tutoring opportunities that you can take upon. Volunteer at the local library and help organize events or sort books. 

“Letters for Rose is a national club and I believe it started in New Jersey. Basically what they do is write letters to nursing homes and deliver them to different homes around the country”, said Mrs. Schultz. Once the club members write a series of letters, the club officers send them off. Mrs. Schultz recently took sponsorship over Letters for Rose.

There are numerous ways students can give back to the community in exchange for community service hours. Students can start branching out and find whatever suits them best.