—Esther Chung, Editor-in-Chief—
Because volunteering is so important to a high schooler’s career, many local businesses and services in Richmond offer valuable volunteer service opportunities. These opportunities range from providing medical aid to working with children or animals and look great on a transcript when applying for jobs or colleges. Additionally, they can help students get into high school honor societies such as Beta Club or National Honors Society. Here are just a few places to get volunteering hours and experience:
- Bon Secours (Hospital)
If one is looking to work in the medical field, Bon Secours is a great opportunity to serve the community and gain insightful experience at the same time. The majority of the volunteer opportunities at Bon Secours consist of clerical duties as well as aiding patients in their day-to-day lives. The minimum age requirement for most positions is 16, and applications require two references. Bon Secours is generally not highly selective but often takes a long time to process applications (2-4 months average). To volunteer here, students must commit two four-hour shifts a month for an entire year. Find more information here.
- Richmond Animal League (Animal Shelter)
For those who love working with animals, Richmond Animal League is the perfect place to volunteer. Boasting a roster of over 300 committed volunteers, RAL is always open to new people. Applications (consisting of an individual’s name, age, and reason why they want to volunteer) are simply sent by email, and though the minimum age is 18, students ages 15-17 are able to help as Youth Volunteers. RAL asks volunteers to commit to at least 3 months weekly or bi-weekly, and shifts are an average of 2-4 hours. Interested? Apply here.
- Children’s Museum of Richmond (Children’s Museum)
Individuals who enjoy working with younger children will have a great time volunteering at the Children’s Museum. Found in four locations locally, the museums need volunteers who will interact with children and help them play and learn. Volunteers are expected to commit twice a month for at least three months, and applications are found here. Two references are needed as well as a minimum age of 14. Volunteers are able to spend many hours of community service here, and the experience that comes with it is truly one of a kind.
- VCU Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (Hospital)
For those wanting more opportunities to explore the medical field, VCU offers volunteers a chance to experience the benefits of taking time to help out the community by allowing volunteers ages 14-17 to help out at the VCU Children’s Hospital. This popular program called the Junior Volunteers Program allows students to take time in the summer and learn about medical opportunities and occupations. Applications for the 2017 program begin in January 2017, so bookmark this website and sit tight if interested.
For other opportunities, check out Key Club, Beta Club, or National Honors Society for new ways to volunteer.
Photo Credits: Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center: Mark Gormus (Richmond Times Dispatch), RAL Logo: Richmond Animal League x2, CMoR: Richmond Biz Sense, Children’s Museum of Richmond, VCU: Shira Pollard, Cover Photo Source(hands clip art): Kristen Fescoe