Remember when you were younger and spent summer vacationing, playing video games or just being lazy for three months? Those luxury days are (almost) over. As college students who need a compelling resume for this competitive world we call job hunting, we need to spend those three months wisely. So instead of working, taking summer classes, or vacationing, it’s a great idea to consider volunteering.
Volunteering is not simply work with no pay, or free labor as some would say. It’s helping multiple causes and making the world a better place. It also benefits you, because not only will you receive a diverse job experience, but you’ll develop communication skills along with the satisfaction of making a positive impact on the lives of other people. In Houston, there are many causes to support, with many organizations willing to assist those in need.
Alief Homeless Outreach Project: With a great number of homeless teens and families residing in Alief, Texas, this project was created to end homelessness within the Alief community. Numerous events focus on transforming and inspiring lives by providing support programs. These support programs include advocacy services, housing options, recreational opportunities, employment services and educational programs and services. The volunteer services are ongoing, so you can sign up anytime and they will give assignments when needed.
Alliance for Multicultural Community Services: This non-profit organization aspires to help the thousands of immigrants relocating to the U.S. achieve their independence and success as they begin their new lives. As a volunteer, you have the opportunity to assist in mock interviews to help them build communication and social skills, or even to help them adjust to the American lifestyle by helping them learn English.
Council for Environmental Education and Citizens’ Environmental Coalition: For those with a love for our ecosystem, these two organizations are highly esteemed advocates looking for volunteers. The Council for Environmental Education serves to inform and educate future generations to improve and save our world’s resources and energy while protecting wildlife. The Citizens’ Environmental Coalition actively networks and creates projects to raise awareness about the issue of environmental safety concerns within the Houston and Galveston area. They build safe houses and have lobbied over numerous issues with the help of their volunteers.
Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse: AVDA works to break the cycle of family violence in Houston by working through two programs. One of the programs, the Legal Advocacy Program, assists victims and survivors of abuse, while the Battering Intervention and Prevention Program helps with the rehabilitation and therapy of the abusers. Amongst local domestic violence programs, AVDA is the only one that has shown impactful results in ending family violence by treating the entire family.
There are many causes to support and a plethora of things you can do to serve your community. Most of these events take place near UH, and while they could all use your help, you might be the one benefiting the most.
To discover more causes and agencies that might interest you, visit http://volunteerhouston.org/.