Creating a Volunteer Movement at Your High School
Happy back to school, myKlovr readers. For most of you, school is A LOT different this fall with the COVID-19 pandemic making a proper return to school impossible. As you’re getting used to distance learning, a process that I guarantee is just as difficult for your teachers as it is for you, I want to introduce something you can do to enrich your learning experience.
In this article, we’ll take a look at creating a volunteer movement in your high school. As you’ve seen with our articles about Volunteer Crowd and Best Buddies, there are many ways to volunteer online and in person and share recommendations with your peers and teachers.
Why Create a Volunteer Movement Now?
There are plenty of good reasons to create a volunteer movement, but let’s focus on a few that apply to the here and now.
- You Have More Time on Your Hands: Although online learning can be just as rigorous as the in-person experience, you have more free time due to not commuting, and, sadly, the lack of traditional extracurricular activities. As a result, you can explore new opportunities to fill your free hours. Volunteering and encouraging others to do the same is an excellent way to spend your time.
- It Looks Good on a College Application: Starting a volunteer movement, especially one that involves a large number of your peers, can make your college application shine in college admission counselor’s eyes.
- People in Your Community Need Help: The COVID-19 pandemic has made vulnerable groups even more so, and hundreds if not thousands of people in your local community fall into this category.
How Do I Make a Volunteer Proposal?
Once you decide to create a volunteer movement at your school, you need a proposal that will both do some good for people in need and inspire your peers to help out. Here are some questions to get you going.
- What are the most pressing needs in my community which volunteers could impact?
- What skills do my peers and I have that would benefit organizations that need volunteers?
- How much time per week can my peers and I realistically dedicate to volunteering?
- How can I create a volunteer movement that will inspire not just people in my grade but all learners at my school?
- What role do I want to play in this volunteer movement? Leader? Coordinator? Participant?
How Do I Get People to Sign Up?
Now that you have a proposal, you need to get your message to your peers. Fortunately, taking classes online gives you an excellent way to communicate with other students. Let’s look at a few ways you can raise awareness and interest in your volunteering proposal.
- Discussion Board: Using a classroom discussion board (ask your teacher in advance to set one up for you), you can reach out to your peers or perhaps the entire school. As with any proposal, write at least two drafts and have an adult, preferably your teacher, review it for clarity and grammar.
- Ask Teachers/Administrators to Signal-Boost Your Ideas: Send your proposal to your teachers/principal to see if they would promote your ideas to the school’s students and staff. They can also offer you valuable feedback to make your proposal more successful.
- Leverage Volunteer Crowd and Best Buddies: As you know from myKlovr’s other articles, VolunteerCrowd and Best Buddies allow students to volunteer virtually, an excellent option as in-person volunteering is impossible for most students right now. You can discuss these services’ advantages in your discussion board post or another communication method.
How Do I Keep the Movement Going?
Once your volunteer movement starts gaining students’ interest, you have to sustain that interest if you want your movement to last more than a few months. Here are a few ideas to keep your fellow volunteers engaged.
- New volunteer projects each month.
- Recognizing top volunteers.
- Encouraging incoming freshmen with a presentation during a school assembly.
Personally, one thing I would avoid is trying to make volunteering a school graduation requirement. In my experience as a high school teacher, forcing high school-aged students to do anything can backfire tremendously. Also, people who genuinely want to volunteer are likely to do a much better job than those forced to do it.
“So shines a good deed in a weary world,” Willy Wonka once said by way of Shakespeare. The world is certainly weary right now, and any good deed has the potential to make our shared situation a little brighter. By creating a student volunteer program, you can make a lasting impact on your community. So, take some time between your Zoom classes and consider how you can help out those in need.
Do some good, myKlovr readers, and stay safe out there.