30+ Awesome Activities for Volunteering and College Scholarships

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Volunteering and College Scholarships

Volunteering and college scholarships go hand-in-hand, but many students are stumped when it comes to finding community service activities. Read this list of community service examples for scholarships and find ideas that will benefit others and help win money for school.

What does volunteering have to do with college scholarships?

A LOT! Many organizations that offer scholarship money want to know what students are doing to help out their local communities. There are a TON of scholarships for volunteering available to both high school and college students.

It is important to note:  Not only do the organizations want to know WHAT students are doing, but they also want to know HOW MANY HOURS students have volunteered all through high school and in college.

To the scholarship-searching student, this means two very important things:

  1. Volunteer as much as possible for a few organizations (long-term volunteering)
  2. Keep careful and detailed track of each volunteer hour

I’ve written several articles on how volunteering and college scholarships go hand-in-hand, but today, I’d like to give teens ideas about WHERE to volunteer. Feel free to share these community service ideas with college and high school students.

Here are 30 awesome activities for volunteering with community service examples for scholarships:

(Stuck at home? Scroll down to find a complete list of community service ideas to do from home.)

Places of worshipCollegeXpress Scholarship

  • Church cleaning
  • Vacation Bible School
  • Teach or assist in religious education classes
  • Weekly children’s church activities
  • Raking leaves and grounds maintenance
  • Help with fundraisers, choir membership
  • Church-organized youth sports teams

Local Non-profits

  • Help create and maintain websites/social media accounts
  • Hold a bake-sale
  • Offer to wash windows or mow lawns
  • Have a car wash
  • Help care for homeless pets at shelters
  • Assist in delivering food with Meals on Wheels


  • Read to young children
  • Hold a book drive
  • Teach adults in computer/internet skills
  • Start an after-school reading club
  • Tutor young students where they need extra help


  • Take senior citizens grocery shopping
  • Help with yard work
  • Shovel snow
  • Offer to take out garbage cans and bring them back in each week on trash day
  • Babysit or become a mother’s helper to a financially strapped family
  • Check-out and deliver library books for those without transportation
  • Create a reading club for young children
  • Walk dogs
  • Participate in Adopt-A-Highway trash pick-up


  • Start a newcomers club that welcomes students moving into the area
  • Tutor before or after school
  • Help a teacher grade papers
  • Keep score/stats at sporting events
  • Become an assistant coach for students on young teams

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Become the founder of your own community service project in an area that interests YOU.

All three of my boys created their own volunteer projects, all with great success. In a nutshell, here are their projects:

Son #1 Collected medals from local runners and coaches to donate to a big children’s hospital. Physical therapists awarded the medals to kids in rehab.

Son #2 Convinced area restaurants to donate gift cards to our local community funded medical hospitality house. People with loved ones in the hospital need to eat too!

30 Awesome Activities for Volunteering and College ScholarshipsSon #3 Helped an inner-city FIRST Robotics team find sponsors to help fund much-needed robot parts and tools. This team’s improved robot came in 2nd place in their next competition!

For all three of their projects, I called our local paper and asked if they would like to do a story about their volunteer work. Much to my delight, all three of my sons’ projects were featured in the paper! People love to read about teens doing good, so don’t hesitate to let the press know what you or your teen is up to!

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If you or your teen are unsure or hesitant about volunteering, volunteer as a family!

Parents can play a big role in helping their students win college scholarships by encouraging them to volunteer and do community service together.

Once students become familiar with giving their time and helping out others, they will become comfortable with volunteering on their own and make contacts with community leaders who will appreciate their good work. Also, these contacts are usually happy to write a letter of recommendation for college and scholarship applications.

Don’t miss:  How to Get a Great Letter of Recommendation

College scholarships for volunteering are very popular and should not be skipped because of the lack of community service hours.

Start now, no matter how old your student is, and teach them the importance of volunteering! Don’t forget how important it is to stay organized and keep track of each volunteer hour and contact made.

Do you have any ideas to add for volunteering and college scholarships?

How about specific scholarships for volunteering?

I’d love to increase this list, so feel free to share in the comments section below. 

30 Awesome Activities for Volunteering and College Scholarships Click To Tweet

Use this list to find community service ideas while at home.

Thank you, Julia Byrd, Essay Coach, for granting me permission to share this great list of at-home community service examples!

30 Awesome Activities for Volunteering and College Scholarships #college #scholarships #ScholarshipMom

Looking for more college scholarships?

I highly recommend this book as a companion to the How to Win College Scholarships ebooks:

How Volunteering Helps Win College Scholarships for Students

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