Tag Archives: volunteer

Giving Back This Season

Filed under: College Life, Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations, Social Life/Relationships - Angelina
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Darlene Megino BookRenter Blogger Biography

Holiday break is always a great time filled with family, food, fun, and presents! During your holiday break, don’t forget to take some time to give back to the community! Whether you donate to a food drive, donate clothes, or help out a local soup kitchen, you can spread the holiday cheer and remember what the holidays are truly about.

1. Coat Drive

Take a look into your closet and see which coats you no longer wear. If you are feeling like you can part with it, donate it to a local charity drive! There are a ton of coat charity drives that reward people for their generous donations. For instance, some restaurants and coffee shops give donors a free dessert, appetizer, or coffee for every X amount of jackets they bring. Some places even give gift cards in exchange for some coats. So, clean out that closet, donate your coat to someone in need, and maybe even get rewarded! Check your local businesses for coat charity drives.

Winter Charity Coat Drive

Photo © trend-kid

2, Toys For Tots

If you have extra cash to spare, then donate some new toys to Toys for Tots! This wonderful organization gives toys to kids who are less fortunate. Their parents request toys for their holiday gifts and donated toys will fulfill the child’s wishlist. If you don’t have any extra cash to purchase gifts, you can also host your own Toys For Tots event to donate to the charity.

Toys for Tots Charity

Photo © Toys For Tots

3. Volunteer

Looking to give back, but have no way of donating items? No problem! You can volunteer at local shelters, church parishes, and soup kitchens. You can volunteer to help serve food to those in need or simply help set-up. No task is too small and they are always welcoming new volunteers. Find places to volunteer: http://www.homelessshelterdirectory.org/

Soup Kitchen Holiday Volunteer Work

Photo © WHL Consulting

Happy Holidays! How are you planning to give back?

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College Students Giving Back

Filed under: College Life, Tips, Volunteering and Giving Back - Angelina
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Megan Lehman Blogger Biography





College is overwhelming. When you are not studying, you are working. When you are not working, you are probably trying to have a social life right? And when you are having a social life, you are feeling guilty about not studying. Or is that just me?

Us college students need an escape from school, work, and the crazy social scene.  What do I recommend? Volunteering. I am serious! I have been taking some time this year to step back, and look past all the studying, working, and craziness, and start something worthwhile. Are you interested in getting in on this? Well, here is a little bit of advice to get you started.

1.Be a Big Brother / Big Sister

There is nothing more important than being a role model for someone. Whether you are already a biological older sibling, it does not matter. You can be the difference in someone’s life. And all it takes is an hour or two a week. That is all. You can cut out a bit of the craziness, right?

2. World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine

Do you have a passion and desire to help people all over the world? Did you know that a small child dies every 15 seconds from hunger or hunger related illnesses? By signing up for the World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine, giving up food for a mere 30 hours, and doing activities that are similar to the daily actions of someone who is actually living hungry, you can do so much to change lives. You might even change yourself while you’re at it.

3. Dance Marathon

For the kids! Come out and have fun with your friends dancing the night away at the Dance Marathon. You will not only be making memories, you’ll be raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network. You would be one pretty awesome dude.

Ask anyone involved in these programs how incredible they are and they will tell you exactly what I am about it; they are more than worth it. Yes, we are in college and finding time to sleep is hard enough. But finding time to give to others is worth so much more than a couple of zzz’s, don’t you think?

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Life After College: Now What?

Filed under: Post Grad and Career, Travel & Abroad, Volunteering and Giving Back - Social Community Manager
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Graduating from college is a huge accomplishment, and it’s even more wonderful if you have already secured a post-grad job… but what about those of us who haven’t? Your happy little moment of celebration can easily be soured with the reminder that you don’t have your foot in the job market yet, but rest assured, there are plenty of options for the unemployed undergrad.

Join the Peace Corps

Train for six months, serve for one to two years in another country with a monthly allowance, and get paid $7,500 for your work? Yes please! There are about nine different categories volunteer work falls under, from Education and Health to HIV/AIDS and Business. Connect with a recruiter in your area to find out more about the application process, but it’s best to start early if you want to be volunteering within six months. You might not get to pick which country you go to because it’s all based on the needs of what skills you have, but it’s a great opportunity to travel, make a difference in the world, and take a break from school to let the economy recover before you job search. Not to mention, it will look great on your resume! Side note: the other option is to do Americorps, which recruits volunteers to serve here in the U.S..

Teach English as foreign language (TEFL)

Become certified to teach English in another country in as little as 4-6 weeks and all online! You may be able to find a program overseas that doesn’t require you to be

certified, but most employers look for people who are. With the TEFL certificate, you can teach in a variety of countries, such as Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, European countries, and South America. If you think you might want to teach, consider the very basic TEFL certificate. Even with the basic certificate, it’s a great resource to have if you want the means to live anywhere you wish. 

Just travel

A lot of people I’ve talked to seem to have one thing in common as far as what they regretted not doing after college: traveling. If you have long lost relatives overseas, take advantage of the connection and give them a call or send an email to catch up. Usually, families are more than welcoming when it comes to hosting. Since housing and food is already hooked up, all you’ll have to worry about is your round-trip plane ticket (assuming you want to come home!).

Still feeling stuck? It’s important to remember not to panic. You always have options; just put the time and research into seeing exactly what they are. The more research you do on your own, the better you’ll feel and the better choice you’ll make.


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A Volunteer How-To

Filed under: College Life, Volunteering and Giving Back - BookRenter Team
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By guest blogger Serena Piper
Journalism major at the University of Oregon. Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus Oregon. Magazine, freelance blogger, future world traveler. In her spare time, she likes to read as many books as she can, go for long drives, and peruse news websites. Hopes to one day write for National Geographic.

Extracurricular requirements can play a pretty big part in our college career. Whether or not we’ve done any volunteering shows future employers not only what we’re passionate about, but also that we took on the extra effort, even though we may have already been swamped with our class load or part-time job. Luckily, there is no requirement for how long you have to volunteer at an organization (although it is preferable that you stick with it for longer than, say, 3 weeks); they can always use the extra help.

What’s even luckier is that there are many organizations central to a lot of different cities, so no matter where you are for school, if you find one you like, you can stick with it long after you’ve graduated! Like, for example…


This non-profit organization’s mission is to match a mentor with a mentee age 6-18, and help improve youth self-esteem through one-to-one relationships. Mentors and mentees hang out once per week and do fun things like rock-climbing, white water rafting, and attending sports events. Bonus: they even offer college credit!


If you volunteer for the Humane Society, you have the opportunity to walk and play with the animals. Photo by Travel Salem.

If you’re living in the dorms and policy says you can’t have an animal, the Humane Society is your ticket to cuddling up with a furry buddy. Volunteers are the keys to adoption at the Humane Society. Who exercises the animals and makes them more sociable and adoptable? Volunteers. What better way to spend your free time than helping a critter find its new home?


Another non-profit organization that supports the people and programs that help adults learn to read and write, ProLiteracy works not just in the U.S, but internationally as well. Volunteers help with G.E.D. preparation and English as a second language, and assist middle schoolers/high schoolers with test preparation in reading, writing, and mathematics.

What you should know before volunteering:

  • When you find an organization you like, be up front on your volunteer application. Let them know what your time commitment is and of any schedule restraints you have.
  • Sometimes you’re going to get a little dirty! Unless you choose to volunteer in a nice clean office, you might get a little muddy or a little hairy. For example, if you don’t want to chance ruining your favorite pair of Levis, you might not want to volunteer at a horse ranch. Try to find an organization where you’ll be less concerned with what you look like, and more concerned with the mission at hand.
  • Attitude is everything. Find an organization you actually like, otherwise it won’t be as pleasant an experience as it could be. Remember you’re there to help in any way you can, so if you show some enthusiasm, there’s always the possibility of a letter of recommendation, or even a job offer down the road.
  • Don’t assume that just because you’re one person, you can’t make a difference. No, you aren’t Superman, but as cheesy as it sounds, you might be exactly that to a youth at risk, or an animal needing advocacy. One person can get a lot done, so don’t underestimate yourself and your ability to contribute!

How to Connect:

If you still haven’t found what you are looking for, head over to volunteermatch.org. They’ve got a whole archive of opportunities so you’re bound to find something you like.

Good luck with your search!

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Summer Jobs: Get Up and Get Out There!

Filed under: Post Grad and Career - BookRenter Team
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From camp counselor to coolest babysitter ever, here are 8 ways you can still have fun this summer (and get paid for it).

By Guest Blogger Charmaine Ng I UNIVERSITY OF OREGON:Ambitious and talented, honest and human, this tri-lingual social media strategist and curator is also a published author. Harbors a secret desire to one day have a multi-hyphenated title.

So okay. You’re getting tired of hearing about the cool things your friends are doing this summer while your days seem to be filled with a whole lot of nothing. Well, summer may be half over, but it’s not too late to take advantage of the weeks you have left. Here are eight ways to have some summer fun – and get paid for it.

1. Lead the way into the woods as a camp counselor. Disconnect yourself from your phone, and jump into the outdoors with kids! Sure, there’s a lot of potential for stress, but think of it as a mini vacation – with pay.

by Mallix

2. Lounge by the pool as a lifeguard. Well, you won’t really be lounging all the time. There’s real work involved. But hey, you’ll have an amazing tan!

3. Live in crowds of retail. This time of year lots of department stores and other retailers are hiring part-timers for the back-to-school rush. You’ll work hard for the money, but if you’ve got stamina and people skills, this is a job made for you. (The benefits aren’t bad either: 40% employee discount, anyone? Killer red heels, here I come.)

4. Paint. Yes, paint. Houses, fences, window trim – many homeowners like to get these chores done this time of year, before another fall and winter set in. This job won’t juice up your intellect, but there’s a certain satisfaction in the exacting nature of the work. (You might even make some new friends while you wait for the paint dry.)

by Mike

5. Become the coolest babysitter ever. If you’re looking into a career involving young children, this can be a great way to test your interest in a real-world – a very real-world – situation. Plus, you get to make some young and probably over-worked parents very, very happy.

6. Give back to your community. Homeless shelters and nursing homes always need more hands. Sometimes these jobs pay, sometimes they don’t. But the chance to tap into your altruistic side and nurture others in your community can be more than enough reward.

7. Exercise your brain muscles as a tutor. Ah, those poor kids who are consigned to summer school! Help those little suckers out by sharing your knowledge and experience – at an hourly wage that you will most likely get to negotiate.

8. Get that smile on and wait tables. It’s tough work, but if you’re a people person, the conversations and lively surroundings can make the job fun. The tips aren’t half bad, either!

You can take away something from every summer job, so don’t waste away these precious months. Get yourself out there!

Last note: Speaking of jobs, Keith has written a 3-part series on collegiate entrepreneurship. In it, young business owners share where their big ideas came from – and why they love what they do. Catch up by reading Part 1 and Part 2.

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