School’s out for summer! By now, the initial glee of freedom has likely settled into a general state of summer bliss – family vacation, beach days, camp, or a summer job scooping ice cream at the swimming pool. But summer also offers many opportunities for service and volunteering. Here are five ways you can make a difference – no matter how you’re spending the summer.

  • From home. Sick of watching reruns and considering your third Slurpee run of the day? Spice up the day and add meaning to the week by plugging into local service opportunity with Create The Good and Repair the World’s service databases. Search by zip code to find in-person opportunities near you.
  • From the beach. Every beach could use a little love – make sure to leave the place cleaner than you found it by picking up and recycling your own trash, and any stray soda bottles, etc. you see. Create the Good also offers 5-minute volunteer opportunities, many of which you can complete beach side.
  • From camp. Whether your a camper, a CIT or a counselor, it can be challenging to find time for volunteering while camp is in session. But there are still things you can do. Start small by identifying ways to volunteer at camp – like organizing a cleanup crew to help out the maintenance staff, or organizing a letter-writing campaign to get other campers involved in an issue you care about.
  • On vacation. Plan a service-focused vacation with your family or friends. Check out World Volunteer Web for ideas on how to make a difference while seeing the sights and soaking up local culture.
  • While babysitting. Summer babysitting jobs offer the perfect opportunity to encourage kids to volunteer from a young age. Start a summer service club with your kids – work with them to dream up ideas about how they could help out in their community (like visiting a veterans’ hospital, cleaning up a local park, or collecting canned goods for a food pantry) and then spend one day/week doing something on the list.
  • From (gulp) summer school. Okay, in reality school may not exactly be out if you’re enrolled in summer school courses. Make the experience better by engaging in some school-focused service. DoSomething.org’s Staples for Students campaign lets young people collect basic school supplies for kids in need, and donate them at their nearest Staples.