Hi everyone! With less than a year left of my undergraduate special education teaching program, I've been thinking that I need to do something to really make my resume and portfolio stand out. I've always loved doing community service... I served a year with AmeriCorps, spent several summers volunteering at a summer camp for children in foster care, volunteered for a while reading to children in a homeless shelter, and currently volunteer with dogs in a rescue organization. All of my volunteer work with children was many years ago, and the dog thing probably won't make much of a difference when I try to get a teaching job. So, I decided, I should try to get a volunteer job again, doing something involving children!
The most sensible choice would be to volunteer at an afterschool tutoring program. However, for the life of me, I can't find any around here! The ones that I have been able to found all insist that they will only take volunteers over the age of 55. Why is that, do you think? I agree, its awesome for senior citizens and retired people to take advantage of their extra time and do volunteer work. But why only them? Do the school districts believe that, if you are under 55, have no children in the school, and still want to volunteer in a school, there must be something wrong with you?
I searched for other volunteer opportunities. Two places I was very interested in volunteering are a local organization that serves people with special needs and children in foster care, and a drop-in center for children and adults with Down syndrome. However, I contacted both of these places quite a while ago, and they never replied. They are very well-known places, and I'm sure they have their fill of volunteers.
I looked up the homeless shelter where I used to volunteer many years ago, but found that they had actually moved to another county. Weird! There is a second, similar homeless shelter i my town, but their website does not list any volunteer opportunities. I emailed them anyways, to ask if I might be of service.
I applied at the YMCA and at two youth mentoring programs near by. I hope one of these places will contact me! I have heard from several sources lately that getting a volunteer job these days is almost as hard as getting an actual, paying job. Organizations have their fill of people, and some even find volunteers to be a pain in the butt. What many of them really want is money! Kind of a shame. But anyways...
Do you have any ideas for other places I might look for volunteer opportunities? Or other ways that I can make my resume stand out from the others? Any advice would be appreciated!