Community service and community-based learning shape how young professionals view the meaning of work. The urge to want to help people using one’s career is shared by most individuals. By beginning the journey of volunteerism within the community, a person begins to discover their dearest values while giving back to the people around them.
Will I be able to discuss my volunteerism with future employers?
Yes! In fact, employers look for people who have volunteer experience. Volunteering gives a person experience in a range of different fields and helps them garner valuable assets such as empathy, kindness, work ethic, and time management. These are all important skills to highlight as new graduates enter the professional realm, and make excellent material for a job interview or cover letter.
Can I put my volunteer experience on my resume even though I was not paid?
Of course! Experience on a resume does NOT have to be paid experience. Clubs, sports, and volunteering are all things that employers take into consideration. Because volunteer experiences are typically short-term, you have the opportunity to collect a wide and varied array of them. This can give you a wide range of exposure to different fields along with the ability to garner different skills.
How can I find volunteer opportunities in my area?
There are many ways people can get involved in volunteering. In fact, you may be able to volunteer right on campus! Take a look at the list below of ways to become involved.
- Search for currently recruiting volunteer opportunities using VolunteerMatch.
- Join a student organization. Not sure which one to join? Start your own! For more information, contact Alex Johnson, Director of Student Involvement and Orientation.
- Connect with your friends, family, and neighbors to see what volunteer opportunities may be available to you.
You can also connect with one of our community partners, featured below!
Rockford Area Volunteer Opportunities
National Land Institue: Fall Prairie Harvest Day
Help collect seeds from native wildflowers and grasses at Nygren Wetland Preserve, located at 3190 W. Rockton Rd., Rockton, IL 61072. These seeds will be used in future prairie plantings at Natural Land Institute preserves. Start anytime and work as long as you like during the event hours of 9 AM – 12 PM. Snacks and water will be provided. Dress for the weather, and make sure to wear comfortable closed-toed shoes.
Northern Illinois Food Bank
The Northern Illinois Food Bank is looking for volunteers for the Winnebago Community Market (WCM). WCM provides free, nutritious groceries to our neighbors in the Rockford area. Volunteers like YOU allow us to conduct market distributions open to anyone who may need it. Each shift needs approximately ten volunteers to serve our community most effectively. As a distribution volunteer, you will help us run the market by restocking shelves with more food, assisting neighbors with their groceries, and managing shopping carts as clients shop and unload items into their cars. All volunteers are required to wear closed-toed shoes.
If you are interested in volunteering, please visit our website at https://solvehungertoday.org/volunteer-opportunities/ to sign up for a shift. If you have any questions, please contact Mary Beth Finch at email@example.com or call (630) 443-6910 ext. 237.
KFACT is a youth development and holistic mentoring organization for at-risk girls in Rockford. We are looking for volunteers for the following programs:
Learning Lab, every Thursday from 5 PM – 7:30 PM
Learning Lab is KFACT’s free tutoring opportunity. Students in our Safe Girl zone complete homework and study. Students usually receive one-on-one help and sometimes small group tutoring and mentorship. We’re always looking for volunteers to help tutor our girls.
Senior Saturdays, every Saturday starting October 15
Senior Saturdays consist of high-school seniors completing college applications, essays, researching schools, etc. Volunteers who can help in any of those areas are a massive help to us.
KFACT Enrichment, every Tuesday from 5 PM – 7:30 PM
KFACT enrichment is our large group activity. We connect as a large group with the week’s topic with an activity that aligns best. Volunteer duties for enrichment may require a light setup with decorations, supplies, food, etc.
If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Shamika Williams at Executivedirector@k-fact.org. Volunteers are required to complete a background check and training. Please visit https://k-fact.org or call (779) 772-1367 for more information.