Guide to Volunteering

Why Become Involved in Service?


To help others who are in need.
To learn about yourself - your values, beliefs and views of the world in which you live.
To assist in career decision-making.
To gain practical experience in the field of study you chose, while helping others.
To learn about the Scranton area and contribute to the local community.
To meet, work with and develop relationships with people - other college student volunteers, community agency personnel, and the population you are serving.
To broaden your knowledge of social justice issues.
To fulfill Service Learning Requirements

Choosing a Service Experience


To begin a service experience, consider the following:

What type of service project would best suit your interests and skills (tutoring, recreation/sports, healthcare, awareness raising)?
What population do you wish to work (children, elderly, disabled individuals, homeless men or women)?
How much time do you have to volunteer? Would you prefer a regular weekly/monthly commitment or participation in one-time events?
Would you like to volunteer in an individual experience or be part of a group?
How will you get to the service opportunity? Will you need an experience within walking distance? Can you take public transportation? Will it be on campus?

How can this service experience compliment what you're learning in the classroom and contribute to your career goals?


Spend some time answering these questions. Browse through this website and make notes for yourself as to the opportunities that you would like to explore further. Also remember, that you are not limited to the opportunities listed here. Perhaps you have an opportunity in mind that is not listed; please share it with us and we'll do what we can to work it out. Be creative in your quest for a service opportunity that you would really like to do!

Steps to Getting Started


Read through this website and make notations for yourself.
Complete the online interest form
Stop in the office and speak with a member of the staff of the Center for Service & Social Justice or our student assistants. They will assist you in narrowing down your choices and finding the most appropriate experience for you.
If the experience you chose is with an off campus agency contact the volunteer director or designated person at that agency. Make an appointment to meet with him/her.
If the experience is on campus gather all the information about the event - date, time, place etc.
At your initial interview with the agency representative:
Dress appropriately
Be on time for your interview
Be as clear as possible as to your expectation of the experience
Become aware of what you will be expected to do; ask for a volunteer job description if there is one.
Do not commit yourself to more hours than you can complete, 1-3 hours per week are an average, appropriate time commitment.

Things to Remember When Volunteering


Make sure you know the name and title of your agency supervisor. Get to know them; share your information with them also (Box# or address and cell phone#).
Always call if you are scheduled to volunteer and you cannot make it.
Make your supervisor aware of your schedule early on; include things such as Spring Breaks, exam weeks, holidays.
Find out if there is a dress code. You should try to fit in as much as possible.
Keep a log of your hours using the online service activity log.
Stop into The Center for Service & Social Justice periodically to keep us updated as to your progress. If you have any questions or concerns about your experiences, please make every effort to discuss them with the director.
Keep a journal of your service activities. Try and take time to reflect how your service work is affecting you as a person.
Where do you see growth?
What areas need improvement?