In the Community

Service Opportunities for Students

Check back regularly for updated information on community service opportunities for DC-area students.

A Wider Circle supports low-income families by supplying furniture and other basic items and helping them become economically self-sufficient. Volunteers contribute by stocking and organizing donations and helping clients select furniture. Those over 18 can be part of a truck team that picks up donated items from locations around the region, and Volunteer Leaders can take groups on tours, provide orientations, attend outreach events and assist in administrative tasks. Volunteers ages 7 and older are welcome, but those under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.  Click here for more information.

AmeriCorps NCCC may be a great fit for students considering a gap year after graduation. In this full-time, residential team-based program, national service members ages 18-24 are based on a campus and deployed throughout their region to serve on short-term local projects. During your 10-month term, you might build trails in national and state parks, work with kids at afterschool programs and camps, and run an emergency shelter or gut and rebuild houses after a natural disaster. AmeriCorps members receive a living allowance while they’re serving and an education award for college upon completion. Click here to learn more about how to apply to AmeriCorps NCCC, or here to learn about other AmeriCorps programs.

Anacostia Riverkeeper works to protect and restore the Anacostia and create opportunities for the community to connect to the river.  Volunteer activities include litter pick-ups in Anacostia Park and other sites in the watershed, and supporting the group’s boat tours, kayaking and fishing events.  There is no minimum age to serve, but minors must be accompanied by an adult.  For details email [email protected], check out their calendar, or follow Anacostia Riverkeeper on social media to learn about events as dates are announced.

Capitol Hill Village supports seniors in the Capitol Hill neighborhood so they can “age in place” in their own homes.  Assignments for volunteers, including high school students, may include assisting clients in their homes, light home maintenance projects, running errands, helping with electronics and technology, gardening projects, planning social or educational events, assisting in the organization’s office and meeting other needs of the members.  Volunteers must complete an application and interview and pass a background check.  To learn more, call (202) 543-1778.

Casey Trees protects DC’s tree canopy through tree planting, care and inventories, adult and youth education, and conservation easements. Volunteers must register in advance, and those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult (with a ratio of 1 adult: 3 minors) and have a signed parental consent form.  For more information contact [email protected] or sign up on their website for The Leaflet, their weekly newsletter.

Children’s National Hospital offers a Summer High School Volunteer Program for students 15 and over. Applications open in February each year for the coming summer. Click here for more information on this opportunity and the requirements.

DC Public Library allows students 14 and older to contribute as a Teen Special Events Volunteer, Library Docent, or Welcome Ambassador. An interview may be required to match you to a project that suits your skills and interests. Apply here, or for more information click here or call 202-741-5990.

DC Volunteer Snow Team connects volunteers with neighbors who have requested assistance to clear pathways and sidewalks when there are 4 or more inches of snow.  The program can even provide a shovel! Students under 18 must have a waiver signed by a parent. Click here for more information or to register.

Greater DC Diaper Bank provides diapers and other baby items to needy families. Volunteers work primarily at the organization’s warehouse in Silver Spring to sort and pack diapers and other materials for distribution.  While volunteers can be any age, students under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. To learn more, click here.

Kids Enjoy Exercise Now (KEEN) provides free, fun, non-competitive exercise and fitness programs for youth with disabilities. Volunteer coaches ages 15 and older work one-on-one with participants, helping them to enjoy different sports activities. There are opportunities for occasional volunteering, regular involvement, and leadership roles. For more information, click here.

Little Lights is a faith-based organization on Capitol Hill that serves local at-risk youth and families.  Volunteers 16 and over can assist students from preschool to 8th grade in the group’s Homework Club or tutor in the Reading Heroes and Math Heroes programs.  For more information, click here or contact the volunteer coordinator at [email protected] or (202) 548-4021.

Martha’s Table provides access to quality education, healthy food, and family support. Volunteers 12 and older can help families shop at the organization’s no-cost pop-up food markets and thrift store, prepare and serve meals with the organization’s food truck, and assist teachers and students in education programs.  Students ages 12-14 must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, click here or email [email protected].

Reading Partners provides tutoring and mentoring to elementary school children in cities around the country.  Volunteers age 14 and over work one-on-one with students who are reading below grade level.  A background check is required and a commitment of at least one hour a week is requested. Click here to learn more about volunteering in Washington, DC and here to serve in other locations.

The Mission Continues provides opportunities for veterans adjusting to life at home to find purpose through community impact. Volunteers can join a service “platoon” and serve alongside veterans on projects to support youth engagement, revitalize neighborhoods, improve the national parks in our backyard, expand access to healthy food, and more.  In Washington, DC volunteers 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult.  (For policies in other locations, check with your chapter.) Click here for more information about opportunities in the DC area, and here for other locations.