Spring is here and the warm weather is finally enough to bring most college students out of their dorm room hibernation. It’s the perfect time for shorts, sunglasses, and getting out and serving your community! While many local organizations offer volunteer opportunities year-round, many more pop up with the daisies in the springtime. There’s something available for everyone, so I figured I’d share a few opportunities with you!
The increase in temperature and longer days may inspire you to head outdoors and get back in shape. An excellent way to do this is to participate in a charity walk or 5k. You can burn some calories while helping to raise money and awareness for a wide variety of great causes, and if you’re not in running shape, most events are always looking for volunteers to help with race day support. You can join the Hope for the Homeless 5k, the LASOS Running of the Bulls 5k Fun Run, or participate in The Color Run as a volunteer if your running shoes have been in the back of the closet for a while. Don’t worry, there are plenty more where those came from- you can check out Road Race Runner to find a race that benefits a cause you love on a date that works with your schedule!
For those of you with furry friends (or even just a love for them), there are ways for you to get involved this spring as well! Baltimore BARCS and the Maryland SPCA are located in Baltimore City and are always looking for volunteers to help within many facets of their organizations. If you find yourself a little further away from the heart of Baltimore, you can also check out the Baltimore Humane Society in Reisterstown.
If neither of those opportunities seem quite your speed, but you still want to head outside to get involved, look into helping out with one of the following organizations. Project Clean Stream organizes area cleanups on a fairly regular basis, allowing you to get down and dirty while making your community a more beautiful place. The Parks & People Foundation also offers opportunities involving cleanups and planting, as well as chances to work with the youth of the community as a counselor, coach, or field trip chaperone.
For those of you allergy sufferers with a love for the indoors, there are plenty of ongoing opportunities for you too! If you’re interested in helping those suffering from the effects of homelessness, poverty, or hunger, feel free to check out St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore, Our Daily Bread, and Meals on Wheels. If you’d like to exercise your creative side, there are opportunities at Art with a Heart and through Arts Every Day. One of my personal favorite service activities is hosted by Operation Welcome Home Maryland, where you’re able to welcome troops home and thank them for their service at BWI Airport.
Finally, there is no limit to the opportunities available to students in the Baltimore area! Baltimore Collegetown hosts a volunteer page on its website, each college in the area has its own community service opportunities, and there are countless databases that you can find opportunities on! If you’re having trouble getting started or don’t know where to look, Business Volunteers Unlimited, Baltimore City, and Baltimore County have great resources!
So before the semester ends, consider this your chance to get out, get involved, and “Spring” into action in Baltimore!
Cori Caskey, Baltimore Collegetown Intern