Participate in Acts of Service with Your Fellow Penn Staters

Interested in giving back? Penn State World Campus Student Affairs is hosting Days of Service in various locations across the country to unite students and give back to local communities. We’re also hosting a monthlong Acts of Service initiative from January 15 to February 15. We have compiled a list of possible activities that vary in time commitment and range from adding coins to a parking meter to volunteering at a local shelter. And this is just a starting point!

Donating your time and effort does more than help your community. It allows you to make connections, build your skill set, learn how to work with a variety of people, and so much more.

Students who wish to participate are asked to register for their service location or choose the option that they will participate in another act of service. Share your experiences on social media by using #PennStateWorldCampus. Learn more and register to serve with Penn Staters like you.

Acts of Service suggestions: 

  • Volunteer for a nonprofit organization (YMCA, Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross, etc.) or search for volunteer opportunities using a site like Volunteer Match
  • Volunteer at a community garden 
  • Send an encouraging text message to someone who is going through a difficult time
  • Donate old toys/clothes to a community organization
  • Donate to your local food bank 
  • Make kindness rocks and hide them for others to find and spread positivity
  • Volunteer to read and record public domain books through an organization like LibriVox 
  • Volunteer at a senior community or nursing facility 
  • Donate pet food and treats to a local animal shelter
  • Help a neighbor with yard work (shovel snow, rake leaves, weed, etc.) 
  • Assemble care packages for first responders and active-duty deployed military through an organization like Operation Gratitude 
  • Become a digital volunteer for Amnesty International and help research and expose human rights violations 
  • Add coins to a parking meter that is expired or about to expire 
  • Bring extra food or treats to the local fire station 
  • If you are fluent in more than one language, sign up to volunteer as a translator for Translators without Borders and assist various international service organizations 
  • Provide service to blind individuals and individuals with low vision through an organization like Be My Eyes 
  • Volunteer online or in person to support international efforts toward sustainable human development through the United Nations
  • Volunteer to help increase access to books for individuals with print disabilities through an organization like Bookshare
  • Volunteer in a local school or library to assist with tutoring or online through an organization like UPchieve
  • Donate gas cards to families in need
  • Send an encouraging note/drawing to senior citizens, deployed troops, etc., through an organization like Color A Smile
  • Leverage your skills to assist with various projects needed to support the growth of a nonprofit organization. Identify projects through a platform like Catch a Fire 
  • Train to become a crisis/peer counselor and volunteer to assist with response to the national crisis text line or provide emotional support through 7 Cups virtual online chat
  • Volunteer to become a big brother/sister 
  • Pay for coffee for someone behind you in line
  • Donate old blankets and towels to a local animal shelter 
  • Create activity boxes for young children in the hospital or medical appointments through an organization like The Jared Box Project
  • Foster animals in need of finding a “furever” home
  • Volunteer to speak or present at a local community center or youth group 
  • Send a card or note of encouragement to someone undergoing chemotherapy, perhaps through an organization like Chemo Angels
  • Donate or raise funds for a charity of your choice 
  • Pay off someone’s layaway at a local store 
  • Leave change and an encouraging note at a gas pump or vending machine for others to find
  • Clean off someone’s car after it snows 
  • Cook a meal for a busy family facing a challenge