Need help finding volunteer opportunity for breaks

Jul 27, 2017
7
2
Hey friends, I was just wondering if there are any opportunities that could possibly fit these requirements, or if it's all in my head. Basically, I won't be going home (out of state) for a few breaks this academic year and I want to do stuff. For example: thanksgiving break. I applied for American Red Cross' hurricane assistance volunteer program (which is a minimum of 10 days, and I have no class on Fridays) but I am having trouble finding similar things to consider and apply for.

My ideal gig is:
  1. Time frame ranges from 1-2 weeks
  2. Heavy on hours, 6-10 hour days would be perfect as I hate not being productive
  3. Preferably clinical in some way, but doesn't have to be
  4. Not "voluntourism" meaning not too pricey and I actually want to do something helpful
Also, I'm a certified EMT and pharmacy tech (which I'm aware aren't the most useful things but it's what I have). I'd want to stay relatively local as it's more cost efficient; not to mention there's no need to go abroad when you can just serve your own community's needs. Any ideas?
 

boogiecousins94

2+ Year Member
May 16, 2017
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See if there are special olympics events in your area during those breaks, they're one time volunteering in terms of commitment and all you do is sign up for a shift online. Usually can sign up for multiple shifts and do 8-10hrs a day but this would probably only be on weekends
 

Goro

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Jun 10, 2010
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Check with your local houses if worship.
 
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Aug 2, 2017
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Pre-Medical
A great place to start is to think about what type of communities you want to work with.

Children? Summers usually have programs to provide children from low-income families with lunches and activities. Also check out your local children's hospital.

The elderly? Find volunteering opportunities at your local nursing home or senior center.

The impoverished? Homeless shelters are always in need of help with food stocking or housekeeping.

There are plenty more communities in need than this, but these are the major ones people volunteer with!

The more clinical/technical you get, the more strict they are about time of service (for example, many hospitals have a 3-6 month minimum term of service), but I'm sure if you reach out widely and broadly you can get in touch with someone sympathetic to your situation. You may even love it so much you decide to do a few hours per week while school is in session!
 
OP
deceased
Jul 27, 2017
7
2
Thanks for the thoughts everyone, I will look into all of those ideas.

I guess my main grievance is not being able to find shorter term opportunities that are more intense. Like, what am I supposed to do over week long breaks, just study and enjoy life? Heck no, I refuse, that's too boring.
 

Planes2Doc

Residency is ruff!
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Jul 23, 2012
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You can also take a well-deserved break if you'd like to. There's nothing wrong with that.
 
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raiderette

5+ Year Member
Feb 2, 2014
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Nursing homes always appreciate extra help. Decorating, visiting people without visitors, playing music and helping with crafts. I hear so many people are nervous around the elderly, but those will be your patients during MS3/4 and residency for most of us.
 

cj_cregg

5+ Year Member
Jul 25, 2014
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I like the nursing home suggestion from @raiderette - they are always looking for little things and events volunteers can do. If you celebrate/enjoy Christmas, are there any holiday-themed service activities you could do at one? Helping decorate trees or wrap presents, Christmas card making, cookie decorating, play holiday music on the piano or whatever you might play, etc. Or Hanukkah-related stuff? For Thanksgiving, most of the homeless shelters and soup kitchens I know do some kind of Thanksgiving meal on Thursday or Friday, so that might be an all-day option as well. For the summer, look into summer camps and that sort of thing, possibly one for kids who are sick (I know a camp near me has special weeks for kids with diabetes, Crohn's/ulcerative colitis/ostomies, heart defects, disabilities, etc.).

However (and maybe you've got this covered, so I apologize for the unsolicited advice if you do) bear in mind that med schools do like to see a record of long-term service as well. Even 2 hours a week for a year can make a big difference for your application.
 
OP
deceased
Jul 27, 2017
7
2
Omg that's perfect! Thanks to both of you. I do wonder if they'll let me volunteer for a solid 9 days doing full day shifts... Wow the potential for hours and potential patient interaction. Fun! It won't be clinical I guess, but that's alright, I can find clinical opportunities elsewhere.

And yeah, don't worry, this is all on top of my regular volunteering (hospital, EMT, fundraising, etc). I just have additional free time during breaks that needs to go somewhere productive, like volunteering. Thanks for the concern though!
 
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