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Opportunities to Lend a Helping Hand

Hannah Walls, Staff Writer

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Many students on campus need service hours, but finding out where to get them is not always easy. There are plenty of service-based organizations on campus: AGS, NHS, PALs,  and Link Crew, to name a few. All of these programs either encourage or require a certain amount of service hours, which ends up being a burden rather than an opportunity for some students. There are lots of options for volunteering, and finding a volunteer option that suits your interests can make service equally as fun as it is rewarding. Here in Austin, there are endless opportunities to give back.

Austin Creative Reuse: Austin Creative Reuse is a non-profit organization that collects, sells, and distributes donated reusable materials. Volunteers can make business cards, assemble bow-making kits, create instruction sheets for craft kits (for example, the bow-making kit), and put together kits for educators. For more information: info@austincreativereuse.com, www.austincreativereuse.org

Austin Parks Foundation: The Austin Parks Foundation offers a number of events throughout the year. Movie nights, park clean up days, and more. For more information: 512-477-1566, http://austinparks.org

Austin Pets Alive: Volunteers have the opportunity to work from home answering adoption questions via phone or email, help photograph and gather information about animals for marketing purposes, gather donations, and help with walking the dogs. With additional training, volunteers may help with bottle-feeding the baby animals, or caring for the sick animals. Students under 16 must volunteer with a parent or guardian. For more information: 961-6519, http://www.austinpetsalive.org

Austin Public Library: Plan lessons, prepare craft and program material,  set up programs, supervise and assist participate during programs, re-shelve books, and do light clean up. Students over 13 can apply to volunteer. For more information: Customer Service- 512- 974-7475, Call a Librarian- 512- 974-7400, http://library.austintexas.gov

Capital Area Food Bank: Work in the warehouse sorting and inspecting food, or helping with the mobile food pantry. For more information: (512) 282-2111, www.centraltexasfoodbank.org

Meals on Wheels: Deliver hot meals to seniors and adults with disabilities in Austin. Minors must volunteer with a parent or guardian present. For more information: 512.476.MEAL(6325), www.mealsonwheelscentraltexas.org

Thinkery: Students aged 12-18 can apply to volunteer at the Thinkery, an interactive museum that develops creative thinking with exhibits based around science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM). If accepted into the volunteer program, volunteers must attend a mandatory 3-day orientation to get associated with basic job functions and the other volunteers. For more information: (512) 469-6200, thinkeryaustin.org/volunteens/

For more options and resources:

Search for specific options and get matched: https://www.volunteermatch.org

Search based on needs, events, or agencies: http://www.volrock.org

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Opportunities to Lend a Helping Hand