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Definition of Volunteer Service

Volunteer service is any type of work that is done free of charge. Volunteer service can be informal, like raking your elderly neighbor's lawn. Volunteer service can also be formal such as volunteering for nonprofits, churches, schools, homeless shelters, youth groups, and senior centers.


There are countless types of volunteer service. Some people volunteer their professional services. For example, lawyers may volunteer in legal aid centers for low-income people. Other types of volunteer service includes service for the governmentm, such as the Peace Corps. Some people may volunteer at their local nonprofit and get training on whatever services the organization needs.


A person can find volunteer opportunities almost anywhere. For example, allows people to search for local volunteer service options by ZIP code.


Volunteer service is a valuable resource to organizations that cannot afford to pay people to work. Nonprofits have budgets that may not include enough money for staffing. Volunteer service is also endorsed by the White House to get people involved in their local communities.


Volunteer service benefits not only the people being helped by the volunteer but also the individual volunteering. Volunteer service provides immediate positive results from the knowledge that volunteers contribute to a better world.


Volunteer service can help people get jobs; when organizations get funding for staff, they may turn first to their volunteers for paying positions. Volunteer service looks great on resumes when it is connected to career fields. Government-sponsored volunteer services such as AmeriCorps provide stipends, job training, and resources for those who complete a year of service.


Contact your local schools, churches, shelters, recreation centers, senior centers, nursing homes, hospitals, police departments, and youth centers to find volunteer service opportunities that need your help.


Eve Lopez has 10 years of editorial experience at a variety of companies, including, "The Seattle Times" and She loves to travel and often writes about her travel experiences. Lopez earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from California State University and has been certified in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).