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What does "long-term" mean in volunteering?

I am homeschooled, so I don't have many extracurricular activities. Because of this, and also because I enjoy it, I volunteer a lot. In August, I started volunteering once a week at a hospital in Outpatient Registration. I enjoy it, and I am planning on continuing through the summer. I am not sure if I will be able to continue volunteering there in the fall, though. I have heard that colleges like students who have long term volunteering positions, and I was wondering if one year is considered long term? If it is considered long term, then I probably will not continue to volunteer at the hospital in the fall, because I will be busy with other things. If it is not considered long term, then I will make an effort to continue volunteering there, even if it is difficult.
Thank you! #college #business #engineering #medicine #communications #volunteering #social-media #team-leadership

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Elisa’s Answer

How wonderful! What a great way to help other people while also giving you a peek into what interests you and to build out your experiences. I would also encourage you to think about what else you're interested in and potentially join with volunteer organizations that will help you build out additional skills (boys and girls clubs, domestic violence shelters, tutoring programs) etc. that might only require a couple hours a week.

Thank you comment icon Thank you! Those are all good ideas, thank you for suggesting them to me! I will look into other volunteer opportunities and see if any will work better with my schedule. Thank you again for your answer, I really appreciate it! Angelina
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Maryblair’s Answer

Hi Angelina!


I used to volunteer in the ER of my local hospital. It's a terrific way to help people.


IMHO, I would say that a solid year of volunteering regularly will be very favorably received by colleges. It shows commitment and perseverance. Be sure to get a letter of recommendation and acknowledgement of your service hours. Also consider opportunities to continue to volunteer - perhaps on a monthly basis or on holidays, or find a whole new way of volunteering. My 8th grader volunteers at a local park that has a small wildlife habit. She loves it.


Thanks for asking and good luck!

Thank you comment icon Hi! Thank you for your answer. It was extremely helpful to me, and really helped me with my problem! Getting a letter of recommendation is a really good idea, thank you! Would you recommend asking the lady who is "in charge" of me, who has a more important position at the hospital but I don't have much interaction with to write me a letter, or should I ask one of the receptionists who knows me better, who has a less important position at the hospital but sees me and interacts with me every week? Thank you again! I really appreciate your help. Angelina
Thank you comment icon Why not both?! The person in charge of volunteering And people that have worked with you. 😀 Maryblair Svarverud, PMPO
Thank you comment icon Great idea, thank you so much! Angelina
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Steven’s Answer

As a student, one year is deemed a long-term commitment. Working one day a week at a hospital is a great way to volunteer. I am not sure what your other activities are, but colleges are interested in students who are well rounded and show a continued passion to grow and learn. In my opinion, when a College reviews your application, you not only want to show them good grades and entrance test scores, but that you are interested in growing as a person and have many outside interests. As you try different things, you will find certain activities are more enjoyable and you have a real passion for, and those are the ones that you will be involved longer term anyway.


Good luck.

Thank you comment icon Thank you for answering, Mr. Schaffer! Your answer was very helpful to me. Thanks again! Angelina
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Jenna’s Answer

I think a semester-long commitment is understood when looking at a student resume. Obviously, the longer, the better, but indicate if it was a one-time event (such as a fundraiser) or a regular volunteer activity. When I see a lot of short-term volunteer activities, then I think the person might just be doing it for the resume credit. It's perfectly acceptable to step out for a period of time, like a semester, especially if you're in a difficult time, but you are going to get nothing but busier- make the commitment now and build your other activities around it (as much as you can). Good luck!

Thank you comment icon Thank you for your help! Your answer helped me with figuring out what to do. I will try to see if maybe I can switch what day I volunteer so I can still do it. Thanks again! Angelina
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Sandra’s Answer

I believe volunteering is absolutely wonderful. I have been volunteering for 13 years for the same venture.


I believe that long term can be a year long. For your purposes you can always add "summer volunteer" to your application. It's best to find out what you're most interested in and volunteer in that area then it becomes very fulfilling,


Hopefully your summer volunteer is something you'd like to continue in the future and not only for your college application.


Good luck!

Thank you comment icon Thank you for answering! I am planning on continuing volunteering at some hospital throughout high school (and possibly college), even if it is not in the same area of the hospital. Thanks again! Angelina
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Valerie’s Answer

Angelina, I would think one year would be considered long-term - I agree with some of the other comments - you need to find what is important to you and commit to it, I hope you are not volunteering just for the way it will look on a college application or job resume. Colleges are looking for students who are well rounded and want to grow - if you are home schooled I am sure that you have other activities you have been involved in, such as music, art, sports, jobs, etc.; It is important to give back and pay it forward in any way that you can, whether it is once a month at a food pantry, animal shelter, or daycare center or hospital or one day activities such as special Olympics, Walk for Hunger or Heart Disease. Find something that is important to you and that you are passionate about and then it will be easy to make time for it.


Good Luck!!!

Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for answering my question! I am looking for a volunteer position in Pediatrics at a hospital, but most hospitals only allow you to volunteer with kids if you are over 18. Until then, I do enjoy volunteering where I am at, and I am doing it because I enjoy it and it is definitely a good learning experience. I agree, I should volunteer because I enjoy it and want to, not because it will look good on my resume. Thank you again for your answer! It was very helpful to me. Angelina
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Ken’s Answer

Hi Angelina!


The term of a volunteer engagement is basically an agreement between the volunteer and the organization, as the organization needs to be aware of the availability of volunteers vs their needs. So, the term needs to be clarified with the organization.


A volunteer opportunity like coop and internships and shadowing programs are excellent opportunities to find out about the inside view of a career area, as well as an opportunity to offer needed help to an organization. It is a two way street. If, at some point, you decide that you do not need to continue that relationship for career exposure purposes, or some other reason, you can work out your departure with the appropriate person in the organization.


Let me know if and how this helps. Keep me posted. I would like to follow your progress.

Thank you comment icon Thank you for your answer, Mr. Simmons! It gave me a lot to think about, and really helped me. Thanks again! Angelina
Thank you comment icon Best of luck! Keep me posted. I would like to follow your progress. Ken Simmons
Thank you comment icon Thank you! I will. Angelina
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Lakesha’s Answer

Angela,

I would say Long Term means at any time you are available or have some time to give the company without pay to help others is considered Long Term.

Volunteering does a lot of good things for your character and yourself. I know with me I love to help people whether I’m face to face or over the phone but because I’m actually limited on my extra time, when I can I Like to reach out and network with some of the different groups I’ve volunteered for in the past. This helps me personally because I really have a desire to help out even when I don’t have the time to physically. I also learn different techniques that I can use in my career or everyday life while I’m volunteering.
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Mallory’s Answer

Hi Angela!
Volunteering is such a great thing to put on your college applications. I volunteered for many years during High School with a program called Best Buddies. I would recommend volunteering in any capacity and with any nonprofit. I think anything longer than 6 months would be considered long term in my opinion. Good luck and I wish you well!
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