How to Get Community Service Hours Fast

Getting community service hours seems like a simple thing. Everyone needs help, right? Well, it can actually be more of a challenge than you would expect.

In this day and age, you might have to think outside the box when you’re looking for community service hours. In fact, you might even try calling popular volunteer centers in your area and find that they’re booked up for months.

Regardless, people always need help, and there are plenty of ways to get your hours in. But at times, it might feel more like applying for a paid position, rather than volunteer work. However, as long as you know where to look, there are plenty of options for how to get community service hours fast.

How Do You Properly Obtain Community Service Hours?

If you’ve never done community service or volunteer work before, the process can feel intimidating, but getting involved may be easier than you think.

If you’re working with a group or organization, you will likely need to submit an application. Then you can talk to them about documenting your hours. Typically they will be prepared to do so, and you can mark down your hours and have a supervisor sign off.

If you are working with individuals in your local community, you can print out your own forms and have them sign off on the hours. To ensure that you have all the proper information, there is a short list of things you should ensure you document. This includes:

  • The name of the person, group, or organization
  • A brief paragraph about the activity and work accomplished
  • The date and number of hours completed
  • A signature and telephone number of the supervisor (must not be family)

Overall, it is a fairly straightforward process. You just need to make sure that you keep everything organized and are thorough with your documentation.

Why Do People Usually Require Community Service Hours?

Many colleges or jobs love to see community service hours on your applications. It shows them that you are passionate about your community and an all-around stand-up citizen. If you’re trying to get into an Ivy League school or one of the best UC schools, community service hours are almost essential.

If you are concerned about finding a decent job with no experience and no references, community service hours can also be a huge help. It will show that you are a hard worker, give you a list of valuable references, and allows you to gain experience you can’t get anywhere else.

In many cases, community service hours are also required for those who have had run-ins with the law. For many first-time offenders and minor infractions, community service hours will give you a chance to give back to the community and reduce charges or fines.

Although that will depend entirely on the offense committed, it is one reason many people are interested in figuring out how to get community service hours fast.

Traditional Community Service Options

When you think of community service, there are likely a few places that you are bound to look first.

That may include:

  • Soup kitchens
  • Retirement homes
  • Libraries
  • Community centers
  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Animal Shelters
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Homeless Shelters

As you may have noticed, the examples we have provided are generally larger organizations that you’ll find in both cities and towns. Even small towns will usually have a homeless shelter, hospital, or a soup kitchen for you to apply at.

Keep in mind that the options above are also some of the first places that your peers will look at, too—so, don’t hesitate about applying.

As we mentioned before, many people are required to book community service hours to pay their dues in court. Those people will usually be older, more experienced, and required to complete community service hours. Surprisingly, they may also have the upper hand when it comes to getting in and completing their hours.

If that is the case, we have some other suggestions for you. Some of our online options may be more convenient, especially if you’ve got a tight schedule, and there aren’t any local places looking for help.

Online Opportunities

It might be surprising to learn that you can also complete community service hours online. If you live in a rural area where there’s not much around, volunteering online may be your only option. High school students may also lack the transportation to get to a soup kitchen or hospital for volunteer work.

So, although you may want to check local organizations first, looking at online opportunities is the next step to getting your community service hours quickly.

Some online community service opportunities can be found on various websites. It’s similar to an online job hunting app, such as Indeed, Ziprecruiter, or even ProBlogger.

Keep in mind that you should stick to opportunities within your skill-set, but with thousands of different opportunities, you should be able to find something that suits you.

Some of these online community service hours include:

  • United Nations Volunteers – This may be a great option if you’re a good researcher, enjoy writing, or have got some artistic talent.
  • Smithsonian Digital Volunteers – This organization is frequently looking for volunteers to edit Wikipedia articles, transcribe documents, or conduct proper research.
  • Translators Without Borders – If you’re bilingual, you can put your translating skills to use with this organization.
  • Crisis Text Line – If you pride yourself on your communication skills, you’ll be able to help calm down people in a crisis with this organization.
  • Project Gutenberg – From burning CDs and DVDs to transcribing and research, Project Gutenberg may be ideal for anyone who enjoys reading or writing.
  • – If you’re a budding political activist, this organization will help you get connected to a campaign or cause that you care about.
  • – This website helps match your skills to other non-profits or organizations that may need some virtual help.

In the list above, you will find a few links to individual organizations that are always looking for virtual volunteers. There are also plenty of websites that work as a hub for all kinds of different volunteer opportunities, much like a career board.

Quick Tips about Online Volunteering

There are a few tips we would like to give you before you set out to change the world via the internet. Please avoid any sites that require you to pay for their services or pay to volunteer.

Unless you are booking a mission trip, you should not have to pay to volunteer anywhere, unless it is a donation. These sites may be scams, and they may not count toward your community service.

Second, we want to let you know that if you are trying to complete community service hours for court, you will need to contact the organization ahead of time. Find out if they will be willing to track or verify your community service hours.

Otherwise, the court may not accept this community service, and you will be back to square one. To avoid any confusion, speak with a judge or your lawyer to ensure that your virtual volunteer hours will count.

Thinking Outside the Box

As official as it may seem, you do not always need to bank on large organizations when figuring out how to get community service hours fast. They are a great place to look but can be somewhat limited in small communities and attract a lot of applicants.

You should also think outside of the box when looking for volunteer opportunities. So many people in your local area need help.

While some of these ideas may not be easy to document, it’s still valuable, and you can get signatures or references from the people you help.

Other ideas for volunteering in your community include:

  • Helping senior citizens with lawn care, maintenance, cleaning, and more.
  • Assisting blind citizens with transportation, grocery shopping, cooking, and more.
  • Picking up trash along roads and in parks
  • Donating to food drives
  • Donating clothing, food, or Christmas presents to low-income families
  • Tutoring kids in your neighborhood
  • Free babysitting for single parents

These are only some options that we’ve come up with, but there is certainly no limit to the possibilities. It will all depend on the needs of your community. If you see a need, fill a need. It’s just that simple.

If you need to book these hours for community service, feel free to print out forms that people can sign to verify your work.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to figuring out how to get community service hours fast, you have many more options than you first realize. This world is full of people who need help and may not ask for it.

The same goes for other places, such as hospitals, libraries, animal shelters, and more. They may have plenty of volunteers, but by applying, you could be the next person they call when they’re short on help.

No matter what you choose, you can finally offer the helping hand that your community and the world needs. The more people that volunteer, the bigger difference we can make as a collective.

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Michelle Tsou

Contributor at ExamCave. Michelle graduated with a BA in English from Portland State University. She hopes to one day run her own test-prep organization.