Are you struggling to find service activities to do during the pandemic? If so, this guide is just for you! This blog post will cover several service opportunities that you can contribute to – right from the comfort of your home. We’ve also listed some examples for the activities we’ve referenced, for you to explore at your own time. Be sure to stay safe and have fun!
1. Online Performances
Do you have any special talents at your disposal, like playing the oboe or juggling? If so, creating an online performance is a great way to exercise these talents and show off your skills to the world! Furthermore, this is a great method to get both creativity and service experiences in, and additionally can be paired with other ideas such as fundraisers to cause a larger impact!
- Gasa Su Gama – an online concert made by our amazing HSA Nicolle!
2. Create a Club from Scratch
Creating a school club is no easy feat, it requires intensive planning on the student’s side but is a great method to showcase your unique interests and passions! Additionally, you can also gain leadership skills by creating a club, a skill that is important to mention in your CAS reflections!
- Cultural Clubs – IB loves to promote international-mindedness and creating a club about a particular culture offers you new multi-cultural experiences.
- Recreational Activity Clubs – Initiating recreational activity clubs, like golfing or bowling, is a great stress-reliever and simultaneously gives you a fun CAS experience to do!
3. Work for an NGO
Many NGOs offer high school students opportunities to assist them in improving the local community. From medicine to entrepreneurship to writing, there are organizations covering a wide diversity of areas. Some even give out volunteer hours and the majority of them are international! We’d recommend researching various NGOs near you and see if they allow high school students to help with their online projects (since most NGO projects have gone online due to the pandemic).
- HelpAge India – an NGO aimed to improve the welfare of the elderly population in India
- Feed the Children – an organisation aimed at reducing childhood hunger in the United States
- Red Cross – an international NGO aimed to protect the worldwide health of individuals
- Med Girls – an organization supporting girls pursuing medicine and can give out volunteer hours (International and Virtual)
- Girl Genius – creates magazine issues to empower women pursuing STEAM fields (International and Virtual)
- Generation She – a nonprofit organization helping instil leadership and entrepreneurship in women and non-binary people (Mainly the United States)
Starting a Chapter or Club of an Organization
Many of these organizations also have the opportunity where you can run your own chapter or club of their organization. Specifically, this is a great way to help you begin running your own initiative while still having support and not having to worry about starting from the ground up!
- Women in STEM & Entrepreneurship – an organization that works towards providing opportunities for women pursuing STEM and entrepreneurship fields, you can apply to start a chapter in your school! (International)
- PERIOD – nonprofit that aims to end period poverty and stigmas about menstruation through the pillars of service, education, and advocacy. (International)
4. Join your Student Council
Majority of schools have a student council, and joining one is a great way to contribute to your school community! There are a variety of positions to fit your interests, but make sure you take heed into the Learning Objectives for CAS. Check this out to see what a student council can do and what skills you can develop!
5. Start an Awareness Campaign
There are several issues that need to be addressed in the world, and as global citizens, we need to spread awareness for them. For online awareness platforms, you could make websites, presentations, or videos, to spread your cause.
- ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – Remember that popular challenge where people would pour a bucket of ice-cold water on their head in 2014? It managed to raise more than 100 million USD in support of research to ALS. Consequently, doing a similar but smaller challenge, your local community can help raise awareness towards world problems.
- World Water Day 2019 – an international day pursued by the UN to raise awareness for the millions of people without access to clean water.
6. Conduct a MUN
A popular extracurricular offered in many schools is Model United Nations (MUN). If your school doesn’t offer MUN’s, you can start your own and gain service activities’ hours from it! Collaboration is key, so it’s best to get a group of peers to help you initiate a MUN. Moreover, there are also several councils you could recreate from the UN, like the UN Security Council or the UN Human Rights Council.
- London International Model UN – a HUGE MUN in London meant to improve the international connections between students of London based universities.
- Harry Potter MUN – an interesting variation of the MUN for Harry Potter enthusiasts!
7. Create a Podcast
Bit of an oddball, but podcasts are increasingly used today, to explore contemporary subjects of discussion. You can add this to your service activities by setting up a podcast on platforms like Libsyn or Podbean , and you could collaborate with your friends on a topic of your choice, be it recreational or educational.
- The Secret Syllabus – a great podcast starring IBlieve’s co-founder Katie Tracy!
- Immigration Nation – This podcast discusses the nooks and crannies of immigration in the United States.
- Planet Money – The podcast undercovers how economics plays a significant role in our everyday lives, like the election and Thanksgiving.
- Dissecting Disney – a podcast created by one of IBlieve’s grads, Yasmin, on social implications of Disney stories.
As everyone becomes more familiar with virtual learning, many student organizations have started to give free tutoring services to students, IBlieve being one of them! If you’re an IB graduate, you can help IB students from around the world by filling out the Google Form on IBlieve’s website! On Instagram there are many other organizations that allow you to tutor students anywhere from Kindergarten to high school:
- Gift of Words – tutor students ages 6-14
9. Writing Letters/Cards to Elderly or Children
The pandemic is a crucial time for our elderly and youth to receive support and love. Creating letters and cards is a perfect way to show people that they are important and are being thought about. You can expand on this project and add it to your list of Creativity and Service activities!
- Rememoirs – write letters to elderly (United States)
- Letters of Love – create homemade cards for children’s hospitals (International)
- Cards for Hospitalized Kids – make general or holiday cards for children in hospitals (Illinois, United States)
- Color A Smile – create drawings for elderly and occasionally those serving in the military (United States)
10. Host a Product Drive (within COVID guidelines)
Even though we can’t directly see each other face to face, that doesn’t mean we have to stop directly giving to those in need. A product drive is a versatile way you can give back to your community while also adhering to safety measures. Make sure to coordinate drop off times ensuring there will be as little contact as possible and making sure the drop off location is outdoors! Moreover, you can then collect all the products, sanitize them, and donate them to wherever you choose, all while keeping your community safe and helpful!
- Books for Africa – host a book drive
- Contact a local food or homeless shelter and safely collect hygiene products, clothing, non-perishable food, etc. to donate.
As you can see, there are multiple virtual service activities that help you fulfil the CAS requirements. Let’s not let the pandemic be an obstacle in our IB journey!