General Question

emeraldisles's avatar

Do you think volunteering at an orphanage or group home would count as community service?

Asked by emeraldisles (1949points) February 24th, 2012

I need to perform 20 total hours of community service for the National Honor Society. So far, I have completed 13 hours at an elderly Day Care facility. It has included serving meals and spending time with the clients. What would a volunteer be able to do at an orphanage? Spend time with the kids?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

6 Answers

sinscriven's avatar

It’s a possibility, you’ll just have to talk to an orphanage about it, and have someone in charge vouch for you. If you run into any problems it may be that you’ll have to get a background check to make sure you’re fit for working with children and don’t have a criminal history involving any.

wilma's avatar

I think it would count, but as @sinscriven said you may need a background check.
I volunteer and am a board member of our local historical society. We often have National Honor Society members do community service hours with us. They can do physical labor and also computer work for us. They shovel snow, rake leaves, dust and clean displays. They do computer and file work for us or many other jobs.
You might find any number of non-profit groups that you could get hours with. Check with your local city office, they also might have some work that you could do to get your hours.

Bellatrix's avatar

You would have to apply for and be given a ‘blue card’ here. That means they do a background check, including any criminal record, before giving you the card which basically says you can work with children. I would imagine it would take a little while to get such authorisation. I would be surprised if most countries don’t have similar procedures in place these days.

Does the community service have to be completed in a set time? If you have any movement, you could perhaps get any paperwork done and find a placement.

CWOTUS's avatar

I’m sure that being in the NHS has a significant meaning to you (and congratulations on achieving the academic side of that, which in my mind, aside from any ethical concerns, is the most important, and the only one that matters worth a damn), so you probably don’t want to jeopardize that.

But if I were you I’d give serious consideration – as a form of community service – to strongly protesting the mandatory community service “volunteer” aspect of the Society. Reminding people of the precepts of our body politic cannot be done too often these days, and is not done well at all.

Don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against volunteering for community service, either formally or informally. I’ve done and continue to do both, and it’s commendable in anyone. But to make “community service” a mandatory aspect of something that doesn’t have that as a basis seems to demean it – and the person who is required to “volunteer” it – in my eyes.

An actual community service that you might also consider is to work alongside juvenile and other young offenders who have been sentenced to “community service” as a substitute for jail or fines or both and just tell them jokes (or even better, I suppose, just listen to their stories) to make their own sentences pass more pleasantly and seem to pass more quickly. (In fact, for someone such as yourself to befriend and mentor one or two like that would be a direct and very noble service indeed with a potentially long-lived payoff. No joke at all, that.) I wouldn’t even for a second consider that their “bad ways” would influence you.

jazmina88's avatar

my problem, if you volunteer, it should be because you want to do something good. “If it doesnt count” takes the heart right out of the giving.

Read your guidelines, or clarify. You do have good intentions. follow your heart and volunteer after the requirement is done.

emeraldisles's avatar

Thanks to all. Now I have completed 18 hours of service as of today. Honestly i basically spend time with the elderly clients, serve them food, talk to them, do other chores. I can’t do anything more than that, because I am not a nurse.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther