How do I document my volunteer hours?
- Bright Futures Work Plan: Before beginning your volunteer hours, you will need to get your volunteer location pre-approved. You and a parent/guardian will need to complete and sign and date the Bright Futures Volunteer Service Work Plan.
- Bright Futures Work Hours Log: After your location is approved for community service, track your hours on the Bright Futures Volunteer Work Hours Log.
- Community Service Location: Each community service location must have its own work plan to be pre-approved. Each community service location must have its own log form and its own personal response essay.
- Are other volunteer log forms acceptable? The organization can document your community service on the organization’s letterhead and include the volunteer service performed, when and where it occurred, the number of hours completed, and have it signed and dated by the supervisor, including his/her full name, email address, and phone number. If the community service location uses their own electronic time clock, you may submit a print-out of those hours.
- Submitting Your Volunteer Hours: When you submit your hours, you need to also submit a double-spaced personal response essay giving a reflection on your learning experience with your volunteer service. The essay should be a minimum of one paragraph and include a heading with your name and the date.
What are the requirements for community service?
- Students must perform volunteer service on their own time, which includes lunch breaks or after school.
- Fundraising for non-profit organizations or charities is acceptable.
- Service may be volunteered to the school or the community.
- Service may be performed for profit-making organizations ONLY if they are institutions like hospitals or nursing homes.
- Volunteer work for a religious or political organization will ONLY count as volunteer hours if, for example your church youth group helps with the Special Olympics or the political organization promotes non-partisan activities, such as voter registration.
- Vacation Bible School, working in the school nursery, or volunteering for a church’s technology/audio visual department are acceptable.
What does not count towards community service?
- Service rendered as a prerequisite for employment.
- Service performed for a student’s family, neighbors, or friends or for profit-making organizations.
- Attendance at self-improvement workshops, conferences, or competitions.
- Service performed as a result of disciplinary action taken by the school or courts.
- Participation in varsity or junior varsity athletics, or regularly scheduled band or chorus performances.
- Common activities such as acolyte, alter server, lay reader, church choir, and clerical work for religious organizations.
- Any paid service
- Volunteer service work involving academic requirements for a class.
Background Checks and Applications
Community Service and volunteer programs may require background checks before approving volunteers for hospitals and clinics. Be aware of the necessary steps to become a volunteer. After background checks, volunteer sites may also require you to do a short orientation or training program.
This process can take 2-4 weeks for approval. You are not limited to this list of community service locations. However, you must get your volunteer location approved before beginning your volunteer hours.