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Service Opportunities

Opportunities to Volunteer

Alternative Breaks

Alternative Breaks sends groups of KU students on local, national or international service trips that cultivate lifelong socially active and globally conscious leaders through direct service, education, diversity, reflection, and investigation of social justice issues. Trips are offered over fall break, winter break, spring break, summer and select weekends. Winter and spring break trips offer optional course credit.


Center for Community Outreach

Center For Community Outreach - Lawrence, KSThe Center for Community Outreach works to encourage active volunteerism in both our local and global communities. We engage students through meaningful opportunities to serve, respond to community needs, organize semi-annual days of service, develop volunteer management skills, and support community initiatives and non-profits through service opportunities. Through volunteer training, speakers, workshops, and our volunteer resource library, we hope to raise awareness of issues within our community.


Student Organizations

There are a number of student organizations with service as their primary mission. The Student Involvement & Leadership Center (SILC) oversees Rock Chalk Central, a site to that houses all KU student clubs and organizations. You can search the site for service organizations that connects to your interest or start your own.

Go to Rock Chalk Central to learn more.


The Big Event

The Big Event connects the KU campus with the Lawrence community by recruiting thousands of student, faculty, and staff volunteers to work at hundreds of local job sites during one day of service. Big Event volunteers provide a helping hand to Lawrence residents by completing projects in their neighborhoods.

The Big Event happens every spring semester.


Volunteer Fair

Center For Community Outreach - Lawrence, KSThe Volunteer Fair is held every fall and includes organizations offering post-graduate volunteer opportunities and Lawrence community organizations offering volunteer opportunities to students. This is a great opportunity for students to explore a variety of volunteer positions and visit with organizations about their needs. The fair is put on by the University Career Center.


A web database of volunteer opportunities and nonprofit agencies in Lawrence and Douglas County. Run by the Roger Hill Volunteer Center of the Douglas County United Way.


Pathways to Service

The Pathways to Service describe the variety of ways people can use their knowledge, skills, and talents to improve their communities. Many of these pathways overlap, allowing you diverse experiences to help you determine which pathways are the best fit for you.

Works with those in need of assistance or addresses a need of the broader community

     Assist senior citizens with their taxes.
     Provide help in homeless shelter.
     Assist a local agency with a marketing plan or social media.


Mentor / Educator
Guides others in their development and learning

     Provide music/dance/art lessons to those who couldn't access them otherwise.
     Tutor, mentor or coach youth.
     Teach English as a second language.


Creates awareness and action on issues that impact the community.

     Organize a letter writing campaign or petition drive.
     Produce a public service announcement raising awareness about an issue.
     Join a student organization that educates campus about a social issue.


Policy Shaper
Influences and shapes decisions for the public interest through policies and laws.

     Lobby on behalf of a community issue.
     Draft legislation that helps or protects the community.
     Run for political office.


Gathers and presents findings that inform action on issues that affect the community.

     Conduct energy audits in public buildings.
     Test water to assist with restoration efforts.
     Conduct research for a community organization.


Social Innovator
Uses knowledge and skills to create ideas and strategies that address social issues.

     Create an online tool to help citizens report broken infrastructure.
     Build an app that shows all of the accessibility entrances on campus.

Adapted from the Pathways of Public Service and Civic Engagement, Haas Center for Public Service, Stanford University.


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