It’s come to that point in the semester when you literally cannot attend one. More. GBM. Not to mention it’s becoming way too nice outside to sit in Huntsman and do this thing called studying. However, enjoying spring can turn into doing some good for West Philly. Think about it: community service. On your own. No more GBMs or club recruitment processes needed. Here’s a look into some opportunities for individuals to help out. 


Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House

Located at 3925 Chestnut St., almost right across from HamCo, the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House (RMH) supports families of ill children by creating a community of comfort and hope. Volunteers staff the House from 9 a.m.–9 p.m., seven days a week. The three different shift times are 9 a.m.–1 p.m., 1 p.m.–6 p.m., and 6 p.m.–9 p.m. Volunteers must be 18 and the minimum commitment is volunteering twice a month for one year. Some opportunities available around the House include: greeting and welcoming families and visitors, assisting volunteer groups with the evening meal, writing thank you letters to donors, and providing support for special events, to name a few. Basically everyone knows about RMH so, like, why not do something about it? The application is 100% easier than your summer internship app. Check it out!

Books Through Bars

Books Through Bars (BTB) began in 1990. BTB receives, packs, and distributes books to thousands of incarcerated people. Volunteers read the prisoners’ letters, choose books from the donated library according to their preferences, and send out the packages. Book picking and packing is engaging, drop in! BTB hosts regularly scheduled sessions on Tuesday nights 7:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m. and the first and third Saturday of every month, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. You must be 18 or older to participate. There’s no need to RSVP, but if it's your first time, the website requests you be there at 7:30 p.m. sharp on Tuesdays or 11 a.m. sharp on Saturdays. They host orientation before every packing session so new volunteers can learn their procedures their first time. So, basically, no application necessary—even more of a reason to spend Tuesday nights doing some good for the world. BTB is on 47th and Baltimore streets, just a short walk away from campus.

ACHIEVEability

Looking for a tutoring opportunity? ACHIEVEability helps low–income, single parent, and homeless families to achieve self–sufficiency. Some of their services include sub–committee neighborhood elections, free flu vaccinations, town hall meetings for West Philly residents, and a financial empowerment center. Tutoring can range from helping parents with college assignments or helping children with their homework. After attending a training session, a volunteer must commit to one volunteer session a week for the semester (not bad, huh?). Sessions are offered Monday through Thursday from 4–6 p.m. and 6–8 p.m. Volunteering at ACHIEVEability will bring you to 60th and Market streets. While that’s a bit far, it’ll surely be worth your time to participate. And, hey, that’s only nine blocks away from 69th St


If you’re looking to do good, be sure to check out any of these organizations. No need to go to an actual GBM anymore, just head out to West Philly to do your part—with or without company. 


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