Public service goals are the heart of the Congressional Award program. Volunteer work must be performed, without pay or school credit, for the community at large. Activities should benefit organizations that are non-profit and neither politically nor religiously affiliated.
Volunteer service that only benefits private companies or political or religious groups is not acceptable. For example, while volunteering at the local Animal Shelter is acceptable, the same activities performed for a local veterinarian are not. Likewise, a church activity helping the entire community (constructing or painting a municipal building, feeding the homeless) is acceptable, but working in the church nursery, choir, or religious school is not. Participants may have up to four VPS goals for each level.
The required number of hours and months of activity which must be shown for each level is as follows:
Ideas for Activities
Volunteering with local civic agencies and organizations, such as the firefighters, police, Botanic Gardens, Boys and Girls Club, Senior Centers, library, museum, homeless shelter, animal shelter, health clinic/hospital, Meals on Wheels, Special Olympics, Civil Air Patrol, Chamber of Commerce/Visitors’ Bureau, Big Brothers and Sisters, Boy/Girl Scouts; Parks and Recreation, Red Cross, Junior Elks, Cheyenne Frontier Days, Municipal Pool, YMCA, Head Start, community theater; volunteering with school organizations, such as the Key Club, Teen Court, peer counseling/tutoring, National Honor Society, FBLA; volunteering in an elementary school as a sports coach, tutor, or teacher’s aide; managing school sports teams; Habitat for Humanity; teaching sign language or ESL; food/book/clothing/blood drives; fund-raising for non-profit organizations such as the American Cancer Society, Muscular Dystrophy, United Way, etc.; volunteering to teach computers, play games, or read with the elderly; helping the disabled; Congressional Youth Service retreat.
These are not the only goals possible, but rather some suggestions to get you started.
- I will volunteer with the Girl Scouts as an assistant leader and camp counselor.
- I will volunteer with the Botanic Gardens by planting, weeding, and watering public plots.
- I will organize a food/blood/book/clothing drive at my school with the Key Club.
- I will volunteer at the local homeless shelter by serving meals twice a week.
- I will volunteer at the local community theater by participating in several productions.
- I will work with the local Volunteer Fire Department.
- I will volunteer at the local pool by instructing water safety to children.