Community Service Center

After You Graduate...

Are you graduating soon (or already graduated) and wondering what route to take?  Consider taking a service “gap year”: serve with an organization, gain valuable field experience, and create a lifetime of memories! Finding the right organization can seem difficult when you don’t know where to start.

We've pulled together a few resources that can help connect you with organizations looking for people just like you to serve. There opportunities as close as Ventura County or as far as you can imagine (as long as you don't require a spaceship, but wouldn't that be cool!)

If you have questions, feel free to contact us at csc@callutheran.edu and we’ll do what we can to guide you. Learn more about these opportunities several ways:

  • In the fall the CSC hosts an on-campus event called “The Real World: Service” where you can get more information from their representatives from some of these organizations and speak with their former volunteers.
  • Use the CSC website to research organizations, or surf the web on your own to see if there is a group that matches your goals and needs.  There are many world-renowned programs in which recent college graduates have the opportunity to serve all around the country and in many other countries. To get more information on the listed partner programs, simply click on the program name below.
  • These experiences are GREAT resume builders, whether you use them as springboards into grad school or your career. Be sure to stop by Career Services to see how you can market service on your resume.

American Red Cross

The American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization that provides relief to victims of disasters and helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. The Red Cross needs volunteers of all ages, both in the US and around the world. It provides disaster assistance, service to members of the armed forces, health and safety (including HIV/AIDS) education, and youth work.

AmeriCorps

AmeriCorps is a national network of programs that engages more than 70,000 Americans each year in intensive service to meet critical needs in communities throughout the nation.

AmeriCorps offers several ways to get involved, from part-time local service programs to full-time residential programs. Members receive guidance and training so they can make a contribution that suits their talents, interests, and availability.

  • AmeriCorps State and AmeriCorps National: AmeriCorps State and AmeriCorps National support a broad range of local service programs that engage thousands of Americans in intensive service to meet critical community needs.

  • AmeriCorps VISTA: AmeriCorps VISTA provides full-time members to community organizations and public agencies to create and expand programs that build capacity and ultimately bring low-income individuals and communities out of poverty.
    • Fun Fact: our Coordinator, Karen Schomaker, is an alum and would love to chat with anyone interested in this program.

  • AmeriCorps NCCC: The AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps is a full-time residential program for men and women, ages 18-24, that strengthens communities while developing leaders through direct, team-based national and community service.

Amigos de las Americas

Amigos sends approximately 500 volunteers a year to countries in Latin America for terms of one to two months. Programs are centered around public health and community development projects.

CDC (Citizens Democracy Corps) Development Solutions

CDC is a clearinghouse for over 80 organizations working in Eastern Europe. It also has two volunteer programs of its own; the Business Entrepreneur Program (provides on-site technical assistance to small and mid-sized companies by enlisting the expertise of US business people with entrepreneurial skills) and the CDC-Sponsored Volunteer Program.

Corporation for National and Community Service

CNS is the umbrella organization for the US government-sponsored AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps VISTA, the Senior Corps, and Learn and Serve America. See their website or call for more information on these domestic volunteer programs.

Earthwatch

Earthwatch allows volunteers ages 18 and older to participate on peer-reviewed scientific observation projects and field research around the globe for two to three weeks.

Flying Doctors of America

Flying Doctors flies medical and dental teams to developing countries throughout the world. Volunteers with and without medical training are welcomed. The program has three types of missions: short term (six days), extended (two weeks), and high adventure.

Global Envision

Global Envision is an initiative of Mercy Corps. Global Envision believes that the more that we understand about the free market system, how it affects us and our neighbors all over the globe, and how it can benefit us all, the better our chances that the global economy will thrive for the prosperity of all. By featuring education resources, articles, stories, and opinions about how economic policy and development can be made more inclusive, Global Envision provides models of how free markets can be a positive force in creating a more fair, just, and stable future. Their goal is to ensure that the poor are not left behind by globalization, and that technology is used in the developing world as a tool with which local people take advantage of opportunities, instead of one with which they are taken advantage of. Through Global Envision, we advocate for a better world, reduction of poverty, and improved living standards worldwide.

Global Vision International

Global Vision International (GVI) was formed in 1998 to provide support and services to international charities, non-profits and governmental agencies, through volunteering opportunities and direct funding. GVI is a non-political, non-religious organization, which through its alliance with over 150 project partners in over 30 countries, provides opportunities for volunteers to fill a critical void in the fields of environmental research, conservation, education and community development.

Global Volunteer Network

We place volunteers in community projects in China, Ecuador, Ghana, Kenya, Nepal, New Zealand, Peru, Thailand, Vietnam and Uganda. Volunteers have the opportunity to participate in a variety of educational, environmental and community aid programs. Examples of the exciting and rewarding activities available to volunteers include teaching English, environmental work, AIDS education, and assisting in an orphanage.

Global Volunteers

GV's goal is to help establish a foundation for peace through mutual international understanding. Its programs center around a one, two, and three-week volunteer experiences in Southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, and the US Teams of volunteers live and work with local people on human economic development projects.

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat is an ecumenical, Christian-based, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating the effects of poverty through the construction of inexpensive, quality housing. Skilled and non-skilled persons are welcome.

Institute for International Cooperation and Development

IICD is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to promoting global understanding and international solidarity through programs to countries in Africa and Latin America. The programs are six to 20 months long and include preparation and follow-up periods at the Institute in Massachusetts.

International Executive Service Corps

ISEC seeks retired business executives and professionals to volunteer as business development advisers abroad.

International Partnership for Service-Learning

The Partnership's programs combine formal learning with extensive community service to those in need. Programs are available worldwide addressing a number of social issues. A one-year MA program in International Service is also offered. This in not a free program.

International Volunteer Program

IVP's mission is to develop educational exchanges and foster international understanding. With programs in 34 countries, it offers a wide range of international programs and services for students, faculty, and the general public. A cost is involved. This is not a free program.

International Volunteers for Peace

IVP is an international network of organizations that organizes work camps, typically for two to four weeks in duration.

Jesuit Volunteer Corps

The Jesuit Volunteer Corps offers women and men an opportunity to work full-time for justice and peace.  Jesuit volunteers are called to the mission of serving the poor directly, working for structural change in the United States, and accompanying people in developing countries. Since 1956 the Jesuit Volunteer Corps has worked in collaboration with Jesuits, whose spirituality the volunteers incorporate in their work, community, and prayer life.  The Jesuit Volunteer Corps offers the volunteers a year or more of experience that will open their minds and hearts to live always conscious of the poor, committed to the Church’s mission of promoting justice in the service of faith.

Lutheran Volunteer Corps

The Lutheran Volunteer Corps is a year-long service program for people 21 and over seeking to unite faith, social justice, community living, and simplicity. Volunteers are matched with non-profit organizations in ten metropolitan areas across the United States. They work full-time in various positions ranging from direct social services, to political advocacy, community organizing, education, and activism while living in intentional community. 

Peace Corps

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps to promote world peace and friendship.
The Peace Corps' mission has three simple goals:
- Helping the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
- Helping promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
- Helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Teach for America

Teach for two years in a low-income community and become one of the thousands of leaders working to give all kids access to a great education. You'll develop the skills, insight, and personal commitment needed to ensure educational excellence for all. 

US Agency for International Development

USAID is the independent government agency that provides economic development and humanitarian assistance to advance US economic and political interests oversees.

Voluntary Service Overseas

VSO places volunteers from all walks of life on two-year projects in developing nations. The aim of VSO projects is "help people help themselves."

Volunteers for Peace, Inc.

VFP is an international volunteer work camp organization that has been organizing program worldwide since 1981. The program's aim is to promote citizen diplomacy by maximizing personal contact with local people.

Volunteers in Asia, Inc.

Volunteers in Asia, Inc. sends volunteers to Asia to teach English and advise on community development. Their volunteer program is structure similar to that of the Peace Corps.

Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance

VOCA sends volunteers overseas for two weeks to three months to perform agricultural development as well as small and medium business development.

World Relief

World Relief offers one- and two-year assignments through its Open Hands program in African, Latin America, Asia, and the Pacific. Volunteers must be Christian and active in a local church. A college degree and/or language skills usually are required. Couples with dependents sometimes are accepted. Expenses are not always covered. In some cases volunteers are responsible for travel and part of their living expenses.

ELCA - Young Adults in Global Mission

Designed for ELCA young adults up to age 30 and with at least one year post-high school experience, this program provides a one-year service opportunity in leadership development, service, spiritual growth, global awareness and understanding.

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