Community Service

Want to put your ideals to work? The workplace is right at your doorstep.

BU sponsors dozens of community service programs with the city of Boston each year. You can be a Big Sibling to a kid who needs a hero. Teach music to one who can’t afford lessons. Tutor a recent immigrant in English. Or help out with HIV/AIDS education programs.

BU undergrads also run one of the largest food salvage programs in the U.S. They collect food from campus dining rooms, local restaurants, supermarkets and bakeries to distribute through shelters, food pantries and meal programs around the city.

Some students join projects through the community service organizations listed at the Student Activities Office. Others get involved through the Boston University Community Service Center. With a volunteer base of over 1,500 people, the CSC contributes over 75,000 hours of service annually in the greater Boston area and around the U.S.

But it’s not all giving. To hear what students say they gained from their experiences, watch these student videos.

First-Year Student Outreach Project

If the idea of having fun while doing good appeals to you, you don’t even have to wait until classes start to jump in.

Our First-Year Student Outreach Project (FYSOP) lets you move in a week early to participate in a service project. You can choose from 11 different issue areas, from children to human rights to the environment. You’ll work with more than 800 new students and 150 upperclass staff leaders—a great way to get to know some very interesting (and good-hearted) classmates from day one.

Alternative Service Break

Not all our good works take place in Boston. Every year, hundreds of volunteers take off for destinations in the U.S. and Canada with Alternative Service Break (ASB) programs through the Community Service Center. Some recent examples:

  • Working at a children’s retreat in Texas, helping kids with serious illnesses enjoy the great outdoors
  • Helping install wheelchair ramps on the homes of people with disabilities in Nashville
  • Working for Animal Rescue New Orleans, an organization created to help abandoned and homeless animals after Hurricane Katrina
  • Joining a cultural exchange and home repair project in a Cherokee community in Oklahoma
  • Helping to educate a community in Montreal, Quebec, on recycling, neighborhood cleanup and basic ecology

To learn more, check out the BU Today series on Alternative Service Breaks.