Sharing your time and talents for the benefit of others is an important part of the Congressional Award program. This requires sensitivity, perception of need, determination, perseverance and dedication. Volunteer Public Service activities must be performed without pay, compensation or school credit. You should provide a direct service, rather than focus on issues. When setting your goals, identify activities that benefit the community at large. Keep in mind that political activities are not eligible for voluntary public service.
1. A series of activities may be combined to achieve one goal. However, a collection of unrelated volunteer service activities would not be acceptable.
- Acceptable goals with a series of activities: “I will provide a minimum of 100 hours of service under the direction of the Volunteer Office of Central Florida.” (A similar situation could be applied to service clubs, scouting programs, American Red Cross or other organizations).
2. In pursuit of your medal, if your volunteer activity requires you to spend several consecutive days, earning many hours in a short period of time, plan a follow up activity or continue other volunteer activities throughout the remainder of your program:
- Acceptable goals with activity throughout the program: “I will volunteer as a counselor at a scout camp for 12 days. I also will serve as an assistant scout leader for one year.”
3. In order to qualify, activities coordinated by a church synagogue or mosque must provide service to the community. Responsibilities related to membership in a religious institution (churches, synagogues, etc.) are not acceptable for volunteer public service, but many are acceptable as Personal Development activities.
- Acceptable Volunteer Public Service activities: Assisting with food and clothing drives; Working at soup kitchens; Providing community-wide day care.
- Unacceptable Volunteer Public Service activities: Singing in the church choir; Participating in religious education; Baby-sitting in the church nursery; Teaching religious doctrine; and Missionary and proselytizing work (preaching and converting).
4. Activities pursued, as a member of an organization or service club such as Key Club, fraternities or sororities must provide service to the community. Work related to internal, membership activities (such as recruitment, training or initiation) does not qualify for Volunteer Public Service.
5. Service volunteered at private businesses does not qualify for Volunteer Public Service, but may count as Personal Development. Volunteer service must be nonpartisan.
- Unacceptable places for volunteer service: Volunteer work at a private office (such as a law firm or doctor’s office), working for an elected official and working for a political campaign are not acceptable Volunteer Public Service activities.
|Animal care shelter work
Aquatics/water safety instructor
Camp/outdoor school volunteer
Civil Air Patrol
Day care center volunteer
Disabled citizens assistance
Fire dept. or Police volunteer
First Aid Instructor
Immigrant services (bilingual tutoring, etc.)
|Leadership (Scout, 4-H leader)
Meals on Wheels
Nursing home/aid to elderly
Public housing services
Red Cross volunteer
Safety escort for young children
United Way volunteer
Bronze – 30 hours
Silver – 60 hours
Gold – 90 hours & 6 months
Bronze – 100 hours & 7 months
Silver – 200 hours & 12 months
Gold – 400 hours & 24 months
|Voluntary Public Service requires an extended commitment to one’s goals. Months of activity are as vital to the program as hours dedicated to the program area. Please see our Program Requirements Page for further explanation.|