How to get your last minute volunteer hours

I’m not saying you haven’t started yet, but I’m not saying you have…


As the end of the year comes around again, it becomes that time again: time for Academic Magnet students to scramble to the beach with a printed-out community service form in hand in order to get their 30 hours in. Fortunately, there are other options even though it might not feel like it at the moment your study hall teacher calls you out for having 0 hours in despite your ample free time. 

I’ve included a variety of options for anyone from those who complete all 30 service hours in the two weeks before they’re due and do the absolute bare minimum to those who always have their volunteer hours done in the summer and always go above and beyond. 


Here are my main tips for not only getting your service in but enjoying it:

  • Do community service in something you actually care about, this will make the entire process much more enjoyable 
  • Bring your friends down with you- make a day out of your community service endeavors. If you’re going to be talking to your friend no matter what, you might as well 


For those who just want to attend 5 saturday events and get it done:

Charleston County Parks

Minimum time commitment: none

Minimum age: none listed

Details: Sign up for specific events that match your schedule. Choices are all events run by the parks and range from 5ks to volunteering at Yappy hour. If you volunteer more than 35 hours, they give you a “volunteer reciprocal pass for participating area attractions”


For those with a green thumb:

Green Heart Project

Minimum age: not listed 

Time commitment: none for garden volunteers

Details: There are 2-hour shifts available at the Urban Garden every Thursday from 5-7 pm or 4-6 pm based on the week. Volunteers can sign up online for as many or as few sessions as they would like. 

Location: 759 King St suite a, Charleston, SC 29403


For those who want to get a tan and clean up garbage:

Charleston Surfrider:

Minimum age: 16

Time commitment: none listed


IOP Cleanup Crew Litter Sweeps & Welcome Sessions in partnership with Working together for a clean coast

Minimum age: none listed

Time commitment: If you attend a session, you have to be there for at least 30 minutes. To get a T-shirt, you need to attend 2 sessions. Other than, that there are no minimum requirements. If you volunteer once, you will get an “ IOP Cleanup Crew magnet” that allows you to park for free in city lots during future clean-ups.

Details: During the spring, welcome sessions are from 5:30-6 followed by a litter sweep from 6-7 every other monday. The specific dates are March 13 & 27, April 10&24, and May 8&22. They switch to beach season hours on Memorial day at which point there will be litter sweeps every Monday from 6-7pm and Wednesday morning 7-8am. Their beach season hours will end on labor day. No advance registration is required. 

For more information contact

Location: Check in at the beach walkover in the 1100 block of Ocean Boulevard between City of IOP facilities & outdoor showers


For those good with children:

Children’s Museum:

Time: The time commitment varies based on the type of volunteer, but you are required to attend a volunteer training session no matter what

Details: Play guides and Green Gurus work for 2-hour shifts during normal operating hours. Rock Stars re unable to volunteer during normal operating hours but can work during special events, and Junior camp counselors work during school breaks from Monday-Friday 8:15 am – 12:45 pm or Monday – Friday from 12:15 pm – 4:45 pm. It’s an easy way to get 18 hours in a sing week.

Minimum age: 13+

Location: 25 Ann St, Charleston, SC 29403


For those who like to cook: 

Amor Healing Kitchen:

Time commitment: A 2.5 hour commitment every other week for the spring, winter, or fall session

Minimum age: 16+

Details: Teen Chefs learn how to prepare plant-based meals for those with chronic illness. Program shifts are from are from 12:30pm-3:00pm (Thursdays) or 4:30pm- 7:00pm (Wednesdays or Thursdays) during the school year and Thursdays 9:30-11:30 am, 12:00 – 2:30 pm, 3:30 – 6:00 pm during the summer.

Location: 2 Magnolia Road, Charleston SC 29407


For those who want to go into medicine:

MUSC Children’s hospital:

Minimum time commitment: 2 hours per week for 50 weeks (100) hours

Minimum age: 16

Details: There are a variety of weekly opportunities in areas including child life/playroom, courtesy cart, outpatient clinic volunteering, special care nursery, and unit-based placements. 


Roper St. Francis

Minimum time commitment: Unspecified, but it does state that you should be doing it for reasons other than a short term volunteer commitment. There is an orientation and training process. 

Minimum age: 14

Details: They say they have limited volunteer opportunities for teens during daytime hours or summer break. For more information, they recommend you contact a volunteer coordinator


Trident Health System:

There was no available information about the minimum age or time commitment required for Teen volunteers at Trident Health Systems, but their website did specify they had a teen program at both facilities and have a place to contact them for more information


For those who swear they were born in the wrong decade:

Lasagna love

Minimum age: none

Minimum time commitment: none

Details: If you’ve ever said you were born in the wrong generation, you can embrace 50s housewife vibes and bake lasagnas for people in your community who are undergoing personal struggles in order to help foster a sense of community and comfort. They say “Our mission is not only to help address the incredible rise in food insecurity among families but also to provide a simple act of love and kindness during a time full of uncertainty and stress”



Lowcountry Foodbank:

Minimum time commitment: not listed

Minimum age: 13 with an adult, 16 without supervision 

Details: Volunteers pack, sort, and help distribute food as well as help with special programs. 

Location: 2864 Azalea Dr, North Charleston, SC 29405


Service organizations at school:

Key Club


Rho Kappa

Mother Earth Society


And if you’re too busy for all of the above and need to make your own schedule, here are some ideas:


More resources: 

Youth volunteer corps 

Upcoming Events

Charleston parks conservatory


Keep North Charleston Beautiful