We’ll provide you with
Be Prepared For PDOS
No matter what site you end up, we want you to be prepared. Here are some tips:
*What does it mean to come with an open mind?
Imagine yourself in your dorm room/apartment/house. Imagine your day-to-day routine. Maybe you get up in the morning, go to class or work, come back home, fix yourself something to eat, and start doing homework. Imagine a high school student comes to your door, and says “Hi! I heard about the great work you do. So I am here to help you! I’m only here for a few hours, but I really really want to help and support you!”
You look around yourself. What on earth can this high schooler do for you? You can’t send him away or tell him there’s nothing to be done because you know how stressed out you are and how much in need of help you are sometimes. So you start thinking of tasks. This high schooler can’t do your differential equations homework, or your write your essay. He can’t write your thesis, or perform your research experiments. He can’t even have that heart-to-heart you’ve been meaning to have with your friend or tutor your mentee (who you have been working hard to build up relationships with for some time). So what can he do?
You notice that your dishes haven’t been done in weeks. You don’t even remember the last time you cleaned your bathroom. You’ve been skimping out on groceries because of all the books, supplies, and household repairs you needed to spend for.
It doesn’t take a Hopkins student to realize that this is a metaphor. When you come to PDOS, realize that you are coming to a one-time service event. Sometime volunteers come with certain expectations for their project; it’s hard not to. As great as it is that you’re volunteering, what these organizations truly need is commitment. It’s not an accident that a lot of our projects are manual-labor intensive. So as you are painting, scrapping, or weeding, think of what your site could do with the money that they just saved. Think of where their energy and time can now go.
At the end of the day, it’s not necessarily about how much wall you painted, or how many weeds you pulled. What we want is for you to see where the service happens. We want you to be inspired by the folks who dedicate their lives to clothing, feeding, housing, educating, and serving Baltimore city. We want you to find a place to dedicate yourself and your talents and contribute to the great work that is transforming a city that is in so much need. And we hope that PDOS can be the first step.
What Sites Are Like
In order to help us assign our volunteers, we categorize all service projects into three categories: Beautification, Hunger and Food Justice, and Working with People. When you register, you can choose one of these categories to be your priority site. However, keep in mind that we cannot guarantee your site assignment will be in that category (we are assigning approximately 1000 volunteers).
Do you like to get your hands dirty? Do like seeing a tangible product to your work? Help non-profits improve and brighten up their facilities by helping them clean up, wash up, organize, or revitalize. Beautification projects include activities such as painting, construction, invasive species removal, and other renovation projects.
Organizations that have hosted Beautification projects include: Margaret Brent Elementary, Waverly Elementary, The Franciscan Center, Friends of Wyman Park Dell, The Samaritan Women, East Baltimore Development Inc (EBDI), and much more.
Hunger & Food Justice
Do you want to help fight hunger in Baltimore City? Hunger and Food Justice sites work with the many stages of feeding the hungry residents of Baltimore. Past projects have included preparing the earth for seedlings, planting, weeding, mulching, harvesting, gleaning, slicing, dicing, cooking, or feeding.
Organizations that have hosted Hunger and Food Justice projects include: First Fruits Farms, Baltimore Free Farm, Our Daily Bread, Reservoir Hill, Greater Remington Improvement Association, The Franciscan Center, and much more.
Working With People
Do you like putting a smile on people’s faces? Do you like showing people the love and respect they deserve? Help teach, play with, listen to, or inspire people of all walks of life. Past project include playing bingo with elderly residents, helping kids make a quilt, and holding a talent show with adults with developmental disabilities.
Organizations that have hosted Working with People projects include: Govans Ecumenical Development Corporation (GEDCO), Future Care Charles Village, JHU Tutorial Project, Sarah’s House, Jenkins Senior Living Community, Gallagher Services for People with Developmental Disabilities, and much more.
***If you have additional questions, please refer to our volunteer specific FAQ page.