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Three images of students: serving in the Monarch Pantry, standing on the steps of a building in a group, and cleaning a park.

Office of Leadership & LearningFor Volunteers

For Volunteers

For students interested in volunteering, our team can help match you with community partners and service opportunities both on and off campus. We also helps support service-based student organizations and events. Finally, we compliment the mission of Old Dominion University by building service and philanthropic partnerships with campus and community organizations.

Volunteer Opportunities

ODU has launched an exciting new Volunteer platform called Helper Helper!

Helper Helper allows our campus and community partners to post volunteer opportunities that are available to students. Search through the opportunities on Helper Helper to find one that's the right fit for you!

You already have a Helper Helper log in! Sign in with your ODU email address and the app will prompt you to log in with your MIDAS ID and password.

If you have any questions about Helper Helper or you need some guidance in finding the right volunteer opportunity for you, email volunteer@odu.edu.

Signature Programs

First-Year Service Experience is an annual event in August that allows first year students to move in early and then participate in a day of service on their first full day as a Monarch! In addition to the benefit of getting to beat the move-in rush, students get to meet their peers, get connected with an upperclassman Volunteer Leader, and begin to understand their role not just as a Monarch, but a citizen of Norfolk and Hampton Roads!

ODU Make a Difference Day is just one part of a nationwide day of service held on the fourth Saturday of October. Every year, a hundred Monarchs join in to participate in a community service project and learn about a community issue facing Hampton Roads and how the community is working to address it.

MLK Day of Service engages students in honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy on the federal holiday marking his birthday. Dr. King once said "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?" Students spend the day addressing a community need through service in Hampton Roads to "make it a day on, not a day off."

Volunteer Fairs invites community partners and service focused student organizations to showcase their efforts in the community as well as recruit volunteers.

Alternative Breaks are immersive service experiences designed to heighten participant's awareness of critical social issues, enhance their growth, and prepare them for lifelong social action. Students apply to spend their Fall or Spring Break on a service trip to learn about a social issue occurring in that community and work to understand and address that issue throughout their week.

Relay for Life is ODU's annual philanthropic event where student organizations and offices across campus come together in the Student Recreation Center for a night to benefit the American Cancer Society. Relay allows the campus community to remember those they've lost to cancer, celebrate those who are survivors, and fight back by raising funds and awareness for cancer research.

Remote Service Opportunities

Monarchs care about their communities. There are ways you can still contribute to your community while at home. Explore the opportunities below and follow @VolunteerODU on Twitter and Instagram for more ideas. Please visit odu.edu/covid19 for updated university information.

Continue to Connect

Connect with those who many need a little extra support during this time. Take time to call friends, family, and neighbors who may be in isolation. Reach out to your local nursing home facilities or hospitals which may be prohibiting or limiting visitors and send letters/cards to cheer someone up.

Virtual Tutoring

What school subjects are you best at? Reach out to family and neighbors who may have school age children at home and host a virtual tutoring session to help them with homework and lessons.

Donate Blood

Because of cancelled donation drives, we are in a critical blood shortage. Blood donation is considered essential during a stay-at-home order. If you're in good health and have been practicing social distancing, consider reaching out to your local American Red Cross office and donation center, but remember to use your best judgment and follow all CDC guidelines regarding leaving your residence.

Translators Without Borders

If you are bilingual, help translate content and make sure everyone has access to COVID-19 information in a language they understand.

Support Healthcare Workers

Donate unused Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to local hospitals. Learn to sew face masks for those on the front lines of COVID-19. Check with your local hospital to see what donations they're accepting. Many have set up websites to answer donation FAQs. If you are in the Norfolk area, you can view guidelines from Sentara and Bon Secours.

Smithsonian Digital Volunteers

Transcribe historical documents to preserve their contents and make them more accessible for readers from the comfort of your home.

United Nations Volunteers

Choose from a variety of virtual volunteer opportunities to support peace and development globally. United Nations Volunteers can assist with writing and editing, research, advocacy, teaching and training, community organizing, translation, project management, technology development, and more.

Crisis Text Line

Train to be a crisis counselor for a text line for people in crisis. You can complete the 30-hour training from anywhere. Crisis counselors commit to volunteering four hours per week.


Search through virtual volunteer opportunities posted by nonprofits and community agencies. Opportunities range from graphic design, social media work, website critiques, and trainings. Search by social issue addressed or skills needed!

Online Fundraising

Many nonprofits are hurting due to loss of fundraising opportunities and donors, while also ramping up their services to help people who are struggling. Identify a local nonprofit with a mission that resonates with you and organize an online fundraiser. Be creative! Live stream a talent of yours if you hit a fundraising goal.

Be an Advocate

Identify a cause that you're passionate about. Consider how you can further that cause from home. Call or write to elected officials, put together educational materials that you can share, recruit others to help the cause as well, or get connected with local community organizations with similar missions.

Craft for a Cause

Get creative at home for a cause you're passionate about. Cut up old t shirts and braid them into dog toys, or use yarn to create cat toys, and donate them to a local animal shelter. Learn how to make a blanket and donate it to a homeless shelter. Make a piece of art and do a virtual auction — donate the proceeds to a nonprofit!

Support Local

Support your local community. Purchase goods and/or gift cards from local small businesses. Check with neighbors who may be in isolation or quarantine and ask if they need any essential items. Take time to clear out your closet and storage and set aside items to donate to local nonprofits when it's safe to.

Distance Learners

Our staff can provide one on one consultation with distance learners searching for volunteer opportunities local to you, or as well as virtual volunteer opportunities.

Topics for consultation can include identifying what type of volunteer work you'd like to complete, identifying an ideal community partner or volunteer role in your local area, best practices in volunteering, and connecting volunteer skills to career goals. If there's a topic related to service, civic engagement, and volunteering you'd like to discuss, please reach out to our staff!

Phone: 757-683-3919

Email: volunteer@odu.edu

Social media: @VolunteerODU

Service Organizations

ODU has multiple service organizations that allow you to service your community while developing leadership skills and meeting new friends!

  • Alpha Phi Omega
  • Colleges Against Cancer
  • Gamma Sigma Sigma

Volunteer Rights and Responsibilities

Volunteer Rights

  • To be treated as a co-worker
  • To be carefully interviewed and carefully assigned
  • To know as much as possible about the agency organization, policies, programs, and activities
  • To receive sound guidance and direction
  • To pursue leadership roles
  • To voice opinions and to have ideas including in the planning of programs, activities, and curriculum
  • To do meaningful and satisfying work
  • To be evaluated and to receive letters of recommendations based on the service completed

The Responsibilities of the Volunteer

  • To understand commitment of time and tasks and to fulfill them
  • To participate in evaluation and reflection when asked to do so
  • To share thoughts and feelings with staff, including making learning objectives clear to the people with whom they will be working
  • To respect confidentiality
  • To serve as ambassadors of goodwill for the project
  • To enter into service with enthusiasm and commitment
  • To communicate dissatisfaction with placement and provide feedback

Site Navigation

Presidential Inauguration

ODU commemorated the inauguration of President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., during Homecoming Weekend 2022. Relive the historic weekend.

Fall Open House

It's time to fall in love with ODU! Join us for our last Open House event of the semester on Saturday, November 19.

Commencement 2022

Visit the Commencement Office for information on event times, caps & gowns, tickets and more!