High School Students! Earn a Varsity Letter in Community Service!
Earn a letter in Community Service! Students who volunteer 145 of more hours of service in a year can earn their school varsity letter, the same as those earned by athletes and musicians!Applicants must meet the following basic qualifications:
Want to apply?
- Be a student in grades 9-12 in a North Thurston Public School
- Complete at least 145 hours of community service from April 1, 2018 - through March 31, 2019 (this does not include hours needed for graduation)
- Must have at least 50 hours of non-school-related volunteering (i.e. a nonprofit or civic service setting)
- Must have a least one school-related activity (no hour requirement)
- All volunteer activities must be verifiable
- Meet the 2.0 GPA requirement
Have Questions? Contact Jeannie Dimico, Volunteer Specialist, at 360-412-4451 or see below for Frequently Asked Questions.
- Download an application (PDF)
- Fill it out legibly and written in pen or typed (no pencil)
- Make a copy of your entire application for your future reference
- Your application must be received by April 12, 2019 (applications may be mailed, delivered in person, emailed or faxed provided they are legible)
Community Service Varsity Letter FAQ
The following is a list of activities that can be done in school. These are just a few ideas; this is not a complete list. If you are uncertain if an activity counts, please contact us.
• Participating in a community service project through a school club (Honor Society, Key Club, etc.)
• Volunteering with a parent/teacher organization within the school or school district
• Tutoring peers through a school tutoring program
• There are NO hour requirement for school-related activities
Sometimes work done through a school group can be counted as school-related OR non-school-related work if the work was done with an outside organization (i.e. Key Club participating in Relay for Life). You may count the hours where you need them.
The following hours WILL COUNT towards the Varsity Letter service requirements:
Faith-related hours serving the community at large (meaning must serve more than the faith-based organization)
• Volunteering with a Faith-based-run food bank, clothing bank or meal service
• Volunteering with members of the faith-based organization for an outside nonprofit (501c3) community-based organization (like running a youth group food drive for Lacey Food Bank), or:
• performing volunteer service on a mission trip (like rebuilding a community after a disaster, building a school, digging a well, etc.) that is not solely based on evangelizing/proselytizing
• Volunteering with a Vacation Bible School program that is open to the community at large will count as volunteer service
The following hours WILL NOT COUNT towards the Varsity Letter Hour requirements: Hours that benefit only the faith-based organization will not count toward the letter, for example:
• Volunteering in the choir, band, or performances for the faith-based organization.
• Volunteering to usher.
• Volunteering in the nursery during services or classes.
• Volunteering to doorbell, proselytize, run a booth to pass out faith-based information, etc.
If you volunteer on a mission trip or other volunteer vacation, the hours are calculated as follows:
• During the school year: 10 hours per day
• During the summer: 15 hours per day
If you have documentation proving that you served more than these number of hours per day, you may submit it with your application and will be credited with these hours if we are able to verify them through your provided contact.
If you volunteer as a camp counselor, the hours are calculated as follows:
• During the school year: 10 hours per day
• During the summer: 15 hours per day
If you have documentation proving that you served more than these hours per day, you may submit it with your application and will be credited with these hours if we are able to verify them through your provided contact.
If you participate in a school service club, you may count any hours that are spent organizing and implementing a service project. If you are in a club that uses meeting times to discuss other club business, you may not count those hours. Only hours spent planning and participating in a service project will count as community service hours.
• Volunteering with a school-based club by organizing a school food drive and donating proceeds to a nonprofit (501c3) community-based food bank
• Performing with your school choir/band/theater group for a senior center, nursing home, daycare, etc. outside of school hours and not for school credit
• Volunteering with a lower level school (junior high or elementary) helping teachers or students with education and enrichment-related activities
School-related hours if not serving the community at large (must serve more than your school/student body) will NOT count, for example:
• Making posters for a school activity
• Holding a car wash or other fundraiser that benefits a school club or sports team
• Performing with your school band/orchestra/pep band/theater group or choir
• Hosting students from other schools or international exchange students
Typically, you are able to earn a sports management letter if you volunteer with a varsity-level team, so these hours do not count if this option is available at your school. If your time is spent with younger students
(i.e. you are in high school and you help with a junior high or with an elementary school team) or with a community sports group, your hours will most likely count. Please contact us if you are unsure.
Any babysitting, yard work or house work performed with a nonprofit CAN be counted for this award. In cases where you are assisting an individual on your own, we require the individual have a documented need and they cannot be a related to you. To qualify, the recipient must meet at least one of the following criteria:
• Receive Medicaid benefits (low-income senior citizen)
• Receive SSDI (individual with a disability)
We will need to contact the recipient and verify that they meet the above criteria.
Any community service or volunteer hours done to meet a graduation requirement DO NOT count towards your varsity letter in community service. Volunteer hours that are counted for the varsity letter are to be done above and beyond what is required for graduation. If, for example, you are required to complete 20 hours of service as part of your project but you wind up volunteering for 30 hours instead, then we will be able to count only the 10 additional hours you worked toward earning your varsity letter.
Any community service or volunteer hours done as a requirement for a class DO NOT count towards your varsity letter in community service. Volunteer hours that are counted for the varsity letter are to be done above and beyond class requirements.
No. Hours must be volunteered with a nonprofit agency or school.
I volunteered with my family. Can one of my parents be the contact for the verification of my hours?
Unless your parent works for the organization you volunteered with, you may not have your parent sign off on your hours. You will need to get the contact information for the organization representative who can verify your volunteer work. In cases where your parent does work for the organization, it is still preferable to have someone unrelated to you as your contact.
Since you are a member, hours can only be counted when you are doing service for other people or an outside group like a nonprofit. If your organization was hosting a food drive or spaghetti night feed that benefited an outside agency then hours spent setting up and collecting or serving the food would count. However, hours spent benefiting the organization itself such as singing choir at your own church, setting up an event for your own Boy Scout troop, ushering at your own organization’s event etc… would not count. If you aren’t sure, please contact us ahead of time.
Since the organization is a non-profit and by fostering an animal, you are in turn helping the community by getting them ready for adoption, then yes, these hours count towards the non-aligned United Way hours.
Here is how you can count your hours:
• 2 hours a day for a healthy adult animal
• 4 hours a day for a healthy litter of kitten or puppies
• 4 hours a day for a sick or recovering adult animal
• 6 hours a day for a sick litter of kittens or puppies
• 6 hours a day for mom and baby