Opportunities for Gamecocks to give back

Carolina Tradition: Service

The University of South Carolina believes that giving back should be a part of every student’s experience. The Leadership and Service Center and campus organizations provide a number of programs to help connect your student to the local community and beyond. From one-day and weeklong service opportunities to regional and national alternative break trips, there is a chance for every student to lead, serve and inspire.

Martin Luther King Jr. Week

The Leadership and Service Center is hosting two MLK Days of Service. On both January 14 and 21, students are invited to be a part of the thousands of volunteers throughout the country who will volunteer to serve their communities.


Best Buddies is a student organization that gives your student the opportunity to enhance the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities by providing one-on-one friendships.

Celebrating its 11th anniversary this year, Cocky’s Reading Express is a partnership between Student Government and the School of Library and Information Science’s Center for Children’s Books and Literacy. Volunteering with Cocky’s Reading Express gives students the opportunity to visit elementary schools across South Carolina with Cocky, the university’s mascot, and read books to children to help them understand the importance of life-long reading.


Service Saturdays, the university’s signature monthly service days, are a great way for your student to gather with fellow Gamecocks and give back to the Columbia community. On the day of the event, students will select their service site at check-in and then begin their day of service. Transportation to service sites and lunch are provided.

Alternative breaks, offered during the fall, winter and spring, give students the chance to travel in teams to locations across the United States to serve others, all while having fun and making new friends. During the 2015-16 academic year, student teams traveled to cities in South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama and Tennessee to complete service projects. These projects included work with Habitat for Humanity, Give Kids the World and Carolina Tiger Rescue.


Give It Up for Good is an annual program run by University Housing. Donations of clothing, household goods, furniture, appliances, and food are collected in each residence hall as students head home for winter and summer breaks.

If your student is looking to learn more about community service opportunities on campus, encourage them to speak with a leadership coach at the Leadership and Service Center. Coaches are available to coordinate volunteer placements at more than 100 non-profit agencies in the Columbia community. The LSC’s website is a great resource for your student to learn about upcoming service opportunities and join the mailing list for volunteer opportunities.

With over 28,000 volunteers, 527,651 volunteer hours and 1.63 million in donations raised during the 2015-2016 academic year, the university continues to see students lead, serve and inspire through their community service efforts.

At the University of South Carolina, your student’s commitment to service has no limits!

*Interested in learning more about community service opportunities for your student? Like the Leadership and Service Center on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and Instagram and look for posts on community service by searching #UofSCServes on each social media platform. Encourage your student to do the same!