There are some who say that volunteering should be voluntary, that people should only do it because they want to. Others argue that volunteering should be mandatory because most people don’t consider doing community service on their own. Nevertheless, millions of schools around the country have some type of mandatory volunteer requirement that students have to complete before they graduate. Therefore, is it necessary for kids to be forced to volunteer?

Volunteering is a practice where people freely offer to do something, whether picking up trash or offering their services at an organization. But forcing kids to volunteer does defeat the sole purpose. Many opponents point out that setting mandatory volunteer hours skews their perception of volunteering and devalues their experiences. There is an argument when people say that no one should be helping other people out if they aren’t truly passionate about the cause.

Furthermore, some kids absolutely don’t have time to volunteer because they might be supporting their families and working after school. In counties like Roslyn and Commack in New York, 50% of the community is impoverished, and therefore, the mandatory volunteer requirement has been abolished.

However, there is also a strong case where mandatory volunteer work has merits and benefits everyone involved. For students, it provides them a chance for a rewarding experience as it forces the students to connect with their community. Oftentimes, they feel a sense of fulfillment when they help out and get out of their comfort zone. Plus, you can even get a job that benefits your future.

Moreover, 40% of all students in America are now volunteers, increasing community aid and giving back to the less fortunate. It betters the community and the people who they help, and that is rewarding enough.

While there are some logistical concerns with mandatory volunteering, holistically, it is very beneficial for students to get out in their community and work. But, to create a better volunteer system, we need opt-outs for those students who have specific logistical concerns where they can’t volunteer.