How to Earn the Ultimate Volunteer Award (PVSA)
If you’re anything like me, you’re obsessed with constantly looking for new ways to spruce up your resume. You’ve volunteered, you’ve worked multiple jobs, you’ve joined clubs, and you’ve attended seminars.
Now, there is a way to get recognized on a national scale for your volunteer work, and I’m going to tell you all about it.
You may or may not have heard about the Presidential Volunteer Service Award. According to their website, the PVSA is an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and is administered by Points of Light. They recognize the volunteer service of US citizens and legal residents who have received a certain number of volunteer hours over a 12-month time span or total hours over the course of a lifetime.
There are three levels of achievement based on those hours: bronze, silver, and gold and hours vary based on age groups. There is also an award called “The Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award,” which recognizes individuals who have volunteered 4000 or more hours over their lifetime.
Individuals who participate in this program get a huge honor: presidential recognition. Volunteers who successfully give their time and detail it on the PVSA online database will receive a personalized certificate, an official pin, medallion or coin and a congratulatory letter from the president of the United States.
Talk about an impressive achievement!
How to Get Started
For anyone looking to get into a good undergraduate or graduate school, or impress an employer with a new accomplishment, or woo viewers on LinkedIn, this accomplishment certainly doesn’t hurt to have.
Don’t get too excited yet, though. As always, there are terms and conditions. Not all volunteer groups are equal and recognized by the PVSA, and therefore, not all of them are eligible to reward awards. Be sure to look online and e-mail volunteer organizations about their eligibility, or reach out and contact the PVSA website for a listing of organizations that are associated with the award.
There are even groups accepting virtual volunteers and virtual interns, so there are options for every type of volunteer. The PVSA is also currently in the process of building a volunteer database with names of organizations.
Also, it is possible for new organizations themselves or philanthropic and humanitarian groups interested in the award to pitch themselves for eligibility. If you work with or direct a group for which you feel this award is deserved, reach out to the PVSA. There is a request form on the website.
Once you find an organization you like that is certified and registered with the PVSA, register as a volunteer on the PVSA website and start logging your hours for the various assignments and projects sent you way. For young adults aged 16-25, bronze status can be achieved by earning, 100-175 points over a 12-month span, silver level from 175-249, and gold level from 250+.
Volunteering, whether you’re getting recognized for it or not, is a wonderful thing to do.
You’re helping your community, family, friends, and peers by contributing to society. There’s no better feeling than knowing you made a difference, but it’s nice to know there are organizations that care about the good you do, too.