Community Service Opportunities

Community service is an important part of many health careers; and many schools will expect to see some participation in outreach from their applicants. Below is a list of opportunities that can be pursued during a gap year or during your undergraduate career.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania

Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania strive to improve each young person’s life by growing self-esteem, academic abilities, professional skills, courage, and positive values through all of their programs

The Watson Institute

The Watson Institute offers special education schools as one of Pennsylvania’s Approved Private Schools, providing educational programs and resources for children with special needs ages 3 to 21.

American Red Cross

The American Red Cross Greater Pennsylvania Region helps people to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters big and small. Each year they provide assistance following more than 2,200 area disasters, most of which are home fires.

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

In addition to sourcing, warehousing and distributing food, the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank is actively engaged in confronting issues of chronic hunger, poor nutrition and health. Its work includes childhood anti-hunger initiatives, special distributions to seniors and other vulnerable populations, nutrition education, anti-hunger advocacy and capacity-building efforts.

Gwen's Girls

Since 2002, Gwen’s Girls has offered holistic, gender-specific programs, education, and experiences for Allegheny County’s at-risk children and young adults. It also offers a safe space where girls and young women can form relationships, build self-esteem and gain resiliency.

Western Pennsylvania Humane Society

Humane Animal Rescue is one of the largest animal welfare organizations in Pennsylvania, providing services to tens of thousands of animals each year at its two shelters and wildlife rehabilitation center.

North Hills Community Outreach

North Hills Community Outreach is an interfaith organization addressing the needs of people living in crisis, hardship and poverty.

Just Harvest

Just Harvest is a nonprofit organization that reduces hunger through sustainable, long-term approaches that lift up those in need. It addresses the root causes of hunger by using public policy and programs to reduce poverty and improve food access.

Allies for Health + Wellbeing

Allies provides integrated medical care, supportive human services, and community-based education for individuals living with, or at risk of HIV, viral hepatitis, and sexually transmitted infections.

Renewal Inc.

Renewal, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping individuals in the criminal justice system transition back to families and communities. Through a range of prevention, early intervention, programming, and treatment approaches, Renewal, Inc. empowers individuals to change their lives for the better.

Our Clubhouse

Our Clubhouse creates welcoming communities of support for everyone currently living with cancer—adults, teens, and children —along with their families and friends.  

Family House

Family House serves more than 24,000 patients and families staying in Pittsburgh for medical care each year. It provides affordable, accessible, compassionate, and quality housing through the generosity of donors and volunteers.

Women's Center & Shelter Of Greater Pittsburgh

The Women's Center & Shelter Of Greater Pittsburgh offers support and aid to more than 8,000 individuals each year, and is one of the leading regional programs for survivors of intimate partner violence.

Repair The World

Repair the World Communities engages young adults in social change around education and food justice in neighborhoods in Atlanta, Baltimore, Brooklyn, Detroit, Harlem, Miami, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.


UrbanKind Institute is rooted in a commitment to equity and social justice, working at the interface of community experiences, public policy, and academic research.

Shepherd Wellness Community

Since its inception in 1987, Shepherd Wellness Community has offered supportive services for people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.

Rebuilding Together

Rebuilding Together works to repair homes, revitalize communities, and rebuild lives by providing safe homes and communities.

Homeless Children's Education Fund

The mission of the Homeless Children’s Education Fund (HCEF) is to advance the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness in Southwestern PA, guiding them to be productive, empowered citizens. 

Collegiate YMCA - University of Pittsburgh

The Collegiate YMCA is dedicated to cultivating student leaders who will impact their campus, community, and the world. 

Keep it Real

Keep It Real (KIR) is a student-run volunteer organization at the University of Pittsburgh that provides personal in-home and after-school tutoring for the Somali-Bantu re-settled, refugee population in the city of Pittsburgh.

Mighty Penguins Sled Hockey

Mighty Penguins Sled Hockey operates therapeutic and competitive ice hockey programs for the benefit of cognitively and physically disabled individuals in Pennsylvania and adjacent areas.

The Corner

The Corner is a place where people share their stories and their culture through the arts, organize and advocate against injustice, and create and strengthen a sense of community.

Higher Achievement

Higher Achievement aims to give middle schoolers and high school students supplemental academic support in communities that lack the resources to start all students on equal footing.

Literacy Pittsburgh

Literacy Pittsburgh offers literacy programs for adults and families in Allegheny County and Beaver County, including fee classes and tutoring to move students from learning to earning and help them succeed as workers, parents and neighbors.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Of Greater Pittsburgh

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children  (“Littles”) in Allegheny, Greene, and Washington counties. There are three program options available that are designed to help develop strong one-to-one relationships, and make a direct and lasting impact on the lives of young children—Community-Based, Site-Based, and mentor2.0.

Girl Up

Girl Up is committed to working toward a world where all girls are empowered – and having fun while doing it.

Strong Women Strong Girls

Strong Women, Strong Girls champions the aspirations and potential of girls and women through a innovative mentorship program.

National Alzheimer's Buddies

National Alzheimer’s Buddies seeks to alleviate the often-overlooked emotional and social challenges that stem from Alzheimer’s by building friendships between college students and Alzheimer’s residents that bring out the beauty of the person still present. Professional training sessions, peer-reflection groups, and weekly journal entries provide volunteers with the resources and community to overcome communication barriers and deeply engage their new friend.

Casa De Esperanza

Casa de Esperanza de los Ninos strives to break the cycle of child abuse and neglect for at-risk infants, children and their families by providing comprehensive residential and family support programs that transform people and communities. Casa de Esperanza is currently seeking applicants for the Hands of Hope Service Year Program, an ideal gap year opportunity for pre-med/pre-health students.

Little Medical School

Little Medical School brings medicine, science, and the importance of health to children in an entertaining, exciting, and fun way -- by working with educators, healthcare leaders and community organizations to promote healthy lifestyles in children as they learn about jobs in the field.