Is there a way to do community service and make a little money?

I know this might sound a little selfish, but here me out. My wife and I are moving back to the US from Taiwan (my wife will be immigrating), and we will be spending our first six or seven months in Charleston, S.C. (where I’m from) before we go to wherever it is that I get accepted for grad school.

During our time there, we will have to pay rent and I will have to take prereq courses in micro- and macroeconomics. Not to mention, we’ll need to save money for our move to D.C., New York, or Boston at the end of summer (assuming one of these grad schools accepts me). Thus, we really need to make some money.

That said, I really want my job to be something that allows me to get out in the community help people. What are the chances that I could do this, while not having simply to volunteer, which, frankly, isn’t an option?

Define “get out in the community help people.” Could you work in a library? a local co-op grocery store? life guard (if applicable)? Or are you looking for things like working in a homeless shelter? What about finding a group that tutors LD kids?

Soup kitchens, community farms, educational programs, home building, etc. Anything where I can actually go out into the community and do something that might help people to change their lives for the better.

Most of the places you mention rely heavily on volunteers. They may have a few paid staff, but I doubt that they want to hire someone who is new to town and will be around for only a few months. Now, you might be able to find temporary employment if your goal is to make money or volunteer opportunities if that’s what you want.