In my son's case, four hours are required every quarter. My son, however, has to write a reflection on what he has done each quarter. Specifically, a student has to answer the following questions:
What impact did your service have on your community?
How did your service help you identify your own strengths and areas for growth?
For this requirement to be doable, there should be ample opportunities in the community. Fairfax county as well as various church and civic organizations provide such opportunities. In the first quarter, my son helped in the Festival of our Parish. He was in charge of a refreshment booth and was supervising young children in an escape room. In the second quarter, he was part of a "Breakfast with Santa" event. Each quarter does require my son to find an opportunity to serve. And this is clearly part of his learning. In the current quarter, there are three possible activities: Helping in the food pantry for the parish, cleanup of Lake Accotink Park, and spending time with the elderly in an assisted living community. My son chose to work with the elderly. And I am quite sure he felt something much more meaningful than I did while pouring acid on the steps of the stairs.