Making Good On Campus – Volunteering and Helping Others
Between the state of the economy and the state of the planet, it’s never been more important to lend a helping hand to others. Volunteering your time to a cause you’re passionate about can be rewarding and fun, and college campuses make it easy for you to get involved. Here are two different volunteer options for you to consider, though keep in mind that there are plenty more opportunities out there.
Circle K International is the largest collegiate community service program in the world, with more than 11,000 members in 17 nations. Although each Circle K club is sponsored by a Kiwanis club, college and university students govern the entire organization.
In the fall of 2008, for example, the Circle K Club at SUNY Potsdam organized the “Light the Night Walk,” which raised funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The club has also brought in money for causes such as Coats for Kids, UNICEF, Habitat for Humanity and highway clean-up programs.
At Carnegie Mellon University, the Circle K club participates in activities on and off campus to benefit organizations like Juvenile Diabetes and the Multiple Sclerosis Society. The school’s biggest event is the weeklong “Whatever Drive,” held every spring during finals. When they move out, students donate items to Goodwill and the Food Bank that they might otherwise have thrown out.
Alternative Spring Break
If you think you might prefer an active volunteer experience, you can take advantage of the United Way’s Alternative Spring Break while in high school or in college.
This program got its start in 2006 as a collaboration between MTV and the United Way. Over the last three years, the Alternative Spring Break program has sent students to local communities across the Gulf Coast to help rebuild areas affected by Hurricanes Ivan, Katrina and Rita. Volunteers also go into America’s inner cities to assist the work of nonprofits.
For example, in 2009, students went to Detroit to help build affordable housing and construct ramps in the homes of people with disabilities. And in Wabash Valley, IN, students repaired and rebuilt flood-damaged homes.
Whether you’d prefer to incorporate volunteer work into your day-to-day life, or simply want to spend a week assisting a community in need, any college you choose will offer you unique volunteer opportunities that suit your lifestyle.