This weekend was a very busy and exciting one for Millersville University’s Volunteer Central. Early on Saturday, students and faculty had the opportunity get out and participate in the annual Into the Streets, giving back to the Lancaster community by volunteering at a handful of non-profit organizations.
“We have many Millersville organizations participating this year,” said Community Service Coordinator Javita Thompson. “Ninety-two students registered compared to 75 that registered last year, which is really good!”
Some of the clubs of Millersville that got involved included the Society of Latino Americans (SOLA), Graduate Student Association, the University Activities Board (UAB) and many others.
Students and faculty gave back to the community by reaching out to thirteen Lancaster organizations. These organizations included three retirement homes, such as Conestoga View, Willow Valley, and United Zion Retirement Community. Volunteers could also participate in a chili cook-off fundraiser for Mental Health America, a clean-up of the mayor’s office, and could volunteer at the Lancaster County Workforce, the Threshold Foundation and the Hands-on House Museum.
“Volunteer jobs vary from assisting retirement home residents by taking them outside and spending time with them, painting a room, cleaning or gardening,” Thompson explained.
Along with hosting Into the Streets, Volunteer Central does a lot more for students and faculty who want to get involved with their community. Volunteer Central is part of Millersville University’s Experiential Learning and Career Management (ELCM).
ELCM is made up of three units, which includes Volunteer Central, Internships, and Career Management. Volunteer Central is the university’s direct connection to the community, promoting community service (or civic engagement) through service learning (volunteering as a part of an academic course, such as the Why We Hate course) and federal work study opportunities. They hold a number of programs to promote civic engagement, such as holding food drives, concerts and hosting a number of community service events such as Into the Streets and getting involved with United Way’s Day of Caring.
“It’s very important for students to get involved with their community,” Thompson stated. “It’s our goal to encourage students to get involved and reach that point of reflection, feeling good about what they did.”
If you would like to get involved with the Lancaster community, Volunteer Central is the place to go. They will connect you with an organization and will get you involved. You can contact Volunteer Central via e-mail by sending a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also contact them by phone by dialing 717-872-3774, or visiting their webpage by going to www. millersville.edu/elcm and clicking the Volunteer Central tab. They also have a Facebook page and Pinterest page available with an Instagram page in the works as well!
Don’t miss out the opportunity to reach out to the community. They will thank you, and you will feel great in the end. Volunteer Central is the key to getting you out of the dorm and into the community!