The Millersville community can go “Into the Streets” Apr. 18, 2015 to participate in the campus-wide day of service as volunteers. Open to students, staff, faculty and organizations, volunteers will participate in various activities, such as interacting with disabled children, spending time with elderly, cleaning up public areas or even painting.
While this day serves as an opportunity to gain volunteer experience, it also highlights the importance of volunteering within local communities and making a difference in others’ lives. Interested individuals must register for the event by April 6 at http://goo.gl/IbpBJ5.
All volunteers will participate in the community service day from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m..
Additional opportunities for the community include volunteering for the Tri for Life Triathlon and Duathlon Apr. 18, helping disperse clothing and food to residents of Water Street Rescue Mission through Living Generosity, and dropping off materials to boxes near the SMC Juice Bar for organizations against domestic violence.
Volunteering has become dispersed throughout courses, and gives students the opportunity to apply their coursework to life experiences. Greek organizations also use volunteering as a way to create bonds with fellow peers while creating positive change for others.
When searching for opportunities to volunteer, there are several things one should keep in mind:
• The task one volunteers for should be something enjoyable
This will make the event seem less daunting, helping them maintain interest in the task.
• Communicate with others
As a volunteer, technology is an important facet of communication in advertising upcoming events, organizations and different areas of activity serving the community. Facebook offers event alerts and organization pages, while additionally making it easier to network with others wanting to volunteer together. With good communication, community members can be aware of who to contact for details and expand their services and resources to the public.
• Learn something new
Though it is important to use the skills one already has acquired, it is also beneficial to learn new skills and expand one’s experiences. Habitat for Humanity is one organization known for helping community members while teaching volunteers new abilities in reconstruction and design, often occurring after natural disasters and destruction. Having more abilities will help an individual broaden their range of opportunities to help others.
• Be prepared for potential interviews and protocols from organizations
While students are searching for locations where they can apply their career goals and skills, organizations also want to be sure that individuals are qualified for the jobs to be filled. Prior experience may be questioned, as well as references for work completed by the volunteer-in-question. It is important to dress and act appropriately as one would for a job, and be prepared to provide a resume to the prospective organizational leaders. Additionally, prepare to undergo background checks if volunteer tasks involve individuals at risk.
• Remember that as a volunteer, one does not have to change the whole world in a day.
Even as one person, change can begin and inspire others. The tasks may seem small, but lead to big changes in the long run. Begin by picking up some trash in a park, donating some old or unused clothes, or even donating toiletries and canned goods to homeless shelters.