United Way offers volunteer opportunities

Megan Wilkinson

Students stuck lounging around their homes and residence halls this winter should consider volunteering with United Way, said Pamela Beals, director of volunteer services.

Beals, who works for the Summit County branch, said there are more than 20 volunteer opportunities available for students in the northeast Ohio region.

Students are United Way’s most active volunteer population, Beals said. She said this is most likely because students are required to do the work for school.

Beals said volunteering is beneficial for college students, in particular, because it can help students when they apply for scholarships or jobs.

“It’s good to post volunteer jobs on résumés,” Beals said. “Though it’s not paid work, it’s good to show the experience.”

Beals said organizations affiliated with United Way look for long-term volunteers more often, but she said there are a few one-day events in need of volunteers.

There are different opportunities with the Portage County branch.

Lorie Fields, information and referral specialist for the United Way of Portage County, said there is a need for students to volunteer with FUNDEC, Big Brothers and Sisters and other organizations.

“I think any project linked to our agency sites where students can get hands-on volunteer experience through the program can benefit them,” said Steve Kleiber, president of the Portage County branch.

Kleiber said the branch is tightly linked with Kent State. At the university, the campaigns are run year-round with the help of the KSU United Way Chapter.

Beals said to visit uwportage.org or uwsummit.org to find volunteer opportunities.

Contact Megan Wilkinson at [email protected].