Students ‘get out of bed’ for National Volunteer Week

Caroline Laska

Helping others. Restoring communities. Attaining skills.

These are just a few reasons why people volunteer. National Volunteer Week began yesterday and runs through April 21, and Kent State offers plenty of opportunities for students to volunteer.

National Volunteer Week began in 1974 when President Richard Nixon signed an executive order establishing the week as an annual celebration of volunteering, according to the USA Freedom Corps Web site. Since then, every U.S. president has signed a proclamation promoting National Volunteer Week.

The Center for Student Involvement on the second floor of the Student Center creates unique volunteer opportunities for students and advocates for community service.

“We are constantly updating our volunteer projects and opportunities for students,” associate director Ann Gosky said.

One of the main projects of the Center for Student Involvement is Super-Service Saturdays. The organization sends e-mails to students on their listserv, telling them about the volunteer activity going on that day. Free transportation is provided to the volunteer destination.

“This Saturday we are going to Habitat for Humanity and Safer Futures, a women’s shelter in Ravenna,” VISTA Service Leader Matt Haramis said. “These service opportunities are a great way to get involved and gain personal benefits.”

The volunteer listserv has more than 267 members, and anyone can sign up for it. The Super-Service Saturdays program has accumulated more than 214 volunteers in its first year of operation.

“This is the first year we’ve had Super-Service Saturdays, and we’ve contributed more than 1,000 hours to the community,” Gosky said. “Students really amazed us because they were willing to get out of bed on a Saturday morning to devote their time to volunteering.”

To become part of the volunteer listserv or hear about opportunities to volunteer during National Volunteer Week, call Gosky or Haramis at (330) 672-8010.

Contact social services reporter Caroline Laska at [email protected].