Giving your time to help others selflessly helps to enhance your community and gives you a chance to make a difference in someone else’s life other than your own. According to an article written by the University of Roehampton, volunteering can help people develop and showcase valuable job skills, assisting them in becoming more employable.
Volunteer opportunities are all around us in this community. When looking for volunteer opportunities, the first source you have is right here on Eastern Michigan University’s campus at the VISION office in the Student Center. You can also visit emich.edu/vision.
Volunteering with the VISION office, whose goal is “to address global and local issues and meet community needs,” also opens the door for Learning Beyond the Classroom credit, which is required as a part of EMU’s general education requirements. Check out these local organizations website and the abundance of opportunities that an organization has for someone willing to donate their time:
• Love Where You Live: Ypsi Scavenger Hunt – On Friday, Sept. 13 from 12-3 p.m., you can check out the cool sites around Ypsilanti with a group of friends to compete in the Instagram Scavenger Hunt sponsored by EMU and Visit Ypsi. Pre-register at VisitYpsiNow.com/scavenger, or register the day of from noon to 12:45 p.m. at the Student Center patio.
• Kid Konnections: Become A Pen Pal – The Pen Pals program is a year-long program that connects college students with third, fourth or fifth grade elementary students through letters. Every week, you will write and receive a letter and at the end of the year, have the opportunity to meet your pen pal at a special campus gathering. Go to emich.edu/vision/programs/penpal_application.pdf to print and fill out an application form and pen pal profile. The deadline for submission is Friday, Sept. 27 in room 346 at the Student Center.
• Best Buddies is an opportunity to develop meaningful friendships with someone with an intellectual and/or developmental disability and promotes inclusion between students from all walks of life. To apply, go to the VISION office to fill out an application as well as be prepared for an interview to be matched with a buddy. You are to communicate with your buddy at least twice a week and visit face-to-face twice a month. For any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels – Volunteers help to deliver meals to homebound, ill and/or disabled people living in Ypsilanti and surrounding areas. Contact 734-487-9669 or email@example.com for more information.
• Humane Society of Huron Valley provides shelter and care for homeless animals and work to place as many strays with potential, caring homes. Assistance options include one-time service projects (such as Service Days, one Saturday per month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) or long-term commitments that last two hours per week for at least 6 months. Contact 734-622-5585 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• SOS Community Services is a non-profit organization that’s dedicated to foster to the needs of homeless families and children in need in the Washtenaw County. Contact SOS at 734-485-8730 or via email at email@example.com.
For more lists of organizations, visit the VISION page: emich.edu/vision.
Dozens of organizations function with the volunteers VISION receives every year.
A volunteer opportunity could open the doors to so many other possibilities. For those who are undecided about a major, volunteering and getting some early experience in a particular field could help you figure out just what you want to do.
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