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The Clarion

Volunteer Center helps students serve others

Brandon Amato, Opinion Editor

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In life, there are a few things we can give to others: our money, our time and our love. The majority of us, as college students, have very little of the former, leaving us with the still-amazing ability to give our time and our love to those in need. What better way to do that than to volunteer your time for a good cause through Madison College’s Volunteer Center?

The Volunteer Center offers a unique Service Learning Academy which, according to the Volunteer Center page of the school website, is “a semester-long program that pairs teams of students from Madison Area Technical College with community non-profit organizations to volunteer two hours each week at the same organization for 10 weeks … each team guided by a student leader in the program to provide support and training.”

Additionally, the Volunteer Center partners with UW-Madison, Edgewood College, RSVP and United Way of Dane County to coordinate “Volunteer Your Time,” which offers a clearinghouse of service opportunities in Dane County (http://www.volunteeryourtime.org/).

This semester’s Service Learning Academy began last week, sending Madison College students all over the city to offer their time and love to community non-profit organizations including The River Food Pantry, Hope Haven’s addiction treatment program, The Boys and Girls Club and many more.

If you missed out on the Service Learning Academy for fall semester but still are interested in volunteering, you’re in luck. Volunteer Center meetings take place the first Tuesday of every month, making the next meeting Tuesday, Oct. 3. At each of the meetings, up to three different agencies present and share information about volunteer opportunities and how they came about. Students who attend are treated to a free lunch.

Besides their monthly meetings and Service Learning Academies, the Volunteer Center also holds events like “Santa’s Wish List,” which according to Julisa Diaz-Perez of the Volunteer Center Board, “provides an opportunity to help out the children of our fellow students at Madison College during the holidays.”

The importance of volunteering has rarely been more evident, especially in the aftermath of some of the worst natural disasters our country has ever seen.

But it isn’t just people in Houston or Florida who need aid and assistance; there are also individuals and families in our own Madison communities that need help, too. Issues range from poverty and homelessness, to children needing after-school support and elderly folks needing companionship.

The Volunteer Center is a student-led organization that provides volunteer service learning opportunities for students while helping meet community needs.

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The news site of Madison Area Technical College
Volunteer Center helps students serve others