Active Citizen Challenge

Eimy Gonzalez, Staff Writer

The Volunteer Center is actively working to reinvent volunteering. At the beginning of the month of October, they launched the Active Citizen Challenge to motivate students and staff of Madison College to be actively engaged with the community.

Throughout these periods of lockdown, the Volunteer Center has been communicating and exchanging ideas to promote volunteering opportunities in the virtual world we are enduring. As people find themselves physically further apart, the Volunteer Center explores ways to unite the population through volunteering and support.

With this in mind, while brainstorming in one of the meetings, the concept of the Active Citizen Challenge began to be developed. This offers different opportunities to be involved with the community each month. Carolyn D. Kosabucki, Madison College Alternative Break Coordinator, mentions how students can choose an activity to participate in based on their comfort level. These are developed strictly to follow the guidelines of COVID-19 restrictions—keeping the health of students and staff a priority.

The first challenge was presented in October, leading up to the elections, with the focus of motivating students to exercise their voting rights. Now, in November, the challenge addresses local food insecurity. The characteristics of this issue are shared as an invitation for students to become involved and the resources available are presented to inform anyone on the aid that is being offered.

“Everyone is welcome. We have so many diverse needs as a community and now, facing COVID-19, the challenges are even stronger. It’s important to connect with each other and look for little ways in which we can take care of our neighbors and take care of these bigger issues starting at home,” comments Kosabucki—inspiring to act in favor of the well-being of the community.

An important aspect of this approach is its reach; it goes beyond the Madison College campus. For the current challenge, the Volunteer Center has already partnered with other charities such as the River Food Pantry, Second Harvest Food Pantry, as well as other food banks within the community—proving they are committed to reaching a broader range of support. Partnerships such as these make a greater impact, benefitting more people throughout these difficult times.

Even though this is a new concept, the participation has been increasing considerably. The response from the Madison College community has been positive, demonstrating the willingness to become active citizens and make a difference. The Volunteer Center is looking forward to the numbers continuing to rise, achieving engagement between individuals and the community to provide as much relief as possible to those who are in most need. Because of this vision, the Active Citizen Challenge will stay as part of the activities in the upcoming months, becoming an on-going volunteering platform.

For the following challenge, there will be ways to support our society during the holiday season.

“It’s been a very difficult year for everyone. It’s important to remember that holidays are still important for family traditions. We have to take care of each other,” says Kosabucki.

Once December kicks off, the Volunteer Center will begin to send out more details on the next volunteering opportunity. For more information on the current and upcoming challenges, you can visit the social media platforms of the center. These can be found on the Madison College Volunteer Center website. You can also find them on WolfPack Connect. Make sure to sign up and begin your journey as an active citizen.