There are always organization that serve the community looking for volunteers. However, semester break can be a difficult time to find volunteers.
Brianna Stapleton-Welch, the senior program advisor for the volunteer center said, “Usually students aren’t checking their [campus] email.” This year may prove to be increasingly difficult to find volunteers with regards to COVID.
“I don’t know what it’ll be like this year,” said Stapleton-Welch. “Everything this year is a totally different ballgame.”
In past years, there have been volunteering opportunities that took students out of state. This year the Volunteer Center is shifting its focus closer to home.
One volunteering opportunity on the books is an event benefiting Project Linus. Named for the blanket wielding Peanuts’ character, Project Linus distributes handmade blankets to organizations serving children such as American Family Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, and St. Mary’s Hospital to name a few according to Project Linus’ Madison Chapter website. Students will have the opportunity to make blankets for Project Linus on Jan. 5 from 10 a.m. to noon at Truax in the Intercultural Exchange.
Students volunteer for a variety of reasons. Stapleton-Welch has noticed a trend in students simply wanting to connect with other Madison College students.
“Students have been isolated over COVID,” she said explaining why students seem enthusiastic about in-person activities.
Other students are looking to gain skills.
“Maybe someone wants to have a career working with children, so they want to volunteer working with kids,” said Stapleton-Welch. “Other students have used volunteer experience to build resumes and transfer applications.”
In addition, some students have received community resources and know how they are important.
There is no shortage of volunteering opportunities in the community said Stapleton-Welch. “If a student has time, we can definitely find them organizations.”