Alternative spring break student volunteering

Tessara Clark, Staff Writer

Madison College students got involved with the local community over spring break by volunteering their time March 13-16. For the first three days of the local alternative break volunteering, students had the opportunity to go off-campus to support nonprofit organizations in the area, and Thursday’s community service took place on campus.
Nine students volunteered their time March 13, packaging and labeling food for Second Harvest Food Bank, which is a supplier for many pantries in Dane County and the surrounding counties, including the Truax Campus food pantry.
The next day, volunteers visited Free Bikes 4 Kidz, where they spent three hours cleaning donated bicycles. These bicycles will be repaired by on-site bike mechanics and given back to the community, particularly to people who need access to bicycles as a means of regular transportation.
For the final off-campus volunteering activity, students visited Dane County Humane Society, an animal shelter that supports household animals, farm animals and wildlife with medical care and a safe place to stay until they are adopted. Twelve volunteers spent time on Wednesday doing various activities such as stuffing dog toys and socializing with shelter cats to help the humane society provide enrichment to their animals.
On March 16, activities were held on the Truax campus, and included creating toys for pets, making lavender sachets for a local hospice organization and filming cooking videos to supplement the Truax food pantry.
Some students came for every volunteering opportunity on this break, while others came for just one or two days based on their availability. All the students, though, had a fulfilling time volunteering as they communicated while reflecting on their experiences.
Volunteer experiences over break were organized and planned by Alternative Break Coordinator Madalyn Breunig and supervised by advisor Brianna Stapleton Welch. According to them, more local alternative break volunteering experiences will be available for interested students in subsequent years over both spring and winter break. The Volunteer Center also has numerous other ways for students to get involved without giving up their breaks, including Wolfpack Volunteers and one-time on campus events.