You might have extra time on your hands, a personality that loves to help and care for those around you, a desire to be involved in your surrounding community, or an interest in building your resume. If so, volunteering in our CMU community or surrounding community could be an opportunity for you to invest your gifts, build relationships, and improve your resume.
Witness Through Service
Witness Through Service, an on campus committee led by Edina Preteau is currently looking for people to volunteer with Siloam Mission. Witness Through Service also provides opportunities for participants to volunteer in activities directed by other CMU committees such as Peace and Sustainability and Sports and Recreation. There’s a donation box located in the student life centre in which students and faculty are encouraged to donate books and clothes, which Witness Through Service takes to MCC or Siloam Mission.
By joining the Witness Through Service Committee you can have the opportunity to volunteer in activities such as a mug sale, where mugs are sold to raise funds that would be donated to a local organization. Edina said, “Outside help is always appreciated and people here are always so willing to volunteer.”
Another fabulous place to volunteer on campus is our Blaurock Café. The Blaurock is a fair trade and not-for-profit coffee shop operated by CMU’s student council and run entirely by volunteers. The profits made at the end of each year are donated to a charity chosen by the Blaurock managers. Students can get involved with the Blaurock through volunteering as a barista for two hours a week, in which you get a free drink of your choice; and no, you don’t need any experience to volunteer at the Blaurock.
Students can also get involved in leadership by volunteering for any of the four management positions. Kim Reimer, one of the senior managers for the Blaurock said, “You should get involved because it’s a great way to gain experience for your resume to meet new people and to hang out in a really neat space with a great cup of coffee.”
Peer Assisted Learning
If you are a person to whom your peers constantly ask academic-related questions then PAL, Peer Assisted Learning (PAL), is another option for you to volunteer in the CMU community. Beth Downey, a senior student who has been involved with PAL for a number of years, described this volunteering opportunity as a kind of drop-in where students volunteer their time as a peer tutor to help classmates with homework, test-prep, study/organizational skills, etc. PAL usually runs twice a week for a couple of hours. The people who volunteer at PAL are students who have been recommended to the PAL Coordinator by a faculty member. This ensures PAL can offer quality help to the student body. Students themselves are also encouraged to seek an interview with the PAL Coordinator and express their interest.
Beth shared that, “It is a great way to meet new people you might not otherwise interact with; especially international students: working on an essay together is a great way to better understand and overcome language barriers. Also, getting out of your own little world of deadlines and troubles to help somebody else with their struggles is awesome for your mental health. Helping others is essential for staying balanced and grounded in university where life can so quickly become ‘all about me.’”
There are multiple opportunities to volunteer on and off the CMU campus and they are fantastic opportunities to intentionally build and invest in community and increase your work experience.
Cesar Flores is one of CMU’s Student Ambassadors