Panel emphasizes value of volunteering

Karley Ice January 31, 2013 0

On Jan. 23, students looking for service learning and volunteering opportunities gathered to listen to a panel of representatives from various organizations around the area. These opportunities can satisfy the requirements of a social work major and human services minor, but all students are welcome to volunteer, exhibiting Elizabethtown College’s motto, “Educate for Service.”
“Educate for Service” has been an Etown tradition since 1915 that “expresses our belief that the pursuit of knowledge is most noble when used to benefit others,” according to the College website. Students have the opportunity to take this motto into their own hands through selfless service at any nonprofit organization.
Jessica Leidy, a sophomore secondary mathematics education major and a human services minor, represented Cornerstone Community Ministries, for which she volunteers. This ministry provides a youth center that has a skate park for kids in grades six through 12 after school and on Friday nights. Volunteers help students with activities ranging from helping with homework to playing pingpong and foosball.
Volunteers can participate from Monday through Thursday from 3-6 p.m. and Fridays from 7-10 p.m. Clearances are not required to volunteer. Email Jessica Leidy at leidyl@etown.edu for transportation accommodations. Additional questions can be directed to John Myers, the executive director, at john@ccmetown.org.
Another organization looking for volunteers is Girls on the Run. This local organization focuses on character development in girls ages eight to thirteen. The goal of Girls on the Run is to instill in young girls confidence and appreciation of fitness through the accomplishment of a 5K running event. Sarah Creme, a senior occupational therapy major and human services minor, said, “You’re like the cool big sister … [it’s] empowering to see their excitement while watching them cross the finish line.”
Volunteers are needed from March 11 through May 18 twice a week for an hour and a half each visit. Girls on the Run is looking for positive role models to serve as coaches and running buddies or to help on the day of the 5K event. An all-day coaches training will be held on Saturday, Feb. 23. Clearances are required, but the organization will facilitate and pay for them. Transportation is required. Contact Carrie Johnson, executive director, at cjohnson@gotrlancaster.org with any further questions.
Another organization that also revolves around youth is the Boys and Girls Club of Lancaster. This program aims to facilitate the opportunity for young people to become productive, responsible adults. They are looking for positive and energetic volunteers to help with youth ages six to 18. Volunteers will help students focus on academic success, leadership development, and health and fitness.
The Boys and Girls Club is equipped with a regulation size gymnasium. Students also have access to a computer lab to do homework and research. Volunteers are needed Monday through Thursday from 3 to 8 p.m. and also to serve meals Monday through Thursday. Clearances and transportation are required. Questions? Go to bcglanc.org or contact Erin Conahan, Senior Community School Director at econahan@bcglanc.org.
Many college students are familiar with Twitter, Facebook, Kindles and iPhones, so the seniors at the Elizabethtown Area Senior Center are looking for Etown students’ help with technology. In addition, the center is looking for volunteers to help serve meals, socialize with the elderly or help with the center’s talent show. Lois Sidelnick, a participant at the Senior Center said, “You can hike to it and you can bike to it, and if you don’t hike or bike, we have a parking lot.” The Senior Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Also, “TGIF” occurs from 5-10 p.m. on Fridays. Volunteers can help out any time the center is open. Contact Joyce Hardman at seniorcenter@GetintoGears.org for more information.
If you love animals, consider volunteering at The Capital Area Therapeutic Riding Association (CATRA) located in Grantville, Pa. CATRA provides therapeutic riding to people with disabilities such as autism and emotional disabilities. They are looking for volunteers to assist riding on weekends and from 3:30-6:30 p.m. on weekdays. Training is available for volunteers and CATRA will tailor training to a volunteer’s qualifications. No clearances are needed, but an application and liability form must be completed. Transportation is not provided. For more information, contact Shirley Nolt at info@catra.net.
The organizations mentioned are only a handful of the programs looking for assistance. A list of organizations and forms for clearances can be found on the Center for Community and Civic Engagement page at www.etown.edu.

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