If you’re reading this, chances are you had no idea that this week is National Volunteer Week. It’s OK. Last year, when my twin and I found out April 10 was National Sibling Day, there was no celebratory reaction:
However, this week deserves a reaction: to get up and volunteer! There is not a more perfect time to spread your generosity, or warm up for The Big Event on April 25, than to participate in some form of service during this week. I’ll even make it easier for you. Here’s a complete 7 day schedule of ways to volunteer during National Volunteer Week.
SUNDAY: Lorien-Mays Chapel Health Center
If you’re a nursing student, you love physical rehabilitation, or if you’re interested in working with senior citizens, you could volunteer at the Lorien-Mays Chapel Health Center. They would love volunteers to help out in the activities and recreation department. They’re open 10-5pm Monday through Sunday.
Maybe working with senior citizens isn’t your thing. What about working with middle school and high school students? Secondary Education majors: this is perfect for you. Boys Hope Girls Hope of Baltimore is a group-home style college access program for students in disadvantaged environments who wish to go to college. You can tutor students in any subject and the hours are flexible, as long as they are after school.
TUESDAY: Salvation Army Youth Program
This is another way to work with children. On Tuesday nights only, the Salvation Army Youth Program works with inner city, at-risk youth teaching music, dance, arts and character development. Anyone is welcome to volunteer, especially those interested in teaching or the arts and humanities.
WEDNESDAY: Maryland Food Bank
The Maryland Food Bank is always looking for volunteers to help them sort, package and distribute food to the hungry. If you have an opening in your weekly schedule, this is a great and easy way to provide service in the Baltimore area.
Here’s service that’s more hands-on. Working with HFHC, you’ll build new homes and new communities for people in need. HFHC has an open-door policy, meaning anyone, regardless of race, religion, gender, political views or any other discriminatory device, is welcome. You’ll be working with people of all backgrounds.
FRIDAY: American Red Cross Blood Drives
There’s nothing simpler than working a blood drive. All you have to do is greet people as they walk in and serve refreshments after their donation. Also, there’s always a need for blood donation. Become a donor yourself!
SATURDAY: Baltimore Theatre Project
To volunteer or not to volunteer? Help out Baltimore Theatre Project with ticket sales, concession sales and ticket-taking. There are also benefits: All volunteers receive free admission to the show!
Of course, if my ideas and sample schedule don’t work for you, definitely follow Student Activities schedule for the week or follow on Facebook at fb.com/TUServes or on Twitter @TU_Serves.
-Jared M. Swain